Pursue Another Review: Chasing Darkness

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Title: Chasing DarknessAuthor: Robert Crais; Fiction: Fiction/Mystery

The Gist– A suspenseful thriller beginning with a “trophy album” of a killer’s work found at the feet of a dead man who was once accused of these murders. However, he was set free with the help of the main character Elvis Cole.

What Stuck– Gripping beginning that certainly drew me in, but it didn’t keep me.

Should you give a flip?– Meh. It’s not a bad read, but certainly not the best of its genre.  It left me with many unanswered questions.  This was by design not bad writing, but nevertheless, I don’t care to be left wondering.

However, with this lack-luster review I leave you no recommendation for long-weekend reading. This is unacceptable so in lieu of Chasing Darkness I can recommend following fiction/mystery/crime-ish novels:

Tell No One by: Harlan Coben.  Seriously, hang on to your hats kids, it’s got a heck of an ending.

Cuckoo’s Calling  by: Robert Galbraith. It delivers a great story and awesome characters. (This is up for review later this month. But a book recommendation at the end of September doesn’t do you any good for Labor Day weekend.)

The Killing Game by: Iris Johansen. Another mind-blowing ending.  I liked it so much I read it twice.  I’ve only done this with four other novels, so it’s noteworthy.

Happy Reading!!

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Firing Off Another Review- Inferno

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Title: Inferno Author: Dan Brown Genre: Fiction

The Gist- Robert Langdon once again finds himself on the path of adventure where history and modern day weave together to profoundly change the future.  This time it’s Dante’s Inferno and the threat of overpopulation.

What Stuck- Dan Brown has a great ability to educate with art, history, and symbols in a way that doesn’t over complicate the story. I love learning, so I kind of feel like I get a two for one special with these books.

Should you give a flip- Yeah.  It’s an intriguing read and if you’ve enjoyed Mr. Brown’s other works, this should not disappoint.

The Book Flood

Iceland- the not so icy island with delicious hot springs and stunning views also is the land of high literacy culture.  I learned last Christmas right before the holiday that Iceland has a tradition dubbed “the book flood.”  It’s basically where everyone exchanges books on Christmas eve and spends the rest of the evening reading.

I first saw this posted on Facebook, but since Facebook’s accuracy may be up for debate I decided to do a little research and found an NPR article about Iceland’s tradition.

I was thrilled to confirm that this is a real occurrence.  I also learned that Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other nation in the world.  So naturally, Iceland is my new favorite county.  I mean its and entire nation doing what this girl loves.

I kind of hope to start this in my own family.  I want everybody reading or listening to books. I know that my aunt and mom would be on board.

I guess I like it so much because it’s not just about reading it’s about sharing the reading experience, sharing knowledge.  It’s a solo thing as well as a group thing.  It’s like the whole country is doing a big read-in. I find that notion just fascinating.

Okay, who’s ready to move to Iceland?!?

Book Digestion

I have what can be described as an overactive book metabolism.  What I mean by this is when I finish a book at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, I can be found starting a new one by half past.  I rarely feel the need to process or digest the previous book. A few books have left me feeling “hungover.” This is when my mind is struggling.  It’s not due to a crazy plot twist, but something deeper that is difficult to describe. On those rare occasions, I do give myself time perhaps a day at max.  The Stand was one of these.  I needed time to come to terms with the epicness. Honestly, this is the only word I can use to describe this book.

However, there are many people I know that upon finishing any book take a couple of days before starting the next one.  My mother is one, and as I kid I never understood this.  I thought, “What if someone asks, ‘What are you reading?’” It was completely unacceptable to say nothing right now.  What!?! That’s crazy talk? I still feel this way.

Even in college when I would go months between free reading sessions I always had a book in progress. I couldn’t possibly have it any other way.  I get this hivy feeling when I finish my book at work and must ride the train home, and I don’t have anything to read. It’s only a half an hour ride but it is torturous without reading material.

My lack of digestion might mean I have a serious addiction problem, but I don’t feel that it’s necessary for me to ponder books in post.  Most of the time, I know how I feel about the book by the time I close the back cover.  I feel that I do need more digestion time than the book was probably a rare gem. An alternative explanation is that I’m a slow reader so it could be argued that I digest as I consume.

I think my slow reading has left me feeling behind as well, so I have this urge to rush into the next book because it took me so long to get through the previous one.  Over the years, I’ve gained reading speed, but my super slowness of yester-year still haunts me from when I was a kid and I had to read so many books or pages in order to get a reward.

While I tend to digest books at lightning speed I understand why some people need to wait before delving into the next story.  They need time to adjust.  They may need their brain to re-calibrate. In cases of really good books I think people need to come to terms with the idea that the story is over, and it might be quite a while before they read a book that invokes this feeling.

I admit I should probably take a slower approach to books and reading.  I should enjoy the journey and process more.  It’s not about how many you can get read in a year.  It’s not a race.  And I’ve improved on this.  There are just so many wonderful works out there, and I want to get to as many as I possibly can.

