Thursday, January 14, 2016

From the Corner of His Eye

by Dean Koontz

Within the first few pages of From the Corner of His Eye   a tragic event occurred that had me turning back the pages to see if I'd missed something! But no, Koontz presents a very unassuming character and then shows you how wrong a first impression can be. And he doesn't stop there, the book has twists aplenty many of which I didn't see coming. Corner of His Eye is a mixed bag of genre: suspense, thriller, supernatural and drama that meshes well and keeps the reader fully engaged.Without providing spoilers, let me tell you that for the first 3/4 of this story I was completely intrigued with the characters, their development and the suspense and thrill as the plot progressed to the final solution. Although there are a few things you'll need to overlook, like the 3-year old prodigies, their dialogue, the stereotypical perfectly perfect people and the noir PI. There are some interesting concepts, which always wins my favor and allows me to give leeway on other things. You should also just stop reading after the bad guy meets his demise because the story suffered from the attempt to tie a neat bow on a package that didn't need it. Overall fast-paced thrill read.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Take Me WIth You

by Catherine Ryan Hyde

This is one of those feel good books along the Mitch Albom or Nicholas Sparks line, and if you're a fan of those, you will love this book! August Schroder loses his son in a car accident. In the process of coming to terms with his loss, he decides to take an RV trip to some National Parks and distribute his son's ashes. Along the way, August picks up 2 boys whose father is going to prison. Take Me With You tells about their relationship and August's healing process.

The sweet/sappy isn't my favorite reading, and this story was a bit preachy, but good enough. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century

by Peter Graham

Several years ago (probably more like 20), I began reading a mystery series written by Anne Perry, which was a decent enough series for me to read several of the books. When I read this title, I thought Anne Perry must have written about some infamous murder and was rather taken aback to learn that Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century was actually a story about a horrific murder committed BY Anne Perry! When she was a teenager, Perry, whose given name is Juliet Hulme, together with her close friend Pauline Parker conspired together to brutally murder Pauline's mother. The act was premeditated and vicious and neither Hulme nor Parker at any time were remorseful or regretful about what they had done. The girls were very matter of fact in stating that Mrs. Parker wasn't a very happy person who was interfering with them being together so she needed to be eliminated. In New Zealand, minors committing criminal offenses served terms "at the pleasure of her majesty", which for Hulme and Parker amounted to barely over 5 years in prison. Upon their release, both girls' names were changed, and Anne Perry went on to become a very successful mystery writer.

This was not a very well-written book, there was a lot of unnecessary background information, a disjointed timeline, and much repetition. Plus Graham was very heavy-handed in providing excuses for the girls. However, I was intrigued by the murder and trial details due to the fact I was familiar with Perry's books. If you were interested, I'm sure you could find a better account or there's even a movie. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States

by Dave Barry

Once again I am starting off the new year by signing up for a reading challenge. Last year I just did the Goodreads choose the number of books you'll read, and while that was fine, I kind of enjoy the type that give you some parameters for book selections. The one I've chosen this year (besides the Goodreads #) is called Full House challenge, hosted by Book Date. The thing about these type of challenges for me is I tend to read books I'd not choose otherwise in order to meet the specific criteria and check off the box. And that is how I came to read Dave Barry Slept Here.  The "laugh out loud moments" category. I don't typically read humor, not because I don't like a funny book, but it's just not what I gravitate toward. So I spent a lot of time agonizing over what to read that might really make me laugh out loud (Like Confessions of a Shopaholic, which if you've not read and need a laugh, read it). After all my research, I decided I'd read Confederacy of Dunces, but the library doesn't have it in electronic format and I'm sometimes too cheap to want to actually BUY a book, so I ended up with Dave Barry, who I knew to be funny because I'd read his column before. After finishing it, I discovered we actually have a hard copy of Dunces on our bookshelf, so may read that as well.

Barry provides a rather accurate historical timeline, but by mixing in some pop culture and confusing and combining events, his history of America is pretty hilarious. Did I actually "laugh out loud"? Yes, while I was in the outpatient waiting room where my husband was in for some spinal epidural shots I was almost in tears I was laughing so hard! I had to stop reading for a while because I was embarrassing myself (and some people are in there for serious stuff so laughter may be frowned upon). Another great thing about this book is that it is short and sweet. Barry knows just when to move on so as not to bore or tire you of his nonsense.