My Own Little Book Corner

Thursday, October 4, 2007

October Reviews

The Collectors by David Baldacci
4 stars


I like Baldacci's books. I find them interesting but they are not the kind of books that make me sit on the edge of my seat. This book has the Camel Club in the midst of murder and intrigue. Mr. Baldacci takes two different plot lines that end up melded together. An interesting book that is left open for a sequel.


4 stars


A true story of a daughter's drug addiction and recovery. This is told by both the mother and the daughter. It is a depressing and an encouraging story at the same time. Depressing to see how far Mia, the daughter, fell and encouraging to see the love of her mother, Claire, to help her at all costs to overcome. It took a little tough love from Claire but mainly it was the love that Mia had already had from Claire that helped her decide that being clean was something she desired and was ready to work for. A good look into the mind of one addict and how one family dealt with it.


Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson
5 stars


After a "heavy" book I wanted a little levity and I got it from this book. Ms Jackson can tell a story in a way that I can see in my mind. At the end of her books I feel as if I know the characters and as flawed as they are, I like them all. I look forward to reading more of Ms Jackson's books.


Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley
4 stars


I'm not much of a history book reader, but I do enjoy a few "memoir" type history books from time to time. This is one that I felt compelled to read since it has been hailed as such a good book. I learned a lot about the battle of Iwo Jima. I had no idea how long it lasted or how brutal it was. I liked having the human side to those who went into battle. A well written book about a time in our history that must not be forgotten.


Crooked Little Heart by Anne Lamott
3 stars


I don't know why I didn't really like this book that much. For some reason I just didn't care for Ms Lamott's writing style. I can't tell you why, I just don't. However, this book does have some interesting characters. There are a lot of moral stories in this short book and I really wanted to like it, but felt like I was drudging through it.


Oh My Stars by Lorna Landvik
5 stars


I enjoyed this book. It is one woman's life story. Violet is able to come from the depths of despair and discover the goodness of people and life. It's not an easy journey, but it is an interesting one and an encouraging one. I like how Ms Landvik spans the years and how it is a combination of Violet telling the story and a narrative. This is another book filled with people I wish I knew - and think that maybe some of them I do. Worth the read!


The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Burke
4 stars


I like James Burke's books about Dave Robicheaux. I know part of the reason I do is because of the setting. This story takes place during and immediately following Katrina. While that set the stage for the story, it is more of a background than I thought it would be. This was not a real suspenseful book, but it told an interesting tale of events that started before Katrina and the coincidences that kept people connected and torn apart. None of it in a good way. Once again, Burke kept my interest to the end.


5 stars


I really enjoyed this book. It is told by Dawn - a woman whose instincts aren't as bad as her sister, the Life Coach Halley, but aren't anywhere near great either. There comes a day that everything changed when Dawn first hears her dog, Chuck, talking to her, and then all the dogs at the Doggy Depot where she works. Chuck tries to become her instinct meter and when Dawn listens to him, there are mixed results. This is a fun story that is easy to read, and odd enough, believable.


Sherlock in Love by Sena Jeter Naslund
3 stars


I was disappointed in this book. This is the third book by Ms Naslund that I have read. Four Spirits is one of my favorites of the year. I was interested in this book because I had read Ahabs Wife and really enjoyed it too. I hadn't read Moby Dick but was still drawn into the story and thought the same would happen with this book. I just did not get drawn into this story though. I figured a lot of it out in advance and was disappointed. But not so disappointed that I won't read any more of Ms Naslund's books. I'm just going to chalk this one up as if I had liked Sherlock mysteries, I would have enjoyed this book.


Windchill Summer by Norris Church Mailer
5 stars


This book caught my eye on Paperback Swap. I think I read about it on a discussion forum. It had good reviews and since it was set in Arkansas, I decided I needed to check it out. I started reading and immediately knew all the places mentioned in the book - even though the names were fictional. I did some research on the author and found that she was actually raised about 20 miles from my home town. She went to Arkansas Tech which is the same college that Jack and I (and Bekah for 1 year) attended. She was actually an art teacher at Jack's High School, but he doesn't remember her. She is now married to Norman Mailer - has been for over 25 years. She wrote of Nehi Mountain a.k.a. Mount Nebo, the lake (Lake Dardanelle) and even the town I grew up in. That was all a little of a distraction to me. However through it all I found myself soon drawn in to the story. The setting is 1969 and while Arkansas is the main place, Viet Nam is a pervalent part of the story. The story has many layers as do the people in it. In fact the summer job that 2 of the main characters - Cherry and Baby - have is peeling onions at the pickle plant. Before the story was over I thought about how the story was much like peeling an onion - one layer would fall away to reveal another. It is a story of small towns, religion, war, family and much more. I'm glad I stumbled across it.

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