Sounds like a good read to me.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Sounds like a good read to me.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Trashionista (the British chick-lit blog) has posted a summary for Remember Me from Amazon U.K. (What's up with that?)
Lexi wakes up in a hospital bed after a car accident, thinking it's 2004 and she's a twenty-five-year old with crooked teeth and a disastrous love life. But, to her disbelief, she learns it's actually 2007 - she's twenty-eight, her teeth are straight, she's the boss of her department - and she's married! To a good-looking millionaire! How on earth did she land the dream life??! She can't believe her luck - especially when she sees her stunning new home. She's sure she'll have a fantastic marriage once she gets to know her husband again. He's drawn up a 'manual of our marriage', which should help. But as she learns more about her new self, chinks start to appear in the perfect life. All her old colleagues hate her. A rival is after her job. Then a dishevelled, sexy guy turns up...and lands a new bombshell. What happened to her? Will she ever remember? And what will happen if she does?
Sunday, October 28, 2007
What I do distinctly remember is being appalled that Cameron Diaz was cast as Maggie. She wasn't who I pictured and I remember seeing the movie in the theatre and going in biased that she was going to mess up the part. Good thing for Cameron shortly into the movie I changed my mind and now I can't picture anyone else as Maggie. The wonderful Toni Collette was cast as Rose Feller and she was perfect in the role. And of course who can forget Shirley McClaine playing their long estranged Grandmother.
What I remember most about the book is identifying with the struggle between two very different sisters. Now I have a younger sister and we are different but we aren't like Rose and Maggie but I could see some sister relationships be that twisted. What mattered in the end though was their relationship with each other and how they came to terms about being different. What they had in common throughtout the whole story was that they wore the same size shoe.
If you've read the book and haven't watched the movie I encourage you to see the movie, you might be pleasantly surprised. Also, if you haven't read the book but you have seen the movie you'll love the book even better. The book in this case is better than the movie but the movie is a pretty good portrayal.
Book to Movie: 4/5
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Review: No one can ever say chick lit doesn’t serve its purpose. I was in need of something light and fun to read with no time to visit the bookstore. This book was in my To Be Read pile, so I grabbed it and off I went. The elements were all there, drunken debauchery, shameless ogling of men, girlfriends playing amateur detectives, and of course shopping. The writing here was easy as the authors’ styles blended well and the twists just kept on coming. I was not expecting that person to be the killer! My one issue minor pet peeve really – I hated the title, sure it’s catchy, but it’s also misleading. Otherwise this was just what the doctor ordered. While reading, I saw the makings of a series, something which was confirmed when I read the interview with the authors that was included in the back of the book. Good, because I wouldn't mind coming back for another.
Final take – 3.9/5
Friday, October 26, 2007
Review: I've read several of Ms. Scottoline's other books and have always enjoyed them and this one didn't let me down. I found the main character, Natalie aka Nat, endearing and identifiable. She was an everyday girl going along in her everyday life when life throws her a curveball. I liked that Nat turned into a sleuth to try and figure out the truth herself instead of waiting for the police to figure it out. It's not like she isn't intelligent and knows how the law works, she is a law professor.
The friendship and then relationship between her and Angus isn't forced but you can still see it a mile away and I don't think the author was really trying to conceal her intent there. The relationships that I didn't get or see how they pertained to the story was her family. Maybe it was to show why Nat was the way she was but I didn't need the filler of the family subplot to really care about it. Another thing that bugged me about this novel was the title of the book....Daddy's Girl. I just don't think it fit the book very well. I don't have a suggestion for a different title but this one just didn't work for me.
The twists and turns of the story were very well done and I didn't see them coming at all, in fact I pretty much thought the story was done when there was another twist thrown in.
I can't really see Nat coming back for another book on her own but I could see her popping up in Bennie Rosato novel. I have to say I prefer the Bennie novels to this one and maybe it's because I've read several of them and am invested in the characters.
Final Review: 3.75/5
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Even more exciting than that however, is the fact that Certain Girls is a sequel to Good in Bed. Now if you can't understand why we're excited about that, probabaly because you haven't read Good In Bed yet, then shame on you. Seriously the Best! Book! Ever!
Of course, there's not a lot of information available yet, not even cover art, but you better believe you'll know as soon as I do.
So what do we think, is Cannie getting married? Did she lose weight? How long can you wait for Jennifer Weiner to bring the funny? Think she'll let me interview her? Is it April yet?
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
John Burnham Schwartz's Bicycle Days (1989) received favorable reviews but seemed very much an autobiographical first novel. His second fiction, Reservation Road, however, is a book that resists genres: a tragedy where all the characters are flawed and none are entirely guilty; a thriller where the killer, Dwight, wants to be caught but is too laden with self-loathing to turn himself in; and an experimental novel where the narrative jumps gracefully among three perspectives.
