Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Blue Bistro Written by: Elin Hilderbrand

The summer continues, and Elin Hilderbrand keeps me dreaming of those perfect summer days and nights. I am really beginning to see a Pattern in this author's writing/books. For one they all have female main characters, two they all take place at Nantucket, and three each main character tends to have a defining trait that makes them unique including her sub characters. This book made me wish I could quite my job and run to Nantucket and work as a hostess at some classy restaurant. Thus I would make lots of money and holiday for the winter in some snowy or hot exotic place...le sigh, this book really took the cubicle walls away from me and plopped me right onto the island of posh Nantucket. The cast of characters Hilderbrand brought together were so cool. Just so COOL! Then there's the talk about the Blue Bistro's food, my brother is a chef and I wish he still lived with me because I want him to make me fois gras, Lamb Lolipops, tomatoe specials etc... He explained life in the food/cooking world and I think Elin really captured how odd and dramatic the food world can be. If you enjoy food and reading, well this is so the book for you. There's so much to love about this book from Adrienne the main character to her boss the handsome co-owner Thatcher to the other Co-owner Fiona who is also the main chef, and an amazing one at that. Okay, a little bit of plot main character ends up on Nantucket, no food experience, looking to get away from life, and has a big pension for flossing. You will understand when you read. I cannot give away much as you the reader will have to figure out what is going on at the Blue Bistor just as poor Adrienne had to. I could not put this book down it just made me smile and feel warm sunbeams on my skin and smell suntan lotion mixed with the scent of the sea, and champagne. Truly a fun book that had so much character to it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Shunned House Written by: H.P. Lovecraft

H.P. Lovecraft I have heard of this man for most of my life, and told that many of my friends and the world of Horror and other supernatural aspects have been heavily influenced by this man's writing. I had the pleasure of even playing in a few games based off of his writing, and let me tell you scary stuff indeed! The Shunned house, is about just that, a house that is greatly forgotten, ignored, and deliberately so. The writing is so interesting I read a lot of first person books so I am very used to dialogue between characters this had none of that it was just descriptions over and over again, and very eery as the author kept layering his tale. The story itself was so unique in the way you have this house, and you know something bad had to have happened as you're told something bad has happened, but it is not overtly there. You just know it's going to be bad, but how bad? H.P. Lovecraft builds his story slowly as if you were walking through the woods one day found a path with a ray of sunshine upon it. Then as you kept going the path might twist here and there the sun becoming dimmer, and dimmer, the birds becoming quieter, until before you realize it you're in a dark dead wood with a noxious gas coming up from the ground and the path you were on is gone. The story evolved steadily, but when it finally finished you just were trapped, and had no chance of escaping. I felt myself wanting to ask the main character what the hell he was thinking doing what he was doing, and how he expected to accomplish anything? I loved this short book it was just simple and gripping. I look forward to reading more by H.P. Lovecraft.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Erotic Indulgence Jess Dee, Lexxie Couper, & Vivian Arend

What a way to start the summer off I mean HOT! Indulgence can be very fun from time to time don't you think? This book was smut, plain and simple. It tried to be filled with plot and give personality to each character, but this was too short of a book for both plot and foreplay/sex time. There are three books in this series I only read the first I will have to read the second and third since it appears they all take place where the first book occurs. This book is just steamy and sexy plus there's a dash, well a lot of love too. The stories main character Paige is a hardworking lady who is about to open a super hot brand new beach resort hotel, and she's just as serious about not one, not two, but three very gorgeous men. She's torn between choosing one of them. She loves each one special in his own way, but able to bring her to orgasm with...well you will just have to read in order to know. Which man could she possibly choose? As I said this book is short, but if you want to turn the heat up for a moment or two, and dream of being on a beach with a cocktail and just let go well I recommend this story.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fahrenheit 451 Written by: Ray Bradbury

