Tag Archives: novels

Those Disappointing Reads

Reading is a delight.  It opens up worlds and concepts, ideals and philosophies, cultures and culture.  But there are those times when a book falls flat.  Those times are especially hard when the book’s reputation for greatness precedes it.  You hear things about it that pique your interest and you launch into the book with anticipation of a great and satisfying read.  But alas, there was no hook.  Sometimes it isn’t necessarily that the book is bad.  The book just isn’t to your taste.  It was like anticipating a great steak dinner and having chicken masala placed in front of you.  The chicken may be well prepared but it sure as hell isn’t a thick, juicy steak. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Books

Creature Triple Feature; Deborah Harkness’ The Book of Life

I have now finished reading the third volume of Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy titled The Book of Life.

First I would recommend to those just now jumping in at the beginning to start with volume one and read the trilogy straight through.  It is not a novel with two sequels.  It is one continuing story.  I had read the first two entries last year.  Coming to part three this much later was a little difficult.  I spent a significant amount of time in the first few chapters saying, “Who is Baldwin?  Who is Fernando?  Remind why there is a tree growing in the fireplace? “

Overall I would grant this trilogy the accolade of a very entertaining romp.  Although it revolves around the exploits of vampires, witches and daemons Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Books

Something Wicked Came and Went (here there be spoilers)

I haven’t done any research on Ray Bradbury and his intentions in writing Something Wicked This Way Comes so I am going to fly here on my own personal impressions; something I believe is the point of reading anyway.  After all it is rare that two readers see exactly the same things in any one book.

In Something Wicked This Way Comes the lives of two pre-teen boys, as well as a small handful of adult townsfolk, are turned upside down when a strange carnival arrives in town late one night while the town slumbers.  There is no surprise that there is something shady about this carnival, and not shady in a conman sort of way.  This carnival is shady in a purely malevolent fashion. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Books

The Next Leg of the Journey of 100 Books; Anne Rivers Siddons and Thomas Merton

The next two reads on my Journey of 100 Books will probably prove to be quite different from each other.  One is to entertain me.  The other is to make me think.  That’s my usual pattern for reading.

For entertainment I am diving into Homeplace by Anne Rivers Siddons.  So far I’ve read two books by Siddons that I liked (Heartbreak Hotel and The House Next Door) and one I absolutely could not drag myself through (Fox’s Earth).  So far the balance is in her favor.  Until the balance tips I’ll keep reading her.

For the thought provoking side I’m taking up Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton.  Thom is deep.  He was a Trappist monk until his untimely death.  He is also controversial in Catholic circles mostly because of how much he draws from Eastern religion later in his career.  Thom makes me think.  He makes me think about my inner self and, as the staunch social commentator that he was,  he makes me think about the world around me, and how the two are inextricably woven together.  I have of late been considering the depth, or perhaps the shallowness, of my own interior life and Merton is always good about showing sides of myself to which I may be prone to turn a blind eye.

These next two steps in the Journey of 100 Books will be interesting.  I’m already getting the itch whenever I drive by a bookstore or yard sale.  I’ve fallen off the wagon once and blamed it on a special occasion.  I am determined to get through my 100 books already owned before buying more.

Here’s to the next fork in the road.

1 Comment

Filed under Books

Back From My Journey to Japan: A Review of Shogun

Shogun was not at all what I expected and in this case it was a pleasant surprise.  I went into it expecting a swashbuckling adventure full of western attempts to colonize the East, lots of sword and gun fighting as the conquering westerners came to civilize and bring order to a heathen and pagan land.  The book turned out to be nothing of the sort.  Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Books