Day: October 20, 2016

Review: The Pillars of the Earth

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The Pillars of the Earth
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this out of order as once I read “World Without End,” I was so captivated that I had to go back to read this one. It was good, but I much preferred “World Without End.”  Follett is an amazing author.

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Review: V is for Vengeance

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V is for Vengeance
V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Alphabet Series is amazing…. we’re now in our 20th book and it’s still good but getting a little bored with the series 😦 Perhaps 20 is the max! 🙂

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Review: Did You Ever Have a Family

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Did You Ever Have a Family
Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I treasure this book. It has everything I want in something I choose to read. I generally am driven by the plot of a book, closely followed by the character development. Oddly, there is no plot in this book as the conflict at the center of the story took place before the book begins. Yet I love it. Quickly falling to character development, it’s fantastic. Each chapter switches from character to character, some of which you understand the connection to the plot, some of which you do not. By the middle of the book, you know what actually happened to kick off the tragedy, but relating the story each character tells is where you find the soul of the plot.

I highly recommend you read this book over a few days, not all at once. Take time to think about the characters, how they relate to folks in your own life, and figure out what the meaning ultimately is to you. I wish we all had a Lydia Morey in our life. She can teach us a lot.

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Review: The Philosopher’s Apprentice

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The Philosopher's Apprentice
The Philosopher’s Apprentice by James K. Morrow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars to James K. Morrow‘s The Philosopher’s Apprentice.

I found this book one afternoon while walking through a book store. It sounded like a good read so I added it to my new pile. It sat for a few weeks while I finished some others ahead of it, and then I dived in. It’s divided into 3 separate sections, and even I’ll admit there are a few disconnects in the writing style between the various sections, but compared to the amazing aspects of the story, it is very minor (at least to me!). I don’t think I’ve ever had a book that challenged me more than this one. It was phenomenal on so many levels. It helped me learn to think outside the box.


Skip forward about a year…

It’s my turn to choose a book for my Book Club. I choose this one as no one else had ever read it. I re-read it over a weekend with as little interruptions as possible. I found so many new layers that I double down on how phenomenal this book is.



Why?


A woman is cloning herself to find perfection. It’s the story inside all of us. It’s shocking and truthful and wicked and sentimental and scary and heartbreaking all the same. You are so trapped in what you think is acceptable and what you think is wrong that you can’t escape such a quandry in this book.



Why Not?


The later part of the book goes a bit off track and confuses easily — you have to focus and release all the questions that come to your mind until you get to the end. For me, it spoke volumes. For a few in the book club, they loved the first half and hated the last half. It’s all a matter of how you interpret what you hear — understand why someone would do something — and who you are rooting for.

Nevertheless, it’s one you should read – at least the first part of the book. Even if you give up midway, just the story in the first section is enough to mesmerize you, activate your innate reactions to the purpose of life and the need of a human connection, and send you questioning your own beliefs.

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Review: The Alexander Cipher

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The Alexander Cipher
The Alexander Cipher by Will Adams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The treasure quest mystery novel has long been a favorite of mine and The Alexander Cipher by Will Adams did not disappoint! I remember reading one of Adams’ later novels (perhaps even a Daniel Knox [main character in this series] one) but decided to start from the beginning just to be safe. I added The Alexander Cipher to my reading list earlier this summer and decided it was time to switch off of my other favorite, the cozy serial.

While I am a history buff and a bit of a language guy, I had to just accept a lot of what Adams drives via the story of Alexander the Great and the Macedonians, but as always, he does some with great flair and exuberance. I have already purchased the other 3 in the series (one of which could be a re-read!) and will slot them in every other book for the next few weeks… too much historical fiction and hardcore archaeological detail can be a bit draining.

The villains are bad but not too caricature-like (perhaps just a tad), and some good guys actually perish which helps make it all the more realistic, but you still need to suspend some of your disbelief at all the pure chances at luck Daniel meets. All in good fun tho… he comes up with a few bruises and wounds that will take some time heal.

Off to the next book in this year’s Reading Challenge.

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