Nerd Rage

I read a bunch over the holidays and I wanted to get my thoughts out before I leave and fill my head with a million other things. So here we go.

Terra by Gretchen Powell

Gretchen very generously sent this to me because she is self-publishing, which I think is pretty ballsy. Anyway, here is the synopsis from Amazon:

In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth’s population, humanity is split in two. The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon is a terrestrial–a denizen of the barren groundworld–who makes her living as a scav. Long abandoned by her father, her mother and grandmother gone, Terra supports herself and her younger brother, Mica, by scouring the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. One day, while on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16. Terra’s world is turned upside down when the value of her discovery is revealed.

Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Her search for the truth leads her to Adam–a beguiling skydweller unlike any she has ever met. But Adam has secrets, and with him by her side, the world Terra thought she knew begins to unravel. Soon she is unearthing a conspiracy that has the potential to shatter everything she’s ever known–one that will test the bonds of friendship, family, and love.

I really enjoyed this novel, a lot. My major complaint is that it’s the first in the trilogy and I can’t read the other two yet!! Rude Gretchen, so rude. I read about 80% of it in one sitting and I had to force myself to put it down. The story was immediately engaging and the characters were really well developed. It usually takes me a while to become invested in characters and care about what is happening, but I was completely sucked in by the end of the first chapter.

I really loved Divergent, and I would put this on par with that. Great sci-fi young adult novel. I cannot even begin to think of how she came up with this story and the incredible amount of detail in it. I was really impressed (and I am the be all end all judge of all things, obviously). Anyway, I cannot wait for the next two!

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey

I received this as a Christmas gift and it quickly became my favorite of the Edwardian era books I’ve been reading since I started watching Downton Abbey.  Written by the current Countess of Carnarvon, she details the life of Lady Almina Carnarvon (wife of the famous Lord Carnarvon who funded the finding of King Tut’s tomb).

She was truly a remarkable and incredibly generous woman. She opened her home to wounded World War I soldiers and led the preservation of Highclere castle. There is also a lot more information about the King Tut discovery and World War I than I had anticipated, so I was quite pleased.  Very interesting book and excellent historical read.

The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy

This is a history nerd’s Edwardian dream come true. Almost 850 pages of exhaustive detail on the decline of the wealth and power of the British aristocracy. It’s completely incredible and almost unbelievable. This isn’t a light or easy read, it’s a serious and in-depth look at the massive economic changes in Britain over a sixty year period. You have to really be interested in this time period to enjoy this book as the detail is exhausting. It’s really incredible to read about this kind of societal and financial upheaval without a revolution. Anyway, if you’re a dork and you know it, buy this book.

Killing Kennedy

For a book that appears to be about a killing, it’s remarkable that less than about 15% of said book can actually be about the killing. I HATED THIS BOOK. The writing style was a joke. I loathe when writer talks about what a historical figure was thinking. Also, there are no citations to be found anywhere. Furthermore, there are pages and pages of really asinine information and so much focus on his naked swimming and philandering. He had lots of sex, who cares!

The really infuriating part was that, for a book about an assassination, he dedicates less than a page to the other conspiracies. It’s all from the Warren Report, zero thought-provoking discussion regarding any of the research that has come out of the past 50 years about the inaccuracies of said report.  To say I found this book disappointing and a insult to the history section at Barnes & Noble is an understatement.

What book really pissed you off? Do you ever worry that you will die before you get through your reading list? Bury me with my Kindle please.

64 Comments

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64 Responses to Nerd Rage

  1. OH! I *JUST* picked up Lady Almina & the Real Downton yesterday at the library! So glad to see that you gave it a good review. I’m very excited to read it.

    Have a GREAT trip. What a wonderful experience.

  2. You found a Bill O’Reilly book disappointing? Shocking. Why is he writing all of these historical book anyway? He should stick to be rude and offensive on tv.

    The Kidless Kronicles

    • Reese's Runner

      Amen. I actually didn’t realize it was even written by him until I had read a few chapters and was thinking “Who the hell managed to publish this trash?” Go figure.

  3. I don’t know how you find so much time to read – color me impressed. Also, just bought Terra on the kindle, excited for a new read!

    • Reese's Runner

      Well my body hates me and refuses to sleep, so much of it happens between 1 am and 4 am. I also have no life and spend most of my weekends reading.

  4. Michelle

    This comes at the best time. I was just whining about having nothing to read!

    • Reese's Runner

      If you like YA literature, read Terra! I loved it.

      • Michelle

        Yea! I may have to. I’ve been seeing reviews pop up on other blogs but they are ones who’s opinions that I don’t necessarily trust… but i trust yours! I’m also reading that Downton Abbey book for sure.

