Monday, May 31, 2010

Mankell, Grafton, etc.

I have to confess that I had to go back in to the last post and correct the spelling on that one. Don't know why but I have a mental block on Mankell's name. Hemming or Henning? Mankell or Mankel. I am usually so good about spelling. Oh, well, I guess I concentrate on my reading, not the authors or titles. I am really bad about those, too. I guess I read for content...
Anyway, liked the last Mankell, but not as much as the Wallander series. I think I just like the character so much. I really like the melancholy, angst-ridden characters! It was a little graphic and gory, but I usually gloss over that part anyway.
Back to Grafton. I went back and read Q is for Quarry. I thought by now the stories would start to seem familiar but not yet. I've read all of them but as they came out so it's been years since I read most of them. This is the one that is partially based on a true story, or inspired by it. It was good but different than her usual. She is not in her usual routine in her little garage apartment.
Now I am reading a Peter Robinson -his series with the English Alan Banks character. It's a newer one- can't think of the title (what a surprise!) but it is okay. I kind of know where this one is going though, and wish he would dump the new girlfriend.
The book club this month is supposed to read Don Quixote but frankly, too heavy for me right now. It requires more concentration than I am able to give it so I will set that one on the back burner.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mankell, my dear

Well, in my last post I said I was putting Sue Grafton down, but read through to P is for Peril on the Kindle before I put it down. Then I decided to read my book club book (bonus!! it was free on Amazon to download to Kindle). But, overall I was disappointed. The plot was kind of interesting but I don't think it was well written, Oh, Oops! I guess I should actually mention what it is. The Dark Tide by Andrew someone. Anyway, it was even kind of cheesy in the love scenes. I could have written it better, which is not saying a lot for the book. Wouldn't reread it and wouldn't buy anything else by that author.
Then I had picked up a couple of Dick Francis books at Half-Price so I had to read those. One I really liked- The Straight. All about gems and the sale of gems. He is always so interesting. People complain that his books are all about horses, but I always learn something new and there is always some new area he delves into.
Now I am reading a non-Kurt Wallander story by Henning Mankell. The Return of the Dance Master. I'm almost through with it and I have no clue who the guilty party is. I love his books. I guess I identify with all the sad, struggling cops. Anyway,I have no clue what I am going to read many books, so little time.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

S is for Sue Grafton

Well... I declined to read the last book club book. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns. I read twenty pages and it seemed so stereotypical of the South and not in a good way. I just couldn't make myself read anymore. There are so many more things I really want to read. Which brings me to Sue Grafton. I've read everything she's written as it has come out. My daughter had all of (or almost all of) Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series in archive on the Kindle. I had reread A through C within the last couple of years because I had given them to a friend to read when she was going through a tough time. Of course I had to read them first before I handed them off to her - they were second hand from Half Price books. I thought they might distract her for a little while. Anyhoo, so I picked up with D and have read through to M. That's where I am right now.
I'm thinking I will put Sue down for awhile. I'm getting to the point where the stories are starting to get familiar. (because it hasn't been too long since I read them.) I have a new Henning Mankell I've been saving. It's not a Kurt Wallander story but I'm thinking it should be pretty good. At least, I hope so. Well, TTFN.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Lacuna

Read The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver and it was okay. I really liked parts of it but parts of it dragged-too wordy and TMI! Plus I have a prejudice against Forrest Gump type stuff - you know - I was there - right in the middle of real people. This time the real people were mostly Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (not to mention Leon Trotsky). I think the book did illuminate that part of our history with the House UnAmerican activities and the hunt for Reds under our beds, but still it was a little too much.
Read another Kurt Wallander story - Sidetracked- still love that character. I think there may be one more book in the series. I did catch an interview on NPR with Henning Mankell and it sounded like he was going to write another Wallander story so I am happy about that.
I'm working my way through my daughter's Kindle and just reread H is for Homicide - Sue Grafton. Love the Kindle - need to figure out how to change ownership from my daughter to me. I can see where it could be dangerous to just buy books with a push of a button....So many books, so little time.... Started to read another Grafton my daughter had in archives on the Kindle and had to stop and charge it up. Oh well, I really should be doing other things.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Still Slacking

