Feb 21, 2017

The fabulous and the meh (long book review post)

Starting with the meh - and didn't like, sorta liked and I'm a masochist...

The Other Child - Charlotte Link - Not necessarily a bad book, just not memorable in any way. Read the review, decide whether you want to read it or not.

GBH - Ted Lewis - As the review says - not for the faint of heart. Couldn't get past the violence, torture etc in the first few pages. Closed it with a shudder. It may well be a fabulous crime novel, I will never know.

A God in Ruins - Kate Atkinson - Companion novel, so they say, to Atkinson's Life After Life ( a book I think I already reviewed and which I didn't care for at all). This one I sort of started but I was so disheartened by "Life After Life" that I probably didn't give it a fair chance. Bad me. Who cares.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards - It was okay. Not great, not horrible. I believe there is a movie version, never seen, no plans to.  It held my attention for a while but my interest flagged about half way through. Flipped through the back half, read the end. And I barely remember anything about it.

The Lake of Dreams - Kim Edwards I must have taken these two Kim Edwards books out at the same time because I can't imagine, having read one of them, I would ever have sought out another book by this woman or; I am more of an optimist than any of us imagine.  They aren't bad books you understand, they're just not, um, interesting? Memorable? Engaging? They're girly books? It may be they are your style and taste. Check out the reviews.

The Likeness - Tana French - This is the second in the Dublin Murder Squad series. I like the first one "In the Woods" very much, this one, not so much. Not so much in that I didn't really finish it. Skipped around, read the end. That was that. Yet - I will read the third in the series if my library has it. I may have just hit 'The Likeness' at a bad time in my reading life.

Memory Man - David Baldacci - My husband reads David Baldacci, this was a first for me and I rather liked it. I liked the protagonist, Amos Decker and I particularly liked his neurological condition - ' “an acquired savant with hyperthymesia and synesthesia abilities.” Now if you have to have a neurological condition, synesthesia is the coolest one. The plot is very convoluted, sometimes not always easy to follow; the characters are likable, I didn't mind spending time with them at all but that said - I skipped huge chunks of the book, most in the last third, read the ending and yes, this is a series and I will read the next one.

Case Histories - Kate Atkinson - Another Kate Atkinson book? Yes, and after trashing the first two of hers that I read you must think I am mad. But honestly, while this book does not belong in the 'fabulous, must read' category, it was pretty darn good. This woman does have a passion for going back and forth in time, a plot device that drives me 'effing bonkers, but it kinda sorta works here.  I can recommend this with reservations. Read the review make your own decision.

And now for the fabulous -

Life After Life - Jill McCorkle - Please do NOT mix this book up with Kate Atkinson's book of the same title. Both were published within a month of each! How does that happen? A huge disservice to Jill McCorkle.

This is a must-read for anyone with a heart and soul. And a sense of humor. I have read it twice already, I may even buy a copy so I can read it again...and again, tho the ending really bothered me. I did not think that death was necessary at all.

This book should make you think, make you feel and yes, make you laugh. It's real; these people, for the most part, are lovely. You will not regret one moment you spend with them and you will go back and visit with them again. This book grabbed my heart and mind.

Brief Lives - Anita Brookner - Can't say exactly why this is fabulous but it is. I loved it. If you are looking for an easy, plot driven book, this is not for you.  One of the good things about reading this as an ebook was the dictionary function. I must say, Miss Brookner has an amazing vocabulary. Her writing can be dense and yet - I read it through almost without stopping. I got involved, with the story and the people, even the not-so-nice ones. I liked Fay Langdon.  I want to read more books by Anita Brookner - and I will.

Whew - long list and I left out some fluffy books I enjoyed. I'll get to them next time. I know it's a pain in the patootie to have to click links but the links do open in a new tab (or page, however you have your browser setup). The reviews give you a better idea of what the book is about, far better than I ever could. So, get a cuppa, settle in, click and review. You should find something worthwhile on this list. Definitely, DEFINITELY, read the Jill McCorkle book. Please. (And don't get it mixed up with the Kate Atkinson book of the same name. Remember - Jill McCorkle.)