Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Great Deliverance

"The Inspector Lynley Novels, who wrote them again, oh, Elizabeth George, read those, those are good." That's what one of my colleagues told me as we were discussing books. My crazy form of OCD always wants to start these series from the beginning, even though it isn't always necessary. "A Great Deliverance", released in 1988, was the first of the Inspector Lynley novels and that is where I started in my discovery of Elizabeth George.

As I jumped into this novel, the first thing I had to adjust to was the British sensibility and back drop. While George is an American, born and bred, the Cast and locale of her story in in Great Britain and while I am not a stranger to these sensibilities, it's not a common thing for me and it takes some adjusting.

This book took me a long time to read, and while I adjusted at some point to the mindset, I never really rallied for any of the characters until the very end of the book. While the end was quite intense, overall, I was left with something missing and still have an uncertainty that lingers.

Since starting the book, two more people I know have raved about their love for Elizabeth George including one, an avid reader, English major and library buff, referring to George as her favorite writer. This all encouraged me to hang in there and forge ahead, and despite finishing this book with no real sense of how I feel about George as a writer, will at least get me to read another of her books.

After all I've already said, I can't clearly say that I liked this book but I am not certain I can in good conscience say that I didn't like it. I know, I am no help at all, right? Should you give it a whirl? That's going to be your decision - somewhere down the road, I will grab another of her books and try again.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

It's been awhile since I read a novel from start to finish. Actually, that's a lie. The problem is, now that I've sort of switched to e-books (don't kill me), I kind of forget which books I read or that I read books at all. I guess the physical act of turning every page from one to finish really does have more of a lasting impression. Anyway, I see that my friend, Chris, has basically been carrying this blog for a long, LONG time, so I figured it's time I threw in my *cough* yearly *cough* submission.

For awhile now, I've heard of this book. Apparently it's all the rage with preteens and teens alike. I actually really like young adult literature. It's a not so well-kept secret that I would love to write a book for that age range one day. So I try to read what my students are reading so that I can kind of keep up with the whole "cool teacher" vibe. It's nice to have a discussion with my students that doesn't involve math equations or the "why aren't you doing your homework" tone.

So, enter Divergent. According to the youngin's who have recommended it, it was "better than The Hunger Games." Hmmm. This I've gotta see.

It took me awhile to read this. A lot of stop and go, but I was determined (and, quite honestly, forced) to finish it.

Well, it's definitely in the same realm as Hunger Games. I don't know if I would say it's better or worse. Just different. It's got the same idea in the sense that it's in the future and the city is divided up into factions where you are born into and then chosen for one (based on strengths) when you turn 16. You could either choose to stay in the faction you already occupy, or you could change it all together whereby you essentially disown your family and vice versa.

Of course, with every sci-fi(ish) novel, there has to be turmoil and corruption somewhere along the lines for it to work. Well, one of the factions (not telling which one -- okay, I can't remember which one) is plotting to basically pull a Hitler on another faction until the heroin of the book, Beatrice "Tris", saves what could've been a bigger disaster than one that already played out (and took the lives of both her parents).

Tris is divergent which means she doesn't really belong to one faction, but has the quality of many. Apparently, this is a very dangerous thing to be and could get her killed if people (the wrong people) find out about it. Book one of the series (there are three) ends in a way that would obviously lead to book two, so no resolution is in sight.

If you like young adult novels and you like sci-fi and you like The Hunger Games, then chances are you'll like this book. I haven't watched the movie yet, but will probably catch it when it comes out on DVD.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The 8th Confession

The eighth installment of "The Women's Murder Club" series (which as of this writing is now on book 13), did it's job for me - it provided a quick read, with familiar, yet interesting characters, had a story that held my interest, and served as a nice pallet cleanser for a few deeper reads of late.

I am pretty certain that in a review of an earlier book from this series I professed my crush on main character "Lindsay Boxer", I may even have mentioned the briefly lived TV series based on this group of characters and stories. It had been a long time since I read #7 so I guess partly that length of time along with the timing, added to my enjoyment of this book.

At it's core, you have a murder mystery, there's, as their often times is, a b-story, in this case, another murder mystery. Add the lives of the 4 main female characters, and the back drop of San Francisco - and there you have it.

I've had my issue with Patterson of late, in the grand scheme of things, I've read about half of his work - 50 something books thus far and in some instances, the stories seem boiler plate and diluted. This book held my interest and was not a waste of time.

I just read everything I wrote here a realize two things, it's a bit disjointed and more of me convincing you that this book wasn't bad rather than say how good it was and I guess that's just where I am with Patterson. There are some really great books of his that I've read, a few that really were a waste of time - this was a good one; somewhere above the middle of that spectrum.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mortal Fear by Greg Iles

As I closed the book after finishing it yesterday, I began to simply stare at it and repeatedly kept saying, "WOW!" My daughter was intrigued enough to inquire, so I chatted with her about how great this book is.

Folks, I've read a good number of books, certainly enough to know be able to say that writers like Greg Iles are very few and far between. Not taking anything away from some of the greats that we all know and love butthis guy really is something special, this is the second book of this that I read and both just blew me away.

You can read the synopsis out there on any of the book sites if you want to know more about the story, which is wonderful! I can tell you that because this book was written in the late 90's, there are a number of dated references, but that does no detract in any way form the character development, the imagery or the story line and incredible pace.

Folks, this is as good a book as I have ever read. I wish I was able to find a large print version to ease the middle aged eyes but every squint was worth it. WOW!!!