In the opening pages Schwartz establishes strong connections between fathers and sons. Moments before the accident Ethan watches his son standing precariously close to the curb; he sees possibilities in Josh, a shy boy whose musical gifts indicate a sensitivity that is no less present, though more mature, in his father. At the same time, Dwight and his son, Sam (also 10), are rushing home from an extra-innings Red Sox game where Dwight tries to rebuild the fragments of attachment left after a bitter divorce. Schwartz reveals depth in simple gestures--a hand, for example, placed in a hand, only to be self-consciously pulled away. Dwight drives on after hitting Josh, though he slows in a moment of hesitation in which Ethan hears him calling "Sam" or "Sham"--he's not sure which. Out of grief, and with only scattered clues, Ethan begins his quiet pursuit of the killer, a pursuit that fuels the novel to its poetic conclusion. In Reservation Road, John Burnham Schwartz has crafted a lasting work of literature, a page-turner that's also a rich character study.
Review: I had high hopes for this book. It started off with good momentum and then fizzled. It wasn't until the the last 30 pages did the book come to a climax and abrupt end. In fact I wasn't sure it ended the way it did and had to go back and read the final few pages.
I found that the characters were 2 dimensional and sterotypical in their reaction to the tragedy. For the parents of the young boy killed, the mother, Grace, retreats into herself and the father, Ethan, retreats into the books he's always loved and found comfort in. They have a daughter, Emma, who is mentioned in passing and her grief is somewhat addressed. I actually think the book might have been better if told from her point of view, even though she's 8. The other man and his son, Dwight and Sam, have a torrid relationship that I won't get into in case you pick up and read the book. I found myself not really caring for any of the characters and their plights. Dwight has had a hard adult life and retreats into the bottle to try and deal with the pain he has caused. There is a one twist that I really didn't see coming and was a nice surprise but the author didn't elaborate on it or use it how I thought it might have been used. I disagree that this book is a rich character study, because I found the characters to be predictable and not really likeable. The only likeable characters were the children.
As a parent, I can not imagine the pain and suffering these parents are going through and hope I never have to, but I couldn't identify with the mom and to make me buy into this story I think it would haven helped.
To be honest, I bought this book because a friend told me that Jennifer Garner was going to be in the movie version, only to find out that was not the case. I do want to see the movie version because of the cast (Reservation Road) and because I think it might be a better movie than book, which is usually not the case.
If you have the book on your shelf, read it, if not you aren't missing a masterpiece of contemporary fiction.
Final Take: 2.75/5
Saturday, October 20, 2007
There's been an email going around for the last couple of weeks in the African-American community that I have debated writing about. Mostly I've just been too busy to write, and I still in some ways feel like I should let this pass without saying anything, however….
Ok, some background – I have long felt that a lot of black authors sacrifice themselves, their integrity and just plain good writing at the altar of money. Lots of people call these books "ghetto lit", I call it just plain trash. I've been biding my time, waiting until I was able to review a few more of these books on the blog before I opined about this phenomenon, which to me seem to be getting worse and worse. Ms. McMillan's email is directed to three women in charge of publishing these books at Simon & Schuster (they are also her ex-husband's publishers) and for the most part I agree with her on just about all of the issues. My issue with this whole thing is quite simple – what took her so long to take this stand? Why now, not more than a week after her ex's book (a fictional tell-all) was released? Makes one wonder.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Looks like I'll be bumping The Golden Notebook up closer to the top of my list of books to read this year.
--Though I can never hear/read Doris Lessing's name without thinking of the author song from that ingenious 90's band, Moxy Fruvous. Anyone else have that problem?!?
[silence... crickets... more silence...]
Yeah, didn't think so...
Monday, October 15, 2007
I like that they will have individual cases but there will be a season long murder mystery that they need to solve. Not only did it cause Lindsay professional strife but it seems to have caused her marriage to disolve. I'm happy to see Rob Estes back on tv and they don't seem to have him playing the jerk ex-husband, he actually seems like a good guy.
It seems like I wasn't the only one who tuned in this week. (ratings)
Now we just have to wait to see if it holds it's audience. Not like there is much else on TV on Friday Nights.
