Sunday, August 31, 2008

So Brave, Young, and Handsome By Leif Enger

I loved Enger's first book Peace Like a River, adored it. So I hoped as much for his second book, So Brave, Young and Handsome. But it was very hard for me to get into...just didn't captivate me like Peace Like a River and sadly I didn't even finish it. Things are too crazy right now to read books that I'm not loving. Too bad.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Thirteenth Tale


That is my review, plain and simple. How could I have missed this book?! Why didn't someone tell me about it sooner?! It is fantastic. It takes a little bit to get into it, but then it sucks you in. The kind you stay up all night reading and don't even care when you doze off three or four times the next day.

Vida Winter is an incredibly famous writer who has published countless books. She is very mysterious and no one knows anything about her or her life before she was famous. Every time someone comes to interview her and ask her personal questions, she makes up these fabulous tales because she claims that no one wants to hear a true story, only fiction. Well, she is dying and now it is time to tell this final tale. So she asks a young woman, Margaret, who works in her dad's bookstore and also writes biographies to be the one to write her story. Margaret sits all day and listens to a master storyteller tell her life story. It is so good because you are trying to solve a mystery, only you aren't quite sure what the mystery is. If you like serious plot twists, you will love this book.

When I finished it, I just wanted to start over again. I think it may have even jumped onto my top ten books.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

This is exciting!

Hey everyone. My name is Melanie and I am new to the book club. I was browsing blogs today and came across this one. I absolutely love to read--when I can find the time. The books on here look great and I am anxious to get started. Right now I am in the middle of The Host. I am a stay at home mom of three little munchkins. My oldest is 6 and starting Kindergarten (sniff) and my youngest is 2 months. I used to teach 2nd grade for 6 years before my husband finally finished school and is now supporting us. Because of my background in elementary education, I have read a lot of young adult novels. I am really trying to branch out and try adult literature! With things finally winding down this summer, I am excited to start to read and share with all of you. You are welcome to visit my blog: Leave a comment so I can get to know you all more! Happy reading!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Summary: Odd is a twenty year old short order cook who sees the dead. Think 'the sixth sense' meets 'medium'. He helps the dead solve the crimes that led to their death and tries to prevent tragedy. It is very clean in the no swearing/sex part, but does have some creepy value based on the ghosts and the violent crimes in it. But the books are actually quite funny and I laughed out loud quite a few times. And you just really love Odd by the time the book is over- he is a very optimistic and innocent character who you just want to see happy. I even cried a little at the end.

New York times review:
While still sustaining the requisite level of creepiness, Mr. Koontz manages to tell a breezy, overtly inspirational story that should attract a few fans of its own … Odd Thomas walks a very thin line between the exploitation of horror and the feel-good religious optimism that transcends the darkness -

Friday, August 8, 2008

Dear John

I have never read a book written by Nicholas Sparks, until this week. I shamelessly took time to just sit and read, someting I haven't done for months. I loved Dear John, despite the ending. This is a story of true love.
From the jacket: "An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love--and face the hardest decision of his life."
I won't hesitate to recommend it to the students at school.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Breaking Dawn

I will describe my feelings toward this book in one word. And that word is:

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Death in the Family

"A death in the family" was a 1958 Pulitzer Prize winning book, awarded post-humorously to James F. Agee. Why would I chose to read a book published in 1957? First, it is on a recommended college read lists of which I have only read five books so far. Secondly, we, James Agee and I, share common ancestry, so I thought it would be a good one to check off the list. This is not a high action or deep drama book. It' main theme is the role of religion and a child's perception. Much of the narrative is told from the point of view of children, mostly through the eyes of Rufus. Rufus is a young boy who idolizes his father. Through the book, in flashbacks, he shares stories of their relationship, as only a young child can tell. The story is somewhat autobiographical as he describes the death of his father. It begins with Rufus sharing an evening with his father, who is called away later in the night to check on his own ailing father. He fails to return when expected, and Mary, his wife and mother of Rufus, learns he has been in a serious car accident. She prepares the house for him to come home assuming he is only injured, but soon learns he was killed almost instantly in the accident, when he hits his head on the steering wheel before being thrown from the car. It is excellently written, describing the feelings of a child, not understanding all that goes on around, the mourning, the explanation of death, the wake and burial, and his mother tries to cope and explain God's role. This is not a quick read, and I would only recommend it to someone who is serious about going to college. It is definitely a Pulitzer Prize book.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Warning: Contains Spoilers!!!
Ok, Amanda pretty much summed it up. I loved the Twilight Series and this book( though I don't know it it deserves that nice of a title...more like this trash) was terrible. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Kinda like drinking warm donated blood through a straw, oh wait Bella did that in this book. Here is a list of the disasters that I can't get over

1. Bella, I faint at the smell of blood, Swan starts drinking blood by the cupful? Are you kidding me. And she used a straw... please! If your gonna drink blood, gulp it don't don't savor it slowly with a straw.
2. Edward's personality becomes as hard and cold as his stone body. He isn't there. Stephenie...where have you hidden Edward? We miss him!
3. Bella and actually all the characters lose their personality. The go from these awesome 3 dimensional characters that we fell in love with to these boring personality-less shadows.
4. Nessie or Renessmee...worst name in the history of literature. But she could have named the stupid half vampire Andrea and I would have still hated the book!
5. Jazz gets the award for the worst nickname ever!
6. Bella's pregnancy went from something that could have been so special between she and Edward, I can just see Edward getting excited and buying his daughter her first car before she's born, to a big disgusting mess. When the baby started clawing it's way out...that's when I knew Stephenie Meyer was being possessed by some sort of alien body snatcher. You would have to be alien to write that kind of junk!

I had a bigger list...anyone who's read the stupid book has to have a list a mile long but I just can't go's making me too depressed. What a sad sad day August 2nd was. It will be a black day in literary history!

BD should stand for BIG DISAPPOINTMENT


What to say? Well, first thing is that I am writing this as a true twi-hard fan. I have read and reread twilight, new moon, and eclipse more times than I would care to admit. I regularly visit forks, WA when I need an escape and feel like Edward, Bella, and Alice are my close friends.

And unfortunately, none of them made it into this book. I'm sorry Stephenie, but this book was a literary train wreck! And it isn't just that it was hyped up and didn't live up to the hype, it was terrible. I felt like my heart had been broken. None of the characters acted as they should, everyone had strange nicknames, and the ending was all wrong. I still can't believe that Stephenie wrote this book. I won't go into detail about ALL of the things wrong with this book since some of you might still read it (though you can get on any website and read all of them if you are actually curious).

I'm thinking of walking around for the next week wearing a T-shirt that says "Friends don't let Friends read Breaking Dawn". I feel people should be warned so they don't go into and get their heart smashed by these fake characters. The real Edward never would have broken my heart this way.