Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Keep by Jennifer Egan

3 stars
Not at all what I expected. Story puts an unnecessary and distracting focus on a certain aspect of every day life that was really annoying. The ending is thrown together so quick and loose ends tied up so abruptly I had to go back and reread certain parts to catch it all. About 2 cousins who experienced a traumatizing event in their childhoods. Now all grown up, one is rich and lives in Europe where he just bought a castle and the other is pretty much a nothing who just floats through life until he is called by his cousin to come help him. Whether he really wants help or is just bent on revenge over what happened when they were young is yet to unfold, and the story is told by a man in prison through his creative writing class who's part in the story is not revealed until the very last pages. The teacher of the prison writing class also has secrets of her own. Sounds intriguing I'm sure, but trust me, it wasn't.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford

4 stars
Fun book to read. Reminded me a lot of To Kill a Mockingbird, Stand by Me and The Sandlot. About 2 brothers and their sister in a small town. There is a prowler on the loose looking in windows and they decide to investigate since the police won't. The boys have a model of their town set up in the basement, and pieces start moving of their own accord, or is it their strange younger sister and one of the personalities she has invented? When bodies start showing up they get more than they bargained for, and the pieces on the board start being predictions of what is to come.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie McDonald

This bored me to tears. Couldn't finish this one either. Didn't really care about any of the characters or what was going to happen. I also found the writing style hard to follow. 2 stars

The Duchess by Amanda Foreman

Non fiction, reads like a history text book. Interesting, but one of the books you need to be in the mood for. A lot of detail on women's place in politics. 3 stars

Hooked on Gothis fiction

I am absolutely hooked on Gothic fiction and my library doesn't seem to have much. If anyone has any recommendations for this genre, please let me know!! Thanks!

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

Very boring, could not get with the authors writing style at all. Couldnt even finish it. Not much of a review, ha!

Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates

The story opens with a woman in her 40's in a museum in Paris discovering a piece of art she thought was long ago destroyed in a fire. It then goes back to when this woman was in college, her love for one of her professors, and what happened when she was taken to be an "intern" for the professor and his wife. Very dark, sexual, and Gothic. Ok story, but glad I got it from the library and didn't buy it. 4 stars

The Observations by Jane Harris

Story of a young Irish girl who goes to work for a woman and her husband and is asked to do all manner of strange things for the woman. While the mistress of the house is out, the girl finds all of these journals that previous maids were asked to keep and a book the woman is writing called The Observations, and how she thinks a servant can be trained based on their personality. The girl finds out about another girl that worked for the woman who died mysteriously, and starts snooping around to find out what happened. Good story and keeps up the pace, but by the last 100 pages I could have cared less. The ending drug out way too long. 3 stars

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb

I absolutely loved She's Come Undone and I Know This Much is True, so I was really excited when I saw Wally Lamb had a new books out. Big let down. This has to be one of the most depressing books I have ever read. I understand it is not about a cheery subject, the Columbine shootings, but I just did not like it at all. I didn't care about the characters and it jumped around so much I kept getting distracted. Very disappointing, 2 stars out of 5

Rainbow 6 by Tom Clancy

So I went to my friends house a few weeks ago and asked if she had any books I could borrow. First let me tell you this story quick. We went to a flea market about a year ago, great place to get cheap books by the way, and the whole time we were there she just kept telling me over and over and over again how I should really read Tom Clancy, how she couldn't believe I had never read Tom Clancy and so on. I got so aggravated I lost her on purpose just so I wouldn' t have to listen to it. My brother was with us and it has been a joke in my family ever since. I will come home from the bookstore, they will ask if I bought any Clancy, ha ha. So what does she pull out for me to read? Tom freaking Clancy!!! I was like, you know what just shut up and give it to me. So I gave it a try. Did not like it at all. Way too much going on, way too many characters. It was like watching an episode of 24, I am paying attention but I still have no idea what the hell is going on. Needless to say, she is getting Mr Clancy back, and I never want to hear about it again.

