My Own Little Book Corner

Sunday, June 3, 2007

May Book Reviews

Time for the monthly reviews. I'm really trying to shorten them up, so here goes -

First I read the novel that the movie "Simon Birch" was based on - John Irving's "A Prayer for Owen Meany". I didn't see the movie - but enjoyed the book. It is a good story of friendship, faith and politics. I like how Irving fits it all together. Owen Meany is the type character that I would have liked to know. He may have been short in stature, but he was a big person in many other ways - unselfish, kind, loving. The story has it's funny moments and it's serious times. I give it 5 stars.

The next book I read was "S is for Silence". In this book Kinsey becomes involved in a search for a missing mom. The catch is that the mom has been missing for years. Foul play is suspected, but then again with the lifestyle the mom had, she may have just ran away. Leave it to Kinsey to solve it. Another good one from Sue Grafton - 4 stars.

"Jewel" by Bret Lott was my disappointment for the month. I really expected more from this story about a mother's determination to raise her mentally retarded daughter in the 1940's. The mother takes things into her own hands and her whole life becomes this daughter. She often "wrestles" with God. The concept for the book drew me in, but the characters didn't. I just never felt connected to them and I really wanted to. My first 2 star book this year.

I went from that to "How to Be Lost" by Amanda Eyre Ward. This is a quick, easy read - perfect for summer. This story is about a 5 year old girl who disappears one day. The search for her yielded nothing. Flash forward several years and the mom thinks she has seen her daughters picture in a "People" magazine. One sister refuses to be open to the idea, but the other sister goes in search for her. This is an interesting story and before it is over you will discover that there is more than one person who has been lost all those years. After the 2 star book, I'm happy that this one was a 5 star read.

Next I read "Dead Watch" by John Sandford. I enjoy his writing style, though not always his topics. This one was good on both levels. An ex-senator turns up missing and Jacob Winter is called in to help figure out what is going on. A story of politics, love, danger. Well written and not as gruesome as his Prey books. I would say not one of his best, but still ranks up there enough to be a 5 star.

"The Small Rain" by Madeleine L'Engle is a story of family. The main character is Katerine Forrester, the daughter of 2 musicians. This takes her through her lonely childhood and into early adulthood. One review called it a "quietly well-told story" and I have to agree. It was first published in 1945 and it has that feel about it. I enjoyed it - 5 stars

From there I went to "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time" by Mark Haddon. This is told by an autistic boy – Christopher. It begins when he discovers their neighbor’s dog has been murdered. He decides to solve the murder. There are a lot of digressions through the story and of course the story is about much more than a dead dog. Interesting look into the mind of an autistic individual – yet humor abounds too. 4 stars

"The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger next up. I enjoyed this book. I’ve seen the movie and know there are differences – of course the book is better. Fairly clean – interesting story about a girl and how she is transformed working for the devil that wears Prada. She must decide if a year of her life and the sacrifices involved are worth her reaching her goal to work for “The New Yorker.” By the end of the book, I felt like “Andy” was a friend of mine. 5 stars

"Two Little Girls in Blue" by Mary Higgins Clark is the story of twin girls that were kidnapped for ransom. As the story unfolds, several possible suspects emerge – some innocent, some not so innocent. The story also involves twins and their connection to each other – even talking without words. Interesting story. 4 stars

"Bobby Rex's Greatest Hits by Marianne Gingher is a book I bought at the LSU Press sale. It is the story of Pally Thompson - a Southern girl who finds herself the subject of hometown boy gone big time, Bobby Rex's greatest hit. Everybody suspects that the things in the song really happened, but Pally knows the truth and in this book, she tells it. A good summer read. 5 stars

I'm probably one of the last people on earth to read "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom. This book is an easy read that makes you think about life. In fact, I find it is more a story about life than death - what impact we each have and how our story is more than just ours. I didn't find it to be as great as the hype, but a good read none the less. 4 stars

I finally finished "Having a Mary Spirit" by Joanna Weaver. In this book Mrs. Weaver steps on some more of my toes - especially when she talks about Flesh Woman. It's always a good thing for me to read a book that makes me think about my life and what kind of spirit I have. 5 stars.