Okay, I'm still slacking. Not in the reading, but in the writing. Plus, I still feel self-conscious so... what can I say - a professional slacker. Any excuse will be used.
Didn't finish the Lincoln book. I just got too bogged down with the politics - and there's too much of that in real life. So I set it aside for a while.
I think my last posting I mentioned The Help rather condescendingly. I am so sorry. I really enjoyed it. At first I thought "how trite" and "I know just where this is going". Wrong. Loved it, raced through it. Wished there was a part 2.
Also, sometime ago I read The Gate at the End of the Stairs (or close to that- sorry I don't still have the book - it was a loaner and I'm too lazy to google or amazon it.) Excellent book as well, not predictable and I recommend it.
Okay, this month, the book club elected to hang tough and read three (yes, three!) Holocaust books. I was all for it, but I can say I am done with that subject for a while. They are: Frankl's "Man Search for Meaning" or some such, "Sarah's Key", and "Night" by Elie Wiesel. They all had good things to offer. My only complaint with "Sarah's Key" was that the little girl in the story - all she ever did was ask Why me? why here? Why this?, etc. I think it could have been better written. I think at some point when you are really going through something traumatic, you quit asking those questions and just focus on survival. So it was a little irritating for the umpty-ump time to read, Why me? etc. Night was good, and short and to the point, not too graphic - or at least it didn't belabor the horror, just stated this happened or that happened and that was it. I got Frankl's newer edition which has a whole second section on his logotherapy - a form of psychotherapy he developed as a result of his time in concentration camps, and I have to confess I read very little of it. I just was not into reading it at that point.
I have read some other books since I last posted so when I get organized (yeah, right) I will post again with my delicious literary morsels (gag me).

Saturday, January 02, 2010

the New Year

Okay, I've been slacking. I must confess again that I've become self-concious. This is sort of like writing a diary and then tacking up your diary pages on the front of some store. Maybe no one will look at it but it's out there.
Finished the Education of Little Tree. It was all right. A little simplistic and you could kind of figure out what was going to happen, but did offer some insight into what a rural life must have been like during those times. Being a city girl I don't have much idea what it must have been like. Next book club selection is "The Help" which I have read a few pages of.... but I can kind of see where that is going, too.
Right now I am reading parts of four different books: Lincoln, by Donald (?), the Santaland Diaries by Sedaris, Well-Schooled in Murder by Elizabeth George, and can't remember the 4th right now. I'm mostly reading Lincoln at lunch at work. It's so heavy that it's hard to read in bed at night- my wrists are killing me, so I've opted to try and read it at other times.
Have been watching more television. I know that's not good but I have my favorites. The new Project Runway is going to start next week. Watching "Launch my Line" the Bravo attempt at Project Runway which is kind of lame but I'm watching it anyway. New Celebrity Rehab starts next week also. (I'm almost ashamed to admit it but I really enjoy it) _ Oh yes, I read Cracked by Dr. Drew Pinsky which I really enjoyed. Back to tv- watching the Bureau and the Shift as cop procedurals since 48 Hours is always in reruns. And of course all my normal PBS shows- Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, etc.
That's all for now.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Various and Sundry

Well, I've become self-conscious about writing this, so I didn't for a while. Now I can't remember what all I have read. Oops Italics again. I've read a couple more in the Kurt Wallender stories from Henning Mankell. Not sure why I am hooked on him, but I like his sad self-awareness. Then I read that Mankell has a gloom and doom view of what's happening to Sweden and the world and that's why he wrote them. I thought they were just good mysteries. The last one I read was The Pyramid which were sort of the backstories to the series.

I read about half of Jitterbug Perfume and just quit- I couldn't stand one more throbbing staff! Enough said.

Saw a great movie- very sweet and humorous. Lars and the Real Girl. I didn't think I was going to like it. I thought is would be more X-rated, but was glad to find that it was not. Not that it would matter just wasn't in the mood for hard-core.

Our next book club selection is The Education of Little Tree. The person who suggested it and loves the book was horrified to find out that the author reportedly had been a member of the KKK at one time. The book is supposedly heartwarming, etc. (hate that word) so we are going to read it for its own merits, whatever they are.
Enough for now. Just didn't want to feel guity about not writing.