First, Rest in Peace Mr. Bradbury. And second, I have never had the pleasure of reading Mr. Bradbury's works of writing before. I must admit I was rather shocked at how many of my friends had read his works and were so saddened by his departure, and then this heat wave hit my State for the last few days I thought well...let's give this a fitting go. After I got past the part about this book title being the temperature at which books burn. Horrifying thought. This book though short sure as heck packed one hell of a wallop. I can't go into much detail because I cannot spoil this book for you. What scared me so much about this book is I am already seeing such behavior all around me, people close their eyes and minds to the workings and politics of our countries, they wish to escape and not understand. They do not want to have such heavy thoughts. So many friends of mine tell me "Oh, I don't want to get involved, I don't pay attention, I don't like that kind of stuff." It is maddening because just because you ignore it, doesn't mean it isn't there. If anything it is a green light for those who want to be involved the extremists to make their choices for you on either side because they are involved. Another example I have found is a person may post a story about the War on women, Immigration being forced to "voluntarily deport", A brand new virus, a book banned from a state. etc... but that will get one like or one comment, where as "I farted while not working today, I am so hot, What shall I do today, etc..." Will receive 30 likes, and some 20 or more comments. It is easier to discuss the mundane the easy than deal with the messy. Then you hear of these school text book companies who have cart blanch when it comes to editing or leaving out bits of history, why? Because, they don't agree. I wonder with reality T.V. where there are no writers, no moral lessons, no real messages just a whole lot of people well screaming and making a lot of noise and entertainment is this our time of Fahrenheit 451 coming to pass? I admit I read a fair number of doom futuristic books, but this one well we let it happen. we just didn't want to deal and walked away. Did Mr. Bradbury see this? I loved the writing it was like a poem it was so mashed and changed from one dynamic moment to the next. The main character his mind, his thoughts, it was like a rusted machine never used before struggling to do what it was made to after years of harsh weather rained down upon it. And then the End...which you can interpret however you like. I did enjoy this book, and it made me think yes, I read a lot, but the important thing is to remember, and try to take something from the books.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Killing Lincoln The Shocking Assassination That changed America Forever Written by: Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

"Rather than dwell on death, Lincoln prefers to live life on his own terms." "If I am killed I can die but once," he is fond of saying, "but to live in constant dread is to die over and over again." Abraham Lincoln....

If some of you have been reading this blog you will know by now I have quite a crush on America's 16th president, not in a romantic way, but in a way that I respect, and wish I could have met such a dynamic man who was also quite humble. I also wonder what would have occurred had President Lincoln not been assassinated? Where would the world be? What would the extent of him finishing his presidency seen accomplished? I wonder... This book does not answer those questions. Instead Mr. O'Reilly and Martin Dugard write what so many have already written about the Assassination of the President. Now, that's not to say this book was repetitive and boring. Actually it was quite engaging and put history into order where there was chaos. I have read a few books on Abraham Lincoln that go all the way to the President's birth and through his life. This book begins with the President taking the oath into his second term. The book is split into several parts;  Total War, The Ides of Death, The Long Good Friday, The Chase, Afterward, Epilogue, and then some... which actually makes a lot of sense. There are details here I never before knew and little facts that make a lot of sense fleshing out the Civil War and the people involved in the bloody era. Also, the book brought up a few spooky foreshadowing facts that the president himself said many of times. I knew of a dream the President had, but not the rest of the episodes and speeches he gave so it was rather exciting and unnerving. This book does not read as a text instead it reads as if you were there witnessing such events. The authors also touch upon Lincoln and his relationships with Mary Lincoln, his family, associates, and guars. My hands shook a few times wishing I could say something while reading to halt what we all know is going to happen. There is no spoiler here. Lincoln will be murdered. I enjoyed this book very much, once I picked it up I just could not put it down it enthralled me. The battles are described so vividly as are the men who fought them, and there stood Lincoln watching, learning, and planning as much as was possible for him constantly getting updates and sending them via telegraph. I could go on and on, but this book was pretty good, perhaps I am a bit biased as I love the topic, but I could easily see this story as if I were watching it on the Television or Movie screen it was so vivid. After the Epilogue the book becomes more of the classic history text of less writing and more fact regurgitation, but I can forgive that as it is after the epilogue. So, if you are a fan of President Lincoln this is a good gateway read into more harder reading I would say. I am not an over fan of the author Bill O'Reilly myself, but I must admit him and Martin Dugard did a very lovely job on their book, and I was happy to have read it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Turn Coat Book 11 in The Dresden FIles. Written by: Jim Butcher

