Sunday, September 9, 2012

book butterfly reviews -- august (or not)

I just realized I never did a book review for August.

And that was because...I think I only read one book!

For some reason, I had a really hard time getting into the ones I had (I got half-way through one and had to take it back to the library), and of course school started up again, so there goes all my fun reading.

Dan and I have been reading the Harry Potter books this year, and I think we did finish Book 4 in August as well.

I just joined a gym.  Ack.  I have decided that instead of allowing myself to zone out in front of the televisions that I'll use my treadmill/eliptical/bicycle time to read for fun, so hopefully I'll have a book or two done by October.  :)

I read in August:

Beneath a Marble Sky

"Beneath a Marble Sky" by John Shors

liked it (my current rating) liked it (my current rating) liked it (my current rating)

This is a fictional story of the emperor of India, his family, the building of the Taj Majal, and life in the far East centuries ago.  It follows the emperor's daughter and her life of oppression as a female in their city of Agra.

This book took me a while to get into, and once I did, I'm sorry to say that I found it to be just like any other story I've read about repressed/oppressed women in the Middle East. A Thousand Splendid Suns, Memoirs of a Geisha, et al, will have some element of the following:

1) they will be forced into a marriage to an old, ugly, fat man who hates them

2) the sex will be rough, painful, and without love

3) the women have no rights, are not allowed opinions, and will get smacked around a lot

Make no mistake, it's always eye-opening to read stories like this, based on populaces of people that this is STILL happening to.  We take our freedoms for granted and we forget how awesome equality in modern times in the western world really is--as well as anti-woman-battering/domestic abuse laws, etc.

*Slight spoilers follow*

This particular story at least has a romance element in that our heroine falls in love and has an affair with the architect of the Taj Majal (being built as a memorandum to her mother who died in childbirth during pregnancy #12).  Her evil brother overthrows those in line for the throne (older brother, Dad) and is a war mongering, hateful devil of a man who attempts to kill her many times over because she has a powerful voice that people respect and ends up being a thorn in his side.  Her husband is a big fat toad who, I am pleased to say, really gets what's coming to him in the end.

The writing is well-done, but I think I would have enjoyed it more and rated it higher if it was a true story.  It ended up a bit too contrived, a bit too convenient, as it is, alas, a fictional story.

Harry Potter 4 was so much better.  (It's my favorite out of all the HP's)

What have you been reading? 


laurie said...

thanks for the book review. it looked interesting but, based on what you said, it sounds like something i've already read. i am reading the pact by jodi picoult. it's a real page turner that i can pick up anywhere, anytime. i am planning to take it with me today when i take my step-daughter shopping for a homecoming dress at the mall - i'm sure there will be a lot of "down time" while she is in the dressing room!

Anonymous said...

We are reading the Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan
The Lorien Legacies (I am number four)
A Princess of Mars(John Carter)
Killing Lincoln
and I just finished the Hunger Games Trilogy again.


leaner said...

Fallen by Lauren Kate. But I am having a really hard time with it. There is too much going on I think in the first few chapters and it is just weird. But it is well liked and have 3 more that follow (I hope only 3 I want an ending).