Sunday, March 09, 2008

Trying to get caught up...

Very recently, I had 12 books on my stack from the library. I'm down to 4 now because I've been very diligently reading. What else is there to do w/snow on the ground and frigid temps?

I've read a couple books that were on the best seller list. I read LOTS of best sellers. Sometimes I wonder how they got on the list. I think it's because some author's last book was a best seller so they get a free pass on to the list w/the next one.

Beverly Hills Dead by Stewart Woods is the latest in a LONG series of his best sellers. I liked this one because it gave some of the back story on a number of his characters that have appeared in his other books. I agree w/Allison when she says that the writing tends to get a little mediocre once an author has written several books in the same series. Woods is like that in this Vance Calder,(his character), Hollywood series about Hollywood, actors and their wealthy existences. There's ALWAYS a murder or two and always lots of comments on clothes, homes , cars, restuarants etc. of the rich and famous characters. Beverly Hills Dead is one of Woods' better efforts in his typical trash for the masses fashion.

The Senator's Wife has been on the best seller list recently as well. It was OK. Apparently, Sue Miller, the author, has written other best sellers. After reading the wife, I'm not eager to read her others. The Senator's Wife is all about how she copes w/her charming but philandering politician husband and builds her own life beyond all his affairs. The wife has a profound influence on a young newly married woman who moves next door who later has a profound influence on the Senator's wife! I imagine extra marital affairs can be life altering but the book was all a bit too dramatic.

On to the non best sellers. The very best book I've read recently is My Enemy's Cradle by Sara Young. Set in Nazi Occupied Holland, it's about a young girl who finds herself pregnant. She doesn't know where to turn and manages to get into the Nazi sponsored program for spreading the Aryan race called the Lebensporn(I think). The girl goes off to an unwed mother's home set up by the Nazis to take care of girls who are priviledged enough to be carrying their offspring. While at the home, she receives the best of care all while trying to figure out how to escape to save herself and baby before she gives birth. A really spellbinding read.

Robert Harris has written historically based novels like Fatherland and Enigma which were set in WWII. They were fascinating. His new book, The Ghost, is set in today's world of U.S./ British politics/Iraq. I hung in there through his rants concerning the CIA and waterboarding torture as well as others, hoping the book would become a wee bit more intriguing but he had more to say about the current state of our world than I really wanted to know. I read to escape not to have the current world political mess thrown in my face. I just wish someone else would read this book and let me know if it's Harris' thinly veiled view of Tony Blair/ George Bush and Halliburton's roles in our world.

I've read two books in the last week that had psychics as main characters. Apparently, in the psychic world there are "listeners", "healers", "finders" and others w/different psychic gifts. It was a happy coincidence that I read Pandora's Daughter by Iris Johansen and Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper right after one another because I could understand the psychic jargon used in both books. Johansen has written tons of murder thrillers in a long career and I've loved them all. Each book is stand alone w/new characters and new thrills. I always wonder how prolific authors come up w/all their ideas for vastly different books. I've just discovered Kay Hooper who has written a murder series about a special unit in the FBI that uses psychics to solve crimes. Blood Dreams is the first book I've read by Hooper. I had a hard time putting it down while reading about a nasty serial killer and the psychics' efforts to catch him. The ending was a real disappointment where she didn't even identify her killer and very blatantly set up her next book in the series. Too many loose ends and too commercial for me.

I think I need to request Hiaasen's Hoot and Flush from the library. I know I'll be entertained and have a few laughs. I just have to get through the last four books in my pile first....

1 comment:

allisonmariecat said...

Wow! That's quite a stack. My Enemy's Cradle sounds great. I hadn't ever heard of it, but it sounds like a good read.

It drives me nuts when authors go on political rants that don't fit seamlessly into the story!

I hope you like Hoot and Flush :)