Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Concrete Blonde

Fiction by Michael Connelly.

The Concrete Blonde (Harry Bosch Series #3)

This was a pretty good detective story, but not great.

It's the middle of the series, which is problematic, and the main character detective is a little too much Mr. Tortured Hero for my taste. Still, it was a decent book.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Blood Red

Fiction by Wendy Corsi Staub.

Blood Red (Mundy's Landing Series #1)

This was a good thriller; it kept my interest and surprised me at the end. It's supposed to be the beginning of a new series, so I will look for the next one.

I also read recently by this author: The Good Sister.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Invasive Procedures

Fiction by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston.

Invasive Procedures

Usually when I see a co-authored book by a prolific author, I am suspicious. Generally this means that the Great and Popular Author (name #1 on the cover) is too busy (or too old, or too DEAD) to write his own books now and instead churns out a plotline to shove over to some other guy (name #2 on the cover) so the lesser-known person can do the actual writing. (James Patterson is really bad about this, probably because the guy has too many great ideas for one novelist, but I have seen many other current authors do this. Also V.C. Andrews churned out a respectable number of novels after her untimely death.)

There's not really anything WRONG with this per se, because they are giving the poor workhorse (name #2) credit, but one has to be wary. If you're looking for a book actually written by a popular author (name #1) you like, don't go for the co-authored ones.

Anyways, I really like O. Scott Card a lot. I've read most of his books, (see The Pathfinder's Trilogyso I was excited when I saw one on the library shelf that I hadn't read. Then I saw (uh-oh), it was a co-authored book. I was like, Oh man! Don't tell me this guy's already too old (or worse!) to write his own stuff! But I gave it a shot.

Fortunately it turned out that this book came out in 2008, and my pal Mr. Scott is still alive and well and writing currently. (Whew!) This story is in fact an adaptation of an old short story that Aaron Johnston, a screenwriter, turned into a movie and then a novel. Additionally, Mr. Johnston is also my pal, and I like his writing very much, although it's more like Michael Crichton than Orson Scott Card. Which is fine.

So, long story short (too late!): This is an exciting medical thriller that I enjoyed very much.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Truly Madly Gulity

Fiction by Liane Moriarty.

Truly Madly Guilty

I really enjoyed this book, as I have pretty much everything by this author. I had a friend who also likes Liane Moriarty say she was disappointed by this one but I don't know why. Maybe it was a little slower-paced than Big Little Lies, but it was still excellent in my opinion.

I also read by this author: The Hypnotist's Love Story

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Chemist

Fiction by Stephanie Meyer.

The Chemist

I really enjoyed this book; it's a great thriller. It's not like Twilight (which I liked) or The Host (which I loved) by this same author, because it is in the real world. A more exciting version of the real world, of course...

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hidden Figures

Nonfiction by Margot Lee Shetterly.

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

I was interested in this book in the beginning because of the prologue; the author actually knew some of these women and was able to interview them. Oh, and the movie that's out right now with the lovely poster of three pretty black ladies dressed like Jackie Kennedy. That was also quite a draw.

Unfortunately I had a lot of trouble getting interested in the book past the prologue because the story seemed more about the history and atmosphere of Langley than about the ladies. I guess I shouldn't expect nonfiction to read like fiction, though. I'm just not as interested in this type of book as I should be. Still, it isn't the book's fault I'm not smart enough to enjoy it, I guess.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Private Lives

Fiction by Jane Smiley.

Private Life

The main character in this story interested me from th beginning, and I definitely found the book engaging. However, I didn't like how the plot went; it seemed to be unnecessarily cruel to this character I liked until she seemed rather emotionally stranded, and it ended with her story unresolved.

So I both liked and didn't like this story; on the whole, I think I'll give it half a thumbs-up for keeping my interest, but I can't go all the way thumbs-up since I was so unhappy with the end.

I also read recently by this author: Early Warning