Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Book Club Snippets

I haven't been very good about reviewing my book club books the last several months. I think that's because most of them were just "meh" for me and I didn't feel like writing a long review for a blah book.

The Associate by John Grisham has been touted as a return to the style he was first known for with The Firm and The Client. It has been awhile since I've read a Grisham novel. I think The Summons was the last one I read. I have such high expectations when something is compared to any of Grisham's earlier works. This one was mildly interesting but no where near as good as The Firm for me. It would make for a good beach/vacation read though.
Source disclosure: Book purchased

Billie Letts also wrote Where the Heart Is. I have not read that book, but have seen the movie a number of times. I wasn't sure what I would think about this book going into it. Shoot the Moon is the story of a stranger coming to visit a small town to learn about his roots. Is he who he really says he is, the grown man who once was a baby that disappeared from the town decades earlier? Nick moves from feeling like an outsider to realizing perhaps he is finally home. This was an average to good read for me. The "mystery" of what happened to Nick kept me intrigued. The romantic angle to the book seemed quite unrealistic for me. But I'm not usually too into romantic story angles anyway. :-) If you're just looking for a light quick read with just a little depth, this would be a good one.
Source disclosure: Borrowed book from a friend

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen can be characterized as Southern Fiction. Catherine Grace grows up the preacher's daughter in the small town of Ringgold, Georgia. The book starts off with Catherine Grace as a child and moves through to adulthood. She leaves Ringgold and has to come back when tragedy strikes. I have to admit this was a DNF (did not finish) for me. I got to about page 50 and just couldn't take the Southern preacher talk anymore. My book club thought it was all right though and some liked it pretty well. Again, I imagine this might be a good vacation/car trip book.
Source disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Testimony by Anita Shreve was our September book. Again, this was a rather fast read thanks to short chapters. And again, this one fell a bit short for me. Each chapter featured a different character's voice rotating through the story. True to its title, the book starts after an tragic event of date rape (or was it?) at a New England prep school. The characters go through the aftermath of the event telling where their lives at now. What Shreve did accomplish was writing an impressive array of different character voices. If you didn't have the chapter title, often you could tell which character was speaking just by the tone of the section. Though Shreve did an interesting job with the character voice, I felt she had TOO many characters. We had everyone from the main participants in the event to the lunch lady, the liquor store clerk and more. Some people just didn't seem to be needed to tell the story. I also felt that the ending didn't fully satisfy my curiosity about what really happened. I wanted to know more about the girl and her motives. It was never made clear if she really was taken advantage of, or if she just worked the situation to make it appear she was taken advantage of so she wouldn't get into trouble. I sort of wanted to know more about her. My final thought on Testimony is that I felt like she was trying to mimic Jodi Picoult's style of switching character voice, but in this case I felt like it didn't work as well as Picoult. On one good note, this was a good book club book because it provided a LOT of discussion.
Source disclosure: Received book from Hachette. I won a copy in a book blog giveaway.


Chad Sayban said...

I'm actually reading The Broker right now (I'm still trying to get caught up on my Grisham books) and so far I'm actually enjoying it more that his previous few.

holdenj said...

I really liked Looking for Salvation at the DQ. What a good one for a group discussion.