Monday, April 18, 2011

Bad bad book for wasting my precious awake time.




First of all, I would like to point out that I obviously have no formal training (aside from a few Gen Ed courses in college) on the subject of literature, nor am I am paid to write book reviews (but I am open to accepting donations!). None of that matters because I have free publishing right here on this humdinger of a blog, thus enabling me to spew my opinion all over the Internet! Yay. I am, on most days, moderately literate, and every day I possess an obnoxiously strong opinion, so that qualifies me to write a book review. Right? Sure.

I am fortunate to be in a fabulous book club that meets once a month. It consists of nine (how many of us are there now?)diverse women. We indulge in wine, coffee and munchies while discussing hormones, kids, sex, shoes, food, penis size (jk?) and occasionally the title that we read. We choose our books two months at a time to give everyone a chance to locate and read the selections. I love my book club gals. I love reading. I love having a palpable reason to peruse books that are outside of what I would normally pick up (i.e. me heading towards the Barbara Kingsolver section or anything stamped with Oprah's seal of approval).

We opt for a nice variety, and if you are curious, many of the titles from the last 2 1/2 years are displayed in my book list. Everything from chick lit to mystery to romance to actual literature has made the cut. Honestly, I'm fairly easy to please when it comes to entertainment. Depending on my mood, I can even tolerate total fluff (flash to me watching The House Bunny and laughing out loud). But last month's book. Ugh. That fucker was draining me. More than 200 pages in and the story had not progressed from page 50. I think the author was going for suspense with his 150 pages of pure paranoia and a lame lame plot, hello? PLOT? you can't climax on page 36 and then continue to write another 356 pages but it left me wanting to say "Oh cheese and rice, shut the hell up and DO SOMETHING already".

So here is my review of Brad Meltzer's The First Council: It was so gripping that I won't be finishing it, because I no longer give a flying unicorn (a unisarus... a pegacorn?) "who done it". It was so mesmerizing that I would rather put it down and watch reruns of Fantasy Island, which is terrible as well, but at least they lai people and "wrap it up" in an hour.

Save your time and energy for Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams or Prodigal Summer, Sarah Gruen's Water for Elephants or Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale. All are available in paperback and worth the read. Or just read something by Steven King. Or go read The Little Prince to your kid. Or just crack open a beer, tune into Hot in Cleveland, and enjoy half an hour of the hilarious and fabulous Betty White and her entourage.

Cheers,
Johi

12 comments:

  1. We had a couple new women join our [fluffy] book club and they were suggesting really hard books. It made me drink more wine. This month is Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese. You should read it and tell me if you like it before I get it. :)

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  2. Oh sweet baby Jesus, you crack me up. I've actually read our next two picks so I thought that I would take the next two months and spend it doing something to serve the community, like netflixing every episode of The Golden Girls and drinking wine on my patio.

    And HOW annoying. Who wants to engage their brain? Sheesh!

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  3. we gave up our book club because it became food and gossip club, so my best friend and i invented beer club instead, it is like book club, but no one pretends they read the book, and we all read our own books, then hang out and drink beer.

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  4. Hey Johi-- I did manage to finish the book, but found a lot of it hard to care about. I guess I've already read next months'. I've actually heard really good things about Cutting for Stone, so maybe I'll read it and send a note to Phoenix up there...

    Also, I don't know why I've never read any Wally Lamb. I've had it recommended to me over and over. I'll go look for "She's come undone" for my summer pile as well!

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  5. @Tova- Awesome. We have just recently started actually talking about the bookd, which is a major accomplishment and I feel very proud of us!

    @Francesca- Maybe I'll check it out too. What the hell... I really want to read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest first though.

    I think you would like Wally Lamb. My friend suggested One Thing I Know for Sure (or something like that). It isn't even about my Things, which you and I for sure know. Sorry I missed you the other night. We should get together soon.

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  6. I too love Hot In Cleveland!

    Cutting For Stone, huh? I need to look into this one. Personally, I like the variety .. I like that one month we read The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo (not fluff) and the next month we read Remember When (Sophie Kinsella - Yeah Fluff!). Overall we've done good .. with a few stinkers along the way, IMO. Me too - Book Club gets me reading stuff I would otherwise overlook!

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  7. Hot in Cleveland rocks.

    @Lou- Really there have only been a few stinkers. That very first book, The Mommy Myth, probably took the award for the worst. Then there was the one that I recommended that NO ONE (not even me) read. Maybe that one takes the cake. In general we have been "winning!" though. I like the variety too.

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  8. I LOVE to read and would LOVE to be involved in a book club. I've done bible study book clubs-ish but there is DEFINITELY no liquor at those...even though sometimes liquor makes everything seem better...even prayer!! Love ya girl!!

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  9. @Crystal- I did a bible study once and am kind of surprised that no one in that particular group brought liquor. It was kind of awesome! You should join a book club(or start one!). Lou up there started ours on line and I read about it in the paper. None of us had ever met before~ and here we are 3 1/2 years later!

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  10. This is so funny, I geeked out a little bit ago because I saw that Kindle is working on virtual library lending.

    My book club disbanded...too much wine and talk, not enough book focus. Boo. :( I miss the concept, I love to read. I love to talk. I'm really good at both things. Sadly, the biggest problem now is that I cannot see. I've got to get a new prescription for glasses (old lady vision has set in).

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  11. I want a Kindle, and I actually kind of want to live in our local library. It had big south facing windows and books... really, do I need to say anything more? :) Sorry about your book club and you vision. Brock's old man vision is kicking in. Time for reading glasses! I'm actually kind of excited, I think he is going to look hot in them.

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