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3 Books and a Quick Look

winter_orchard

I wanted to read some light and fast words over my vacation days.   Here is an update on the 3 books that I consumed and my thoughts about each one.  I think I will call these mini-reviews!

HANDLE WITH CARE ~Jodi Picoult

This was our January book group selection and because it was longer than the other two, it was a good read to curl up with while the family was skiing and just fully enjoy a reading day by the fire.  This book is an excellent ethical study using the mode of fictional storytelling to get the reader to deeply think about an issue and how it affects a life and a community.

A family is blest with a beautiful baby girl, which they truly wanted and love.  This new baby has a debilitating disease – in this case it is brittle bone syndrome.   The story takes one through the community’s response, the family’s struggles and pulls in the broader legal and legislative issues through secondary characters and the movement of the story line.   The financial difficulties are not glossed over nor are the individual family members and their emotions ignored.   It is a story that provokes many emotions to surface and it is very well written.

5 Ladybug rating 5-Ladybugs

A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD
~Jennifer Egan

An online book reviewer that I usually think has great taste, listed this book in her top 5 for 2010.  I’m game for a book about the promotion of music from the early days of rock and roll to the future.  I would count this as one of the worst books I have ever read.  One of the main characters remained a mystery woman right to the very end as she appeared and disappeared without as much as a comma.  The men were just bling characters with insatiable addictions to drugs, alcohol, abusing women and oral sex.  The transitions in this book were so jumpy and radical I was thinking they were intentional, but with so few folks into reading these days, I would define them as a mistake.  The female characters were all, without exception maimed in some way and were definitely suffering from at least one disorder, not to mention too incompetent to ever use the word NO or think for themselves.   Even the female toddlers at the end of the story were thought to be incomplete and lacking in educability.   I was appalled by the degradation of women in this book and I would discourage my grown children from reading this book as it was just tasteless and boring exploitation.  Yes, I do realize that tasteless and exploiting along with addiction and hedonism are all connected to the music industry and promoters, but the story did not grow out of that into a full story or a useful story with good characterizations.  I kept reading because one of the characters revealed some remarkable and noteworthy writing skill and that skill was what kept me reading the whole and not just wishing I had not purchased a copy.

1 ladybug OneLadybug

THE HATING GAME by Talli Roland

This was the most fun adventure in reading I have had in a long time.  I just came across this book on a post by Hilary at Positive Letters
The book was to be published first on KINDLE and then in hard copy and the blogging world in the UK was all set to push this book the moment it was released.  I bought my copy right away and added to the frenzy which put the book onto the KINDLE best seller list in just a matter of hours.

And just what did I get for my $2.99; I got one of the most delightful reads I have experienced in a long, long time.  It was a great spoof on reality TV shows, on romance novels, and thirty somethings.  I enjoyed the stops around London and the countryside and bantering friend’s conversations.  Insights into what the characters were thinking was just so true about how we try to second guess and get confused and distracted by our thoughts.

The author kept it simple and delightful and a chuckle just kept popping up to the surface.  Start to finish took me one long day and I felt a sense of refreshment and just let the fun overlap into my next activity.

5 laughing ladybugs  5-Ladybugs

Okay now it is your turn did you read something that was just pure pleasure to celebrate a vacation? Or the holiday?  Book, blog, magazine article, news item?   Hoping you’ll share and let us know if it tickled your funny bone or made you pause and wonder?  I always just love to hear what you have to say…

Related Reading:

American Wife
Two Cups of Tea and Mountain to Mountain
The Highest Tide

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16 Responses to “3 Books and a Quick Look”

  1. Mandy Allen Says:

    Hi Patricia, I read that recommendation by Hilary and am set to get the book as soon as I get to a bookshop. I am slightly averse to ordering online when I am quite capable of buying in store as I would hate to see bookshops disappear in favour of the internet, especially when buying books, I like to pick them up, feel the cover, read the first few paragraphs to see if I like the writing style. Great suggestions, thanks.

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy

    patricia Reply:

    Mandy,
    the Hating Game is just so fun and I do go to book stores as often as possible – I am sure I am a supporting member of many, but I do make a few beans in my bucket if someone orders the book off my site – it is nice to make enough to pay for my blog!

  2. Talon Says:

    I always love your reviews, Patricia. Like you, even when a book strikes so many wrong chords, I always finish it…just to see if there is any redeeming quality to it at all.

    I haven’t had a lot of time this new year yet for pleasure reading, but I do plan on doing some this weekend – if only for a few hours.
    .-= Talon´s last blog ..BHDS =-.

    patricia Reply:

    Talon,
    Yep, I had dedicated my time and funds to that book, I just had to finish it. I think the author has great writing skill and it peaks through so I am optimistic that she will produce something I like in the future – though I will say this was someone’s top book for 2010

    I am sitting right beside a stack of 6 books to review and have 4 unread for pleasure on my Kindle….I seem to be rather busy for reading right now, but it does get me to sit down and not aggravate my fatigue problems.

    A few hours sounds most lovely

  3. vered | blogger for hire Says:

    To me, the very fact that I’m back to reading books is cause for celebration!
    .-= vered | blogger for hire´s last blog ..No Poo No Thanks Or- How I Went 10 Days Without Shampooing =-.

