Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book reviews

Two of the books I've read recently are The Land of Painted Caves by Jean Auel and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

Painted Caves is the last in the series called Earth's Children,that began with Clan of the Cave Bear close to 30 years ago. I truly enjoyed that one and all of the other books that followed.... until this one. And I so much wanted to love it! But it was a slog to get through. I felt like the book was simply detailed descriptions of the prehistoric paintings in the famous caves of southwestern Europe, with a little bit of story line to tie them together. Half way through this very long book, I still wasn't convinced that I would even finish it. Three fourths of the way through, and I was complaining to my coworker Claire that I just wasn't enjoying the book, but felt like I'd invested so much time and effort in reading not only this book, but the other 5 in the series, that I didn't feel like I should quit. And I just hate to quit reading a book. It feels like a failure on my part. Claire suggested that I could skip ahead to the ending, and I thought that seemed like a good idea, but I ended up skipping an important part and had to go back and read it in order to make sense of the ending. So, I finished it, completely, but I found it disappointing.

Now this little gem is another story...ahem....I was intrigued by the cover, and the title. I know we're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but really, the publishers pay much money to make the covers of books appealing to buyers. And in this case, it worked. But the insides of the book don't disappoint either. This story is built around and woven through old photographs of anonymous and yes, peculiar people. The author gives them identities through the story, and it's easy to come to care about them. I highly recommend this book; it's a quick read, even at 348 pages, as some of the pages are the photographs or other visual additions.


Anonymous said...

Oh how disappointing after all these years that Auel didn't hit it out of the park with this book.

I will definitely check out the other book though. Snow is coming tonight - looks like another long winter for us and it's three months before I can start sowing seeds again. Anna

Connie said...

I've read the whole Jean Auel series except the last one. (-; It's sitting on my Nook waiting for me.