My Own Little Book Corner

Sunday, September 11, 2016

2016 Book Reviews - August

After a 2 year hiatus, I think I will try doing short reviews of books again. I find even if nobody else reads it, it helps me to go back and see my impression of a book to then decide what to read in the future. August 2016 was not one of my better months in reading both in number of books and enjoyment. I would say for the most part, the books I read were ok, but none stood out. So here goes -
Freeman by Leonard Pitts
This is a good story that will make you think.   It weaves the tale of people from different areas of life and the country after the abolishment of slavery.  We are introduced to those who have lived the life in slavery and those who have not, but sympathize with those who have.   We see idealist, realist and those who have no hope.  The stories are compelling. The reason I did not rate this book higher is that the entire time I was reading it, I read it as a TV script.   This is not Mr. Pitt's fault, it was just in my head that way.   Since it was, the story did not affect me the same way as if I had pictured real people instead of actors.

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickman
So I went from a serious book to a fun, easy reader.   Barnes and Nobles describes this as "Big Fish" meets "The Notebook."   It is more "Big Fish" than "The Notebook" though.   This is the story of Elise and Homer and their trip to Florida to take Albert the alligator back to where he can be released in the wild.  Albert was a wedding gift from Buddy Ebsen - yes THE Buddy Ebsen.  Albert and Homer were no longer able to co-exist so the journey began.  The journey begins in 1935 - no maps or well marked roads and a couple with not much money.   There are many adventures along the way and ups and downs with Elisa and Homer's relationship.  This is a fun book written by Elise and Homer's son.  Told by a storyteller who comes from storyteller parents.  My favorite of the month.

Frank Lloyd Wright:A Biography by Meryle Secrest
I appreciate the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.   I understand that FLW was not a nice person and I would not want to be his friend.   Knowing that I thought a biography would be interesting as I expected a few insights into his buildings and how it all fit together in his life.   All I can say about this book is UGH!  Dry reading and a lot of information that I really didn't read - just scanned.  Not what I wanted or expected.

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
This is a book that I have picked up several times and thought about reading, but never did until this month.   This is not an easy read and has some pretty brutal scenes.   At the same time it has some very touching scenes of family - and I'm not talking DNA family.   The issue I had with this book is that I knew where it was headed.   There was really no suspense.   And knowing that it wasn't necessarily going to be a happy story, I sometimes dreaded picking it up to read.   If the plot had been a little less predictable, I would have really liked this book.   I can't decide if I am going to read the sequel or not.

Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
This was a disappointing book.   I had read and enjoyed "The Cuckoo's Calling" and was looking forward to another Comoran Strike novel.   This one seemed disjointed and wandering.  It did take some turns and while I wouldn't say it was easy to solve as far as motive, it had no surprises in the end.

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
Another book that I had wanted to read for a while, but this one was a disappointment.   The story is about a woman who is kidnapped and held against her will.  It was a well planned out situation that seemed to have no way out.   She finds a way out and the story is in the form of her visits to a therapist.   I could buy into the story even though at times it was a little stretch.   But the plot took a turn that just seemed beyond ridiculous to me and it totally lost me.   I wasn't a big fan of the writing style either.

Here's to September being a better month!