Sunday, September 30, 2012

Them Rules

Rules of Civility The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

My rating


 My summary

Set in 1930's New York city and focused on the life of Katherine Kontent, her friends and the decisions she makes that forge her future.

My take

I love reading about an independent woman who is just as comfortable in her own company as well as the company of friends (and oh! She is a reader!)...and add in witty banter and it's all the better. Katherine is level headed in the extreme and is able to read between the lines at what people are really saying and meaning (a talent I am a little jealous of) and direct her actions accordingly. Even though this is a work of fiction the writing was still evocative enough to make me feel like I really was a part of 1930's Manhattan.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Little book that packs a big punch

The Perks of Being a Wallflower The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

My rating


My summary

The form of this book was a series of letters written to "Dear Friend" and signed "Love Always, Charlie." Through these letters we get a good look at what Charlie is thinking, feeling, and what his family, friends, and school are like.

My take

This was a very short book but I would not call it a quick's a book that is dense with so much life. The sometimes chaotic thoughts of Charlie reminded me of The Catcher in the Rye, which I haven't read in 20+ years. I was surprised that after all this time I still remember how that book made me feel. 
I later read that CITR was one of a few books that inspired the author.
From the reviews I have seen there seems to be very little middle ground, mostly it's a love it or hate it kind of thing. You already know what side I favor, but I will be honest and say at times this book took me further into dark places than I was comfortable going. However, I stay in reading comfort zones so often that I do need to force myself to venture out, and I am very glad I did in this case. The ending of the book was hopeful, and to use something from the book, it made me feel infinite.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Retro Read

All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

My rating


 My summary

This book is about the veterinary experiences of the author just out of college and beginning to assist at a country practice.
My take

The stories in this book take place in the 1930's but the writing never feels dated, it's just as charming and fresh as if it were written about a more recent era. The odd ball characters and their strange behavior and ideas are very entertaining as are the missteps of a vet that finds himself in so many new situations, new to an area, new to assisting in a practice, and new to using his academic knowledge in the very real world of country farm life. I was happy to have come across this lovely read.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What's next?

A new web site has caught my eye and now that I have given it a test drive or two I feel I am ready to hand it over.

It's called, What Should I Read Next? You are asked to type in the title, or author of a book you like, then click and voila! You get a list of books similar to the flavor of your entered information.

Bound to be a great tool in fighting those book reading lulls, especially if they keep adding to it over time.

I'd love to read comments from anyone who has used the site.

Happy Reading!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Crossroads Indeed

The Crossroads CafeCrossroads Cafe by Deborah Smith

My rating


My summary

Two wrongs don't make a right, or so the saying goes. In this case two people who have been wronged by tragedy find a way to pick up the pieces to make a new life.

My take

This was wonderful middle-of-the-road read in that it wasn't overly emotionally wrenching, that's not to say I didn't find my eyes moist from time to time, or that I didn't care about the characters. The writing framed the more dramatic parts in a way that took some of the sting out of the tragedies, I really appreciated that. If you are a sucker for happy endings this book provides a very nice one.   

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bookish Confessions

I've seen similar features on other book blogs and enjoyed them so much I thought I would give it a go here. These are a few random facts about my book reading life.

I tend to go on book buying binges at times when life gets so busy and I have little or no time for actual reading. I guess I just need that connection to books no matter how I go about it.

I love the look of dust jackets on hardback books but find I am not coordinated enough to read a book with one on. So I would take the jacket off, store it in a safe place and put a book sock on the book to keep it protected until I was finished and could reunite book and jacket.

For a period of about 15 years I chose to read nothing but non-fiction. Then a few years ago at a co-workers suggestion I read my first fiction book in a very long time...and I have never looked back. Now most of my reading is fiction and I couldn't be happier!

I was in the midst of a really, really good book, the kind that is almost impossible to put down. I was also scheduled to go into a monthly meeting for a hour or two where I was expected to sit and listen to the same things I heard last month. Since I wasn't going to get any real work done I figured I would be productive in my own way. I copied several pages out of my book and during that meeting I referred to my "notes" often. Best meeting ever!!

I was 13 when I stopped reading kids books because I thought I was too grown for them. It was just a few years ago that I realized I was just the right age to start reading them again.

My hubby had wanted to get get me an e-reader for years and each time I declined. Then last year Barnes & Noble came out with one that I did have an interest in. Even as he purchased it I worried that this was going to be something I would not use often and that maybe he was wasting his money. I could not have been more wrong or more shocked that not only do I love reading digitally, and read more/faster digitally, but that I did not missed bound books at all. 

The oddest reading spot I ever had was in a shower/locker room. Long ago I worked for a company that rented out a former grade school. As we had no designated break room I would spend my breaks reading in the entrance to the shower facility. It was unused, clean, quiet, and no one would bother me there!

My favorite fiction author, Diana Gabaldon, was in my town for a writers conference. I looked into the cost to attend the conference but it was far too expensive. I did however get the bright idea of emailing her "people" and asking if she planned any other public appearances while in the area. I got an answer quickly that yes, she was going to make a last minute stop with a few other authors from the conference at a local Barnes & Noble. I met a few co-workers there where we mingled like giggley school girls with all the other fans. The night was amazing! Diana read from future works, did a question and answer session, and then signed all the books we had as well as take pictures with anyone who asked. This all happened many years ago and she has not been back to my area since, so I'm very thankful I was able to experience that wonderful night. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Just kind of right

Wrong Bed, Right Guy (Come Undone, #1)Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert

My rating

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My summary

After numerous hints, a gallery worker decides the best way to get the attention of her boss is the direct approach, via sneaking into his bed while he sleeps hoping seduction would work where the hints haven't.

My take

There was some definite sweetness in this book, that's why I didn't leave the rating hanging at just two skulls, however I could not give it a full three because at times I wanted to give the female lead a good shake and ask her what the heck was wrong with her. I would have also liked to know more about the secondary characters who were interesting in their own right.