Debh2010's Blog

Books and Knitting – go figure

Charlie St. Cloud, et al…. Catching up. What can I say?

Sorry I’m so behind, but at least I’m going to keep on with the blogging part of my New Year’s Resolution.  This is going to be a bunch though, since I’ve been reading like a crazy person the past two weeks.  I got a lovely share box from Kim in Florida, and a very nice armful of borrows from a new friend, Jessica.   Thanks to both ladies!  This is going to be a quick and dirty kind of list with just a title and a few words, if that, and my rating.  If you want to know more about a specific title, please let me know and I’ll be glad to share.  I will, I promise.

First up:  Plum Spooky, Plum Lovin’, and Plum Lucky, by Janet Evanovich.  These are the “between-the-numbers” stories, and they’re lots of fun.  *** each and well worth reading if you haven’t.  Just light and summery.

McKettricks of Texas:  Austin, by Linda Lael Miller.  This is the last in the series about three Texas brothers and their romantic lives.  It’s been a very entertaining series, and Ms. Miller remains one of my favorite authors.  ***1/2 stars for the series.

How to Deal, by Sarah Dessen, which is really not the title of any book that she’s written, but rather the title of the movie that was inspired by two of her novels, Someone Like You and That Summer.  Ms. Dessen seems to get her finger on the pulse of young people, and she seldom fails to strike a chord for me.  This book houses both of the named novels.  If you’re new to Sarah Dessen and you enjoy stories about friendship, this would be a good place to start.   **** four stars.  Yep.

The Cotton Queen, by Pamela Morsi.  This is a new author for me, and I thank Kim for the introduction.  This is a very good story about the differences between and the love that binds a mother and her daughter.  Most excellent storytelling.  I was impressed.  I will have to look for more by Ms. Morsi.  ***3/4 stars.  Well, worth the read.

Pay it Forward, by Catherine Ryan Hyde.  The movie for this book was excellent, right up to the last five minutes when it all fell apart.  I’m not sure why I never thought to look for the novel before, but when I saw it on the shelf at a used place, I took it down with anticipation.  I just knew that it couldn’t have played out quite that way in the novel.  I was right.  The book is much better, though the movie was excellent in its own right.  If you have only seen the movie, I strongly recommend finding a copy of the book and having a go at it.  It’s good, if a bit different from the movie.  Very good.  **** Four stars.  I don’t go handing those babies out lightly, you know.  Ms. Hyde did herself proud with this story.

Charlie St. Cloud, by Ben Sherwood, originally published as The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud.  Of course I was inspired to read this book due to the television commercials about the movie.  I’m always more inclined to buy a book than sit in a theatre.  Now, having read the book, I’m thinking I might have to go get offered the senior discount that always honks me off.  I might.  I will certainly watch it on cable.  Here’s the thing:  The commercials are only giving a smell of what the story’s about.  If they do the novel justice, and I think they do according to the author’s notes at the end, the commercials are not going to do much more than drum up support from the Zac Efron fans.  I am very pleased that they cast him as Charlie St. Cloud, and I can see with no difficulty how well he’d be able to bring that character to life.  My reaction to the novel was:  It’s not what I thought it would be about.  Actually, not at all, but I liked what I found way more than what I anticipated.  Very, very good book.  Glad they’ve made a movie about it.  **** Four stars.  I’ve been a very lucky gal lately.

Welcome to the World Baby Girl, by Fannie Flagg.  For those of you not familiar with Fannie Flagg, you might want to consider nudging up next to her from time to time.  She’s great.  Most folks have read Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, if they’ve read her at all.  Every time I find something she’s written, I get it.  She’s funny, folksy, down-home and irresistable to me.  Elmwood Springs seems like a great place to live.  Read this one.  Seriously.  **** Four Stars.  Didn’t I say I’d been on a roll?  Very lucky lately.

Third Degree, by Greg Iles.  Whoa.  Good novel.  This guy has got a twisted streak, but I like him.  This story was fast-paced, suspenseful and freakishly good about keeping the reader from anticipating what was coming next.  Very nicely put together.  Thanks to Kim for introducing this guy’s work to me (not with this one, but before).  ***1/2 stars.  He’ll get to four star range – he’s that kind of writer.

Love You Hate You Miss You, by Elizabeth Scott.  This was a tough book to read in more than one spot, but it leaves you on an up note.  I’m thinking it might have been a tough book to write, but she’s done a good job.  Angst can sometimes get boring to read and to write, but Ms. Scott’s kept the pace up and doesn’t let you get mired in the mess.  Good story, good book.  *** Three solid stars.

You ever read a series and wish it would go on and on until the author dies or you get sick of it?  Well, don’t do that, since I’ve done both, and it never comes out good, but Nora Roberts is a master at putting together characters that I consistently want MORE of.  So it is with the In The Garden Trilogy:  Blue Dahlia, Black Rose and Red Lily.  OMG.  For romance, she’s one of my favorites, but when you add in her love for the slightly weird, she just leaps way up the stack.  This novel is about the Harper family:  old Memphis money, plenty of tragedy and scandal, but mostly strong men and women doing the best they can to make their way in the world.  LOTS of great information about flowers in this series.  Ms. Roberts is super at research.  Absolutely super.  ***1/2 stars.  Very nice.  Thanks for sharing them, Jessica.

So that’s been my couple of weeks in books – hope yours has been similar.  READ, READ, READ!!!  It’s good for you, and it’s an instant vacation.

Happy Reading Everybody!

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August 22, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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