Airframe by Michael Crichton

Typical mystery/futuristic kind of book. I really do not enjoy reading this genre anymore but a friend loaned it to me so I did. 3 stars out of 5

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

This may be one of the best books I have ever read. A modern retelling of the book of Genesis, it completely consumed me about 75 pages in and I read it in just a few days. I felt a little let down by the ending, but great story and will definitely be rereading it. 5 stars out of 5

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

This is one I never had to read while I was in school. I borrowed it from a friend over the weekend because I had always heard such great things about it. Now I wonder if the people I heard rave about it were drunk. Or maybe I am just not intellectual enough to understand it. I read it in one day, but I still don't know what the whole point was. I can understand why it was banned and caused such a hoopla at the time it came out, but it was kind of pointless in my opinion. 2 stars out of 5

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

This is another one I avoided for a long time because of all the hype I was sure I would not like it. I loved it. Story of a reclusive writer who decides on her deathbed to finally tell the story of her life to a biographer. Very Gothic story, mystery, family angst. Great story, fast moving, one of those you slow down while reading because you don't want it to end. 5 stars out of 5

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

I know this got the Oprah pick, and everyone is raving about it but it just plain depressed me. I stopped reading it for a few weeks it was so depressing. Story of a man who is born mute, the dogs that his family breeds, and the challenges he faces. Real downer, 2 stars out of 5

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

I avoided this book for quite sometime until a friend insisted I had to read it. I am very glad I did. About a circus train during the Depression, domestic violence, forbidden love, and a mute elephant that becomes the hero. Great story, read it in 2 days. 5 stars out of 5

Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert

Story about a man who is a remote viewer. A former girlfriend of him asks him to look into the disappearance of her husband's son my remote viewing in the sons mind. The man sees the son being killed and this leads him to the Monk House, where two beautiful sisters live who practice alchemy. One of them is also a remote viewer. He fall sin love with one of them by reading her diary, but doesn't know which one, and whoever he is in love with, the other sister is the killer. Great story, fast paced, not a let down ending. 5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Reader Becomes a Writer?

So I started writing over the weekend. I don't know if I want it to be published or not, if it is a book, essay, or magazine piece but I am pretty excited about it and hope that whatever I decide to do with it, that I am able to help at least one person. I am looking for people to read/critique it for me so if anyone is interested in please drop me a note. We shall see what happens......

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder by Vincent Bugliosi

Very very interesting. Bugliosi is very boastful at times, and there were certain points he made where I said to myself "oh come on now" and I am not a fan of Bush. It is very obvious that he does not like or respect President Bush. The first half of the book is very interesting, he presents a very compelling case, but you have to wonder, who would actually charge the Presidents of the United States with the murder of over 4,000 people? And if Bugliosi thinks it is such a great idea, why doesn't he do it? The last half of the book was his legal presentation as to how someone could prosecute Bush for the murder of US soldiers. He completely lost me here. A lot of legal jargon and such. I have worked in the legal field for 6 years and I didn't understand what he was saying. Interesting read if nothing else. 4 out of 5 stars. Keeping this review short because I do not want to start a political debate on here :-P

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

Well, I finished this a few days ago and have been holding off on the review because I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I still don't. Very strange story, strange storyline, but it held my attention. A pornographer and porn film star is driving his car and drinking bourbon when hallucinations from the cocaine in his system makes him hallucinate and drive his car over a cliff where it bursts into flames. He is rescued and spends a lot of time in the burn ward of a hospital. The author goes into great detail regarding burn victim treatment. A little too much detail, gets a little long at times. A woman from the psychiatric ward starts coming to visit him and insists that they knew each other before, and are over 700 years old. (Yea, I know). She is released and still comes to visit him and tells him her story, all 700 years of it. I don't want to go into too much more detail, but it was just, well, odd. I will give it 2 1/2 out of 5, because that is half and I am still not sure how I felt about it.

Looking forward to being able to review the book I am reading now, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder by Vincent Bugliosi.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Perfect Family by Pam Lewis

Any book that starts out immediately with one of the main characters asking another, "why did you call me and ask me to come here so urgently", to which another character answers "later, Ill tell you later, give me time" completely looses me. So I skipped forward to the end to see what the big secret was and I am glad I did not waste my time reading it. One star out of 5

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sepulchre by Kate Mosse

Not too sure I liked this one. It held my interest, but the switching back and forth between the 1800's and today was kind of annoying. Follows a woman in modern time who is writing a book on the composer Debussy, and trying to find out more about her family history while in Europe. The flashbacks are to the 1800's and involve Debussy. Tarot cards, supernatural, romance, 3 out of 5 for me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Sister by Poppy Adams

I usually as a rule give every book 50 pages to get my attention and if it doesn't by then, cest la vie. This is the weirdest book I have read in awhile. Real goes into detail about bugs, and once I got to page 50 I was glad to be able to move on. Didn't really see where it was headed.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Off Topic Post

This is a completely off topic post here. A week ago today, a coworker of mine committed suicide by driving her car into the Mississippi River. She had gone out drinking with her husband, was popping Xanax while she was drinking , she wanted to keep going but he said no, it was time to go home. They went home, got into a huge fight and she took off. She called her 19 year old son and told him she couldn't do it anymore, she was sorry, she should have been a better mother to him and his 6 yr old sister. He was still on the phone with her begging her not to do it when she drove in. Nine people saw it happen and were throwing rocks at the car window to try to get her out, but the car was sinking too fast and she made no attempt to save herself. A cop we know said that usually when someone drives into the river, they find them in the backseat when they pull the car out, because they change their mind at the last minute. She was sitting in the front seat, just the way she went in.

This has been very hard for me to understand. I have dealt with depression since my early 20's, self injured, and was suicidal. I was about as close to rock bottom as one can get. But you know what? I pulled through and made it out. I was in therapy and had my friends, coworkers and family. How can someone think they are so alone that they decide their family is better off without them? How can you be so selfish as to call your own son and let him hear you die? I just cannot seem to wrap my head around this. I don't understand how she could sit there as the car filled with water and do absolutely nothing. Someone at work said that they hope right before she died they wonder if she had a moment of clarity but couldn't back out by that point. I wonder if when she hit the river and succumbed to the water and her sadness if she though to herself "finally".

So my thought to anyone who reads this is this: do not think you are alone. You can talk to your family, your friends, hell even me. Do not make such a drastic quick decision in a moment of desperation because if you do, there is no going back. Make sure to tell people you love them, because you never know what the next day holds. And always remember, you are never truely alone in what you are dealing with, there is someone out there to help everyone.

Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain

I can't began to describe how eagerly I was awaiting this book. I absolutely loved Heartsick and couldn't wait to continue reading about the Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell "relationship" for lack of a better word. I have to say I was a bit disappointed. Still no real insight into what made Lowell into what she is and how Archie has this sick dependency on her. Read it in one day but wasn't really satisfied. Seemed kind of all over the place, ties in a political scandal, Lowell's escape from prison and is left open for yet another book in the series. I like this Sheridan/Lowell idea because it really reminds be of Clarice Starling/Hannibal Lecter relationship, I just hope Cain doesn't blow it with future endeavors into this series.

Boneyard by Michelle Gagnon

Finished this one yesterday. Entertaining story, fast paced, quick read. Not too long so it drags out either. Story is about someone who is killing young male hustlers and dumping their bodies.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

It took me about 10 tries to finally be able to read this whole book. I am glad I stuck with it, even though it was a little out there for my taste. I just hope I like the next book because I really want to read this series.

Beyond Reach by Karin Slaughter

So out of 5 stars I would give it 3. It was ok, nothing I would reread, that's for sure. Once I got 170 pages from the end and nothing had been resolved yet, I knew I wasn't going to be a big fan of it. I can't stand rushed endings to tie all the loose endings together. Then the final scene, I guess that was supposed to make you rush out and buy the next book? No thanks, the 2 main characters aggravated the hell out of me for the first part. I would much rather read about Lena Adams. She is at least interesting.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Blind Fall by Christopher Rice

I am a huge Christopher Rice fan, but this was not one of his best books. It seemed very rushed, there were times when I didn't know what was going on, and the ending is predictable which I have never experienced with any of his other books. Still one of my favorite authors, but wish I hadn't paid full price for the book.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Salem's Lot by Stephen King

Good, interesting story. Scared the hell out of me at some parts, which is pretty hard to do. I really enjoyed the quiet menace in it. The ending really drug on for me though. The last 100 pages took me way longer than they should have. King gets a little over-wordy sometimes and this was one of them. Also left some unanswered questions. What happened to Fr. Callahan? Did the fire kill them or push them out to another town? I would recommend it though, one of his best. I remember watching this movie with David Soul as Ben when I was a kid, may have to try to find it to watch again now that I read the book...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Ok, I am sure I am among the minority here, but I did not like this at all. It is obviously YA, where other YA books I have read I never thought that. The whole Edward is so beautiful thing really got on my nerves. Will not be reading the next 2, that is for sure. Big waste of time. 1 star out of 5.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston

The true story by author Douglas Preston about a serial killer of lovers in Florence, his investigation into who it may be and much more I can't put without giving anything away. You almost need a scorecard to keep up with everything but it is well worth it. I started this early this am and finished up tonight; I couldn't put it down. It's like trying to find the one armed from The Fugitive to who is Keyser Soze from The Usual Suspects. Deals with murders committed over a span of 20 years, a missing gun, a motive, a corrupt police department, planting evidence, Preston being questioned as a suspect, satanic cults dating back to medieval times, and the ultimate question.....who is the Monster of Florence?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Titanic The Long Night

This book is a prime example of why fictional account using the Titanic as the backdrop really bother me. The reason I find reading about the Titanic so interesting is because it gives you such a great of view of how far people are willing to go to save themselves, and it makes me question, if that was me, what would I have done? This book demonstrates the only reason I disliked the movie Titanic, leave out the fiction!!! So aggravating! If you want to read an incredible book on this even pick up A Night To Remember by Walter Lord. It was written in 1945 or so and he interviewed survivors and told the story from their point of view. Absolutely incredible. 0 stars out of 5

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Ok so I finished it.....and hated it. It made me laugh in parts, but I still hated it. I am agnostic, as I may have already posted, and was way too religious for me. I was tired of her whining by page 50. I have gone through the depression/suicidal thing myself, and not everyone goes to Rome, India and Indonesia to "help themselves". This made me want to write a realistic book for people going through it because this was so absolutely ridiculous.1 out 5 stars because I laughed twice.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

First Give Away

I am giving away a signed copy of Finn. Please leave a comment here if you want to be entered into the drawing since my email decides to block some people for some reason.

To Kill a Mockingbird + In Cold Blood = Capote in Kansas

This is such an interesting story with these three books that I have to blog about it so more people read Capote in Kansas. As we all know, Harper Lee wrote To Kill and Truman Capote wrote In Cold Blood. Lee and Capote were childhood friends and grew up together. Anyone who has seen the movie Capote or read the book, knows that Lee helped him with Blood. Well, Capote in Kansas is fiction/nonfiction. It begins with Lee getting a late night phone call from Capote telling her that the ghosts of the murdered family he wrote about are haunting him. She writes it off to his drunkenness but has a hard time putting it out of her mind. She starts getting the calls on a fairly regular basis, along with anonymous packages left on her doorstep that tell a story she alone has to try and figure out. Lee starts seeing and speaking with the spirits of the murdered family also. Throughout this, the author tells of how they went to Kansas, but Capote did none of the interviewing, none of the writing of Blood and in fact made up the entire ending because he thought it would sell better that way. Lee did all of the work. The family is now "visiting" Capote and Lee because they got their story wrong. It also goes into Capote's sexuality and how Lee found out, and a lot more that I don't want to spoil you with now but it does answer the one question that people have wondered about for quite some time: why did Harper Lee never write again after the success of To Kill a Mockingbird? Great great story, keeps it moving, I can't even put into words how wonderful this book is, and if you haven't read To Kill or ICB, I highly recommend those also. 10 stars out of 5!!!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

You Come When I Call You by Douglas Clegg

I hate to say it, because I was really looking forward to this one, but I did not like it at all. I actually didn't even finish it, and if you read my post on Down River, you know I never give up but this was just ridiculous. I am a big fan of Bentley Little, so maybe that is why I wasn't so impressed with this one. It was reminiscent, to me at least, of Little's books in the regard of pushing the envelope as far as possible. Out of 5 stars, just 1.

I have just started The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George and it is impossibly massive, so I will be posting reviews on books I have read previously while I am slugging through this, which may be the rest of the year.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Naomi by Douglas Clegg

Finished this one up over the weekend. Entertaining storyline, lots of different elements, supernatural and none, brought together for a nice tidy ending. I hate it when all things aren't resolved. The ending did not drag out too long either which was nice. Good quick read. 4 out of 5 stars. Getting ready to start You Come When I Call You now.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Others by James Herbert in progress review

This is depressing! I feel so sorry for this guy and I am not even 100 pages in. Still waiting to see where the horror/supernatural part comes in....

