Tag Archives: review

Vacation… and Lots of Reading

I’ve just returned from Mexico and managed to read a couple of books while I was away. None of them were the ones I was supposed to read, but vacation is for fun, and there were some books I was anxious to read so…..

Expect updates about Jonathan Kellerman’s Victims and Carol O’Connell’s Chalk Girl soon. I’m 65% (thank you, Kindle) through Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children at the moment, and enjoying it very much….

As soon as I scale the laundry mountain and get my work schedule sorted out, I’ll give  you some thoughts about my current reading list….

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A Break from the Seriousness

After reading The Lace Reader for my book club (I’ll post about it ne

xt) and the JFK book from King, I was in need of some light reading. I grabbed Janet Evanovich’s Smokin’ Seventeen and Explosive Eighteen and read them both within a week. Stephanie Plum, inept bounty hunter with an ex-ho spandex clad sidekick and two hot

 

men after her never fails to make me laugh. And while Steph is fun, the books wouldn’t be anywhere near as hilarious without Grandma Mazur, Lula, and Mooner (wish he was in more).

So, if you have been re-reading Oprah’s depressionfest of books or too many serious novels or nonfiction, grab a Plum, have a seat, and enjoy.

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A Discovery of Witches – Mini-Spoiler-Free Review

I finally finished A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. It’s a long one and tough to read over the holidays when things are really busy. This book was highly praised and touted as “Harry Potter for adults”. I disagree.

The story was good, for the most part, with witches, vampires, and daemons. The problem was that the author apparently felt the need to not only capitalize on the HP success, but Twilight as well. A big romantic entanglement is the stimulus for many of the events in the book.

Basically, and without spoiling anything, a witch who has denied her powers must learn to use them when she discovers a book that has been hidden. She also has to deal with falling in love outside of her species.

It ends with a cliffhanger, so if you aren’t ready to commit to a series, avoid it. If you don’t mind an

HP/Twilight hybrid, this may be right for you.

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DBT – Books I Never Thought Would Help Me

Within the next few days I will be posting information about some books I have read recently about Dialectical Behavior Therapy and its use in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression. I have a read several books and if you suffer from any of these problems, this may just be a post you don’t want to miss.

 

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South of Broad by Pat Conroy – review from the Verge

Those of you who know me, know this is not the kind of book I would normally choose. Look at the cover: 

Not exactly what you expect of me, I know, but my book discussion group, The Pageturners, are reading it. I finished it yesterday and while I was reading it, I enjoyed it… sort of. So, here’s my mini-spoiler-free review from the verge:

Some characters were too stereotypical for the 60s. I’m hard pressed to believe that having an oddball group of friends brings out the best in everyone. But the story was good. About a hundred pages too long and while I’m sure Charleston is lovely, I could do with less love of land and just move the story along.

If you like Richard Russo, you’ll probably like South of Broad. To sum up my review in one word: meh.

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Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Some of you may know that I had some surgery on my cervical spine a few weeks ago. I figured that I would read this book for my book club during my recovery. Well…. between the sedating effect of the first half of the book and the meds I was taking I didn’t finish it.

The setting seemed incongruous – the old fashioned behaviors and dialogue and then someone whips out a cell phone. The entire first half of the book moves entirely too slowly. Especially if you are taking prescription drugs for muscle relaxation and pain. I’m told that others felt this way as well, so apparently it wasn’t just the drugs.

It wasn’t a BAD book. The language was lovely in some parts. It’s just not a book to read if you want something to happen. Or at least, happen in the first half of the book.

As for me? I returned it to the library unfinished.

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The Help

You know how I was judging The Help by its cover and didn’t want to read it because it was kind of mustardy colored with purply-grey birds and a bumpy round thingy around a boring font with the title? Well, I was right. The book was mustardy and purply grey, bumpy and round, and a little boring. (yeah, that’s a metaphor)

It was good. The end was not great. 

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Authors I Won’t Review

I have broken up with James Patterson. Yes, we used to have a very intense reader to author relationship. He wrote and I read. For years, he produced fast paced suspense novels and I read them all. Not anymore. James and I are no longer an item.

It all started when he began to farm out his writing. The books had his name on them in big bright letters. The title was slightly smaller. And somewhere on the covers, in small print that blended with the background, was the “co-author”. I gave James the benefit of the doubt. I mean, we’d been together for years… but I knew right away that this was NOT his writing. I felt betrayed.

I decided that I would stick to the Alex Cross novels because, for the moment, only his name was on the cover. I was still irked about the other books, but I had grown awfully fond of Alex and his family, so I ignored the other books and just read Cross novels. That is, until Cross Country. Alex Cross was not the character I knew in that book. Characters evolve… but Cross just did things he would never do. I knew him pretty well after 13 books, so I do feel like I can say this with confidence. Anyway, that was the last straw.

James, it’s over.

The other author I refuse to review is Jodi Picoult. She has a reputation for “ripped from the headlines” plotlines that are incredible and compelling and controversial. She sucks you in and makes you think… and then she drops the ball… every time. I won’t spoil anything because I promised this blog would be spoiler free, but let me tell you this: These situations are messy. These books end with everything conveniently tied up with a pretty bow. I gave her several chances to commit to truly putting it all out there, but after My Sister’s Keeper I gave up. Jodi, you take the easy way out. I’m sorry, we can’t continue our relationship.

So, don’t expect to see Picoult or Patterson here. We’re a broken family and there is no visitation or shared custody. Sometimes it’s better that way.

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