Life goes on... especially if we do not want it to. I am actually beginning to fear Mr. Butcher and his universe, I love the world in which he has placed Harry Dresden and I love his characters each has such a distinct voice and personality I can easily remember who is who. In this book Morgan the Warden who once hounded Harry just itching to end his life has been accused of a very big crime, and there's only one form of justice for Morgan...execution. If you've been reading the series you would know Morgan is the poster child of the White Council as Harry puts it..."Morgan would slay bunnies if they practiced black magic." So, for Morgan to commit a crime so heinous it would warrant death....quite out of character. So, Morgan seeks help from the one man whom he can think would understand, and who just so happens to also be a private investigator, yup you guessed it Harry Dresden. Just your everyday City Wizard.  This series is just so dynamic and action packed even the mundane everyday life stuff is either hilarious or gut wrenching. Poor Harry, I know I say that a lot, but it's the truth I do not know how much more this guy can take or how much more those around him can endure. In this book Harry is really in a tight spot as per usual he has to grit his teeth and save the day this time that person is Morgan someone whom he really does not like. Harry also has to not become wanted himself by the White Council. His love life is also as per usual a bit skewed and we come into more knowledge about Harry's mother's past...oh boy. There's some big nasty's in this book as well again as per usual, I mean seriously Harry's not even 40 yet, and he's dealt with so much. Still, life goes on... and I think that's what I enjoy about Harry so much. Yes he's fighting at times not to lose his grip on reality or go via dark side, but he can also sit down with a bunch of friends at the end of the day and role-play a Warrior; table top style. The usual cast of characters in this book make an appearance and some in a very sad, depressing, heart stomping way. This book had a lot and I mean A LOT to it. The world is getting darker and everyone is growing up and evolving sometimes not for the best, but that's just the way the world works. I am biting my lip in anticipation on where this story is going to lead us all to and have some theories I cannot wait to see if they pan out or not. So I tip my Hat to Mr. Butcher for giving us yet another great Dresden book. Do any of you agree or disagree?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kiss the Dead Book 21 Written by: Laurell K. Hamilton

Well, here we are again, another Anita Blake book, and another year of my life gone... and well what do I have to say? What can I say? Where do we go from here? Due to the fact I have been reading these books for more than half my life, I will try in respect to be gentle. I waited for this book with low expectations mostly because of how the last book ended. I know a lot of people would say "well you are not being mature, you cannot handle the maturity of their relationship, it's not your story!" To those folks I say... It's time to realize the Story is on life support! Laurell K. Hamilton, once I worshiped her as my God. I loved the world she created, I loved Anita hence Blake in this book reviewers title...hell, Anita taught me to love being 5'3 dark haired and dark eyed. She taught me to want to be an independent bad ass, and okay I can understand if the Anita character has to grow up and mature after all she started at age 23 and finally hit 30, mind you this series is over a decade old, but ok. Now, the book...well the plot that was given to us the readers and what was on the jacket inside cover was non-existent, I don't think that loose plot point was even remotely important except for the last few pages. Even then we could have made something up. In my last Anita review I said Laurell's writing was like a Kevin Smith movie, a whole lot of talk, very little action, well this time she took it even a step further and it was a whole lot of internal dialogue whole lotta nothing else. If I have to hear how "Men get that look in their eyes, I'm a petite women and men feel threatened and don't respect me, I'm short, the color of Jean Claude's eyes, or Fuck, Fuck, Fuck,..." one more time it will be oh too soon. Thankfully there were not any new men in the bed this time, but there was also a lack of some of the men a lot of us readers have come to love. My friend and I think if Laurell could just put a description index of each character she could focus a whole hell of a lot more time on the actual plot. There was a plot just pushing trying to exist in all of that internal boring repetitive dialogue. After 21 books we get it! Micah has kitty eyes, Nathaniel's scent is vanilla, Jean Claude's eyes are oh so dark, Asher's scars are hidden behind a curtain of perfect golden hair, etc... etc.. etc.. and oh Anita we get it you're petite! Guess what 5'3 isn't that short, how do I know this? Because I am 5'3 and I don't need to stand on tip toe to kiss my 6'4 husband and we function just fine in life. I cannot believe I once worshiped this series. I still love the world Laurell built and I still love a lot of her characters even though spoiler... Jason, Zane, Cherry, Edward,  etc... just have vanished, she brought back a lot of the humans and added a domestic bliss that wasn't there before, but the action is just gone. Even the action scenes were so short and boring I couldn't get into this book. Also, the editor needs to be fired grammar errors everywhere! And, I am not that good of a writer, but a few times I would read a sentence and go...oh no, no, no... also copy and paste were obvious in a few places too, and a few facts about characters were changed. How do I know? Because she describes every characters in every book in full detail. I am not breaking up with this series, no, I am too long into this series and love Laurell's characters too much Jean Claude, Micah, Nathaniel, Jason, Edward, etc... to simply walk away, I can only hope Laurell gets her mojo back and can learn to write as awesome as she once did back in Guilty Pleasure through Obsidian Butterfly days...and oh perhaps Anita can stop being so damn abusive when every single lover and friend fears that "look in your eyes on your face" and fears you are going to drop them flat, and punish them maybe just maybe you're the one with the problem and maybe its time to really make progress and stop as Anita said so many times "poking at a good thing" So kiss the dead... I did not love it, or even overly like it, but I will wait for the next all the same.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Written by: Lewis Carroll