I suppose it is a balance and perhaps some more digesting time might not be a terrible idea.  How long is your book digestion?

WWW Wednesday

Say what?!?!

Have no fear, folks.  I can assure we have not gone Groundhogs Day and are repeating Tuesday, and no, unfortunately, we have not broken the space time continuum and jumped to Friday.  It is indeed Wednesday just with a bonus post this week.

Last Wednesday in my blog perusal I discovered WWW Wednesday from coffeeloving bookoholic who participates each week.  WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. (BTW both are great blogs and you should go check them out.) It looked like it would be fun, so I thought I would give it a go this week.

The three Ws are:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading-

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks  by Rebecca Skloot.  I started it just last night on my way home.  I’ve heard marvelous things, thus far I’m intrigued. So I’m certainly looking forward to see what’s in store.

Finished Reading-

Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell.  It’s a short book, but a long read. This isn’t bad. There was just a lot to digest.  On the whole, I thought it was a good, but it certainly wasn’t light.

Next Read up-

This is a difficult question because while I have a pile of books to be read. I don’t normally know what I’ll read next until I’m nearly finished with my current book. I like to see what’s striking my mood in the moment.  Thus I can really only guess what will be next; however, I do have a sneaking suspicion it will be The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg.  I’m very excited about this read.  I’ve greatly enjoyed other works by Flagg.  Can’t wait to get to Heaven will always have a special place in my heart.

Hope you enjoyed this little extra. I will be back on Friday per usual. And please share in comments your three Ws!  Happy reading!

A Bite-Sized Review: A Movable Feast

Here is little review to munch on this Tuesday morning!  Happy reading everyone!

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Title: A Movable Feast; Author: Ernest Hemmingway; Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir

The Gist- Musings and anecdotes about Mr. Hemmingway’s experience of living in Paris in the early 1920s.

What Stuck- The book struck me as a bit odd.  It’s disjointed and seems random.  And yet philosophical. I mentioned this to my mother who informed me that this was Hemmingway’s style. Since I haven’t read anything else by Mr. Hemmingway I was unaware of this, but not particularly fond of it.

Should you give a flip?- I can’t say you should. I want to say that it’s an interesting read, but I can’t describe why I feel compelled to say that.  I guess it was comforting to read that many of the greats out there struggle as much as the average joe. There…that lack of clarity pretty much reflects the book. Use your own discretion.

A Paper Desire

When I was in grade school every few months or so the teacher would pass out these booklet flyers things on newsprint from Scholastic, and it always felt like the world was filled with unimaginable possibilities.  I would scour the pages and dream of having a new book in my hands.

On one of these occasions we were given an extra insert about joining the Scholastic book club.  There was a monthly member fee, but you would receive two books in the mail every month.  The books would be suited for the student’s age.

I think I must have been only in first or second grade.  All the details are a bit fuzzy, but I remember wanting it so very much that after the idea was pitched to my parents I was sent off to my room so they could discuss it. I think they wanted to discuss it sans puppy dog eyes.

I vaguely remember trying to listen through the door to their conversation without much success.  However, the final verdict was that I would be allowed to join.  It was a triumphant moment, and I received books every month for several years before my parents and I decided to stop.

At that point, they were sending me two chapter books a month and I wasn’t able to keep up with reading all of them due to school work and activities.  But I remember a lot of those books; particularly those from the early years.  I probably remember them because I read them over and over and over again.  I was especially a fan of the book called Underwear. I also thoroughly enjoyed No Dogs Allowed and Harvey Potter’s Balloon Farm.

Actually, I think my parents still have most of these books.  They are just packed away now.  I can’t imagine my mom getting rid of them.  She has a soft spot for these as much as I do.

It was also due to a Scholastic order mix up that I ended up discovering Harry Potter before it became the craze that it did.  One of the things that Scholastic did was enable students to purchase books at the end of the school year, so when you came back to school in the fall there would be books waiting for you.  I had convinced my mom to get me an Amber Brown book at the end of my 5th grade year all the popular girls were into them so when I came back to sixth grade (just across the hall from my fifth grade classroom), I could pick it up.

However, when I asked my former 5th grade teacher about it.  She said that some sort of error had occurred. By the time realized it, they were out of the Amber Brown book I had ordered.  In a pinch, she had picked me another one called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was less than pleased with this news, but thanked her anyway.

Well I’m sure you all know the end to that story. Love…true book love. I guess it was just a happy accident.

Those Scholastic flyers were the best, and I was excited to learn that they still send them out to school children today.  They still print them on the same newsprint and the ink still has a certain haziness to it.  And it seems that kids still get excited to take them home and try to pitch to their parents why they will simply die if they don’t get the books they believe they vitally need.

It’s wonderful to know that somethings don’t change because they don’t need to.  Thank you Scholastic for being the rock of the children’s book world.

Does anybody else remember these magical flyers?