Nine of the 14 books I read this month received 3 Stars.
- Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (Fiction): I almost gave this book a 2. If it weren’t for the wonderful writing and the unique story, I would have. It is a favorite of one of my friends whose opinion I respect so much, so that’s why I read it. The opera business, the Japanese businessman, the detail detail detail was so boring to me. I felt no connection with any of the characters, so I really did not care if any of them survived their ordeal of being kidnapped by a radical group. Did. Not. Care.
- Witch and Wizard, The Gift, The Fire (Witch and Wizard Series) by James Patterson (Young Adult): I read this to see if my daughter might like it. She is enjoying it. My problem with it is the writing. It is like different people wrote the chapters (actually, on the second two books, there are two authors credited). The horrible things that happen in the book (uh, death) don’t FEEL horrible; the book tells us we should be upset and outraged without the writing taking us there. There is an inconsistency in the tone of the book which meant I didn’t know how seriously to take it. Sometimes it is smart-assy, sometimes juvenile.
- A Conspiracy of Paper; A Spectacle of Corruption by David Liss (Mystery): These are both Benjamin Weaver books. Ben is a Jew and former boxer in late 1700s London who becomes a thief-taker (more or less a precursor to private investigators/bounty hunters) once his boxing days are over. This period is not usually one that I am attracted to (stink, emptying privy pots, powdered wigs), but the writing is just so well done. It is obvious that Mr. Liss did a superabundance of research regarding this time period, with the mystery topics requiring so much exploration as well. Everything rings true. I think what keeps me from giving them 4 Stars is the subject matter. There is so much information about “stock-jobbing” and elections and thief-taking and unfairness of the classes that my brain gets over-saturated with too much information. I read these books because I really enjoyed Mr. Liss’ book called The Twelfth Enchantment (which was a different style of book altogether).
- Silence (The Hush, Hush Saga) by Becca Fitzgerald (Young Adult): This series will be reviewed separately on this blog in a continuing series called The Angel Angle
- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (Non-Fiction): I think Mindy Kaling is hilarious. I wasn’t aware of her until she was on the US version of The Office. Then my husband told me that she is a writer on the show as well. Well, that did it for me. There’s something about women who write comedy – good comedy. Who else understands that there’s more to us than PMS, commitment and shoe jokes while knowing that there is truth in that humor as well? Ms. Kaling definitely falls in that category and her
book is a nice view into her life and history, too.
- Hourglass by Myra McEntire (Young Adult): I can’t remember how I found out about this book. I think it was on Twitter after I started @InkandPage. It is a book about a girl who thinks she sees ghosts. Her parents were killed in an accident, so she lives with her older brother and sister-in-law in a converted building in Tennessee. Soon she meets a guy who says he can explain what’s happening and actually help her. I can’t tell you here what actually IS happening (SPOILER!), but suffice to say that it is an interesting twist. I love that the story is set in the South and the hero is not a bad boy for a change. I am certain that the heroine’s best friend has some sort of “ability” as well, but it is only hinted at in this volume.