Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Parker gets a call from an old friend of his who is now working as a private attorney in Charleston. He has taken on the case of Atys Jones, a young black man who is accused of the murder of his rich white girlfriend. Parker agrees to help him out, and uncovers long buried secrets, long buried murders, while the players involved are being exterminated one by one and all involved are being haunted by the spectre of a ghostly woman in white, burned beyond recognition and by a black car waiting for a passenger who never comes. Soon all will face a final reckoning on a place called The White Road.
I am really enjoying this series, and I am not a fan of series books. I like how in each book things you thought were going to be left unresolved come back into the spotlight throughout the series and you found out more information. If you plan on reading these, I recommend starting with the first one for this reason or you will get lost.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Lured by a brochure his doctor gives him after informing him that his emphysema has left him with scarcely a year to live, 52-year-old Oswald T. Campbell abandons wintry Chicago for Lost River, Ala., where he believes he'll be spending his last Christmas. Bestselling author Flagg (Fried Green Tomatoes; Standing in the Rainbow) makes this down-home story about good neighbors and the power of love sparkle with wit and humor, as she tells of Oswald's new life in a town with one grocery store and a resident cardinal (or redbird, as the natives call it). Frances Cleverdon, one of four widows and three single women in town, hopes to fix him up with her sister, Mildred—if only Mildred wouldn't keep dying her hair outrageous colors every few days. The quirky story takes a heartwarming turn when Frances and Oswald become involved in the life of Patsy Casey, an abandoned young girl with a crippled leg. As Christmas approaches, the townspeople and neighboring communities—even the Creoles, whose long-standing feud with everybody else keeps them on the other side of the river—rally round shy, sweet Patsy. Flagg is a gifted storyteller who knows how to tug at readers' heartstrings, winding up her satisfying holiday tale with the requisite Christmas miracle.
Cute enough story, very quick easy read. Kind of predictable at times, but enjoyable on the whole.
Monday, December 21, 2009
I have always been fascinated with Egypt and everything about it so I was really looking forward to reading this. While it goes into an attempt at solving the mystery of what happened to King Tut, no one will ever know for sure. Patterson writes what he thinks happened, although I am not sure I agree with his entire theory. The story is mostly about Howard Carter, the Egyptologist who found Tut's tomb. If you are looking for a story about ancient Egypt and the life and, perhaps, murder of Tut, I would look elsewhere. That plays a very small part in the whole scheme.
Friday, December 18, 2009
- Acid Row by Minnette Walters
- Stealing Athena by Karen Essex
- Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors
- Whiteout by Ken Follett
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- The Black Tower by Louis Bayard
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
- The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
- Yellow Medicine by Anthony Neil Smith
- The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Best Debut - Yellow Medicine by Anthony Neil Smith
Best Series - Charlie Parker books by John Connolly
Best Classic - Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Best Book to Lose Yourself In - The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Best Nonfiction - The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Biggest Disappointment - Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain
Best Suspense Book - Whiteout by Ken Follett
Best Historical Fiction - Stealing Athena by Karen Essex
Best Vacation Book - The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Genre I really got into this year after a very long, disappointing hiatus: mystery/thriller/suspense. Every one I had read for a long time was such a disappointment that I stopped reading them, but I read quite a few this year that introduced me to new authors, new series, and got me reading and enjoying the genre again.
Susan Ward, journalist, not reporter, for the Herald, has been trying to talk to Archie for help writing her book about America's fascination with the Beauty Killer. There are now Beauty Killer tours, t-shirt are sold that say "Free Gretchen", she is all over every newspaper and magazine in the country, you can even get a Gretchen Lowell manicure. Susan, who has been emailing Gretchen Lowell fan sites, receives an anonymous call telling her if she wants to write her book, she should go to a certain address where she will find a body. Susan goes, finds a dilapidated house, with a body in it who is missing it's spleen.
Susan and Archie are then drawn into trying to figure out what is going on; is Gretchen killing again or is one of the fan sites killing people in her style to get her attention? When Gretchen starts contacting Archie, things become a whirlwind that no one could have predicted.