        • Reese's Runner

          Well, I don’t normally like sci-fi stuff at all. Not at all. And a lot of the dystopian YA books now are all starting to feel the same. That being said, I thought the concept of this story was really interesting and what led them to this dystopian world was very unique from anything else I’ve read. And honestly, if I hadn’t enjoyed it, I would have never mentioned it. It’s a great read for a Saturday afternoon or between heavy historical reads (we all need the occasional break from the corsets and carriages).

  5. I just added all of these- well, except for the O’Reilly book, obviously- to my wish list. It’s so convenient for me that you like the same stuff I do :-)

  6. Also, did you realize this was tagged under “Booze?” :-)

  7. Sam

    Who won the giveaway?? I think I may have missed the announcement…

  8. Emelda

    Killing Kennedy – the cover should have told you all you needed to know: Bill O’Reilly’s name is bigger than the title of the book.
    My entire list of books to read is at 300+ on GoodReads, makes my head swim a little knowing I might not make it through them all. Doesn’t help that some candy running blogger out there keeps suggesting awesome books to add to my list. Thanks blogger. ;)

    • Reese's Runner

      Well I was desperate and I didn’t want to go outside in the cold to get my Kindle out of my car. And sorry about that.

  9. My sister actually phoned me mid-panic attack when she realized that, mathematically, there was no way she could read all the books before she died.
    That same anxiety is why I loathe reading a bad book: such a waste of precious reading time!

  10. Meesh

    I 100% agree with your Killing Kennedy review! I was told by others that it was their “all time favorite” or “best read” blah blah only to be disappointed when I read it myself.

    I have started Gone Girl but can’t seem to get into it so that one is making me a bit ragey right now.

  11. Hallie12409

    I picked up a short story on my Kindle. I didn’t realize at first that it was a historical romance. The writing was on par with what I pumped out in my high school freshman creative writing class.

    I would yell out things like “Oh dear God!” and “Are you kidding me?!” randomly while reading, and my husband asked why I kept reading. I am not a quitter, honey, and I’ll be damned if I let this book break me.

    The sad thing? It was a prequel to a trilogy she’s writing. Obviously I need to write romance novels because those people have no standards.

    • Reese's Runner

      Hahahahaha. I’m the same way, I will not quit a book. Mainly, I just keep hoping that there is some satisfying conclusion that makes the misery worth it. Sadly, that pretty much never happens.

  12. I download way too many books onto my Nook. But at least I know I have a good selection! I can’t think of any book recently that had me really angry, but I remember hating Watership Down when I was in grade school.

    • Reese's Runner

      Is that book about a bunch of rabbits?? It feels vaguely familiar and brings up irritating memories. I hated Wuthering Heights. To this day I have no idea what actually happened in that book except that there were multiple Catherines and Heathcliffs running around the place. The Bronte sisters are not my cup of tea.

      • Erin

        Oh God, I agree 100% with your Wuthering Heights hatred. I read half of it in high school and hated it so much that I quit, and probably failed a reading quiz or something. Then picked it up again 5 years later, thinking I had just been a stupid teenager, and realized about 20 pages in that I hated it even more than I remember. I don’t think I have ever rolled my eyes and/or sworn so much while reading. Then, I finally finished it, and had no idea what the hell happened. In fact, I don’t think anyone understood the story, so they just called it a classic and moved on to better things.

        • Reese's Runner

          That makes me feel much better. I just hear the word “Heath” and I start to shudder. Apparently I’m missing the part of my brain that allows me to enjoy classic literature.

  13. Cora

    Given your love for the Edwardian era: Have you read and/or seen Parade’s End? I loved it! Dare I say, even better then Downton…

    • Reese's Runner

      I haven’t seen it, but the book is gathering electronic dust in my Kindle. I keep forgetting about it. I will definitely move it up the priority list now!

  14. Jackie

    I’m surprised you expected a book by Bill O’Reilly to have any facts at all in it…

  15. You are such a nerd. It’s so endearing.

  16. You are awesome. But I’m sure you already knew that. I read your blog but rarely comment. The comments alone are almost as hilarious as your posts.

    I’m wondering what I’ll do to entertain myself instead of work while you’re on your trip. Hopefully the traveling thing doesn’t interfere with entertaining your readers. :)

    Oh, and your specific awesomeness comes from the Lady Almina shout out. Just ordered it as the perfect birthday gift.

  17. Kyra

    While not about the Edwardians (I’m a British royalty nerd), my husband brought back the coolest book from Australia that once belonged to his grandfather (we had to clear out the house after my MIL passed): the coronation book of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. It’s absolutely fascinating.

