Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dexter in the Dark, Jeff Lindsey

Dearly Devoted Dexter, Jeff Lindsey

Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Jeff Lindsey

The Stuff of Legend

This story is good and the artwork carries any deficiencies through to the end. My husband & I went to Comiccon in Baltimore this year for the first time and I was instantly drawn to this comic. I LOVE the artwork, I also love the story, what could draw one in more than a story about the boogeyman?

Fables: The Dark Ages

I am losing steam for this series. The whole war thing bores me, maybe cause I'm a chick? I guess the story would be flat without the conflict but I think I am done after this, the 12th in the series.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dead and Gone

This may be my favorite, yet! The romance with Sookie and Eric is on, hot & steamy! My favorite part & I think I have been reading 8 books to get here! Yum.
There are so many layers of drama I love it! A multi-layered Sookie novel! There are troubles with the Were's, the vamps, the FBI and the Faes. I almost had trouble keeping it all straight.
I have to say this one, above all the others, was very difficult to put down & when I finished it was all I could do to get the next one. T would be amazed!

From Dead to Worse

The drama continues. So Sookie is now recovering from her most taxing events yet. Hurricane Katrina, the disaster at the vampire summit, her boyfriend Quinn(rawrrr) is missing & she finds out she is part fairy. Because her grandmother, yea her, had an affair with a half fairy. Oops.
It continues with family drama, her brothers wife is a whore, Vampire drama, another crew wants to come in & take over (but will they? check it out!)
Sookie draws me in again, bitter sweet.

Little Bee

I really, really liked this novel. It moved me to tears as well as laughter. The story of the treatment of the African people by their own people was heart wrenching.

If you don't know it, I love character driven novels. I enjoy reading the depths of personality in characters and enjoy how this moves me emotionally. Little Bee moved me a great deal. I could relate to the working woman, driven to advance her career; the wife that is struggling to balance career and family life; and the mother that is raising a delightful male child. I could also relate to Little Bee, with her wisdom and calm. Unlike most of us in this country she was strangely at ease in her elements, focusing on what she could change and sometimes this was only her life or death.

I understand why I have read online that people are concerned about spoiling this novel. I, too, will choose not to spoil it by not revealing too much.

But read it. Read it and weep, read it and laugh, then sit still for a few moments letting it all sink in.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Shit my Dad Says, Justin Halpern

OMG. I loved this compilation! I giggled and laughed out loud throughout the novel. His father seems like such a typical blue collar, North eastern guy (like many I know about here on the East coast), but not! They are on the West coast & his father is some crazy neurophysicist spewing the worst language in front of his children that you can imagine!

I also love the concept of someone with a blog making it work & making a life of it, wouldn't it be grand?

The Sign of Four, Arthur Conan Doyle

Yes! The next Sherlock Holmes story! This was more interesting than the first, to me. More exotic, more intrigue, more characters.

It's interesting to read about Sherlock's drug problem especially with all the tear jerking and intervention stories that are out now-a-days. This introduces his drug problem without all that. It's introduced as commonplace or as a part of his personality without Watson, in first person, judging or stressing on the implications of this problem. Not that the problem isn't a problem but more that it isn't the story nor the sub story, just a part of Sherlock's personality.

Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle

After reading all the Laurie R. King / Mary Russell novels I am finally getting around to reading the actual Sherlock Holmes novels. And I love them!

These are wonderfully written, keeping one guessing from the start. I like how details are completely eliminated or minimized but come back later as a slam dunk in Sherlock's synopsis.

I can't help but see Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock since the movie came out a year or so ago but I think he fits! I don't think he fits for the Mary Russell Sherlock somehow but I can see Robert Downey, Jr's Sherlock all over this novel. Either he really nailed the character or he really is the character.

I will go on to read the other Conan Doyle Sherlock stories, I can download them free from onto my Nook Color, I am really looking forward to it!

The Weird Sisters, Eleanor Brown

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown was a coming of age story of three adult sisters and their relationship with their parents. Their father was a Shakespeare scholar, hence the name of the story and how it was reflected in the story. I expect if I knew Shakespeare I would have had a better appreciation of this novel.

Not that I didn't appreciate the story, because I did. I just wonder what was there that I didn't see because I don't know Shakespeare.

I came from a family with three daughters, I was the youngest. I can relate to Cornelia, the youngest in this story, even though my travels away from home did not take me in quite the same direction.

The middle sister in my family has very little in common with Bianca except for the desire to get away from the family, be successful and eventually to come back into the fold. My sister never strayed as far away as Bianca.

