Monday, August 24, 2009

The Broken Shore by Peter Temple ****

I found this book on NPR as one that has gone "under the radar" but was a good read. I have to agree with them.
The main character is Joe Cashin, a big city detective who has been posted to his backwater home town after a particularly vicious run in with a crime boss. He lost his young partner in the event & feels massive guilt for it.
As the story unfolds, you learn not only about the crime that occurs in Port Monro & throws Joe back into action, but about Joe's family. I wasn't really aware of the racial dynamic in Austrailia between the white & aboriginal peoples. Needless to say, there is a lot of racism going on & there is a lot of similarity to the US in that regards.
Joe had an aunt that was aboriginal (I have no idea what the acceptable term would be for the native peoples of Austrailia other than aboriginal--mostly unacceptable terms were used in the book!) & grew up with his cousins, so has a much different outlook than most of his fellow white cops.
The plot got a little predictable for me towards the end, though the scope of it was very surprising. I'm not the biggest fan of crime novels or I would have given this 5 stars. But anyone who likes to read good writing would enjoy this book immensely.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling ****

Another good one. I like this one more than the second one, though now I'm starting to get them all mixed up in my head!
Not much more I can say other than that.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Austenland by Shannon Hale ***

I had to read this, since it's Shannon Hale's only adult book to date. And now I can see why she doesn't write adult fiction. It's not that the book is bad in any way, it is just a very light read. Her books for teens actually seem to have a little more substance to them. The premise is that a 32 year old single gal gets a non-refundable trip to Pembrook Park, a resort in Jolly Old that claims to give you the full experience of being in a Jane Austen book. Like I said, it's a cute read & great for when you're not wanting to get into anything dark or morbid. If you go in with low expectations, you won't be disappointed. I had higher ones based on her teen books, but hey, you can't get everything in life.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling ****

Yep, this one was good too. Though I doubt there are many people out there who haven't read it yet. I know, I'm 10 years late getting to this one!
Snakes--boy do we humans have an obsession with them! My son loves the scaly devils, though he doesn't want to necessarily touch one or anything. But man does he enjoy the snake house at the zoo!
I guess I feel sorry for the whole serpent world for how we portray them in books. At least Harry Potter can speak to them, & thereby give them some voice. I know the late Croc Hunter enjoyed hanging out with them too, but he was definitely a little different, to put it nicely.
Well, this has been an exceedingly lame post. It's probably because I've been simply reading lately to divert my mind from the fact my dad passed away this past Wednesday. Though I'm not in the state of despair I was in for the past 3 days, I'm still not quite myself yet. I've been wondering if I ever will be. As ol' W.B. Yeats said, "..peace comes dropping slow...".

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher *****

I'm going to keep this short--this is a good book. Read it. It is funny. I liked it. Carrie Fisher is crazy. She has lots of problems. But she has a great sense of humor. So what the hell. Don't we all?