Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Books, Reading and mce

After Christmas, during late December and January, mce got sick. Very, very sick. And was put to bed for a week. In a unique convergence of the universe, mce was also, first on this list for some books at library. I reserve books at the local library, from the different book reviews in the newspapers. So, here it is. The reviews that you have all been waiting for. My own personal opinion of some new and different BOOKS !!

Grading system:

A = Get this book and read it NOW. The philosophy stays with you. There are things to remember and use in your life. A book worth buying. A unique story.

B = Read it. A solid book and enjoyable.

C = I am not sorry that I read it. But won’t read it over

D = It passed the time away. Better than watching television. Will not remember anything about the book and/or characters.

F = A total waste of time, energy and effort. Don’t admit that you read it. If you have to read it, skim it instead. People will wonder about your judgment.

1. Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom. Beautiful book. Loved the message and the story. I enjoyed the different philosophy of the author. Mr. Albom has such a depth of experience in his writing and telling of this story. It was wonderful. A+

2. Ford County by John Grisham. A great surprise. I just love John Grisham and my favorites are the non-lawyer, non-witness protection books. This was a group of stories, from a county in the south. They were all interesting. Quirky, yet brilliant. Great snapshots of life in a small town. A

3. True Blue by David Baldacci. I reserve all the books that Baldacci writes. He in on my (current) authors list. Always good, always an ending and engaging to read. He doesn’t talk down to the readers or try to hard. Just good, solid writing. B

4. Rainwater by Sandra Brown. I have never read a book by this author before. When I went to the library, there were several express books in the new fiction and this was one. So, of course, I picked it up and had to read it quickly. I enjoyed it. Good story, appealing characters, and interesting twists and turns. An old-fashioned love story. B

5. 9 Dragons by Michael Connelly. Loved the characters and the continuation of the story. But we need another book, very quickly, or it needed some more chapters. It did have a good ending, but not personally satisfying to mce. I just wanted a little more, and things to turn out differently. But since I did not write it and could not discuss the way the book should go, I guess I will have to let it go !!!!! C+, with much trepidation. Should have been a B.

6. U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton. I am getting worried about my dear Kinsey. We are on U. There is only V, W, X, Y and Z left. Will we wrap it all up? Will everything work out? What will we do? The fist books, A, B, C, and D were so different than the rest. I have enjoyed every single one. And I never figured out this title!! I know that the undertow is with the ocean and California does have the ocean (for now, we, in the Zone, are just waiting for that giant earthquake to make Yuma the new San Diego!!) But really, what was the point of the title?? Enquiring minds would like to know?!?! Grade is an A for Sue Grafton.

7. Intervention by Robin Cook. Another medical thriller. Always different twist and turns. I didn’t guess the ending in the first 10 pages. But after reading this book, I will NEVER see a chiropractor, ever. Grade B

8. Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. I did a whole blog on Suzanne Collins book series, Gregor the Overlander. These 2 books are good, but are they better than the Gregor books?? They are very popular young adult books and I did enjoy them, (even not being a young adult.) The third book is due out soon. If I had known, would have waited to read the first two, until the third was written and published. An intriguing idea. Grade B-

9. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. Remember that I reserved all the New York Times best-sellers every Sunday. This book could have been published by Harlequin. Very formula driven. I also reserved some other books by him, when I reserved this one. The whole book could be written in one small paragraph. That is what they want to make movies or television shows to do the sales pitch. To read, not so much. The character were very one dimensional. I have a hard time with books written just to make money. This was a very easy one day read. No thinking necessary. Grade D

10. Pirate Latititueds by Michael Crichton. His last book. Found the manuscript after his death and then published. Better to not. He should be remembered for Time Line and Jurassic Park. This was just not a polished or finished work. Based on a true story. Grade C- (and that is generous)

11. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen. A reflection on her live by Rhoda Janzen. It was very interesting. I enjoyed learning about the Mennonite culture and the way it has evolved in America. I liked this from beginning to the end. You could become very involved in the story. The writing was engaging. Grade A

12. The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans. (see notes about #9?!?!) I had never read another book by Richard Paul Evans before. This was an express reader, when I went and picked up all the other books. And it was little, and it had Christmas in the title, and I picked it up. A very easy read. The ending could have been more involved and much more information given. But is was fun and in the season. I did enjoy it. And I liked the story. Grade C

13. Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler. I saved this for the very last. Anne Tyler is on my Top Ten list of authors and favorite books. And just all-around one of my favorites of all time. When we went back east, I needed to go by Baltimore, Maryland, for Anne Tyler. I buy her books, when they go cheaper after the first run. This was my treat to read; I was first on the list at the library and got the first copy. It smelled wonderful. It had a nice cover. I waited to read it, until I felt better. I looked at this book standing in my little bed book-case, every day. And finally it moved into first place on the shelf. (Side note **** I have a system for not having library fines. I put the books in order of being checked out, and read them in order, except the express 1-week books, that move to the front of the line****) And now for the actual review. This was not the best Anne Tyler book. In fact, it could tie for the worst. I did not like it at all. We have met the protagonist before. The epiphany moment was forced. Very poor ending and the whole story line was just bad. And I was so excited for this book to be published. So I sent the dear husband to the library to get me another Anne Tyler book (that I didn’t own) and he came back with “Digging to America.” I re-read it. And remembered why I love Anne Tyler. Let’s just hope that her next book is back to her usually excellent standards. Grade D !!

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