I loved the first book of this series but I wasn't too impressed with the second one. This one I am on the fence about. I read it in 2 days, but I didn't think the story was that great compared to the first one. I still love the characters and how they interact with each other, but to me, this installment seemed kind of thrown together and rushed to make the way for the next book. The ending isn't very satisfying, since you don't really know anymore than when you started the book. Worth the read if you have read the previous two, but I am really hoping the next gets back to the great style of the first one.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
This is the third installment in the Charlie Parker series. Not one of the best though. The story felt pretty rushed to me, with the fate of characters from the previous two books decided rather abruptly and with little fanfare in my opinion. The constant mention of the honeycomb world, the origin of the Golem, and how the Traveling Man figured into the story are still lost on me. It was an ok read, however I am hoping the rest are better.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Very interesting story, got me out of my book funk and had me reading nonstop, but the ending was a bit of a let down I think. I figured it out halfway through, and the whole thing, looking back at it once finished, was pretty depressing. Loved the back drop of Shutter Island, very creepy and menacing. The whole story has a very, menacing and unnerving undertone. There is something holding me back from giving it 5 stars but I can't but my finger on what it is. Maybe the sadness of it, I don't know. Definitely worth the read though.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
But before the quest can begin, Lily slips and falls. Confined to her bed, she is surrounded by her family and closest friends, and each offers prayers and a personal story to guide the baby's spirit safely into the world. What emerges over the next nine nights is a vivid portrait of Venezuela during a time of revolution and uncertainty - and the unraveling of the mystery behind Irene Dos Santos.
The above is the synopsis on the back of the book. Lily never has a vision of Irene, she finds a letter she had written to her when they were teenagers. It does offer a vivid portrait of Venezuela, if you can keep up with all the different characters that come into play and remember all of them throughout. There is no unraveling the mystery of Irene, and as to Lily being found nearby when Irene goes missing, semiconscious, is in fact that she is found in a hammock half asleep.
I read this in one day and kept hoping for a big revelation but this was a complete let down. Once you find out about Irene at the end and find out the truth about the rest of the characters I felt immensely cheated.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Well, I am still not too sure what I think about this one. It was interesting enough, the character of Drood was fascinating, but I really wish he would have made more appearances. His lisping, hissing speech gave me the creeps. Even though the story is about Dickens and Collins search for the truth surrounding Drood, it is more about their friendship, their rivalry, and their jealousy of one another, which drives one (or both?) to murder. I was hoping for a huge climax, but by the time I was about 30 pages from the end, I started skimming because I just didn't care anymore. Simmons definitely has a way with words, but it is too wordy at times. I would skip entire pages with long descriptions of things that made no difference to the story whatsoever.
I am a big fan of historical fiction and historical mysteries, but I think all in all this fell very short for me. I wanted more Drood, more nights in the tombs; not ridiculous jealousy to the point of being adolescent, detailed descriptions of opium addiction, and pointless side stories like the marriage of Dickens daughter Kate to Collins brother Charlie.
It was good, but if you are looking for an amazing historical fiction mystery, look elsewhere.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
I don't even know how to give this book justice. Beautifully written, heartbreaking, 4 different time periods written about in a way that I was breathless to find out what happened next. This is 550 pages, I bought it for my vacation this week, and I finished it today. Be ready to stay up late to see what happens as the story goes from present time, to Nell's trip to England in the mid-1970's, to the early 1900's with Eliza's story, and Nell's memories as a child, secrets revealed at the turn of every page. May very well be the best book I have read in 2009 so far.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
I was really avoiding this book. I am not one to enjoy popular books and I seem to see this everywhere. I finally started it this past Saturday and was finished by Sunday night. I really enjoyed the writing format, the way the entire book was letters written to and by the various cast of characters. I enjoyed the emphasis on book lovers, how books can get you through hard times, and how reading one thing in a book can lead you to research it, which leads to another book and so on. The characters were highly amusing. I found myself laughing quite a few times. I also enjoyed that there was romance, but it did not weigh down the book and take over the story. Juliet and her friend Sophie reminded me very much of my own best friend and myself.
Overall I would give this 3 stars. There wasn't anything bad about it, I just wasn't blown away by it as some people were. It was enjoyable, but not something that will make an impression on me and stay with me.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
"Caleb Kyle, Caleb Kyle, if you see him run a mile"
I enjoyed this one much better than Every Dead Thing. With a lot going on and many characters, Connolly never loses you along the way. Louis and Angel have become my favorite characters in the series. I was laughing so loud the other night my brother came to ask what was so funny. I can't wait to continue with the series.
Friday, July 24, 2009
I really wanted to like this book. It had a fast moving plot, lots of secrets being revealed, but there was one big problem. I figured out who the Traveling Man was about 200 pages from the end. I like being surprised, I don't like being right. I was so incredibly disappointed when I found out I was right it just ruined everything I liked about the book. I am not happy I spent so much time reading it.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Chloe is excited when she gets an email form Marshall saying he is coming home for spring break and is bringing a girl, Ada. Chloe and Cal's marriage is starting to get rocky, so she is hoping her son's return, with a girlfriend, will slowly begin to mend things between them. Marshall and Ada arrive and Ada is a twin to Winona Ryder, so Meghan is absolutely enamored. She follows her everywhere, they share Meghan's room, and Meghan is in complete awe. Ada, meanwhile, has secrets of her own. While talking to Ada in Meghan's room, she finds her EpiPen and asks Chloe what it is. After explaining, Ada asks if they have ever tried an organic, whole foods approach or researched that Meghan may not have allergies at all, but it is from the pesticides, etc put on foods. Chloe gently shuts her down, they have lived with this for years, gone to many doctors and know what they are dealing with, but a bug has now been put in Meghan's ear, so to speak.
Marshall and Ada go out on Cal's boat and Meghan comes along. They stop at a store on their way to buy some food and get cookies, peanut butter and chocolate chip. While out on the boat Ada convinces Marshall, who is completely obsessed with his girlfriend and her eccentric beliefs, that Meghan isn't really allergic to peanuts and it they give her some and then pray over her, she will be healed. Marshall gives in and the story takes off at page 100 when Marshall and Ada are arrested for child abuse with extenuating circumstances, Meghan in the hospital in a coma doctor's don't know if she'll ever come out of, and Chloe and Cal fighting for the lives and well-being of their children, and their marriage.
Great story, well paced, I wanted to not work at all and just read it to see what happened. Some points I just wanted to reach in the book and slap some of the characters, especially Marshall, for being so naive. You don't feel like you are reading a book, but feel like you know this family and what they are going through. The story focuses on the Tobias family, Ada, religion, faith, secrets, and how far you would go for your family. I felt the story focused more on the mother than anyone else and she really got on my nerves sometimes.
All in all, great book, major page turner, and I can't wait to read more of her books.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I grew up watching the Perry Mason movies as a kid during the 1980's. My grandmother loved Raymond Burr. My grandfather, who passed away when my mom was 10, was his twin, especially in Ironside. They looked exactly alike. As I grew older my mom told me Burr was gay. I would not believe her. I just couldn't believe Perry Mason was gay. My grandmother flat out wouldn't accept it at all. I even taped a Biography done on him where they talked to his partner of over 30 years, and she refused to watch it and told me to "keep it up" lol
It's amazing to me how much Burr had to lie about so many aspects of his life. Three wives, a deceased son, a false military record, all to hide the fact that he was gay, even though it was Hollywood's best kept secret; everyone knew, but no one talked about it.
The book is very good in giving you insight into Burr's movie roles, including his famous turn in Rear Window, although the author's recollection of the movie is very different from mine. Also a behind the scenes look at the making of his most famous roles, Perry Mason and Ironside. Delves into his close friendships, his relationship with his partner, Robert Benivedes, his love of orchids, food, and his numerous trips overseas to meet and entertain the troops during the wars (more trips than Bob Hope, but he never wanted the fame for it).
The only thing keeping me from making this a 5 star book is the author's non-stop insistence over Burr's weight. I know he was a big man. But to call him enormous, huge, and other adjectives I just ignored when reading it is ridiculous. He was not that big of a man, and wasn't truly heavy until the later years of the Perry Mason movies, when I was introduced to him.
Interesting facts throughout, Quincy Jones wrote the Ironside theme song, but it left me wondering about quite a few things. What did Burr's partner think of his trysts with other men? Why lie about a military record? Who really was Frank Vitti?
I guess some questions will just stay unanswered. What I was left with was knowing that Burr was truly a generous, generous man who loved his friends, and fiercely protected his private life.
Monday, July 6, 2009
The description doesn't even give the book justice or begin to scratch the surface. Billy is such a slime ball you are just waiting for him to get his, but he ends up being the antihero of the book. Very exciting, fast paced, and will keep you up many nights flipping pages to see what happens like I did. Excellent book, cannot recommend it enough.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I did not like this book at all. I had to force myself to finish it. Her children and husband were intolerable, and I was confused as to what was going on most of the time, but it may have been written that way so the reader knows what the disease feels like. Wish I wouldn't have bought it.
Friday, June 12, 2009
I loved this book. Even if you don't read it, pick it up in the store or library and just read the two chapters about Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, it is absolutely hysterical. I wish more fairy tales had been incorporated into the story, but the way it is written I felt like I was right there along side David, and it was a great adventure. Beautiful ending that gave me chills and made me smile. A must read.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Her dead lover, Spyder Baxter is calling to her from another world, an alien, impossible place where Niki is known as the Hierophant, a feared and prophesied sorceress who can open a portal between worlds. Forces of darkness and light are at play across the highways of America, forces that move inexorably toward the abandoned house the Niki and Daria have spent ten years trying to forget. And Daria will finally have to face what really happened there if she's to help Niki save a world....or destroy it.
