Monday, December 12, 2005

Monthly Book Report

This is the first edition of a planned monthly book report; however this first report will cover about 5 weeks of reading. I will come up with a format for the reports as I go along, but for this report I will simply list the books I have read and give a VERY brief summary and/or recommendation. Perhaps I will devise a rating system later on. Okay, now......TA DAH!!!!!!

Books by authors whose works I have often read:

Dark Horse by Tami Hoag – Ms Hoag has written several New York Times bestsellers. I found this one more engrossing than her usual whodunits.

Twisted by Jonathan Kellerman – Mr. Kellerman is a master of phrasing – I always enjoy his use of language. Examples: "Seeing him made her eyes ache." "(a person) with all the warmth of ceramic tile." "Her face was rodentine." This is not one of Kellerman's Alex Delaware novels but a Petra Conner one. Both Delaware and Conner are serial characters. This police-procedural mystery kept me reading.

False Testimony by Rose Conners – This political and legal mystery follows a recurring main character, lawyer Marty Nickerson. Ms Conners writes very realistic dialog and has a very engaging style. The first 2 chapters of this book could serve as a textbook example of how to grab the reader with action from the first words.

No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark – Typical Mary Higgins Clark thriller – I couldn’t put it down. Many twists and turns in plot, great character development.

The Closers by Michael Connelly – Another Harry Bosch mystery. Harry solves a cold case. I enjoyed this one a great deal.

By authors I was not familiar with before:

Julie and Romeo Get Lucky by Jeanne Ray – very light tone – a love story with middle-aged main characters. Unusual, mildly interesting. I found myself reading it more as a writer than as a reader or participant (Thoughts such as, “A writer wouldn’t have to do any research to write a novel like this – maybe this is the kind of novel I need to write, instead of the kind I like to read.”)

Any Human Heart by William Boyd – Didn’t finish this one. Written as a series of journals of a British man, beginning when he was a schoolboy and continuing throughout the twentieth century. The vocabulary and use of language was fascinating; but in the end, there was just not enough plot to keep me reading. Some examples of the language use: “I stirred the memory soup in my head, hoping gobbets of ------ would float to the surface.” “When faith hath died, WE must paint the colours on the sky.” “They took a verbal walk through the case.”

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey – true, first-person narrative of drug addiction and recovery. An Oprah Book Club selection. Very raw, somewhat repetitive, over-all interesting, but not read-every-word involving. I read this after seeing a review on The Median Sib -- there is a link for the book in her sidebar. Here is a review.

The Ladies of Garrison Gardens by Louise Shaffer – a generational tale, combining mystery, romance, the poor vs the rich. Being a GA girl, I kept visualizing the story events taking place in Callaway Gardens in central GA.

Heartbreak Hotel by Jill Marie Landis – a light mystery, romance. Interesting, not spellbinding

This Dame for Hire by Sandra Scoppettone – A clever, light-tone mystery. I found the dialog a little overdone and flip -- trying too hard to fit into the period (the 1940's). I found myself thinking far too often of the writing style instead of the story. I expect this character, detective Faye Quick, to be a continuing protagonist in future books by this author. I enjoyed this but generally prefer a deeper and more involved plot.


Carol said...

Some great suggestions. I'm just starting the book on the whaling ship, The Essex, that you loaned me. It is good so far.

JBL said...

WOW! You have been doing some reading. I have read some of these and found some interesting books to look for.