My oldest sister has some similar characteristics as Rose, the doer, the centered, grounded one. Thought not necessarily the flaws.

Their mother's cancer is what brings them back home, my mothers cancer brought me back home and I believe it brought my sisters and I closer as well. The conflicts with their relationship with their father never really goes away, like in my family, but these young women question themselves and find themselves to be more similar to themselves and with a different understanding of what home means.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sandman, Preludes and Nocturnes, Neil Gaiman

The Sandman was one of my first graphic novels and reading this a second time around does not fail me. There's a little horror, maybe a little sci fi and definitely a little fantasy. Neil Gaiman knows and enjoys his craft and introduced me to a new genre like I'd never been interested in before.

As well as the writing, I enjoyed the graphics and enjoy the mixture of artists involved, I believe some of these are introduced in other volumes. I love Gaimen's definitions of the character Dream and the introduction of Dream's sister, Death.

Please read this, especially if you aren't into graphic novels or this fanstasy/ sci fi/ horror genre. You may find yourself a changed person.

Underboss, Sammy the Bull Gravano's Story of life in the Mafia, Peter Maas

This was JUST LIKE any mafia or mob story I have ever read or see on the screen. I suspect all the best have read this as research material.

I have wanted to read this since it first came out but it wasn't high on my lists, just one of those that I was always drawn to. It didn't disappoint me at all, but it really was just like a lot that I have seen.

There's also this element of braggadocio, Sammy is the best at everything he did & was the most loyal and honest, more than anyone else ever could be. It gets a bit thick if you've already heard about his double foot jump back into crime. It's hard to believe his wife divorced him & didn't know anything about his work life when you know she was arrested with him after being in the witness protection program, leaving it & getting back into crime.

At any rate, it was a good, fun read. Probably polished up a bit as well as exaggerated a little bit. It's obvious that The Sopranos writer had read this at some point since stories from the Sopranos seemed to come directly from stories in this novel.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl

Woooo, dude really must have been on drugs and thank goodness for it! I love love love the 1971 Gene Wilder movie version of this, the 2005 Johnny Depp version was pretty good, too. I'm just very partial to the 1971 version with all it's scary creepiness. The book was just like the first novel with a little of the second thrown in.

Just like with James & the Giant Peach I have refound my love for this author. I don't think I ever completed this when I was a child. I am glad I've read this even after multiple times of watching the movies.

What is the What, Dave Eggers

Wow, my friend talked Dave Eggers up, big. I think he is her favorite author. So when she brought this book as her choice for our bookclub I was excited.

Very early on I found myself having trouble with the novel, very early on. I never finished it. I thought it was because I was under a lot of stress & completely overwhelmed with sleep training my two year old and increased pressure at work. It turns out that I wasn't the only one who had trouble, I think maybe two of the 7 of us in the bookclub did finish it. And I'm being generous because I don't really remember who finished it or who didn't. I think the general consensus was that it was very heavy & there was some confusion about why a foreigner would take so much crap after all the crap he's taken in his life.

I would like to get back to this one one day.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Love is a Mix Tape, Rob Sheffield

I though this novel would be a lot of fun, reminding me of my youthful mix tapes and the memories that go with them. I was disappointed & had trouble getting through this book. It was a very moving story of a young man who had lost his young wife way too young.

I didn't finish it but I have to admit that I didn't give it much chance. I had expectations for it that were completely different from the reality and these expectations kept me from enjoying this on any level.

If anyone else gives this a chance I would love a comment.

All Together Dead, Charlaine Harris

Ah, another Sookie Stackhouse novel. This girl gets in so much trouble & all in such a short amount of time, I am glad I'm not her! As in other novels, Sookie has ingratiated herself with the mostie biggies in the world of vampire's, I guess because she's just so charming. I sound a little peevish about it but if you've read any of these reading blogs you will see that I have a love/hate relationship with Sookie. Relating to a conversation I had with my friend T a year or so ago, I wonder how much of it has to do with Anna Paquin playing Sookie in the HBO series TrueBlood. The more I read these fun novels the more I question that conversation because they get on my nerves a little bit but I keep reading the darn things.

So in this novel Sookie is asked (forced?) to come to a vampire summit to defend the Queen of Louisiana for the accusation of murder brought against her. She gets into a ton of trouble in her love life as well as other ways. In the end many vampires are dead, Sookie saves a bunch of their lives & she stumbles off into the sunset.

