Marlene’s November Book Reviews

img_5021BOOKS

Catching Heaven by Sands Hall.  Intense story of two sisters with their questions about life and how unfair it has been to them.  Oh my, I found myself losing interest as they continued to shoot themselves in the foot.  It’s not fate that lands them in their predicaments but their dumb behavior. Sorry, these women did not elicit sympathy but rather impatience.  It’s time to grow up, women!  Well, they eventually do and the last chapter wraps everything up neatly with parents suddenly being nice and accepting, the two sisters bonding once more and shedding their life-long resentments and looking forward to a better future.  The writing is very good but the story wasn’t something I can get excited about. NOT A RECOMMEND

I read a couple more books by Tony Hillerman  and Colin Dexter.  While none would set the world on fire, they were all good reads.  In fact, I haven’t read any books by either author that I wouldn’t recommend.  Start anywhere in their series and enjoy.  RECOMMEND

On the other hand, I was continuing with the Winston Graham’s Poldark series but am putting those down as I couldn’t get into the fifth book at all.  I was reading them since my neighbor thought so highly of them and I felt obligated to read them.  But no more!  I can’t do it.  I have never been a fan of soap operas with shallow, predictable characters and I am giving up on this one. NOT A RECOMMEND (Marlene, Have you watched the PBS series? I am hooked. Robin)

Now, you might be wondering why there are so many audios this month.  Blame it on the thousands of daffodil bulbs I had to plant in-between raindrops!  These audio books made the time very enjoyable and I am appreciate of my wonderful local library for providing me with many choices for audio books.

AUDIO

The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle.  (All his stories are Capers!)  Ah, a refreshing detective who was once a criminal but no homicides, violence or the like in his world.  He is a wine connoisseur and is brought on board by an insurance company to track down a clear heist of a VERY expensive wine collection.  Wine lovers will enjoy the education about wines but also maybe the folly of wine collectors!  Marseille, France gets a nice treatment and you’ll want to open a nice bottle of wine (no, not an expensive one) and enjoy a bowl of bouillabaisse but don’t expect a cliff hanger.  It’s a light read and listening to it was perfect company while doing digging holes!  A RECOMMEND for those who want some light reading.

The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult.  If you are going to read this, get the book as there are comics added in honor of the father, Daniel, who has been a sort of super hero to his only child who is incidentally the light of HIS life. Yes, Picoult likes to take on hard subjects and here she embroils you into a family that is on the road to destruction. Picoult gets high marks for her character development, especially the teenager. Of course, it made me realize how easy I had it as a teenager or maybe I just don’t remember all the angst and drama.  There were a number of actions that seemed implausible and the plot line itself is weak.  Hmm, I can’t decide. I do have to say that I did like the tie-in to Dante’s Inferno.  I think I need to go read that again and leave Picoult for a while.  If you haven’t tried Picoult, find another book as she is a good writer, just not in this one.  NOT A RECOMMEND

The Cellar by Minette Walters  Here’s a psychological thriller in the vein of Ruth Rendell.  The hair on the back of my neck, rose up a few times as the story unfolds of what happens to a young mind when she has been abused.  It is an intense description of modern day slavery and sad to say, this is too often real life, not fiction.  But Walters will bring all the terror to life and draw you into this household as the story unfolds.  No more discussion as I don’t want to let out any spoilers.  Be prepared to feel sad at the same time shivers running up and down your spine but it is a worthy read.  The ending may leave you hanging but I think that it is a clever way for you to continue the story in your head.  A RECOMMEND

Slad House by David Mitchell.  A perfect story for Halloween. We are entering the world of paranormal and you will enjoy the journey, just don’t get caught. Readers Tomas Judd and Tania Rodriguez do a great job.  It’s a real haunted house and while the series of events gets a bit repetitive I did enjoy the story. I have to admit I felt relieved when the CDs were running out.  It is also predictable but it’s a light read for Halloween.  Relax and enjoy: A RECOMMEND