Monday, December 27, 2010

Book Forty Seven - P.S. I Love You

This was a really long book, over 500 pages and I read it all today, I feel a bit drunk from reading.

 P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern was a title that I recognized since I have seen the movie that was made from it. The movie took large liberties with the source material, and the book is vastly superior.

This book is about the struggles of a young widow to grieve and move on with her life. Her husband has left her notes for each month following his death, as a way to help her move on. It is difficult to imagine being in her shoes, but  writes quite well, and the characters that she creates are extremely relatable. Holly's friends and family are painted in such a way that they are both there for Holly and also are fallible in not knowing just what to do for someone who is hurting so much.

Overall I really enjoyed P.S. I Love You, even if it veered strongly towards the sappy side. Sometimes that is just what you need.

Book Forty Five and Forty Six - Dead to the World - Dead as a Doornail

I am really enjoying the Sookie Stackhouse novels, I read Dead to the World and Dead as a Doornail in the past couple of days and I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series to arrive on my hold list at the library. I am lumping the two reviews in together just because I can. There is really not a lot more I can say about these books without giving away too much of the plot.

The Sookie Stackhouse novels are set in a world where supernatural creatures live among us. So far Vampires have announced themselves to society, and the rest of the Supes are waiting to see how it all plays out before making themselves known.

In Dead to the World, one of the more powerful (and attractive) vampires, Eric, has an amnesia spell put on him by witches and Sookie must come to his aid. In Dead as a Doornail, she is still dealing with repercussions from events that occurred in the previous book, as well as increased threats to her personal safety.

These books are straight up addictive, and I can't wait to see what happens next!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Book Forty Four - Star Island

I am kind of loving these 7 day superloans from the library, it gives me the motivation to get the books read really fast. I was able to bang this one off in 3 days, and I had a very busy weekend, so it was quite the accomplishment.

Star Island by Carl Hiaasen was quite an enjoyable read. It centers around a train wreck of a celebrity aptly named Cherry Pye. It takes the notion of a Mylie Cryrus type starlet and takes it a bit further. In the first chapter we meet Cherry vicariously through a paparazzo who is waiting to see her loaded into an ambulance. However he is foiled as Cherry is famous for her green eyes, and the gal on the stretcher has brown eyes.

We are then introduced to Ann, Cherry's double, employed by Cherry's parents and PR team to fill in for Cherry when she is having an episode of "gastritis". It is an interesting look into what may very well occur by certain celebrity publicity teams.

There are several more colorful characters introduced through the course of the story, and they all tie in nicely together at the ens. Hiaasen is very adept at creating characters and scenarios to keep the reader entertained. I plan on reading more of his works.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book Forty Three - Full Dark No Stars

I hadn't even heard of this one until I saw it in the 7 day superloan rack at the library. I still have "Under the Dome" sitting next to my bed and I will get to it one of these days, but I had to read something shorter right now as I am hoping to finish my 52 books by the end of the year. I only have 9 to go!!

Full Dark No Stars was a collection of long stories. I rather enjoyed them all. King describes them in the afterword as ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Extraordinary situations indeed. I didn't read the blurb on this one so that I could remain surprised as to what the stories were about. For me all I need to see is Mr King's name on the cover and I am guaranteed to read it eventually. I actually didn't realize that it was a collection of stories until I had almost finished the first story and I knew that he couldn't have enough to say about that tale to fill the rest of the book.

There are four stories within the book, three of them I really loved, the shortest one I found cute but a bit pointless. I was expecting it to have a twist ending but it just kind of ended. I don't want to spoil the collection for anyone by summarizing, but I will recommend reading it for fans of good tales.

Book Forty Two - Eating Animals

I heard about "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer on George Stroumboulopoulos tonight, which I find to be a good source to find out about good books and movies etc. It was good timing for me to read this book since I have been transitioning into a vegetarian diet since the spring. Vegetarian or not, everyone should read this book since we all need to be aware of where our food comes from, and the toll that it takes on our planet.

There are sections of this book that are quite upsetting to read. It goes into detail about the ways that different types of animals are slaughtered and also discusses their living conditions. It also discusses the factory farming that has become so prevalent these days.

The book also presents some farmers that are trying hard to do better for the animals, and for the planet, but they are fighting a losing battle it seems. Even those farmers that are able to raise their animals humanely are struggling to find slaughterhouses that will not cause undue suffering to the animals at the end.

If you eat, then you should read this book. One must know all the facts in order to make the most responsible choices. We can no longer turn a blind eye to things that we find unpleasant. Even if a person chooses to eat meat, they can make better choices as to the source of that meat, or the quantity of meat consumed. Cheap meat should not be the ultimate goal, as we will all pay an enormous price for that in the end.