I expect the vampires are going to owe her, big, & am anticipating the next novel already. Love/hate I'm telling you.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Serial Jack Kilborn & Blake Crouch

Again, love the cover art...

Serial is a short written by two authors, Jack Kilborn & Blake Crouch. They each wrote about a serial killer then have the characters meet each other and do what they do best.

But they have each met their match and the results are invigorating.

Read it to find out what happens!

Beat the Reaper, Josh Bazell

I have to be honest, the first thing that drew me to this book was the cover
art. This happens sometimes & isn't always the best way to choose a novel!

However, I found this a fun read. The concept of a mob killer in witness protection, as a doctor was pretty amusing.

I liked the tough language (surprise...) coming from this supposed medical
professional. While I enjoyed this I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The flavor isn't for everyone plus it wasn't what I would call"stellar".

Fun, amusing, yes. Stellar, no.

Mudbound, Hillary Jordan

A friend lent me this novel though my new Nook color. Oh, what fun is this? Lots, I'll say!
The story, on the other hand, was moving, a little sad, a little disturbing.
This strong woman, forced to move to the country when her husband decides he wants to be a farmer, is alone & lonely. She has to work hard without any support and isolated for civilization during the Mudbound years.
Trouble ensues, mistakes are made and lives are changed. I cheered parts that inevitably changed the lives the most, I hurt for those stuck on the edges, those that could be hurt the most.

Faithful Place, Tana French

Another highly enjoyable thriller from Tana French!
The women in one of my book clubs are not fond of In The Wood by Ms. French, I don't know of one member who is giving it a good review. This makes me question what I am missing... :)
I still love, love, love Tana French. I love the Gothic, kinda f-ed up Irish drama and the layers upon layers of stories in her novels. I don't mind "figuring" out who done it mid way through the novel, you never really know who did it until the end anyway. I love the rich layers to the characters and how she uses characters from one novel to the next.
Maybe I've never read any strong mystery writers, it's never been my forte, I can't say I've ever read Dean Koontz, James Patterson or even Agatha Christie. Shoot, Rick Castle I only know about because of the TV show (which I do enjoy).
I still maintain the warm fuzzies for Tana French, the layers & Irish Gothic, the characters & their drama grab me every time and have me zooming through her stories in no time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Aaarrrggghhhhh! I have three reviews to write & time is soooo tight! They are for Mudbound, Beat the Reaper & Faithful Place. I'll get there...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It goes round and round

As a 42 year old woman I have come to a point in my life where I (usually) remember that yes, things happen for a reason, people come into and out of your life for a reason and that sometimes, most times, I don't usually understand why at the time but that there probably is a reason and I just need to be patient
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann puts this all in this story. There are actions and consequences, there is the character that always seemed to know his truth, who in the end has to question that truth. There are the innocent and not so innocent bystanders following the life that was laid out for them and those that would like to atone for their sins.
We have this, all of us, in our lives, this window into ourselves. If we take the time to listen we can hear it. This life can be simple or it can be complex but it is ours and it is intertwined with others with a purpose.
I don't like to get into the clear details of these stories I read, you can tell that by the reviews I have written in the past. If you want to know the intimate details of this novel I am sure there are other most complex reviews out there to be found. I recommend this novel and I hope that you can read it with clarity and find your own connection to it and to this world and open your heart to them all.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Learners, Chip Kidd

I really enjoyed Chip Kidd's The Cheese Monkeys, Check Spellingwith that in mind I also really liked The Learners. So many are disdainful of second novels and even worse about sequels (read as if it's a dirty word), but I think it's a little unfair. How can a second novel ever be as exciting or interesting as a first novel? The reader goes into the first with a clean head, no expectations and no real idea how a story will pan out, what types of phrasing or twists the author uses etc. With a second novel some of that is expected whether consciously or not.
With this in mind I wonder how any of us could enjoy this novel as much as The Cheese Monkeys, when the tremendously interesting character of Himillsy plays such a small part. When the character Happy has been better formed by maturity, knowing the things we suspected in the first novel and owning them as such.
I really enjoyed the description of Happy's first position in advertising, having experienced a similar situation in the world of Interior Design, starting as a naive novice, learning about the world at large at the same time as I am learning the true details of my chosen career, the losses and disappointments, the true meaning and pressures of a deadline and presentations.
I hope that others who have read The Cheese Monkeys can open thier minds enough to see the story behind the story in this novel, there is much to be enjoyed and appreciated.