Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bull Fighter By Roddy Doyle

First of all, this isn't one novel, it is a collection of short stories. This made it easier for me to read. I read a few, took a break, and then got back to it. I usually read one per lunch break. I had to speed it up a little when I realised it was overdue and I'd renewed it as many times as I'm allowed.

The theme was the same (kind of) through all of the stories. Each one was a different story about a man. Usually an older man (50 plus, maybe). Most times they remembered their pasts, sometimes stayed in the present, and occasionally looked to the future.

They were good. I'm sure somebody male and in that age range would relate more than I did. Some stories were funny, some were morbid, and some (one in particular) were a bit disturbing.

I've read Roddy Doyle before. Once again, if I could read it with an Irish accent, all would be perfect in my world.

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

I've said this before, but I'm not sure if I've said it in any of my entries on this blog. I LOVED My Sister's Keeper. Unfortunately, I read it first, and haven't fallen in love with another Jodi Picoult book in quite the same way. She's a good writer, and chooses topics that are wonderful.

I guess I just had really high expectations for all the books after My Sister's Keeper, and found myself disappointed.

This book -House Rules -was great. It was about a family -a mother and brothers. One of the brothers has Aspergers. It's a popular subject, but I'm not sure if it's popular because people are just finding out more about it, or it's a subject matter people are just interested in. I'll admit I am quite interested in this syndrome. Especially about Aspergers. It seems like probably more people have Aspergers than we probably think.

Off subject, if anybody has a chance to watch Mozart and the Whale -do. It's about the same subject. Although, I'm not certain anybody reads this particular blog.

I enjoyed House Rules -although, I figured out what was going on quicker than I would have liked. It seemed obvious to me what the end would be. I actually wondered if I'd read it before.

Anyway, I'm back on the loving Jodi Picoult books.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Other Woman by Joy Fielding

Another Joy Fielding book; like I said, I went to the library and saw Joy Fielding books and Sandra Brown books. I couldn't resist either. Especially these ones because it feels like there are so many I haven't read.

This one didn't disappoint. It was frustrating at times because you could see this completely strong woman who was in a bad situation, and it really seemed like she was doing nothing to make it better. In other words, I was basically waiting for the end of the book. The part where she realises she has to take care of herself first.

I'm sure you can guess what this book was about by the title, but it's sometimes unclear who The Other Woman is referring to. The main character was married to a man that she has basically taken from another woman. She broke up a marriage and a family. After years of marriage, she meets a younger woman who wants the same thing -to break up her marriage. This seemed like only a tiny part of the plot, which is good because there was so much to the story. It does basically go with the theme of 'once a cheater, always a cheater.' I don't know if that's true, and frankly, hope I never have to be in that sort of situation to find out.


Mad River Road by Joy Fielding

I love books by Joy Fielding. Her books are definitely meant for females, and they are always about strong females. Sometimes the woman in her books don't realise how strong they are. I love that moment of clarity in the books.

That being said -I didn't really enjoy this one. It was darker than most. There were moments that would have been incredibly hard to write, and of course, she wrote them like a pro. I guess I was just waiting for the inspiration I get when I read her books, and I didn't get it. It isn't that it wasn't a great book, but I was expecting more. It left me feeling sad. Possibly because I wanted more. If I had seen the woman in this novel pick up the pieces of their lives and move on to bigger and better, I may have had a little more peace.

I'm not going to write the plot out. I obviously follow no sort of book review points when I write these. It depends what the book was, and then I decide what I want to write. Whether it be about the plot or the author, or about something I learned from the book.

One more book to write about today, and then I'm going to work on my own book.

White Hot by Sandra Brown

If anybody has read Sandra Brown, you already have an idea what this book is about. I have a soft spot for Sandra Brown because she was the first romance novel I read. To be perfectly honest, I probably  learned quite a bit about sex from her books (not from the health classes at school). Her earlier books were strictly romance and sex. Maybe that's one of the other reasons I enjoy reading her books. I've seen her go from romance to mystery. Maybe drama... I'm not sure what her books are considered. There's always a certain amount of mystery, romance, and intrigue. They're what I consider to be easy reads. That's not a put down of her writing. It's like when you put a movie in that you've watched a hundred times, you love the movie, you might know it by heart, and it's a nice break from reality.

This particular book was about a woman going back to her hometown after her brother dies. Going back after many years away. She, of course, needs to deal with the reasons she's been gone for so long. She has to solve the problems of the past to be able to move forward. I'm pretty sure I've read this book before, but it's been so long that I forgot key parts. Which is good because they surprised me.

I've gotten myself a library card -which is one of the reasons I've been reading my 'easy reads'. They're already in the library, and I already know I like them. I love the library.