Alice in Wonderland, another classic, it seems to be the time of classics for me huh? Well, Alice in Wonderland has always been a favorite of mine from Care Bears in Wonderland (yes this does exist) Disney's version, to the TV live action versions I have seen. It was just such a bizarre story and full of utter nonsense, but if you just let your mind relax you can get into the story. I found it was easier as a child to follow the dialogue I could easily understand why The cast of characters did what they did, but reading this book as an adult, well...I must be getting old because my mind actually became a bit fuzzy and puzzled over what the hell was going on. Oh sure I understood the basic plot, and it was interesting to read into the Alice character as an adult because to me she seemed kind of crazy like she was two people at times, it was interesting to say the least. I also was introduced to a lot of stories that I never new about before and found them pretty amusing. I still have no clue why the Mock Turtle was sad....any of you understand? I will have to look it up. The story was a bit choppy at times and backwards, but I think the author intended it to be that way that's the charm of Wonderland or the horror of it. I could see why Wonderland could be a little scary like in other versions, but oddly enough the Queen did not come off as scary what with her husband pardoning everyone left and right, kind of takes the threat out of the Old Red Queen and makes her seem like just a big buffoon full of hot air. I believe will have to pick up Through the looking glass soon, I think I would rather like to go back to Wonderland and see what Alice will do with herself and what Wonderland will do with her and the other inhabitants of its world in that dreamy world Mr. Carroll introduced so many to. Though, there is one thing that is still bothering me that always comes up "Why is a raven like a writing desk?"

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Written by: L. Frank Baum

What a treat this book was! I won't assume EVERYONE has heard of the tale of The Wizard of Oz, but I may assume quite a bit of people have by now, what with the movies, cartoons, plays, musicals, etc...all throughout the world. I picked this up yesterday and just was delighted to finally read this book. I never read the Wizard of Oz before, and I've seen the movies, shows, plays, musicals, and even read Wicked, and boy...did they all leave so much out! For one I didn't know the "Ruby" slippers were actually Silver! Originally in the book that interesting. Especially because those Ruby slippers are one of the first things that come to mind when I think of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz. I must say L. Frank Baum said it best... "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written sole to please children of today. It asppires to being a modernized fary tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out." Which is funny because the new adaptations of his story tend to be darker and have moral lessons and deep seeded lessons. His writing was very straight foward and told so simply that I really found myself enjoying this book. Dorothy and all her classic friends The Scarecrow, Tinman, and Cowardly Lion are such a treat, they're all so clever, smart, kind, and brave in their own way. Even the Wicked Witch of the West as far as bad guys go is pretty tame. I also loved learning about all the other characters who I have seen show up in other tellings of this story, but in very different ways. I find myself wishing other authors wouldn't expand or muddy Mr. Baum's original story because it is just that a story for children that for a time will transport them to another world similar to our own, but so very different too. There is a lot of content here too which is the funny thing and how the creatures and citizens of Oz exist with one another and how they are for the most part a happy and kind people from what we see. Especially to Dorothy and Toto who have a bite to eat, and bed to sleep in more than one citizen in the world of OZ. So, if you want to feel like a kid and enjoy a "modern" fairy tale not at all dark this was a pretty fun read indeed.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith Written by: John Jackson Miller