  4. patricia Says:

    vered,
    I am happy dancing and as you get older your whole being will be happy dancing – though you may have to get special glasses to keep reading on the computer!

    I do think my top pleasure in life right now, well beside that!, is reading – I would have said it was a tie with eating good food, but I am pushing that one down the line.

    Read on…

  5. Katie Gates Says:

    Hi Patricia, I enjoyed these reviews, and your comments re the second one — particularly against the rave it received — reminded me how subjective the review process is! As for my recent reads, over the holidays I read a wonderful memoir entitled “Let’s Take the Long Way Home.” It’s a story of two writer friends. This past week, I started Steve Martin’s new novel, “An Object of Beauty.” I bought the hardback because I LOVED his first two novels. So far, I’m not into it, but I hope the story gathers momentum soon. I also hope buying the hardback didn’t jinx it! A few years ago, I bought the hardback of Wally Lamb’s 3rd novel (having LOVED his first two), and I was very disappointed… I also must mention: that photo at the top of this post? Reminds me of the cover of my novel!!!

    Patricia Reply:

    Katie,
    IT Girl picks the pictures for the posts. I am amazed at how much it does look like the cover of your book and was wondering where I had seen it before – I thought it might be one from her ski trip?

    I do not often put up reviews of books I do not care for, my main goal is to interest folks in reading – to inspire. But this book and the reviews I read previously never mentioned the degradation of women, so I was unprepared and quite saddened that a female author seemed to just encourage and find that view okay and perpetuate it into the future characters – that woman are flawed and – I wonder if she just does not see it herself and that would truly make me upset for all the work I have done over the years.

    Yes, the reviews are subjective and isn’t it wonderful that we have wide and varied tastes. Something for everyone.

    I have run into the idea that folks may hold me with one book but then run out of steam or finesse or something…I have not read any of Steve Martin’s books. But I do find that self help authors often have a down cycle in their writing.

    Nice to find you here – thank you for coming by – I need to drop over and see what you are up to – off to a music concert at the moment

  6. Jannie Funster Says:

    I want to read The Hating Game after that review! Sounds fun.

    I’ll take your advice and not touch the middle one, not even go near it, or glance at the cover if ever I see it in passing. In fact, I’ll try never to even think of it again.

    Nope, just been reading blogs lately.

    xoxo
    .-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..My Alexa Rank — a poem in 55 words =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Jannie,
    You might be interested in the middle book, but I was so disappointed in the treatment of women with apparently no end to the abuse in the future. I think this is a talented writer and I will try another of her books in the future, but just not this one.

    Trying not to read so many blogs right now, was doing blog work 20 hours a week and only writing 8….need to switch that up

    The Hating Game is very fun
    Saw Shawn Colvin perform last night – songwriter from Austin who has a group with Emily Lou Harris and others…she was solo it was quite a performance

  7. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. great review – I’m waiting til the hardcopy comes out – no kindle etc .. so am looking forward very much to reading it ..

    and I love the rating “5 laughing ladybugs” – excellent ..

    Talli will be pleased ..

    I’ve read Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough .. which I thoroughly enjoyed .. it was a fast ride .. with lots going on & more stories to tell in it .. am vaguely learning about ‘wormholes’ and about martial arts … though there’s a lot to be desired (learnt!) still.

    Have a great weekend .. as you’ve still got most of yours left .. and I love the photo .. orchards full of snow .. cheers Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Food- Food- Glorious food and memories and- and Part 1 ! =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Yes the photograph is beautiful even though we are having 50’F here and sunshine again – bulbs popping up and making us think Spring. I have so much outdoor work to do in warm weather, reading gets curtailed.

    Paperback is out and I think hard copy get a copy while it is just a few dollars because Talli will get more.

    Your read sounds great, will put it on my list Thank you

  8. Talli Roland Says:

    Hi Patricia!

    Just wanted to say a giant thank you for buying my book, and for taking the time to read and review it! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

    Thanks again! :)
    .-= Talli Roland´s last blog ..Significant Other Blogfest! =-.

    patricia Reply:

    Talli,
    I love reading bloggers books and when I saw the offer on Hilary’s site, I just jumped at the opportunity and I have 3 Kindles in the family! We all loved the book and hope you have great success. Anything that can make me laugh is high on my list

  9. Chris Edgar Says:

    Hi Patricia — I’m glad you were able to do some (mostly) pleasurably reading. Over the holidays, I was back on the East Coast, and I treated myself to a real guilty pleasure — a sci-fi novel I had read in high school called The Last Legends of Earth by A.A. Attanasio. He, in my opinion, is the gold standard for science fiction — and that is perhaps the only opinion I had in high school that I continue to hold today. :)

    Patricia Reply:

    Chris,
    thank you for the good words and wow you reminded me of The Last Legends of Earth – that was a great read, now I need to look at it again. I am 9 books behind right now but put it back on my list.

    I am sneaking in Wolf Hall for another pleasure read before I get back to business.

    I am an Ursula Le Quin fan myself…
    and I forgot who wrote it but The Sparrow nearly did me in on Sci-fi books…had to take a breather after that one…