Anyway, that's all. I'm behind: of course. So I have two more library books I've read and need to comment on.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

in a perfect world by Laura Kasischke

This novel took me A LONG TIME to get through. It's one of those books that I was enjoying, and I did want to finish it, but would put it down and go on to another book. I took a lot of breaks from it, and because of this I was actually pretty sad when it ended. I didn't give it the respect books deserve.

It wasn't at all what I thought it would be. It was kind of a different sort of world, I guess. It was this world, with the same famous people I know, but the world was being overtaken with the Phoenix Flu. Causing death and fear, first across America, and than the world.

It was about a woman taking care of her husband's children. She chose to quit her job, while he continued his as a pilot to take care of his kids. She ends up being the care giver while he travels, and rarely returns.

I liked it, which is why I feel bad for not just reading it. The author wrote a book that was made into a movie. I saw the movie, but will look into reading the book.

I just got a library card, so maybe I'll look her up the next time I'm there.

Summer and the City by Candice Bushnell

I haven't written a book post in a long time. I have two books to write about. There may have been more, but these are the two I remember. I need to write this more. Not really for anybody but me though. I should probably just keep a book journal, not a blog. The blog seemed easier at the time.

Either way. I recently read Summer and the City. It's the next book in The Carrie Diaries. I guess it's a series now. They're planning on also making it a TV series, which does seem pretty great. Only because I loved Sex and the City though.

Anyway, this one had some familiar names. Carrie was in New York for the summer before she went to school. She fell in love with the city. We also finally meet characters we know and love. Samantha and Miranda are both in it.

I liked it. I'll admit it. These books are lovely. They are easy reads, and they make me smile, and I enjoy reading books about writers. Even if this particular writer is made up. Even though I know where she will end up, it is fun watching how she got there. Also, she's younger and it's fun watching Carrie -and all of them, get into relationships when they are still young, and not yet jaded.

I'm looking forward to the next one.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

Someday I will read another wonderful piece of literature, but I took a break. All writing should be considered literature because it's all reading, but I know from my English classes during university that a book such as this, would not have been a part of the syllabus.

Now that I've got that out, I really enjoyed it. I've read two other books by Candace Bushnell, and while I liked them, I didn't enjoy them like I did this one. It was more of a story. Sex and The City was a collection of articles. This was a story about Carrie in high school. The only familiar character was Carrie. I always think about the television series, and that's what I compare to all books involving these characters. I know it's supposed to be the other way around, but really, the book did come after.

The book is basically about Carrie's journey to both New York City and to becoming a writer. This is going to sound terrible, but the last chapter was my favourite because she gets to New York, and calls a familiar character from Sex and the City.

I'll be honest, I read it a month ago, and once again didn't write as soon as I should have. Therefore, I can't quite remember all the details. I think I just liked the way Carrie's mind worked. The way she reacted to things seemed very human, and maybe a little like me. The Carrie's history in the book is different than her history in the TV series, but because it's completely different writers, I guess that's understandable. Also -everybody may not catch it, but I've seen every episode more than once.

Anyway, it was good. I'd probably read it again. (maybe because it makes me feel young to read books set in high school).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No Second Chance by Harlan Coben

I was excited to read this book because if you've seen the other blog entries, I'm a fan of Harlan Coben. I've already written about one other book, but have read a couple more.

I enjoyed this book. It was another twist and turn mystery novel that doesn't really explain anything until the very end. I might read a couple more books and than try it again. Things just didn't seem to fit in the same way they usually do in his novels. I can usually see things coming -or guess why something was done the way it was, and in this book, things just kind of happened. I thought I had things figured out, and I didn't. I guess that's good, but I wasn't happy with this one. I still enjoyed it, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the others.

It's about a man trying to find out why he and his wife were shot at and left to die, and where his child is now. His wife died, and he did not. He's left alone to figure out who he can trust, and if he will ever see his baby girl again. As I write the plot, I realise how unoriginal it feels.

I will be reading more by him, and if I read this one again, I'll write about it again.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Before I start writing about the book, I just wanted to point out that for some reason, I'm unable to use Italics in the Title of my blog entry.

I finished this book before the weekend, but haven't written about it yet. Now I have two books to write about because I finished another over the weekend.

I bought this book before I knew it was turned into a movie. It always takes a little of the greatness away when I find out it's being turned into a movie. I guess because if I read it when it's just a book, I get that special feeling of finding it, and knowing that I can spread the news that everybody should read it. If it's a movie, people won't find it as important to read the book. Some movies have been done well, but in most cases, the book is always better.

Now to the book. I loved it. The only thing that I had trouble with was the fact that it wasn't true. I've only had this happen a few times while reading, and it's usually when the book is about something that seems like it could be true. This book was about the division of black and white in Mississippi. It's about how the maids are treated by their white employers. It's a great book, and it makes you think about how hard it really was. I was shocked at some of the rules they had about how the white people were to treat the black people. (this part was true, as I read the message from the author at the back.)

