Pub Writes

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Archive for March, 2011

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Posted by Caitie F on March 24, 2011

Title: Insatiable
Author: Meg Cabot
Hardcover: 451 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (Harper Collins)
Year Published: 2010
Rating: +++

Summary (from goodreads):

Sick of vampires? So is Meena Harper.

But her boss is making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them.

Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die (not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does).

But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side . . . a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, he already is dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . .

Review:

This book was so cute and fun to read! I was not really interested because there are vampires and I am so over them…but I read this summary and decided I needed to check it out.

I am really glad I did! It is classic Meg Cabot – fun, light, and funny! There are references to every vampire book that has been big lately and it makes fun of them just like all of us do!

The unique thing about this book is Meena’s power. I would HATE to know how each person is going to die. It is a horrible “power” and she gets so frustrated because she can’t help everyone. It makes her really likable and made me love her. She is overall a great character who loves her family and friends, but she is frustrated with never catching a break. I can relate to that, so it made me like her a little more.

There is nothing earth-shattering in this and it isn’t the best book ever, but if you are looking for a fun bok to read in just a couple days, I highly recommend it!

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The Sherlockian by Graham Moore

Posted by Caitie F on March 21, 2011

Title: The Sherlockian
Author: Graham Moore
Hardcover: 350 pages
Publisher: Twelve (Hachette Book Group)
Year Published: 2010 (December)
Rating: +++++

Summary (from goodreads):

In December 1893, Sherlock Holmes-adoring Londoners eagerly opened their Strand magazines, anticipating the detective’s next adventure, only to find the unthinkable: his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, had killed their hero off. London spiraled into mourning — crowds sported black armbands in grief — and railed against Conan Doyle as his assassin.

Then in 1901, just as abruptly as Conan Doyle had “murdered” Holmes in “The Final Problem,” he resurrected him. Though the writer kept detailed diaries of his days and work, Conan Doyle never explained this sudden change of heart. After his death, one of his journals from the interim period was discovered to be missing, and in the decades since, has never been found.

Or has it?

When literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, The Baker Street Irregulars, he never imagines he’s about to be thrust onto the hunt for the holy grail of Holmes-ophiles: the missing diary. But when the world’s leading Doylean scholar is found murdered in his hotel room, it is Harold – using wisdom and methods gleaned from countless detective stories – who takes up the search, both for the diary and for the killer.

 

Review:

I have read several really good books already this year, but this book was by FAR the best. If you like mysteries or Sherlock Holmes stories at all you need to go buy this book (or put it on hold at your library).

The biggest stand out of this book is the writing. The style made me feel like I was reading a Holmes story. It had the two stories, one set in the early 1900s and one set in modern times, which was cool on its own. What really made it different is that something that happened in the past would happen in the present or effect what was going on in the present. It made for a very unique narrative and made the book so much fun to read!

It was also a lot of fun to read the parts with Arthur Conan Doyle because he was such an fascinating guy! His hatred of Holmes and his decision to kill him made me think about how a character as iconic as Sherlock could affect an author and at times it had me laughing a little because of what I knew that Doyle didn’t. Bram Stoker was also an influential character in the book and Orson Wells is even mentioned! Seeing unromanticized an version of london at the time made for a great setting!

The modern mystery was really exciting too. I did not even know there were Sherlockians (yes it is real. This is a historical fiction book and that is an accurate aspect. The author actually has what is true and what isn’t at the end which made me appreciate the book and author so much more!). Harold is a great character because he is a complete nerd who has finally found his place in his society and has to go off and be like his favorite detective.

This book was so much fun to read. I really look forward to reading more by Graham Moore, since this book was such a joy to read!

 

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TSS: To Read-a-thon Or Not

Posted by Caitie F on March 20, 2011

The Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon happens twice a year! In October, I had plans that day, so I was a cheerleader and that was pretty fun. I vowed that I would do it in April. I mea, I want to. It looks fun. A whole day of reading and relaxing, it just sounds amazing.

Bur once again, life has gotten in the way. It is April 9th, which sounds perfect. After my birthday, the beginning of spring and everything. My parents are coming the weekend before, and I can’t wait to see my parents, it has been WAY too long. This means that any birthday celebration would be on the 9th. A friend has a birthday near mine and we were talking about doing something together, so there is a 99% chance we will have plans that afternoon.

I may not even be home because of some potentially bad news I got yesterday.