Hope you guys enjoyed and will continue to watch.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
One dark summer dawn, at the exact moment that an enormous monster dies in Lake Glimmerglass, twenty-eight-year-old Willie Upton returns pregnant and miserable to her hometown of Templeton, N.Y. Willie is a descendant of the creator of the town, Marmaduke Temple, and she expects to be able to hide in the place that has been home to her family for centuries. But the monster changes the fabric of the village and Willie's mother, Vivienne, has a surprise for the girl that will send Willie careening through her family's history to dig up clues about her heritage. Spanning two centuries, the story is told through a panoply of voices, from Templeton ghosts to residents, masters to servants, natives to interlopers, and historical figures to literary characters. ~ Source: http://www.laurengroff.com/
Lauren Groff did a good job of working the stories of the past and the present together in the same narrative. There is a slight supernatural element (a monster in the lake) that I am never fully sure why it was there, even after it told its story in the epilogue. It was a bit contrived having the “house ghost” help her find the last clue (a really good clue though). A bit of a cop-out I thought. Truthfully there were way too many times that I felt like I was in a college English Lit class and failing miserably. Yeah I’m getting the feeling I didn’t like it, which is sad, because I read Stephen King’s article about it in Entertainment Weekly and I was looking forward to it, not to mention ecstatic when I was able to get it early. Let’s all blame my preoccupation with work stuff – Agreed?
Monsters is due for release in February 2008.
Final Take: 2.9/5
Friday, October 12, 2007
This was quite the treat for me, as I love books especially when they are free and I can get to read them before everyone else. I will suggest that you at least join their book club so that you are on their lists. Besides the possibility of getting free books, the authors of certain releases often drop by the forums to discuss their books and answer questions.
Library Thing also does something similar with their Early Reviewers Group, but they have rules about who recieves the books.
As always I will keep you all posted on whatever else I find.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I've read 1-5 (waiting on 6 from my dad) and have thoroughly enjoyed this series because of the group of strong women who know what they want and work together to solve crimes. I like the books because they pull from different areas of law enforcement and even include a reporter who they bring into their group. My favorite character has always been Lindsey Boxer, played in the series by the wonderful Angie Harmon.
I know that in all the promotions for this it says "based on" the series, so I'm interested to see where they've made changes. James Patterson is listed as a writer for the show along with 2 female writers, so I'm encouraged that it will be true to the characters he's written 6 novels about.
If you haven't read the series but like crime dramas with strong female characters, I encourage you to read the books. And if you aren't sure about reading the books, check out the show and see if it peaks your interest.
There's one thing us book lover's know..it is that the books are always better than the tv show or the movie.
I'll be tuning in on Friday to check this show out.
The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.
A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants—from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys—except for Claire’s rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.
When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire’s quiet life is turned upside down—along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy—if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom—or with each other. Enchanting and heartfelt, this captivating novel is sure to cast a spell with a style all its own….
I was truly enchanted with this novel. Sarah Addison Allen has an uncomplicated style of prose that is soothing to read and has a definite flow about it. Her story not only encompasses the Waverlys, but also delves into the lives of the townspeople with whom they interact. Often times, this can be dull, but Allen has written a story in which the past is so rooted in the present and entwined with the main characters, that the forays are delightful. Each Waverly has her own brand of magic which has varying effects the town as well as herself; and each of them stuggle to come to terms with their role in their family and in each other's lives.
The book is not without flaw, but as it is Allen's first book, that is to be expected. I would have loved to have learned more about the apple tree, the rest of the family, or even fleshed out the ending a little bit. However, it has a tone that is reminiscent of my favorite book of all times, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. If you enjoy fantasy and romance, this is a light and tender read for you!
Overall Rating 4.7/5.0
Monday, October 8, 2007
I know I'm not into it when I've been reading it for a week and am only on page 50. Yes the new fall season of tv doesn't help but I've always found time for my reading before when tv has been this invovled.
So I'm going to reserve the right to call it back from the depths of my bookshelf and read at a later date.
Teaming up with longtime friends -- NYPD's Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace -- Assistant DA Alex Cooper investigates the disappearance of world-famous dancer Natalya Galinova, who has suddenly vanished backstage at Lincoln Center's Metropolitan Opera House -- during a performance.
The three colleagues are soon drawn into the machinations of New York City's secretive theatrical community, where ambition takes many forms, including those most deadly. Among Galinova's lovers is Joe Berk, the colorful, strong-willed boss of the Berk Organization, one of four family companies that own all the legitimate theaters on Broadway. The aging ballerina was using Berk to help revive her career at the time of her disappearance.
Cooper, Chapman, and Wallace go underground and backstage at the Met, explore Berk's unusual apartment on top of the Belasco Theatre with its rumored ghostly resident, and then discover bizarre circumstances at City Center, which has a peculiar history not one of them knew about until now.