Kathryn Stockett grew up with a black maid, and although it's not about her maid, I'm sure that was a lot of the motivation. She was probably partially raised by this woman, and as a child did not see the unfairness. She obviously sees it now, and was able to write about it eloquently. It's a book about a book basically, and I guess I just wished that the book in the novel was real.

I will be suggesting this book to anybody I can because it's one of those books you like to discuss. (Which is one of the reasons I started this book blog.)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Isabel's Daughter by Judi Hendricks

This book took me longer than it should have to sit down and read it. Every time I opened it, I enjoyed it, but always seemed to find something else to do. Today, after my night shift, I finally started reading it. It was an unfortunate time to not be able to put it down because I had to sleep. (especially because I have some time to read at work). I did end up putting it down because I knew I needed to sleep, and then as soon as I was awake and fed, I brought it back out and finished it before heading back to work.

I really enjoyed it. It's about Isabel's Daughter basically. Although, for most of her life she doesn't know who her mother is. It's about her search and her need to find out who her mother is. She grew up without a family and with the feeling that she was abandoned. Of course, the more she learns about her mother, the more she learns that she's found different kinds of family while she grew up.

I loved the ending. Through most of the book, the romantic in me was hoping for a certain ending, and it happened. Not in a predictable way though, just in the way it was meant to be. It wasn't a romance at all, don't get me wrong, but love in a book doesn't seem to be a bad thing in my opinion.

On to the next book... I have to quit buying them until I catch up to the ones I have in my house. Maybe I should be making a list on here with the books I'm planning to read. (there are MANY).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Caught by Harlan Coben

This was one of those books that I couldn't put down. It was an easy read, but still a great one. I think while I am trying to expand my reading, and give more time to the classics and literature, I also need to take the time to read books that are just as great. I love fiction, I always have. I haven't quite been able to get into science fiction, but maybe I'll add that to my 'must reads'.

Unfortunately, I didn't write this immediately after reading the book, so I can't share my very first impressions because I don't remember them. I've read one other book by Harlan Coben, and I really enjoyed it. I'll have to give it another read though because I can't remember the plot at all.

What I like about his books is the fact that he writes from all perspectives including female. Nicholas Sparks can write books that appeal mostly to woman, but Coben writes mystery novels from all perspectives, and I would assume that both men and women alike would appreciate his writing. I'll have to lend the book to my father (a fellow book lover), and to prove my theory.

I did lend this book immediately after I read it, to a coworker. I wanted to share it. I knew she reads mystery novels, so I offered her this one. She loved it as well, which I was happy to hear.

The book deals with so many different things. At the start, we see a sexual predator caught by a reporter, but don't know the whole story. Throughout the story, we meet new characters, and get new plot twists, and I spend the whole time trying to figure out what will happen next. I guess it's a bit like a movie in that way.

Either way, this book gets a thumbs up. Now, I have to get back to reading.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Invisible Thread by Maree Giles

This book was set in Australia during the 70s. That's pretty important information because what the main character went though, I couldn't even imagine. Also, although I really enjoyed the book, I probably would have loved it more if I could read it in an Australian accent.

It's about a girl who gets sent away to a prison of sorts for young girls. She gets sent away because she ran away from home. From the start, it seems like the whole world is against her, and it pretty much keeps on with that feeling. It is written from her point of view, and nobody else... wait. Strange, they do have on other person's thoughts in this book. I forgot, and now I'm looking at the book differently. For about five pages, they focus on somebody else, and her view of the 'bad girls'. Strange.

Either way, it didn't seem fair. Basically this girl was your average teenage girl. I guess in the 70s people were shocked that a 14 year old could have sex or do drugs, and tried hard to stop it. It seems like to much of a common occurrence these days, and sadly doesn't shock me at all.

Long story short, I liked the book, and couldn't put it down. I like the ones you can't put down. It's based on a true story. I'd love to read a sequel. I actually could go on and on about this book. If I was in University, I'd definitely choose to do an essay on it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell

Sometime because of my English degree, I feel like these kind of books, I should not admit I've read. Although I read a lot worse than that. I can admit it, I like the mystery/romance novels when I want a quick escape from reality.

 I love the TV series Sex and the City. I loved the friendship between the four women, and their struggle in life, romance and career. Judge me if you want.

The book, is not exactly like that. First off Candace is the one writing it, and while she's not the main character, I kept expecting all the 'I's' to be from Carrie, not Candace. Carrie is in it, but there are so many different characters in it. All the names are familiar, but I couldn't pinpoint who was who. There is an introduction at the beginning of the novel from Candace. She said this book was written in an unsentimental way. She's right, it was. I didn't feel the same connection to the characters as I do in the TV series.

