"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

The first half of The Paris Wife is very boring. I couldn't really see it going anywhere, it just kept going. The second half was much better. I was shocked by the liberties taken, the choices made, the emotional endurance, and the social ignorance. This book is a solid example of truth being stranger than fiction. I didn't know anything about the life of Ernest Hemingway so I was surprised by the tale and it prompted me to do some additional reading about both he and Hadley. When I croak I would like to ask Hadley what she thought about A Moveable Feast.... I imagine it was difficult for her to read so many years later. 

I would also like to ask her why she would tolerate such disrespectful treatment from anyone-especially her husband and how many years post-Ernest before she asked herself, "What the &%$#^ was I thinking?! ". I desperately wanted her to stick up for herself but she remained a stoic doormat throughout, disappointing me and the women's liberation movement...

You will find an official plot line description at: 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Second Glance by Jodi Picoult

It seems like the older I get the more creeped out I am by ghost stories. I would have thought it would go the other way around. Now that I'm 30-ish and know for certain that there are only dust bunnies and abandoned sweaters under the bed, one would assume a ghost story wouldn't cause me to tip-toe around my dark house with a heavy object in tow. That assumption is incorrect. During the time this book resided on my nightstand I paused in my tip-toeing only long enough to leap out of my skin each time one of my dogs snored.
Despite the elevated creep-factor in this one, I wasn't as taken with it as I have been by some of Picoult's others. Suicide is a prominent topic and I have a difficult time understanding and empathizing with contemplated suicide. Because I don't understand, it is almost impossible for me to become invested in a suicidal character.
Additionally, there were multiple 'main' themes: a child with a terminal illness, a ghost unable to rest, another child tormented by her ability to see and communicate with spirits, a couple of moms in need of a romance, a lonely cop, a suicidal, ghost-hunting brother. It became nearly impossible to keep up with all of these characters and their -isms. This manic compilation of dramas inhibited me from becoming attached to any of the characters and as a result I never emotionally invested myself in the story. I finished it like I started it- with the quiet, unemotional turn of a page.

You will find an official description of the plot line at: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10911.Second_Glance

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I love Tina Fey. Who doesn't love Tina Fey? Well, Sarah Palin probably wouldn't say she loves Tina Fey but besides that I can't fathom it happening. I was a little disappointed in this book because I wanted it to be funnier. She's very clever and she has a lot of solid things to say to women trying to make it in any predominantly male line of work. It's also very quotable. She says a lot of things that I will likely draw on for some time. I just wish it were funnier. I laughed out loud sometimes but I prepared myself to laugh so hard that I would need to pull over at the nearest gas station to prevent peeing my pants. It's not that funny so don't worry about map questing the rest stops if you're taking a trip.

You will find an official description of the plot line at: 

Room by Emma Donoghue

Meh. Not for me. I see this book getting really high ratings and I have to wonder if all of those people are psychology majors reading it for the 'fascinating case study that such a circumstance would provide'. I was ANNOYED by the first person tale told by a 5 year old. The story idea was fascinating and I would certainly believe that Emma Donoghue did extensive research on the effects an entrapment like the one portrayed in Room would have on the victims; however, I am now less intelligent for having spent actual time reading lines like, "In the morning, penis stands up. I push it down. Silly penis." I would have gotten more out of this novel, and had more respect for the writer and the story itself, if it had been told from an adult's point of view.

You will find an official description of the plot line at: 

Lost Light by Michael Connelly

HO-LY Harry Bosch! This was one of my favorites in the series. The mystery was really wacky. I don't know if I love the idea of Harry not being a legitimate cop. He's seems tougher with a badge. Maybe if he got some armbands that shot lasers or something instead...

You will find an official description of the plot line at: 

Hideaway by Dean Koontz

This was a nice, creepy, little suspense novel. I liked the sci-fi twist. A fairly formulaic suspense base with some off-the-wall creeper-y added in. The little girl is fabulous. She does a lot for the story. She's very funny, lovable, completely endearing. The only disappointment was the ending. After all the imaginative creating Koontz did to get to the end the last bit was a little too... you know, just too, too... something. You know the sound you get when you're letting the air out of a balloon and the balloon is sort of flapping around making that spluttering, farting noise? The end of this book reminded me of that. The last couple of chapters start flapping around spluttering and farting. It's less attractive than you may think :0).

You will find an official plot line description at: 

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

You could say that I'm not a fan of this one... It was a solid book club pick. There was a lot to talk about, a lot to debate. There's nothing worse than a book club choice that leaves the entire group with nothing to say. BUT... holy cats. (Here comes the rant. If you're not ready for the rant, take a moment, get a cup of coffee- prepare for the rant. Ready? Here goes...). 
Not one likable character in the entire book (and it's forever long so you would think you would run into at least ONE, but no, you actually don't). A significant portion of it was needlessly disgusting. On and on with the greenpeace-y theme. I love Mother Earth too. We should all be more diligent and careful with our world. I'm completely behind that. But get off it. Run for office already and step down from the soap box before you fall and break something. 
This entire novel appeared to be less about the characters and creating a story (forget a plot line- there isn't one to be found) than it was a free-text forum for the author to air all those extra-marital tree huggery tendencies he's carried into his own midlife drudgery. Oprah can have this one. I prefer not to have that again :0).

You will find an official plot line description at: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7905092-freedom