Within the glamorous but sordid inner sanctums of the Broadway elite, the team confronts the ruthless power brokers who control both the stars and the stages where they appear. They meet Joe's niece Mona Berk, who is mounting a vicious campaign to extract her share of the family fortune, and stunning starlet Lucy DeVore, whose beauty may be her fatal undoing. Chet Dobbis is the artistic director of the Metropolitan Opera, and therefore privy to the most scandalous exploits among its famous inhabitants. He also knows every inch of the labyrinthine building into which the ballerina disappeared...
Meanwhile, Alex is working on a very different case, using a creative technique to nab a physician who has been drugging women in order to assault them. As Dr. Selim Sengor eludes capture, Alex must navigate the new investigative world of DFSA -- drug-facilitated sexual assault -- intent on proving him guilty.
Complicating her quest is the explosive legal and ethical dilemma of using the existing DNA databank to solve new cases. Can Alex convince a judge to let her prosecute a man for a violent crime using DNA that was collected for a prior case in which he was never charged? Or do the suspect's civil rights prevent law enforcement from keeping his DNA on file to be used against him at any future time?
Death Dance is a spellbinding thriller combining a former prosecutor's fresh insight into hot-button legal issues with the unique history and spectacle of New York theater, and its shocking twists make this novel Linda Fairstein's most chilling adventure yet.
Fairstein is one of those authors I don't read very often, and it always takes another book of hers to remind me why. It's not that she isn't a good author... she's very talented. Her plots are complicated, often involve several crimes and a plethora of suspects. For me, however, there are always too many stories and little sidebars, perhaps I need to read the Alex Cooper series in order, but I don't know that that would help. Fairstein always seems to have more story than fits into her books... too many cases that never tie up into a nice neat little package... too many suspects that appear and disappear. Granted she was a DA for 25 years and I'm sure that it's more realistic this way -life isn't a nice neat little package- but it always leaves me feeling slightly shorted at the end of a book... hey what happened to __________?
Enough about the series, let me focus on Dance of Death. I picked this book in particular out of the series as I'm slightly familiar with the setting of the central crime... a theatre. So while others may be intrigued by some of the background descriptions of the theatre and the intricacies of the fly system, I was glad she got it right but in a hurry to move on.
The suspects were many and the complications of being involved in three investigations at once made it harder for the characters to trace the personal attacks against Cooper back to one source or the other. The central crime was well laid out as was the solution... although I found the wrap up a bit far fetched... and the other two cases seemed to get shorted in the conclusion.
I don't understand the relationship between Chapman and Cooper, perhaps, again, this is because I don't read enough of the series, but there are all sorts of mixed signals and innuendo that comes in and out. I can't tell if either character is interested in the other because they both seem to be playing the "come here-get away" (worse than McDreamy and Meredith ) game a little too fast paced to even catch.
Although, this is a well written legal mystery, I've come to the conclusion that Fairstein is just not for me.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
*Note: Banned books are more often that not, not completely banned, but merely challenged. The ALA explains it here.
Not so long ago, "The Bluest Eye" was one of our Book Club picks. Difficult? Absolutely! Offensive... I don't think so. I'd certainly let my teenager read it. And just for fun, I plan to stop by the bookstore and see what all the fuss is about with "And Tango Makes Three".
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Pushing Daisies is a "forensic fairy tale" that focuses on Ned (Lee Pace), a piemaker with a mysterious ability to make the dead live again. The gift is not without its complications, however: if he touches this being a second time, they'll be dead permanently. If they live for more than 60 seconds, somebody else nearby will die. (Quote: "It's a random proximity thing"). It's a gift that he puts in good use to help a private investigator friend, Emerson Cod and his childhood sweetheart, the once-dead Charlotte "Chuck" Charles.
"The premiere is lovely in scope, ambition, casting, acting, narrative, writing and direction."
Monday, October 1, 2007
Jada left home at the age of sixteen, running from her own demons and the horrors of physical abuse inflicted by her mothers boyfriend. She partied hard, and life seemed good when she was with Born, the neighborhood kingpin whose name was synonymous with money, power, and respect. But all his love couldnt save her from a crack addiction. Jada goes from crack addict and prostitute to survivor and back again before she finds the strength to live for herself and come out on top. And her stormy romance with one of the fiercest hustlers on the streets makes White Lines one of the most unforgettable urban loves stories of the year.
From her highest highs, living the “good” life as the wife a drug lord, to her lowest lows, selling her body for drug money, reading Jada’s story often times left me dirty and pained. You can’t help but feel for her. Born lost his father to the same drug that ravages Jada and somehow begins supplying it to others. When Jada can’t resist temptation, he throws her out – hypocrite though you don't hate him too much for it – and they both have to lose and learn difficult lessons before they can find peace.