Friday, June 24, 2011

Beware #45

Wolf Point, by Edward Falco was on sale for .25 at Powell's Books.  It sounded like it might be a manly piece of pulp, but I gave it a whirl. 
Sadly, the only reason I finished this book (and I confess to skimming the final 25 pages) is because at 148 pages it's just a novella.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I am immensely fond of Anne Brashares' books. Brashares' books for adults were both reviewed with enthusiasm here.  It was with reluctance that I started the Traveling Pants series, but soon held conversations with friends about which of the four friends we most identified with.  (I'm Tibby or Bridget.  Those of you who know me can settle this once and for all.)

Last week, the final installment of the Sisterhood series came out.  The beginning was shaky.  I wasn't immediately engrossed, yet soon I was crying.  (Not a good book to read while while "watching" your child's swim lessons.)  Soon, though, these girls--now women--held my attention fully.

Sisterhood Everlasting is a reunion that should not be skipped.  If you've read the others, you need to know how the rest of the story unfolds. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Numbers 43 and 28

Book #43 is Admission, by Jean Hanff Korelitz.  This 477-pager could certainly have been shortened without loss, though the prose reflects the psychological stasis of the main character.  Portions of the novel are masterfully tense, demanding reader attention.  I found most characters --especially the Quest group-- likable and fascinating.  Snippets of supposed admissions essays prefacing each chapter signal the author's skill, for they convincingly embody tone and voice commonly seen in student writing.  The idiomatic errors, such as with the use of the words myriad and everyday realistically belied the students' efforts to portray themselves as erudite.
This aptly titled book appealed to me while I was traveling through the areas where it is set, and noticed the abundance of elite school decals on car windows in the region.  Adding to the appeal was the fact that the main character is my age and has some facets in common with me.  The narrative perspective offered in Admission is new, and the lengthy, repetitious explanations of ethics exist for a purpose.

Movie #28 is True Grit.  Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and the young actress who plays the main character are definitely worth watching and (more notably) listening to.  Some laughs, some cringes, and some boredom are also in store for viewers.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vacation Reading & Viewing

Here's what I read and watched while on vacation in New England:
 #38: Real Life and Liars, by Kristina Riggle, is interesting and entertaining.  It's a bit like the movie Home for the Holidays in that it juxtaposes three siblings and their parents' lives.  A few predictable angles, but I was largely uncertain about what might happen.

#39: Promise Not to Tell, by Jennifer McMahon, reads like a (high quality) first book (although it's not, technically), but it's got a strong sense of place and a plot that created full time worries even when I could only read it part time.  Points for originality and a steady sense of dread. Lucky me, I passed right through the area where the story was set just after reading the book! 

#40: The Summer of Skinny Dipping, by Amanda Howells, is one that I chose because I was hoping to get away from heavy/sad stories.  It's for young adults, but was a good story made all the more enjoyable by my proximity to the setting.  The heroine's mindset reminded me of the heroine of the Dairy Queen trilogy.

#41: Wings, by Aprilynn Pike, was a freebie, or I'd never have read it.  The plot seemed amateurish, but I never thought about quitting the book.  I just learned that Miley Cyrus will play Laurel (an ordinary home-schooled teen who discovers she's a fairy with the help of a hunky biology tutor) in the movie.  This book seems to be piggybacking off the success of all paranormal-normal kid stories these days.

#42: Soft Apocalypse, by Will McIntosh, was a depressing way to begin a trip.  The circumstances the author  offers for the status of our nation in just 12 years feel probable/possible in a way that really nagged at me.  Some chapters were sluggish, and the main character was often too passive (yet landed one exotically named girl after another).  Aside from those minor issues, though, the tale would make a great movie.  The author info at the end of the book added new considerations.  He sounds like he's got an interesting career, and still found time to write fiction.

(All rights for this image belong to the production/distribution companies.)
Now for movie #27: X-Men was a fun flick to see.  I'm not a big fan of super heroes or comic books, but I do like action movies and plots with twists and turns.  Plus, this was a movie our whole family could enjoy, and those are hard to come by.