Debh2010's Blog

Books and Knitting – go figure

Forrest Gump (OMG)

When Eric Roth went up the stairs to pick up his Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, I’ll bet he was wondering how many of us would figure out that it should have been for Best Writing Screenplay Based on a Vague Idea I had While Flipping Through the Book and Finally Reading the End Flaps, then Reading Enough of It to Know that I’d Have to Make Most of the Story Up from Scratch.  Holy cow.

Well, to tell you the truth, I think that without Eric Roth, Forrest Gump would have never made it to the silver screen.  Not that the book doesn’t have merit, it does.  It’s just not good enough on its own, and I was very disappointed.

Forrest Gump, by Winston Groom.  Here’s the back of the book:  “Bein a idiot is no box of chocolates,” but “at least I ain’t led no hum-drum life,” says Forrest Gump, the lovable, surprisingly savvy hero of this wonderful comic novel.  When the University of Alabama’s football team drafts Forrest and makes him a star, that’s only the beginning!  He flunks out–and goes on to be a Vietnam war hero, a world-class ping-pong player, a wrestler, and a business tycoon.  He compares battle scars with Lyndon Johnson, discovers the truth about Richard Nixon, and suffers the ups and downs of true love.  Now, Forrest Gump is telling all–in a madcap, screwball romp through three decades of the American landscape.  It’s Gump’s amazing travels…and you’ve got to read them to believe them.”

Sigh.  This is a ** star book, and I feel I’m being generous. 

Maybe I’ve had it wrong all along.  I wasn’t supposed to grow up and be a writer.  Maybe I was supposed grow up, find ** books and re-write them into something a decent movie could be made from.  Hmmm…..

Happy Reading, Everybody.  Just skip this one.  Do not sully your Forrest Gump experience by actually reading the book.  Not worth it.

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November 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Big List

Hello, and welcome to me trying to get it caught up for the run to the end of the year.  I’m about to start a little bit of a series of books which have been made into movies, and I want to clear up the giant stack I’ve got to the side of my monitor before I go there.  As usual when I’m this behind, I’ll be brief.  If you want any more information about a particular book, just let me know.

In no particular order, other than top of the stack to the bottom:

O’Hurley’s Return, by Nora Roberts and O’Hurley Born, by Nora Roberts which I read out of order, which did not make me enjoy them less.  Good stories about people who were born into a show business family and how they make their own marks along the way.  Very enjoyable reads.  This series is finished, so the rating is the final: ***1/2

The Brave, by Nicholas Evans.  You know, he’s become one of my favorite writers.  This is a story about a family secret and the toll it takes on the members.  I must like this kind of story – I read them all the time.  Sometimes I don’ t even know that’s what they’re about, but I find them.  Or, they find me…  Hmmm….  *** stars.

Don’ t Blink, by James Patterson and Howard Roughan.  Mafia story.  Different from what I usually read and different from what I usually expect from Mr. Patterson.  Still, not a bad story.  *** stars.

grave secret, by Charlaine Harris.  I started reading this series because I like this writer.  Now I don’t know whether I want her to concentrate on the Sookie Stackhouse stories or ramp up the Harper Connelly stories.  Both – I want both!!  Series work, blah blah, *** stars, but really shiny, pointy stars.

“…and Ladies of the Club”, by Helen Hooven Santmyer.  When I was working on the Fiction-By-The-Inch, this was one that I wanted to include and couldn’t locate my copy.  Finally I just bought another one.  It had been several years since I’d read it, and it is not a book you really read lightly, as it’s almost 4 inches thick in paperback.  It is such a good story that I dragged my feet and made the last half-inch of book last three days.  I didn’t want it to be finished.  Of course, I do know that I could turn around and read it again, but there are so many other books….  I will come back to it.  I always do.  THIS IS A ***** star book.  You will not regret it, though your wrists might complain at how heavy the book is.

Not My Daughter, by Barbara Delinsky.  You know I’m a Delinsky fan.  This one felt a little thin, but it was still very readable, and a timely topic to boot.  *** stars.

Mama Flora’s Family, by Alex Haley and David Stevens.  This book was completed after Mr. Haley’s death.  It’s good, but it’s not as good as some of his other stories.  I kept getting the feeling that it was missing his once-over kind of tweaking – the story lacks polish.  ***1/2 stars.

Liza –  Born a Star, by Wendy Leigh.  Kind of makes Liza Minelli’s life sound boring.  I’m sure she has down days, but for the love…. **1/2 stars.

Hello, Darkness, by Sandra Brown.  This was excellent.  I am often tempted to walk right by Ms. Brown’s work, and I’m not sure why.  If I stop and look, I am never disappointed.  This is a thriller and stays taut and edgy right to the conclusion.  It’s worth a read, for sure.  ***1/2 stars.

Quentins, by Maeve Binchy.  Loved it, loved it, loved it!!!  When you read her other stories, you become lightly acquainted with Quentins – a fancy restaurant in Dublin.  It’s the kind of place you go to celebrate something big.  This book tells the story of how Quentins came to be and what makes it so great.  It’s excellent.  **** stars.

Gone for Good, by Harlen Coben.  My friend Kim introduced me to Mr. Coben’s work, and I’m glad.  Weird thing is that I think I read this book before, or one similar to it.  Very good story, psychologically challenging in construction.  Not his best, but very good.  ***1/2 stars.

Poor Little Rich Girl – The Life and Legend of Barbara Hutton, by C. David Heymann.  This book makes you think more than twice about having so much money you couldn’t possibly spend it all in one lifetime.  Without help, she never would have.  This is a sad story of crazy with a checkbook.  She had an awful childhood and a lousy life.  The book is well-written, even if the events themselves make it a little boring in spots. *** stars.

And that concludes this massive outpouring of how I spend my quiet time.  Happy reading all!!!

November 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment