Sunday, March 31, 2013

Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2) by E. L. James

In this sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey, Ana and Christian reunite at Jose's art gallery opening. They realize how much they care for each other and Christian will do anything to keep Ana, even give him his Red Room of Pain. Ana then starts a job at SIP, the publishing house. Her manager is Jack and he keeps making passes at her and hinting that they need to go get drinks. Christian is very aware of Jack's past history with his assistants, with none lasting longer than three months and is concerned the same will happen to Ana. Eventually, Jack corners her in the kitchen and makes his proposition quite clear. But Ana, whose dad Ray is ex-army, knows how to defend herself. Jack loses his job and Ana takes it, elated. Meanwhile, Christian and Ana grow closer, with Ana meeting with Dr. Flynn to find out more about why Christian is the way he is. The book continues to reveal snippets of Christian's past, making the reader understand more about him. I am so glad that Fifty Shades Freed is waiting for me at the library since the ending leaves you hanging!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel by Robin Sloan

I think, in general, I appreciate books that are based in the same city that the author resides since it gives an "authentic" feel to the book (or sends me searching for information on something I read since it sounds neat). Sloan is from San Francisco, which is where this book is based. Google is often discussed, along with their hierarchy and how working at Google really is. I am not sure if he worked at Google (it doesn't appear to be that way from his website) or knew people who did, but it still has at least a realistic flavor since Google is so well-known for being one of the best places to work. I also recently (in the last three months) visited San Francisco and really enjoyed my stay. But I digress.
Clay is unemployed and happens by Mr. Penumbra's bookstore, where he is hiring for a night clerk. Clay applies and accepts the job, quickly realizing that this bookstore is not like your typical Barnes and Nobel. Instead, it is divided into sections. One section is for normal, albeit mostly outdated/older books. The second section is in the back and Clay is "forbidden" by Mr. Penumbra to look in the books. One night, one of Clay's friends comes into the store and looks in one of the "forbidden" books and finds out that it is all in code. This becomes immensely intriguing since the patronage of the store are...misfits. Clay tries to up the store's presence by offering a very targeted coupon online. A Googler finds it and comes into the store while Clay is working on a 3-D animation of the store. With this animation, he is trying to track what books people are checking out based on the notes that all the clerks are required to take. The Googler, Kat, sees what he is doing and offers the help of her resources at Google to help figure out what is going on since there is a method to the books being checked out. This is only the beginning of a mystery at this store. What do the books say? Why are people checking out only specific ones? Clay quickly finds that this runs deeper than he ever suspected.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

New: Understanding Our Need for Novelty and Change by Winifred Gallagher

I thought this book was very interesting. Gallagher presents information on neophobes, neophiles, and neophiliacs. Neophobes shun technology. One can think that only the older generations are neophobes, but I know that isn't the case from personal experience with a decidedly older gentleman asking about how e-books work. Neophiliacs are all about the latest and greatest thing. If it's new, they want it. Neophiles are able to find a balance between the two: they know when to use technology, but aren't addicted to it.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) by E. L. James

With all the hype around this book, I knew I had to read it. Ana, a soon-to-be college grad from WSU-Vancouver, interviews Christian Grey for her sick roommate, Kate. From this interview, they become quite taken with each other, but Christian tries to resist, since he knows he has problems that Ana probably can't handle. They find each other anyway, and Ana gets introduced to his alternative BSDM lifestyle. I thought that the book would be heavy into the BSDM (maybe that comes in the next book?), but it seemed quite gentle in that regard. More focus was given to Christian and what sort of past he has and why he doesn't do the "girlfriend thing." He is an awful hard nut to crack, but will Ana do it with gentle prodding? Will he be able to have a relationship that includes the "girlfriend thing"?

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

This book was supposed to be one of the best books of last year, so I was really looking forward to reading it. I didn't quite know what to expect, but I have concluded that it is a very character-driven book, very much like Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan. There isn't much to plot, but it does have more than Maine did. The story goes that there is an ill American actress who goes to stay in a hotel on the Italian coast. The innkeeper there, Pasquale, is immediately taken by her. The story hops around a great deal. One chapter will be 1962 Italy, the next is present day LA, then it will be 1990s Europe. It is easy to stay caught up, but it was not much of a page turner and I didn't find the characters that great or memorable. However, Jess Walter is from Spokane, so I did enjoy the Washington references.

Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie

This is the third book in the Matched trilogy. The Rising has come and to win followers, they released a deadly flu virus into the Society's water. They have a vaccine and everyone who gets it is healed, but soon the virus mutates and they do not have a vaccine against the mutated form. It becomes a race against time to find a cure and it becomes even more urgent when Ky falls ill. But there are people working against the Rising to make sure as many people as possible die. Will a cure be found in time to save Ky?