  18. Jill

    Based on the books you enjoyed (not the hateful Bill O trash) I think you would like this book – it was my favorite read of 2012.
    Sisters : Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell
    Sorry I cannot remember any books I hated because I now give myself permission to abandon truly awful books (as opposed to those I Just find challenging)

  19. Daisy

    I HATED The Lovely Bones. And The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult. I had to physically restrain myself from tossing the book at the wall when I was done. Apartment complexes charge an arm and a leg for physical damages to their property.

    You read such amazing books, I’m sort of embarrassed to even admit I read that trash! :) That was my one and only Jodi Picoult book unless you count someone telling me the end of the Other Sister which sounded horrible also.

    I started reading Gone Girl per your recommendation, I love it and can’t wait to see how it ends! Thanks for more recs!

    • Reese's Runner

      It’s like we are literature spirit animals, I hated those books too. And most people read trash, they just lie about it. This is the best thing about the Kinde, I can read my garbage in peace. I read the Twilight books AND all three “Fifty Shades of Grey.” I’m not proud of this. I also read the entire Sookie Stackhouse series. A little bit of light reading is good for us all.

      And I’m glad you are enjoying Gone Girl!!

  20. Have you ever read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks ? It’s a true story about the woman’s cells who have now made up practically all of our vaccines. For some reason I think you would like it. I just started it and its very interesting!

    • Reese's Runner

      Yes! I read it a couple of years ago. I knew nothing about vaccines before I read it, so it blew my mind (which isn’t that hard anyway).

  21. I just finished Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and I was a little pissed about how it didn’t live up to my expectations. While I understand this may be more of a “me” problem it’s still disappointing. My to-be-read list is hovering around 55 paper (death to the ereaders… sorry) books.

  22. I LOVED Terra. It is killing me that I can’t immediately read the rest of the story. It’s been a while since I was so quickly and completely sucked into a book but she did a fab job of it.

  23. I loved Divergent! My dad is a high school librarian, and he recommended it to me. Have you read the sequel, Insurgent, yet? I enjoyed it just as much as the first one.

    I once grabbed the wrong book on my way to the airport, and read ~120 pages of saccharine, navel-gazing midlife crisis memoir wondering when the magic/fantasy element was going to show up.

  24. I will never get through my reading list. I am still working on my reading list from years and years ago when I worked at Chapters (book store, obvs). And now I am adding two more, so thanks for this.

    No really, thank you for this! I am always looking to add books to my reading list even if I will never read them! I am hoping to power through some books while I am in Jamaica, in between getting drunk of course. Or while getting drunk.

    You know what eats up a lot of my reading time? BLOGGING.

  25. Tess

    I have to add this. I realized just a few years ago…my life is flying by and there are SO many books to read that are AMAZING. If I continue to read a book that is sucking my time and boring me to tears I am wasting good. So…I don’t. I give it as much time and energy as I can and if I just cannot turn another page…that book gets donated. I grab another from the shelf. I have too many to go through. I am much more relaxed.

  26. I always love reading your book reviews! Kindles are awesome. I’m just starting to track all of the books I want to read on goodreads.com and I’m pretty sure the list will grow to be more than I can read in a life time. :(

  27. Allison

    Thanks for the book reviews!

    I’m probably late to the game on this, but I just discovered that my local public library rents out e-books you can download onto your kindle! I may have done a happy dance. So much money saved.

    I haven’t read any books recently that have made me angry. Although, I am trying to read Tom Wolfe’s “The Right Stuff” and I can’t stand the characters. I usually can’t put his books down. :( I also recently started reading Margaret Atwood’s novels and I LOVE HER SO MUCH. That is all.

  28. Did you read Killing Lincoln? I’ve heard from a few people that it was an awesome book and it’s currently on my list. Hmm.

    I’ve added like 6 books to my Nook in the past 2 weeks and I keep seeing more I want to read. It is just me or have a lot of awesome books been released lately? It’s overwhelming!

    • Reese's Runner

      I liked Killing Lincoln more because he actually discussed several of the assassination theories. Unfortunately, it was the same shitty writing with zero footnotes. Lots of “Lincoln thought…” and “Booth felt…” with some “The breeze on the Lincoln’s forehead.” Last I checked, O’Reilly didn’t have a time machine to go witness air rippling the president’s hair. So that was especially irritating, but at least he covers the conspiracy theories and spend most of the book on the actual assassination.

  29. I work at a country general store and i have customers lending me piles of books to read. So not only do i have a pile of books a foot tall of my own to read, and a Kobo full of electronic books to read, i have a whole OTHER stack of books of my customer’s books to read who told me, ‘There’s plenty more where they came from!’. I’m screwed. Completely and utterly screwed. I will NEVER finish reading all the books i want to.

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