Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Shack by William P Young

I finished The Shack two days ago and I've been delaying writing this post because I don't really know what to say. I suppose I should start off by saying I was lured into reading this book by false pretensies. Someone told me that there are lots of "religious overtones", which is probably the understatment of the milenimum. Religion is one topic that I don't like to read about. Personally, I think religion is a private thing and reading about other people's relationship with God isn't necessarily helpful or interesting. But, like I said, that's just a personal opinion. So, that's why I didn't want to read this book. But, I did.
And, while it might not be the best thing to do while just starting a blog, I think that's all I'm going to say.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lost & Found by Jacqueline Sheehan

Lost & Found is a book I found on People Magazine's summer reading list. When I saw that it was available on my online library for my Nook, I picked it up on a whim. I'm really glad I did. It was enjoyable and an easy read.
This novel followed the basic formula of a ton of other books I've read. A middle-aged woman becomes a widow and quits her job to try to find herself. Blah, blah blah, boring, been done. But, Lost & Found is a really fresh take on that story in an unpredictable way. There is an honest-to-God mystery story inside this "woman discovering herself" story. While it's not a "crime" or "mystery" novel, the secondary plot (secondary in my opinion) is a crime mystery in the likes of some James Patterson. But with a woman's twist.

The without a doubt best part of the book though is how you hear from so many different people's perspective without it feeling disconnected. The the ultimate best part is one of those perspective's is a dog's! Now, I'm a dog person so I'm biased but I really enjoyed this and thought it was extremely unique. 

I really recommend this book to all women, especially "dog people". But don't let that stop you cat-lover's from putting this on aside, it is fabulous for all people. That being said, it's not deep or really even thought-provoking, but it's interesting and extremely well written.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Come Home by Lisa Scottoline

Come Home was extremely disappointing for me. I've heard great things about the author, Lisa Scottoline and her comparisons to Jodi Piccoult. Come Home had all the elements of a good Jodi book (yes, we're on  a first name basis). It has a woman heroine going through a person crisis, twists and turns and family issues. Unfortunately, that's where the comparison ends.

I absolutely did not relate to or feel for any characters in this book. The whole plot seems completely implausible. And not in the "omg that is unbelievable and would never happen but maybe it could!", but in the, "just no, this is dumb". And honestly, I thought the writing, mostly all the dialogue, was terribly written and just hard to read.

As you can probably guess by now, I don't recommend this book. I can also not see myself ever reading a Lisa Scottoline novel again. I'm sure some of you LOVE her and will think I'm just crazy. That's fine. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain

Two book reviews in what day?! What gives?

Well, I started reading this book and could not. put. it. down. Literally, my eyes hurt. Sometimes a story is just so good and juicy you cannot stop reading. To say this book was a page-turner is an understatement.

Obviously, it's an easy read, it took me a day. It wasn't a "deep" novel but it was a great story. The Midwife's Confession is about a group of three friends. When one of them commits suicide, the other two discover secrets about her life that affect them all. I loved all of the characters and rooted for all of them. I also love the way the book was organized. Fantastic.

This would be a great "beach read". It's not exactly chit lit but I can't see any man enjoying it. So if you're a woman, pick it up, I know you'll enjoy it! It's not the next great american novel, but it will entertain you!

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

I have no idea how I managed to miss this book all my life. Middlesex was published in 2002 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2003. After reading this novel, it is so easy to see why. I cannot believe I put reading this off for so long after having it show up on so many "to-read" lists I've seen.

To say I enjoyed Middlesex would be an insult to how I felt reading it. Middlesex is about a greek hermaphrodite who was raised a woman but at it's heart its about a family that spans generations. It would be easy for me to say I enjoyed this book so much in part of my own greek heritage and seeing my family in this family but I think that actually had very little to do with it.

Like I said, this novel spans three generations with our narrator telling second hand stories about her grandparents and parents from her point of view and finally her own life story. It's hard to say which "set" of stories I liked most. The family history was fascinating and so geniusly woven together. The funny thing is, I usually hate novels that take place over long periods of time (Gone with the Wind being the one, very large exception). But, here I found it engrossing and never lagging.

This book touched on so many themes like family, heritage, having children, duty to parents. It was an emotional read and I'm sure I'll be thinking about it for weeks to come. I highly recommend this book to all readers. I'm positive you will enjoy it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

"So good, you find yourself asking how you could not know this already"-Esquire

This review sums up The Devil in the White City perfectly. Most times I pick up a non-fiction book I know at least a little something about it. This time, I know nothing and I was completely fascinated from beginning to end.

Erik Larson wrote this book about two topics that are very different but weave together perfectly. The book mixes together the story of the World's Columbian Exposition Fair of 1893 of and a serial killer using the fair as a backdrop to his many, many crimes. The way to chapters go back and forth between could feel choppy, but they don't. Usually books that use this literary technique, I hate and usually end up skipping one topic for another. But this one, I found myself racing through all of it, both topics were so enthralling and wonderfully written.

The only criticism I have of The Devil in the the White City is the ending. The wrapping up of the Holmes' story felt a little rushed and I wish Larson had gone more into the last couple chapters.

As far as recommending this book, I say- Yes! You will like it, I promise!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Girl Walks into a Bar... By Rachel Dratch

The only thing I didn't like about Girl Walks into a Bar... is that it had to end!

Rachel Dratch is my absolutely favorite SNL cast member ever so when I heard she was writing a book, I couldn't wait to pick it up. I had extremely high expectations after loving Bossypants by Tina Fey so much and I was not disappointed.

I decided to read this book while watching my husbands soccer game. That was a huge mistake. I was literally sitting in public with people all around me laughing out loud every ten minutes. Rachel does such a great job at being self-deprecating and sweet all at the same time. She is a great writer and the book really flows well through her whole life. Girl Walks into a Bar...really just made me love her more then I already do.

Even if you are not familiar with Rachel Dratch, I really believe you would love this book. It's an easy,quick read that will brighten up your day. Just don't read it in public. You'll look foolish.

Friday, June 8, 2012

And The Band Played On by Randy Shilts

Ah! I'm finally finished! I feel like I've been reading this book for months but, that is absolutely no indication of how I felt about the book. It was great.

And The Band Played On was written in 1987 and chronicles that beginning of the AIDS epidemic from the very beginning. It was extremely, extremely detailed and thoroughly researched. Randy Shilts interviewed the people involve extensively as well as poured over documents and medical records and it shows.

While this book was a good read, it is extremely dark and disturbing. It goes into how the government response to the AIDS epidemic was extremely slow due to the fact that AIDS struck homosexuals first and hardest in the beginning. Shilts tries to bring in paralells to the governments response to Legionnaire's Disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome, both of which struck more "typical" socio-ecomonic groups.

I have to imagine when this book came out, a lot of people were not pleased. He really takes it to the most of the characters in the book for not doing all they could have to save lives. We know now in 2012 how big of a deal AIDS is and it was intriguing learning how it all began.

As far as recommending this book; I really do. But, I am interested in medical topics, especially ones having to due with communicable diseases. I'm sure all of you don't feel the same way. It was a GREAT read, but I don't know if everyone would enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Now, I'm moving on to less intense books for a while; it is summer after all!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Update!

Hello! This week has been crazy and I haven't had a ton of time for reading! But I'm reading a GREAT book, And The Band Played On. It's about the beginning of the AIDS epidemic and I LOVE it so far! It is over 600 pages and isn't the easiest book to read since there is tons of technical stuff. But, I can't wait to finish it and blog about for you all!

Now, I'm asking for book recommendations! If you think there is anything I should read, let me know and I'll try to put it on my reading list!

Happy Reading!