09 March 2011

The Passage ~ Justin Cronin


Picked from the N Y T Best Sellers Christmas List.
Thank you Santa!!!

Wow! A mammoth brick of a book at 766 pages!

Yes, it muddied itself towards the end as it set itself up for a sequel (the last 200 odd pages were trying). But it was a great read.

Well constructed premise with well written characters. Alphie compared it to an “I Am Legend” type of storyline ... taken further. Kind of vampire-virus dystopian world.

It is amazing that such a long book is just the first of a trilogy and you have to wonder/worry if the others will be as long or as good???? But this one was well written storytelling.

08 March 2011

The Lincoln Lawyer ~ Michael Connelly

#1 Mickey Haller novel
Tight, slick, well paced.

I haven’t read much Connelly and this is the first using Mickey Haller as the main character. It was a polished read.

Clean, well-constructed and well edited made it a joy to read. It was a fast-paced trial drama. The first half introduces the clients who later interlink to drive the plot. There is a teeth-grinding, page-turning climax waiting for the baddie to get his come-uppence.

07 March 2011

The Calling Of The Grave ~ Simon Beckett

Book 4 in a series
David Hunter, forensics expert.

Sadly this book did not use as much forensic research and crime solving as the others. While it is Book #4, the storyline kind of fits in between #2 and #3 as far as timeline goes.

I didn’t enjoy it that much.

06 March 2011

The Help ~ Kathryn Stockett

**** RECOMMEND ****

Tournament of Books : 2010

I resisted this for too long!
A great period & place piece.

There were some stridently negative reviews on Amazon that made me delay in buying this (very critical of the vernacular being wrong, the lack of understanding of racism, offensive in its representations of the south).

But, in spite of the fact that there may be truth in these above criticisms, I really enjoyed this read. The characters were lively and interesting. The plot developed a a good pace and was funny and compelling. I thought the use of voice was well executed with the story being told from different perspectives.

05 March 2011

1001 Nights of Snowfall ~ Bill Willingham (ed)

A Graphic Novel
Nope! I enjoy the nuances of language too much!

Not for me. I will give anything a go ...

This was a hodgepodge of poorly glued together stories ... and maybe I liked the “glue” part the best because it wasn't “graphic ... but then it wan’t that good either!

This was a retell of fables and fairytales illustrated by various artist (graphic novel illustrators). Quality varied by nothing stood out as making it at all worthwhile.

04 March 2011

Madame Bovary ~ Gustave Flaubert

A classic ... I throw one in every so often ... but this one I’ll throw away!
Discussed on First Tuesday Book Club.

It is rare for me to give up on a book.
I like an old-fashioned read.
I want to enrich myself with classics.
I admire Marieke’s opinion on FTBC.

BUT .... agghhhhhhhh! I couldn’t do it!

I just couldn’t cope with this book. A lot (lot, lot, lot) of blah blah blah. Yes, I can discuss the finer points of Emma’s behaviour but it just isn’t worth it. I figure that maybe the problem is that in today’s world Emma is just a little naughty and self-centred ... no big deal.

First Tuesday Book Club

03 March 2011

American Gods ~ Neil Gaiman

Oh Boy! Hard going!
An “Alphie” favourite ...but not for me.

I found this difficult going. It was a grand premise about the “old” gods brought to the “new” world and being replaced by “new” gods. (Hey! Have I seen that storyline on “Supernatural”??) A battle looms.

Lots of good references to old gods that were worshiped and the new gods of consumerism and technology but this book could have done with a good edit. It turned very ho-hum where it could have been good.

There was virtually no climax. I did not feel engaged with the characters. The theme was muddy and confused.

A REAL page turner ... as I skipped so many pages to get to the end.

02 March 2011

Oh Mexico ~ Lucy Neville


Non Fiction
Full of the flavour of Mexico ... just can’t look at that cover the same way!

This was a fun read!!! After completing Uni, Lucy spent time living and working in Mexico City. This captures the chaotic lifestyle of Mexico as she regales the reader with stories about finding a job, finding a flat, finding a boyfriend. The book is subtitles “Love and Adventure in Mexico City” and there is lots of both.

Lucy is the daughter of Richard Neville and writes with loving, but derogatory terms about her parents and their parenting.

The cover is gorgeous ... till you reach the section where she tours the churches and gets the background to the Virgin of Guadeloupe.

Ahhhhhh! Mexico!!!!!