The character of Carrie was not at all the Carrie I was used to. The relationship between her and Big ended in the book partially because of her. The show really makes it look like it is Big's commitment issues, but in the book, it's clear that Carrie is crazy. I was a bit sad while reading it because I had always compared myself a little bit to Carrie, and imagined the great friendship between the four women. In the book, I really couldn't imagine wanting to be friends with any one of them.

After all that, I did enjoy it. It wasn't a story, it was a collection of different stories about single women, and single men in New York. I've actually read a book by Candace Bushnell before. It's about a life I will never know, and frankly never need to know. I have one more book by her I plan to read, but it's a bit lower on the list. I have quite the list of books to read.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rescue by Anita Shreve

It took me a long time to read this one. I can tell how much I love a book by how quickly I read it. I did enjoy this one, but it was easy to put it down and forget about it.

I'm not sure that I've read anything else by Anita Shreve, but I have heard of her, and have always meant to read The Pilot's Wife.

She wrote this book from the point of view of a father. I always find it interesting when a woman writes from a man's perspective, or a man from a woman's perspective. I've tried it myself, and maybe should give it another go.

Either way she seemed to do a pretty good job. Although, I really can't say -I'm not a man, and don't know what or how they think about things. Would be nice to say we all think the same, but I don't think that's completely true. Everyone is different.

This book started close to the end, and then went to the beginning of the story, and back to the end. I'd say it actually skipped the middle. It's about a rookie fireman who falls in love with a woman who tries to love him back, but isn't quite ready to let go of her carefree life style. They have a daughter together, and she continues her carefree(ness) and also continues to drink. She ends up leaving the family, and years later we see him as a single parent raising his daughter alone. His daughter who is about to graduate high school.

Although a lot happened, it seems like so much was skipped at the same time. I felt bad for all of the characters. They all seemed lonely. I did enjoy the end. I was invested and wanted it to continue.

That's all I have for this one. Hopefully the next book I read will be quicker.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Here's what I have to say about this book: I absolutely loved it. Sometimes, in novels, although I enjoy them, I look forward to the ending. I look forward to them resolving things, and moving on.

In this one, I looked forward to them resolving things, but then wanted to continue to read it. I didn't want it to end at all. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it warmed my heart. This may sound silly, or over used, but I don't care.

My mom got it for me for Christmas, and picked very well because I had seen it before, but didn't buy it even though I wanted to. She did great!

Anyway, basically the story follows more than one interconnecting stories. I know it's been done before. Jodi Picoult does it in most of her novels. (I'm sure I'll reread My Sister's Keeper, and talk about that one as well). Either way, it's a method of writing I appreciate and enjoy reading.

This one followed two different families connected by a biological daughter to one of the families, and adopted to the other. They never actually met, but still had that very important connection.

Also, there was a character -the adoptive mother -that I didn't like at the start. I understood the way she acted, but still was frustrated with her. I think one of my favourite things about this book was watching her grow and learn as a person.

I don't want to say much more about it. Just know that I really enjoyed it. I love finding that rare great read. There are a LOT of wonderful books out there, but every once in a while I read one that I don't want to put down until it is finished. It's been a slow year for me because I haven't been putting as much effort into reading as I should, but this one and The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill are my favourites. They are the ones I did not want to put down. (Although I guess since it is January, then Secret Daughter wins so far.) Still a lot of time to find new favourites though.

Anyway, it's on my recommend list. I'm sure there will be lots, but I will be raving about this book for quite a while.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Drunkard -A Hard-Drinking Life by Neil Steinberg

I read a lot more fiction than I read non-fiction. It's not that I'm not interested in non-fiction, but it just seems like there are so many more fiction books around.

I like that fact that the first book I'm writing about is non-fiction. The true experience about a man's fight with alcoholism.

It's his story, and he did a great job at telling it. I'm not just speaking about the alcoholism aspect of it, but I'm impressed with his courage at portraying himself as a man who didn't believe he had a problem, and was constantly feeling that he was better than others. Possibly not better -but smarter. He may not have realised it until he heard other opinions of himself.

The actual fight to help his drinking problem started with the fight to finally admit that he has a drinking problem. I've been around a recovering alcoholic my whole life, but have never seen him take a drink. He has been sober for more than 25 years. Reading the book showed me a little of what he must have gone through.

All in all I enjoyed it, and would recommend it. At times, I found myself frustrated when he kept reverting back to his 'Drunkard' self, but it was probably a realistic portrayal -especially since it was his true story (or a portion of his story).


Thursday, January 6, 2011


I've always wanted to keep a book journal, and have in the past, but mostly off and on. In keeping with my New Year Resolutions, I'm going to do an entry for each book I read. I'm hoping this won't be 6 months between each book, and if it is, I haven't been reading as much as I should be.

I will be keeping up with my other blog as well, but this will be a nice break from reality.