Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fonduing Fathers by Julie Hyzy is the latest outing for the Head Chef at the White House.  And it is head and shoulders above the others in the series.  Less ridiculous in its plot line and more believable and readable.  This time, rather than searching for terrorist in the meatloaf Ollie is looking for some answers about her father and his death.  Check it out. But let me add that I did find the ending rushed and unsatisfying.  After a lot of talking, threats and counters, everything gets wrapped up under the general umbrella of 'national security'  'cannot tell anyone' and a sense of "what just happened."  I feel Ms. Hyzy did an otherwise good read a disservice.  Maybe she herself didn't know how to end it in a more finished manner or maybe she opted to save herself 5 -- 10 more pages of writing.  Anyway, decent book, better than previous ones but really 'national security concerns' coming out of a food supplement corporation?  Nice scenes with the 'First Son' and Sergeant.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My do's and don'ts

Just like a boyfriend/girlfriend/soulmate/BFF or other relationship don't let anyone else tell what's right for you as far as a good book. Despite the title of my blog I AM NOT trying to tell anyone what a good book is.  Everyone has to figure that out for themselves.  Your taste may run to blood and gore, light chick lit, westerns, Harlequins, how-tos, spiritual offerings or simply the latest magazine or newspaper.  As I used to tell my children, I don't care what you read....just read.  The advent of e-books and portable e-readers in the past few years have made it easier and easier to always have a good book to read and many of the more popular e-readers have a lot of free classics to download and they all have a rotating list of free or very cheap books that are not Jane Eyre or Jane Austin.  Lots of authors out there are trying to build up their readership by allowing e-sellers to offer the first in a series to be offered free or priced below $3.00, figuring (rightly so) that once a reader reads a good book he or she will return to purchase everything else possible by that author. 

So start might just discover you like it and unlike so many other habits you could pick up, reading is good for you!

Good book/ok movie; so-so book/great movie

I did something this morning I have never done before in my you probably know Angels and Demons premiered at midnight Thursday night/Friday morning. While I didn't feel like staying up till afte three in the morning for the premiere I did want to see the movie and didn't particularly want to fight the Friday night 'date night' crowd or sit in a theatre filled with teenagers trying to act cool.  I ended up seeing the movie in the theater 3 times (taking a different person as my plus one each time).  And I got more out of it each time I watched and each person going along with me enjoyed it as well.

2 book recommendations

The first one is by a new author (new to me anyway and she didn't list any other books published in the foreward).....Katherine Howe "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane". Action in this jumps from the times of the Salem Witch Trials and 1991 Harvard Yard, Marblehead and Salem, Massachusetts. Unknown to Connie (Constance) Goodwin she is a direct of Deliverance Dane, a previously unknown victim of the mass hysteria of the witch trials. She is asked by her mother (Grace) to clean out her grandmother Sophia's overrun home in Marblehead. Connie is also working to find original source material for her PhD, as she has also just passed her oral exams at Harvard and has been admitted to candidacy. As she searches for clues to the physick book which she hopes will provide the original material she requires, Connie uncovers the links which bind her to the tiny cottage in Marblehead, the power (or will or intention) which ties her to a long line of strong New England women, dating back to Deliverance.

My second recommendation is Dark Horse by Craig Johnson. The book is, I believe, the fourth or fifth in the Walt Longmire series. If you want to read a book which not only is a thinking mystery, an insight into the mind of a true lawman and describes the aching physical beauty and majesty of the West, read this one. Longmire is by turns comical, deadly, intelligent, and blindly loyal. Do yourself a favor, read the entire series, you will find it worth your time.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The new Abby and Ophelia Seventh Witch

While a bit tedious at times, this series has managed to stay fresh-light (not too much overkill on the who and what of the setting and characterizations) and more effort spent on advancing the current story. Well that's starting to change a bit in this latest offering. Abby and Ophelia have moved location (sometimes not a good idea) and are visiting their family of southern mountain witches...okay that could be good but instead of a story there are merely hints of something bad to come, a rival family of bad witches, some generations old hidden witch problems. Everyone seems to know a part of the story, noone wants to tell all of instead of a book we have bits and pieces of what should be a good story combined with hints and is turning into just an exercise in reading frustration. I hope this isn't the end of what has been a strong B+ series.

Avenging Angels by Mary Stanton

This is the third in the Beaufort and Company series. The first one I picked up on a whim---I thought it looked off-beat enough to be interesting and it was. The second also was pretty good but this third offering is a mess. I kept picking it up, reading a few chapters and deciding I had better things to do. Not that it's bad, just that there doesn't seem to be much of a story-line. I don't like books where the author feels the need to set the stage for the characters in each book (hey if the reader can't follow the story, here's a thought, buy or borrow the original book)

I was nearly 2/3 of the way through Avenging Angels before the real 'mystery' came to light. And I really think that if this author doesn't get busy and resolve or at least reveal some of the backstory, a lot of readers, me included, will stop reading. I understand not wanting to reveal EVERYTHING, particularly in a series like this, largely based on mystery, paranormal, and just plain weird, but in this series, each book piles more and more and more on until the reader has difficulty determining what is plot, what is setting and what is really the point. When reading becomes floundering, it becomes not fun. And when reading is not fun, then I stop reading (after all this isn't school!)

Any Trixie Belden fans out there?

I'm snowed in, restricted in activity and bored out of my mind so I thought I'd go looking for some Trixie Beldens to complete my collection. One of the later (and probably not better) titles is currently listed on one of the major book sites for $600.00 I nearly fell out of bed. That much money would have bought every book in the collection, in hardback, and probably a weekend with the author!

Oh well, I will keep looking. I have most of the first 38 or 39--the ones that were in print when I was really reading and enjoying them. Now I just want the rest to say that I have ALL OF THEM.