Archive for September, 2008

Candy Apple Red by Nancy Bush

This is the first in the Jane Kelly mystery series and since it was set outside of Portland, Oregon I thought I’d check it out. Plus the cover blurb says it’s for people who like Stephanie Plum.

Jane Kelly lives in Lake Chinook, Oregon were she is a process server and does some side work for a P.I. Bobby Reynolds murdered his young family and has been missing the past 4 years. Jane is hired to speak with Bobby’s father and discover if he knows where Bobby is. Plus her ex-boyfriend’s back in town (who just happens to be Bobby’s childhood best friend) and Jane’s mom has arranged for her to take in a distant relative pug named Binky.

I have mixed feelings on this one. It was ok. The setting confused me. Lake Chinook sounded sorta like Lake Oswego (a Portland suburb & where the author lives) but with her descriptions and mix of real and fake places and street names I just couldn’t place it in context, which bugged me. Also the plot was complicated and I had trouble keeping the numerous secondary characters straight. Plus I did know who had done it before it was revealed and that always bugs me. However, it was a first novel and I would be tempted to read the second book in the series.

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September 28, 2008 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

100th Post & introducing “Classic Craves”

This is my 100th Post! Although, I haven’t read 100 books this year, as a few points have to do with my book club picks from past years. Also, in an effort to keep my blog fresh, since I’m not reading as quickly (or as much) this fall, I’m going to post “classic craves” and review books I read awhile ago. These will be posted once a week.

Thanks to everyone who reads (which is mostly family and friends). My goal was to learn the blogging software and keep a better list and record of what I’m reading. Since it really does help in my day job. After looking back at my posts through the past 7 months, I realized I’m not reading as much non-fiction as I thought I was. So I’m going to try and increase that. And I might start reviewing magazines, as I also enjoy reading those – although it doesn’t quite fit with the I crave books theme. So I’m not sure. Leave a comment if you think that would be useful.

Ok so on to my next book review.

September 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting by Lynn Grabhorn

subtitled: the astonishing power of feelings.

This was the companion book to a course I’m taking called Journey to Perpetual Happiness. Remember The Secret? Well this book is also about the Law of Attraction but what distinguishes it is the four step process the author uses to move you towards attracting the life you deserve and love.

I enjoyed reading this and it got me thinking about many things.

September 21, 2008 at 7:09 pm 1 comment

Larry and the Meaning of Life by Janet Tashjian

I have loved Josh Swenson since The Gospel According to Larry, this latest entry (making for a trilogy) deals with what happens to Josh when he loses his drive. After all, what’s the next act when you’ve already been an anti-consumerist guru/overnight Internet sensation (with your own festival – Larrystock) and run for President – all before age 18?

So Josh is back – sitting on the couch – deferring his first semester at college. Until he meets Gus at Walden Pond. Gus is a spiritual guru and Peter decides to follow him to find some meaning – but is Gus really who he says he is? Find out what happens when Josh goes searching for the meaning of life.

This is the first time I’ve actually read the book – as the first two I listened to and they’re both done really well – the narrator is top notch. However, reading it, I can see where people would be annoyed with all the little footnotes – they’re integrated seamlessly into the audio version – and this story was slightly disappointing to me as it didn’t have the same hopeful, inspiring air that the first two books had. (Both of which really inspired me to action). But I suppose that’s the point – since Josh was searching. And the ending twist was really, really good. And the ending leaves the door open for Josh to make his return – and I hope he does because he’s really fun to hang out with.

September 21, 2008 at 10:49 am Leave a comment

Pretty Face by Mary Hogan

A quick YA read for a rainy Sunday morning. Hayley lives in Southern California – and does not fit the ideal of a blonde beach babe. Both she and her mother struggle with weight issues and after her crush asks her to see if her best friend will go out with him, Hayley stuffs her emotions by stuffing a large pepperoni pizza in her mouth. The next day is is forced to attend weight watchers type session with her mother, which she runs out of. Upon returning home her parents have decided to send her to live in Italy for the summer with her mother’s college roommate. Not terribly realistic to me – but ok.

So Hayley is off to Italy where in true YA novel fashion she finds herself and falls in love. The descriptions of Rome and the Italian countryside were excellent and I thought Hayley was a well-drawn character. However, the ending and her romance with Enzo, left much to be desired.

September 14, 2008 at 12:02 pm Leave a comment

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

Loved this book. It was recommended by a friend and I’m so glad I took her suggestion.

The narrative pulls you in from the very beginning and just pulls you along effortlessly. Each of the main characters narrates a chapter and it’s done in a beautiful way, adding layer upon layer to the story. I’m not usually a huge fan of switching perspectives but this is done so well. The characters are well drawn and it’s just beautifully written.

Mudbound tells the story of Henry & Laura (along with their 2 daughters and Henry’s father) who move to the Mississippi Delta in 1946 to run a farm. Laura does not wish to live this rural life in little more than a shack, with no indoor plumbing or electricity. When it rains the bridge to town is covered by the river and the family is stranded in the mud. Jamie, Henry’s brother and a decorated soldier in World War Two returns.  Ronsel, the oldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on Henry’s farm, also served in World War Two as a tank driver. Jamie and Ronsel’s unlikely friendship and its ramification lead to the explosive climax of this novel.

September 13, 2008 at 7:25 pm Leave a comment

American Eve by Paula Uruburu

Subtitled:Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White: The Birth of the “It” Girl and the Crime of the Century

Sorry no posts in awhile. I’ve been busy and also slogging my way through this book for book group.

With my use of the word slogging, you probably guessed I didn’t like it. If so, you’re half correct.

It got better after about 110 pages (but since I usually only give a book 100 pages- this would’ve been over on the other “started, not finished” list if not for having to read it for book group.

The topic is interested and I know little to nothing about the turn of the century or of Evelyn Nesbit. But the author used really big words in really long sentences, so it was not easy reading. Plus Nesbit’s life after the trial was given short shrift.

Can’t say I’d recommend it – but it should be an intersting discussion tonight.

September 12, 2008 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment


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I'm currently reading: Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand . . . Look for a review soon!

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