So it looks like yet again I can’t participate. I am really disappointed because it was going to be my present to myself, but I guess I will have to do it next time. Or find another one to do later.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

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Gorgeous East by Robert Girardi

Posted by Caitie F on March 15, 2011

Title:  Gorgeous East
Author: Robert Girardi
Hardback: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Year Published: 2009
Rating: +++

Summary (from goodreads):

A sweeping tale of love and redemption, honor and war, Robert Girardi’sGorgeous East follows three French Foreign legionnaires of very different backgrounds from the cliffs of Mont Saint-Michel to Istanbul’s ancient alley ways, from raucous Parisian bars to the desolate Sahara.Gorgeous East takes us on an epic and unforgettable adventure with the wonderful John Smith, a lost Brooklynite they call the Handsome American Cowboy; Colonel de Noyer, the elder statesman slowly going mad; and Captain Pinard, whose past is so hideous he can’t find love outside the Legion’s walls. When a mission in the Sahara goes horribly wrong, one legionnaire must wage battle against a rogue terrorist group and rescue his brothers-in-arms. In this tremendous return to form, Girardi show cases his sheer love of language and luminous sense of place to deliver a masterful novel of the hearts and minds of soldiers of fortune

Review:

Those who regularly read my blog may have read the summary of this book and checked where you were again! This is not my typical read and for good reason, this was the last of the “blind date” books I got from the library! I read the inside cover and thought it might be interesting.

And was it ever! I was completely unfamiliar with the Foreign Legion before reading this book. In France, any foreigner can come to the Legion, give up their passport, take a vow and a new name, and become a Legionnaire…after intense training that is meant to teach them honor. It is brutal, but it is not a place for anyone who has anything left in the world. It is known as a place for crooks, drunks, and the low in life. All of that information was eye-opening, and I immediately saw why someone would set a book with this group of men.

 

It follows three fascinating and flawed men who are brought together in Africa for a peacekeeping force in a part of the Sahara that has been fought over for decades. There is a new terrorists group that is cutting off heads and soon two of the men are captured by them. The twist of the founding of the group was great and had a lot to say about political teachings and upbringing.

It was a very exciting book and I would recommend it if you like this kind of book. It crosses genres somewhat, it isn’t just action or just war. There is some romance and suspense.

The one thing I didn’t like was the cover. I don’t think the style of the cover matches the style of the book at all. Luckily, I read it anyway and am very glad I did!

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TSS: Library Love

Posted by Caitie F on March 13, 2011

I love the libraries near me. They are great places.

 

Every month, I go to a library for a crafting meetup with over a dozen women for six hours. It is so much fun and without the library,we wouldn’t have a place to go where we could have a room to ourselves, our own food, and plenty of plugs for people who need them.

My local library, which is right behind my house, has amazing librarians. They know I am looking for a job and am looking out for things for me. They have already called me with two jobs to apply to. They are always helping me and others with so much stuff. I was getting tax forms and didn’t know what I needed, and someone came over to help me.

I am always talking to them about new books and getting (and giving) recommendations. They know all of their regular patrons and look out for all of them. The library is small, but they still have great programs for kids and a lot of fun things going on. They even added a “YA area” with bright, colorful chairs, and all the YA books. It isn’t quite like the place we go crafting where they have TWO ROOMS for tweens and teens, but they did a great job with the space they have.

The only complaint I have at all is that they need to weed out some of their collection. I was looking at some nonfiction books and they had a sewing book from the sixties. Yeah…they don’t make sewing machines like the ones in that book anymore. They really should look through what they have and take out the out of date titles.

Libraries are just great places, we need to support them.

What kind of great stuff does your library do?

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Thinking of Japan

Posted by Caitie F on March 11, 2011

I had another blog post planned, but I am delaying it just to say my thoughts are with all of those in Japan.

It was the fifth worst earthquake in recorded history. The tsunamis and aftershocks that follow look like they will cause a lot more damage.

I just hope that people can get to safety and take care of each other in this scary aftermath.

I suggest giving your loved ones an extra hug  or phone call today.

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Boys and Girls Together by William Goldman

Posted by Caitie F on March 10, 2011

Title: Boys and Girls Together
Author: William Goldman
Paperback: 751 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (Random House)
Year Published: 1964
Rating: +++++

Summary (from goodreads):

Aaron, Walt, Jenny, Branch, and Rudy. They are children of America’s post-war generation, as different from one another as anyone can be. Yet they are bound together by the traumas of their pasts, the desperate desire to capture their dreams and satisfy their passions, the stirring pleasures of sexual awakening–and the twists of fate that will inextricably link their lives in the turbulent world of 1960s New York City.

