Wednesday, June 15, 2011

From the Archives: Mini Reviews from April 2005 (part 2)

I began keeping a reading journal several years before I began blogging. I find it interesting to sift through my thoughts of books that I read back then. My reviews were often brief and contained little substance, but I thought it'd be fun to document them here on my blog as well as share them with you. Here are a few from April 2005:

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Knopf, 1997 - Fiction, 448 pgs

In Memoirs of a Geisha, readers get a front row seat to the unfolding of a beautiful, sometimes sad and at times romantic story of Chiyo’s life and her becoming Sayuri, a geisha. Arthur Golden has a gift with words, bringing his characters to life and creating an extremely likeable character such as Chiyo. The history of Japan during the 1930’s and the intricacies of the preparations and life of geisha were educational and intriguing. I was a bit disappointed in the ending, if only because I thought it came to a close too fast and was too easy of an ending for such a complex story. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed Memoirs of a Giesha.

Haunted by Kelley Armstrong
Bantam, 2005 - Fantasy, 528 pgs

When I put my name in as a contestant in the drawing to preview this book through the publisher, I did not really expect to win. Kelley Armstrong is an author that came recommended to me through fellow fans of Laurel K. Hamilton’s and so I scooped up her first two books—and, of course, they are sitting amongst my many TBR books waiting to be read. There must be something about supernatural stories that can really grab my attention and hold my interest so completely. I was captivated with the story in Haunted. A witch ghost is given the task of finding and helping in the capture of a very evil and elusive demi demon. I immediately liked the main character, Eve Levine. She is a smart, tough and sassy woman who knows how to get things done. She became even more real for me as she struggled with letting go of her old life in the living world and making a life in her new world.

I had been so engrossed in the novel yesterday morning that I had to forgo stopping by the gas station on my way to work so as not to be late. I was down to half a gallon of gas and so I had to fight of panic of running out of gas. The writing itself is nothing fancy and in the very beginning I had difficulty finding my footing in the sense of setting. Perhaps it’s the dimension shifts I struggle to get my mind around because I recall having a similar problem with the first book in Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy, Daughter of the Blood. I am looking forward to reading Ms. Armstrong’s earlier books.

Devil’s Corner by Lisa Scottoline
Harper Collins, 2005 - Crime Fiction (S/T), 400 pgs

Assistant United States Attorney Vicki Allegretti is determined to solve the murder of her ATF partner and the mother of a former defendant she once hoped to convict. In a tale about drug and gun trafficking, corruption, and murder, Ms. Scottoline serves up a suspenseful and exciting mystery for readers. She pairs two unlikely heroines who prove to be a tough team to contend with. The personal aspects of Vicki’s life added fullness to the character and the story. And I loved the character of Reheema with her grit and charm. Although it did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel in any way, I was not too impressed with Vicki’s love interest, however.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

© 2011, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I read Memoirs of a Geisha years ago and loved it. I think every one in my family read it after me and they all enjoyed it too.

  2. Memoirs of a Geisha is a pretty popular book, and I think I have read it two or three times. I am glad that you enjoyed it! The other two are new to me, but they sound interesting. Particularly the Armstrong. Great mini-reviews!

  3. I looked back at my list and found that I read MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA in April of 1998. I think it might have been a read for an online book club that I was part of for a long while - one of the Yahoogroups. I remember I did love it and it sparked a lot of interest in Asian literature.

    I thought I had read that Scottoline book, but I can't find where I did. I've read a bunch of her books and continue to read them. I've read a YA trilogy that Kelley Armstrong has written, but that was last year.

    I always like this feature that you do, Wendy. It's fun looking back. :-)

  4. Kathy - It's a beautiful story.

    Heather - I remember it was quite popular when it first came out and then again when the movie was released.

    Kay - I think Memoirs of a Geisha would be a great book club book. Lots to discuss!

    I haven't read any of Armstrong's YA fiction. I hear it's good though.

    I am glad you like this feature. I am enjoying looking back over my reading years past. I've almost caught up to when I began blogging!

  5. I read Memoirs of a Geisha pre-blogging and from what I remember I enjoyed it. I love how you kept these journals and go back and visit books that you read from years back. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Samantha - I only wish I'd started journaling much earlier than I did. Oh well. At least I started when I did.


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