Very fast paced, eloquently written story. One blurb on the back of the book says the author writes "like a Gothic cathedral on fire" and I could not agree more. The story gets kind of confusing sometimes but well worth the read. I will be picking up some more of the author's books.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Very fascinating story, well paced, the only disappointment is that there is no real answer to the question. No one will ever know what happened, whether the dauphin survived or not. One of the best historical fiction novels I have read in awhile.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Story about a 15 year old boy who is autistic and decides to write a book after finding his neighbor's dog impaled with a rake in her front yard. He finds out secrets about his parents split up and about other people. The book is told from his point of view. You will be reading about what happened and then the next chapter, which are only in prime numbers because the boy likes prime numbers, will be about how he solves a particular math equation. Very odd.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
5 stars +++++++++++
Friday, March 27, 2009
A lot more side stories going on throughout the book. This started off like a bullet from a gun and never slowed down. Any amount of free time I had I was reading it. Very interesting, fast pace, good subplots, and everything tied up in a neat package by the end. my first book by Follett, but definitely not my last.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Flash forward 5 years. Nance has now moved to Idaho where she conducts field research on rattlesnakes. She is now remarried to Ned, and everything is going well. Meridith shows up out of the blue and goes on a trip with Nance. She and Ned have never gotten along, because he makes her nervous. Meridith decodes to move to Idaho also, since there is nothing holding her back with the passing of their father. She and Nance become closer than they ever were before in their lives and when things start to really start going right, Ned starts behaving strangely. Leaves in the middle of the night for hours at a time, disappears from work, where he is a school principle. He is hiding something, but Nance refuses to accept that there is anything wrong with her idyllic life. Until one night of passion turns violent and she sees a side of her husband she never knew existed.
Good plot, keeps the pace going well, and ends with a major confrontation between the 3 main characters. The only down side was all the details about snakes - they are my biggest fear.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Story about a man in his 60's who reflects back on his life during WWII. As a child, he was taken from a train and grew up with a man and woman who lost their child due to a bomb. When he was taken from the train he was the exact same age as the child they lost, and was raised with that child's name. The father, who was fighting in the war, even thought it was his own son. The book is about Gregor, the son, finding out where he really came from.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The main theme is sisters, their connections, their rivalry, and how far one would go to protect the other. A lot of story lines going on throughout, but not so it's hard to follow.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Psychological thriller I guess but I have never read the words "facial tic" more in my life. Goes into a lot of what the husband sees in his interviews with people regarding the case. There is past history between him and the lead detective on the case, the doctor was suspected of killing her partner. The end leads up to the 2 suspects in the psych hospital where the husband works and the lines he and the guards cross to get the location of the girl were pretty disturbing.
Not that great of a book, but it has it's moments.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Not something I would usually read, but I was drawn into life on a riverboat and all of it's characters. The story left somethings unresolved, but all in all was a good book.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
3 stars out of 5
I would write a more detailed review but if you haven't read the first book it may spoil it.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
A reporter of the paranormal comes to town to do a story on the strange events during the 21st year of the occurrences. As soon as she comes to town, she starts having strange experiences also, experiences only the men have had until now. Also present is a woman who work at a boutique in New York, who upon having strange dreams about the Hollow, packs up and comes there, for no reason she can explain. She has never been to the Hollow nor heard of it, but finds her way with no help from directions. Also a friend of the author, who also starts to experience things upon her arrival.
What are the women's ties to the men, why are they experiencing this paranormal along with the men who were there that initial night, and what is to be said about all of the occurrences happening so far ahead of the 21st year, and the fact that they seem so much stronger?
Very engaging, I read it in one day, and I am looking forward to getting the next book in the series to see what happens next. I am very glad I went out of my reading "comfort zone" to pick this one up.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
4 stars out of 5
Monday, February 9, 2009
Interesting enough to keep me reading but about half way through I flipped to the end because I just didn't care anymore. I can't even really tell you what it was about, I was so uninterested by that point.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Child 44 - beast debut
Water for Elephants - best shocker ending
East of Eden - best classic
The Thirteenth Tale and Season of the Witch - best Gothic fiction
The Shadow Year - best book to make you feel like a kid
Beasts by Joyce Carole Oates - best quick read
The Monster of Florence - Best Non Fiction
The Hour I First Believed - Most eagerly awaited book that sucked
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle - Most Depressing book of 2008