Review:

This was actually a reread for me. I read it years ago before Jason and I had even met, when we were just talking online. He told me that William Goldman was his favorite writer and that I had to try this book. I read it and loved it. So when my book club wanted to read something that was a little older, I suggested it. Since it had been a few years, I had to reread that book and I actually really enjoyed reading it again.

I just reviewed Freedom and complained that the characters were not likable and I thought they were whiney brats. After reading Boys and Girls Together, I felt like Franzen failed at making complex and interesting characters, and least when you compare it to what Goldman did, Goldman’s characters are complex. No one in one-dimensional, and since you see so much of their story, you can understand every decision they make.

This is about their parents as much as it is about them. Each person is a direct result of what their parents wanted or them or how they were treated. Aaron’s dad died when he was two and his mom didn’t care about him at all, so he is angry and becomes a pretty horrible person. But at the same time, I feel bad for him because I saw what his parents were like. It is actually controversial that I am saying that because he is a truly miserable human being. And yes, he is not blameless of his actions, but I can see where some of it comes from.

Everyone is so well-developed and deep that it makes it such a great read. One person at our book club had taken notes on each character, because it does jump from one to the next. There is even a point where Jenny is gone for over 100 pages. Everyone does come back and their lives intertwine in interesting and believable ways. I also love how everyone develops in their sexuality and the struggles they have coming to terms with it.

Goldman is a fantastic writer and no one does dialogue quite as well as he does. I would suggest you read the book just for the dialogue because it is so good!

I really enjoyed rereading it, and am glad i got to share it with others in the book club!

This counts for the GLBT Challenge, 2011 Challenge, and What’s in a Name

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TSS: A New Toy in the House

Posted by Caitie F on March 6, 2011

I hope everyone had a good weekend so far! We relaxed and hung out with friends last night!

My husband and I play poker on a website a lot — and yes it is a legal one. In January, we won over $200. Since his phone has been broken for months, he used it to get an iPhone (on Verizon). And now I want one. But I don’t because it is just another time waster!

The apps are awesome.He is an super nice guy and lets me play with it and use and download apps also. The games are really fun – a coin one and Skee Ball are my favorites so far, We also got some coupon apps (but need to find better ones) and a lot of really useful ones too.

You can also read books on the iPhone. I have no interest because the screen is way too small for me to read on, but Jason started a book and loves it. He can read a little at a time when he is waiting for things and loves the format.

The iPhone is so much fun.

Do you have any favorite apps? What should we get?

Hope you have a great Sunday!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

Posted by Caitie F on March 2, 2011

Title: Freedom
Author: Jonathan Franzen
Hardcover: 562 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Year Published: 2010
ISBN: 9780374158460
Rating: +++

Summary (from goodreads):

Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul–the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter’s dreams. Together with Walter–environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man–she was doing her small part to build a better world.

But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz– rocker and Walter’s college best friend and rival–still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become “a very different kind of neighbor,” an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street’s attentive eyes?

Review:

This is the only book I have read by Franzen, but I know i want to read The Corrections. This was a different style of book for my to read, so I am going to review it in a different way.

The good

Writing – I really enjoyed the writing in this book. It felt like it was a literary style, but not overly pretentious or like it was trying to be literary.

Voice – I am a huge fan of multiple perspective stories. Give me more than one side of things and I will automatically enjoy a book a little more. This has several perspectives, by all the main characters but one, which made the story much more interesting. If it was all from Patty, i would have hated it. But by letting us see the world through Richard, Joey, and Walter’s eyes also, it showed a better picture of life and helped me understand each charachet much better.

Issues – This is a highly political book. Between conserving nature and habitats for birds, the war contracts, and the issue of over-population, it tackled a lot and did it very well. For the most part, the discussions fit into the story and didn’t feel like it was stretching to do so.

The Bad

Characters- THere was not a single character that I actually liked. I don’t know about you, but I like having a character that i cheer for. I want to see someone succeed and be happy. There just wasn’t anyone i wanted to cheer for. They were are whiners or jerks or adulterers or entitled little brats. Usually they were a combination of those lovely traits. When I have no one to get behind, the book can only be okay at best.

That isn’t to say they are not well-formed character, they are, but I enjoy having a likable character in the bunch! Maybe it is just something that isn’t in as many adult books?

Overall, I am very glad that I read it. Did you read it? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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