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Amazon Kindle

I quit smoking after 15 years at the beginning of the year. My big reward to myself was an Amazon Kindle. I think I don't like it. I cannot fond any of the books I am looking for so that kind of sucks. I guess I should give it some more time but I went to B&N today for something for my dad for his birthday and Father's Day which are a week apart and bought what I was looking for that they don't offer. The more I think about this I am going to try to return it or sell it. I just don't like it. I guess, this was kind of a ramble so I apologize.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Book Funk

I have not been purposely neglecting my blog I am just in a serious book funk right now. i have about 8 books downloaded to my Kindle and they are all boring me! So if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know! Thanks and hopefully I will be able to post some reviews this weekend.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Down River by John Hart

You know, I read this whole book, and I could not tell you the plot because there were so many different things going on. I was reading it last night yelling "will you end it already!" because I just wanted to find out what happened to one of the plots. Out of 5 stars, 0.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

One of the best books I have read so far this year. Set in post WWII Soviet Union, revolves around a series of brutal child killings, post-war politics. Author keeps up a good pace, doesn't leave any questions unanswered. Not a novel where you immediately figure out who the antagonist is either. Wonderful debut, cannot wait for more from this author.

Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler

Where do I begin? I have been seeing this book a lot and finally gave in and got it on my Kindle. First the god things: quick easy read, some parts had me laughing out loud, makes you think of your own family at times with the outlandish things that go on. Not so good things: jumps all over the place, left me feeling she was nothing more than a spoiled rotten self centered egomaniac. Out of 5 stars, only 2 and that's just because I laughed a few times.

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill

I had really high hopes for this book due to all the hype and wonderful things I have heard about it. I was looking for a really good scare, and was greatly disappointed. What could have been a genuinely scary ghost story was long, drawn out, and ridiculous. And why do horror writers always have to kill dogs in their stories? that is always a big turn off for me no matter how much I am enjoying or looking forward to the book. I have also read that a lot of people feel that his writing is no where near the same style as his father's. I agreed until I got to the end. Very short chapters that describe one event to tie up loose ends were very reminiscent of some of King's work. Out of 5 stars, I give this one a 2.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

Man was this a twisted book! She really keeps the story moving and keeps it suspenseful. Reminded me a little of the Hannibal Lecter idea. Very creative, very sick. I found myself saying "What the hell?" out loud quite a few times. Great book, can't wait for her next one in September.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Harriet and Isabella by Patricia O'Brien

Harriet and Isabella by Patricia O'Brien

This book tells the story of Harriet Beecher Stowe and her sister Isabella. Their brother Henry is a well known preacher and is accused of adultery. He is accused by a major player in the woman's suffragist movement, a friend of Isabella. The book chronicles the trial, the family breaking apart, and the ramifications years after the verdict is read.

Good story, I had never heard of this story before so it was interesting, drug on a little long in some parts. Worth a read.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Dollmaker by Amanda Stevens

This story is about a little girl who was kidnapped 7 years ago. The girl's mother, while out with her sister, spots a doll in a shop window that looks exactly like her missing daughter, right down to the dress she was wearing the day she was kidnapped and the little birthmark on her arm. I really can't say anymore without giving anything away. It was interesting, kept moving, but I felt like a lot was missing.


The sister? What went on between Dave and Angelette? The Dollmaker was never arrested so what happened to him? Whatever he was injecting his incapacitated father with and his aunt would have worn off if he was no longer around so what about what happened there? Is the mother still in a mental institution? What was the "accident" the aunt had? A lot of questions were not answered and the ending was very rushed for me.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Ruins by Scott Smith

Where do I begin? This was the biggest waste of time. It keeps moving, but I figured it out about 150 pages in and was bored the rest of the book. Very predictable. I wouldn't waste my time if I were, just think Little Shop of Horrors and you'll get the idea.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Misery by Stephen King

This has to be one of the most disturbing books I have ever read. In the beginning, right up until about 100 pages from the end I really felt sorry for Annie. I did. And then I just hated her. Insane!!!! My aunt said something today that sounded like "cockadoodie" (she's a nun) and I about jumped out of my skin! That is what I love so much about Stephen King. He can take something that is completely normal, a day to day thing, a family pet, whatever and twist so you will never look at it the same way again. Excellent!!!