Sunday, November 11, 2007

My Reading Marathon

I've actually finished three books in two weeks! Quite a record for me lately, I've had a hard time even deciding what book to pick up. A while back Allison sent me a box full of fun cozy mysteries, so I decided to take a look at those and try one out. I chose Murderers Prefer Blondes by Amanda Matetsky, the first in her Paige Turner Mystery Series. The book's heroine, Paige Turner, works for a detective magazine in New York City when she stumbles across what she hopes to be the perfect story to jump-start her writing career. The story takes place in the mid-1950's in New York City. As I was reading, it seemed like my mind was watching an old black and white detective film. I could picture all the characters. I got a little annoyed by Paige's best friend and her tone in conversations. I'm sure the slang was accurate to the time period, but it felt a little forced in that character for some reason. Although, I enjoyed the novel, the ending was very anticlimactic and predictable. But if you take it for what it is, a cozy mystery, this was an entertaining read.

I spent last week visiting my mom with the kids and spent the better part of any free time I had reading. It was great to be away from the house so I didn't have the guilt of "I should be doing this, oh, I'll just read a few more pages...." I could read to my heart's content and it was fantastic. I brought My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult with me. Whenever I mention Picoult to anyone, this seems to be the common book that people have read. I read it in about 2 days. For those unfamiliar, the story is about Anna, a 13 year old girl who was conceived to be a perfect genetic match for her older sister sick with leukemia. Throughout her life Anna undergoes various procedures that help prolong her sister's life. Finally, she decides she will no longer be a guinea pig for her sister and seeks medical emancipation from her parents. The book is told from the different viewpoints of all the characters and flows really well. It's a pretty heavy book because of its topic and you spend the whole book waiting for the inevitable. Picoult surprises with quite a twist at the end that shocked me. I wasn't very thrilled with it actually. I think because I had spent the majority of the book expecting a completely different outcome. Picoult covers the medical ethics topic well and from many angles. And I plan on continuing to read her other books. This was the second Picoult book I have read and both were told alternating the characters viewpoints. I'm curious, does she do this with all her books? Is this her signature writing style?

The last book, I just finished this morning: Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man who Dared to See by Robert Kurson. This is our November book club pick. I have to say, the topic did not intrigue me much and I toyed with the idea of not even looking at the book. I just figured I'd be bored to tears. But part of the reason I like being in a book club is because it makes me consider books I would not normally read on my own. So I thought I should at least look at the book. I got it from the library and figured I'd just sort of skim through it enough to make a comment or two at the meeting. Well I was very wrong, the book really pulled me in. It's the story of a man, Mike May, who lost his sight at age 3 and spent the next 43 years of his life blind. One day, he was with his wife at her eye exam and the doctor just looked at his eye on a whim. Then his colleague took a look. They told May he would be an excellent candidate for a new stem cell surgery and he might be able to see again. I was curious about how May lost his sight, how he gained it back, and whether or not he would keep it. And continued reading to find out. There were some very technical sections that read like an Intro to Biology textbook. I tended to skim or skip these sections all together. But everything else was very interesting and flowed very easily. May's tenacity and attitude are amazing. It was fun to read about his journey and see how it ended. If anyone is interested in nonfiction books, this was a quick and enjoyable read.

Sidenote: I'm also on Library Thing now. You can find my library here. I started one for my daughter as well, to keep track of what books she really likes. I also added books I think might be good for her in the future too. You can find her library here. I updated the Links in the blog sidebar, added a few new book blog links, and added book covers from my library. I thought it was time to spice up the blog a bit. :-)

1 comment:

allisonmariecat said...

I think one of my comments on the Matesky series was that it seemed like she was writing with a checklist beside her of 50s elements that she had to incorporate into the books. They are a bit artificial, but fun cozies if you're in the mood.

Crashing Through sounds awesome. I never would have picked it up, so thanks for your review!

I still haven't read Jodi Picoult. Probably because I know she's not a very perky, happy writer, and I haven't been in the mood for depressing reading lately!