Thursday, June 11, 2009

Booking ThroughThursday

Here is this weeks question:

There are certain types of books that I more or less assume all readers read. (Novels, for example.)

But then there are books that only YOU read. Instructional manuals for fly-fishing. How-to books for spinning yarn. How to cook the perfect souffle. Rebuilding car engines in three easy steps. Dog training for dummies. Rewiring your house without electrocuting yourself. Tips on how to build a NASCAR course in your backyard. Stuff like that.

What niche books do YOU read?

I can honestly say I don't think I read any niche books. Perhaps when I was in university I read some history books but other than that I don't think I have any niche books really. I do have a collection of architectural technology books but they are my fiancee's. Actually, I suppose I have a niche of teaching books. I have all the Ontario curriculum books and I read those often for my lesson plans. I also have books on how best to teach children who have learning disabilities and if English is their second language. So I guess my niche books are teaching books.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner

From the Publishers:
Come into my parlor . . . For FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy it starts with a pregnant hooker. The story Delilah Rose tells Kimberly is too horrifying to be true. But prostitutes are disappearing, leaving behind no bodies and no explanations—except one only Kimberly, herself four months pregnant, is willing to believe. Could a sadist be hunting the streets for vulnerable young girls and using spiders to do his dirty work? Said the spider to the fly. . . . Either a serial killer has found the key to the perfect murder or Kimberly is following clues to a crime that never happened. In fact, Kimberly’s caught in a web more lethal than any spider’s, and the more she fights for answers, the more tightly she’s trapped. She’s already close—too close—to a psychopath who makes women’s nightmares come alive. And like her mother and sister before her, both victims of a serial killer, it won’t be long before it’s Kimberly’s time to say goodbye with her dying breath.

My Review:
I really got into this book and found I couldn't put it down. Gardner really knows how to write a murder mystery. Not only does she write an exciting plot line but she also develops all her characters including the killer. What I really like about this book is the fact that you never know what is going to happen next; predictable is not a word I would use to describe this book. **** SPOILER ALERT**** At times I found it really hard to believe that someone who went through as much abuse as he did, Dinchara continued the legacy of sexual torture on other young boys. That being said, I can see how it might happen if that is the only life he remembers. I guess there is the Stockholm Syndrome for a reason. I really like how all the characters were tied together in the end. Again, this was another book that I read within a day or two. I couldn't put it down. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars

The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer

From the Publishers:
Brad Meltzer--author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Fate--returns with his most thrilling and emotionally powerful novel to date.
In Chapter Four of the Bible, Cain kills Abel. It is the world''s most famous murder. But the Bible is silent about one key detail: the weapon Cain used to kill his brother. That weapon is still lost to history.
In 1932, Mitchell Siegel was killed by three gunshots to his chest. While mourning, his son dreamed of a bulletproof man and created the world''s greatest hero: Superman. And like Cain''s murder weapon, the gun used in this unsolved murder has never been found.
Until now.
Today in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Cal Harper comes face-to-face with his family''s greatest secret: his long-lost father, who''s been shot with a gun that traces back to Mitchell Siegel''s 1932 murder. But before Cal can ask a single question, he and his father are attacked by a ruthless killer tattooed with the anicent markings of Cain. And so begins the chase for the world''s first murder weapon.
What does Cain, history''s greatest villain, have to do with Superman, the world''s greatest hero? And what do two murders, committed thousands of years apart, have in common? This is the mystery at the heart of Brad Meltzer''s riveting and utterly intriguing new thriller
- read less

My Review:
I found this book to be fast paced and suspenseful and it took almost no time at all to finish. The book blends the biblical story of Cain and Abel with the modern story of Superman and takes the reader on a journey to find the Book of Lies which actually turns out to be a book of truth. I really enjoyed reading this book. I found that in some parts the plot line was a little predictable but overall I was excited to see what would happen next. Like many plot driven books, the characters are not as fully developed as I usually like but you come to expect that when reading books like this. I give this book a 4 out of 5

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Booking Through Thursday

So I know it's not Thursday but I didn't know about this site until today. Every Thursday they post a question and you answer it on your blog. So Here is my first week's question.

I saw this over at Shelley’s, and thought it sounded like a great question for all of you:

“This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.”

Ok, this might be difficult but here I go:

1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

2. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

3. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistrey

4. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

5. Fall On Your Knees by Anne Marie MacDonald

6. The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman

7. The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

8. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

9. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

10. The Way the Crow Flies by Anne Marie MacDonald

11. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

12. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

13. My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult

14. The Harry Potter Series by J. K Rowling

15. The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart

So I guess that wasn't as hard as I would have thought. I still have a few reviews to post on here but I want to get back to my book so perhaps another time.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King

From the Publishers:
Through a combination of magical humour, revisionist history and muted nostalgia, this book transports readers to the fictional town of Blossom. As the story unfolds, Thomas King familiarizes readers with the lives of five Blackfoot Indians. The plot centres around Alberta, a university professor involved with two men who pull her into opposing orbits. There is also Charlie, a flashy ambitious lawyer; Lionel, the local TV salesman; Latisha, the manager of the Dead Dog Cafe; and Eli, a lost soul searching for the white man’s grail in Toronto. Although the characters live seemingly separate lives, they discover their existences are connected in ways at once coincidental, comical and cosmic in Green Grass, Running Water.

My Thoughts:
I had a hard time getting through this book. At certain parts I was really intrigued by the characters and their lives. At other parts I had a hard time following what was going on. The dynamic seemed to be either life on the reserve or the rest of the world. I don't have a lot of knowledge on native culture but the novel presents a tension between staying on the reserve and living off the reserve but still retaining their culture. I was frustrated with all the magic realism but at the same time I found it interesting that most of the stories were based in native creation stories but fused with "modern" and Christian culture. Overall I give this book a 3 out of 5

Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey

From the Publishers:

One of the most celebrated and controversial authors in America delivers an extraordinary novel—a sweeping chronicle of contemporary Los Angeles that is bold, exhilarating, and utterly original. Dozens of characters pass through the reader's sight lines—some never to be seen again—but James Frey lingers on a handful of LA's lost souls and captures the dramatic narrative of their lives. A dazzling tour de force, Bright Shiny Morning

My Review:

At first I found this book a little hard to get into but after about 30 pages I really got into it. I wanted to know more about the 4 main characters in the book. I found the way Frey brought in many different fact about LA fascinating and I found myself drawn into the book. I would say if there was one main character it is the city itself rather than the people who inhabit it. That being said, I did find the book a little bleak but I suppose that is the way life crumbles sometimes. I give this book a 4 out of 5
illuminates the joys, horrors, and unexpected fortunes of life and death in Los Angeles.