My, my, my, that was a quick read! I realized I haven't read a bit of Sci-fi for a while and when I saw "Lost Tribe of the Sith", well,... I just couldn't resist! The Jedi are okay, but for me the Sith is where the real action, the drama, and all the real plot is at. This book was very tidy and easy to read, and it just flowed so well. The book itself is broken into 8 separate parts spanning over two thousand years, but again it is so tidy that those two thousand years seem like a blink of an eye, and I guess in the Star Wars Universe that really is just a moment. My favorite quote from the book came from book one. I just have to share because it sums up the Sith quite well. "Saes, captain of the Harbinger, was a fallen Jedi: an unknown quantity. You couldn't trust someone the Jedi couldn't trust, and they would trust just about anyone." Genius! Because, well, it really does ring true no? I felt bad for who the Sith conquer, but I was very taken with how different the generations of Sith grow to be through the course of the book and the stories Mr. Miller chooses to share. This book has a bit of everything, but I almost felt like the Sith weren’t "evil" enough? Maybe it is because of how they are limited, but maybe it is also because if you've read enough books about the Sith then an entire planet of them after a time just becomes exhausting and same old same old. Betrayal, seduction, shaky alliances, etc... those are the Sith when they're grouped together alright. Hard to be a puppet master when you're surrounded by fellow trained master puppeteers.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Love Me Written by: Bella Andre

Well, after all of that heavy realistic reading and classic stories it was time for another Zero Calorie book, this one though wasn't so bad in its plot not just being sex, or so short the plot didn't seem overly relevant. Change that, it was actually pretty short, but written well enough, very easy reading. The story was about these two people the first, Janica Ellis is a wild, independent, sexy, free thinking/living fashion designer. The second, her brother in-law Luke Carson is obviously the gorgeous hot stud, who is also a workaholic trauma surgeon. The two have obviously been attracted to one another for some odd years, and it seems they just think they're both all wrong for one another, there is something however that occurs that well... yeah they're thrown together and things become quite steamy. It seems like we the reader are given a short glimpse into any average persons life, as average as a high fashion designer and grade A whiz guy surgeon can be deemed average that is. It as if we are seeing the very end of a long complex courtship between two people. It is full of love and complicated emotions, but not too complicated. The other characters in the books are just shadows who bring the plot along in ways the main characters cannot do themselves. It was a nice uncomplicated read, add a few hot and heavy scenes, and the story was quick enough you could just enjoy it in an afternoon, and not have to do any heavy thinking. I deem this a Zero calorie book a little form of escapism.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Scarlet Letter Written by: Nathaniel Hawthorne

I heard of The Scarlet Letter all throughout my life, and a lot of the time I would ask myself, well what is this about? However, I never spoke about this book with anyone else., and only in the halls of High School heard "It's a classic romance novel."  So, finally I decided let's see...well, I must say it is not exactly a romance novel, more of a long suffering shared by four people, one of which you do not know is tied to the other two until very far into the book. This book is set in a very dark time I find at least of pre America, it is when the Puritans have their extreme views and ways of lives. The story begins after a long prologue I mean long, I absolutely hated this introduction to the story. It was dry and long and altogether just ghastly in how boring it was. The story then opens and is written as if by a different person entirely. Still, I must say it was very clever and eloquent with how Hawthorne cast and played upon his creations with a lot of symbolic comparisons with Puritan culture, Nature, and Christian belief. The Punishment of the Scarlet letter also to Hester is very fascinating especially with the culture in which I live today. Adultery, is not exactly a crime it can screw you with court ordered payments for the rest of your life, but overall generally in our society there are no major consequences and some people even become famous over such scandals. Where as in Puritan time these crimes "Sins" were given great thought and creativity in this case to the punishment. Then again Hester does receive her own kind of "fame" as time goes by. I cannot say I overly enjoyed the book being a modern free thinking women of this day and age, and to witness how easily Hester accepted her fate was frustrating, but perhaps I softened towards her at the end when I understood why she suffered her fate so. I did not completely understand her relationship with her daughter either, I understand what Pearl represents, but the relationship is so odd. I won't mention the other characters of the book because it would definitely give the Story away. The ending of the book too is odd, but when you pull back all the layers and Hester's own take on the world both physically and spiritually then you can begin to understand why she does what she does before her own life ends. I think this would be a great book to read with a group of people and to analyze all of the metaphors and comparisons very similar to that of "The Crucible" both these books have so much going on behind the words it would be fun, educational to bounce off ideas and delve further into the story.