Monday, November 30, 2009

Somebody's Baby by Charlotte Vale Allen

My review of this book is pretty straightforward:  It's about a 31 year old woman who's mother just suffered a heart attack, and on her death bed tells her daughter that she kidnapped her in a supermarket when she was a baby.  Then she dies, telling of a letter that confesses everything and starts this woman on a search for her real mother/family.  She finds her, it'a joyous reunion and all is well.  She tries to find out who her "mother" really was, finding dead end after dead end and numerous identity changes, all leading nowhere.  It turns out she had stolen something like 20+ identities since she was a teenager and planned the whole kidnapping for whatever reason and the book just leaves you hanging as to who this woman really was.  The author could've at least said she was abused as a child and stole all the money that made her so wealthy and wanted a new life but was physically unable to have children due to the horrid abuse she endured as a child and was also unable to get close to any man, also due to her childhood abuse... anything but nothing would've been good.  Fiction should end well, not happily, necessarily, but at least have closure, you know? That's my opinion, anyway.  It was a decent book, and kept me turning pages till the very end... which is probably why I kept reading it even though there were more than two bad words, but only increased my disappointment more at the end when I couldn't even solve the mystery.  Oh, well.  Chalk one up to... well, whatever.  ;)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Storm Front, by Jim Butcher

It took me EIGHT DAYS to read this book, Storm Front by Jim Butcher, and that, for me, is a very LONG time. 

So, if there were just a handful of words I would use to describe this book, they would be cocky, unrealistic, dark, lame, and sex.  There were two F-words, too.  They were towards the very, very end (like within a few pages of the ending) or I would've stopped.  Still, there was a lot of swearing, and like I said before, some obsession with sex.  Yuck.  Plus, the whole magic/wizard thing is just plain bizarre to me.  On the whole, I didn't like it and won't be reading this author in the future.  I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone as a worth-while read and hope those who were reading right along with me won't hold it against me.  ;)

I suppose I can try to say a few good things about this book:  yyyyeaaaah, nope.  Not really.  The plot was so simple-minded and just not twisty and turny enough for me (I'm used to Mary Higgins Clark... now that broad can write one heckuva mystery AND keep it clean, all at the same time). His attempt at being funny was so obviously that:  an attempt.  I have to give him this, though, it sounds as though he's done his research on the "Nevernever" and magic and all that cra- um...stuff.  I don't know anything about it, but I would have to guess he's not making this stuff up.  Or maybe he is, who knows.  (Who cares...) Sorry, that was low. 

I'm totally book-bashing, and I can't say I'm proud to be doing that, because he's published and I'm not, right? So, who am I to talk? It's just my humble opinion and you can take it or leave it.  ;) On to the next...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I've been reading the book, Storm Front, and I just have to say, it's no page-turner.  This guy keeps making sorry attempts at being sarcastically funny... he definitely overdoes it in that area, like he's trying too hard to make his character witty or some sort of smart-you-know-what.  This author is way too obsessed with sex.  He somehow manages to keep it mostly clean, but sure does talk about it a lot.  I'm really not into the whole magic and wizardry thing, so this book is just so rediculously fake to me.  I know it's not supposed to be real, and maybe I'm being too negatively judgemental, but this book just isn't doing it for me.  I'm going to make an attempt to finish reading it, because I'm the one who started this whole thing, but I'm not going to be reading the next one in line.  Thanks for the suggestion, R, but please don't take it personally when I do a little book-bashing with this one.  ;)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Join us!

Only one person had a recommendation for something to read together, so that's what we're doing.  It's called Storm Front by Jim Butcher, a novel from the Dresden Files. 

Sounds interesting! Check it out! If you want to join us, please do!

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

The word that comes to my mind when I think of describing this book is "raw".

Joan Didion in no way romanticizes the loss of a loved one and the grieving process that one goes through following their death.  "You sit down to dinner..." is a phrase she often repeats throughout this book.  It's as if she's trying to digest what's happened, still in shock at the suddeness of it all.  She and her husband sat down to dinner one night after visiting their sick daughter in the hospital and her husband had a heart attack, dying instantly.  She recalls the details of what happened that night and the nights that followed throughout the book, and the feelings that accompanied these memories.  Her denial of the reality of it is so heart-breaking, yet so real.  I can relate to how she thinks, reminiscing over the past and things said to each other and how something as simple as a plant can invoke memories that inevitably bring tears.  As a writer, herself, she has ways of describing things and comparing to what others have said that make it seem like you're the one grieving, although, I have to admit I truly felt like I was grieving with her.  "The question of self-pity" is another phrase she often repeats, trying to find her way through this grieving process, trying to become herself without her husband there.  Her grieving is put on hold, so to speak, due to her daughter being in the hospital with pneumonia and septic shock, followed by another hospital stint caused by a hemorrhage in her brain.  But when she's finally able to focus on herself, she finds it hard to go through the motions of everyday life because, as a writer, she's worked at home with her husband, who was also a writer who worked at home.  I found it interesting and almost endearing that she kept things like his shoes, because somewhere in her mind, while she was in the denial stage of grieving, she thought he'd need them when he came home.  It wasn't until she saw the autopsy report several months later that she was finally able to accept that he wasn't coming home.  She goes through in her mind how she could've prevented this, how she could fix it.  She goes through a depression of sorts, when she's crying all the time about little things that remind her of something she said or did with her husband.  She did go through the anger stage, because I remember her being angry that her daughter's doctor wanted to take the trach out.  It was a silly thing, but that's where her anger ended up being directed.  By the end of the year, she was sort of coming into an acceptance phase, attempting to move on and keep living.  One can feel the pain and emotional scarring that was left by this tragic event in this woman's life and I have to say, I feel fortunate to have been one of the readers she has shared her story with.

For a peak inside, click here.  I do recommend reading it, especially if you've lost someone close to you.  I can guess that knowing someone else has gone through this exact same thing would, in some way, be comforting.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What do you want to read?

I'm doing this on my other blog, too, so we can hopefully get a few people doing this.

If you'd like to read the same book with a group of people and then discuss it, please leave in the comment section 2 or 3 books of your choice. I will then narrow it down to, oh, say 5 that sound good to me and we can vote on the best one and, you know, read it.

Sound good?