Saturday, August 25, 2012

In the Woods by Tana French

I had wanted to read this book for a long time. Everything that I heard about it was  fantastic. It took me a while to find a chance to read it. I always saw it in the bookstores and it was always on my list of to-read books. Finally, when I was in the used bookstore a few weeks ago, I found it and decided to start right away. Erin and I were between books, so it was the perfect opportunity.

This story is about a man, named Adam Ryan (or Rob Ryan as he calls himself in the book). When he was a child, he was playing with his two friends in the woods. They went missing for a while, and when Ryan was found, his friends were not. Ryan was found bloody and in shock. He lost all memories of what happened. Even as an adult he could not remember what happened on that fearful day. 

Ryan grew up to be a detective. One day, he is assigned a case near where he grew up, not far from the woods in which he was found. Soon, memories start coming back and he thinks that the two cases may be related. 

To be perfectly honest, I couldn't wait for this book to be over. For a mystery, it was simply not fast paced enough. For the first half of the book NOTHING happened. I kept thinking that the two cases were going to align very quickly and that the plot would thicken. Each chapter was a let down. I didn't feel like the character development was rich enough either. FINALLY, the last few chapters were good. I stayed up to see what happened. I had so many unanswered questions and I thought they were finally going to be answered. Unfortunately, I was let down yet again in the last chapter. 

Who of you enjoyed this book? Anyone? Is there something that I missed? Please let me know. For those of you who haven't read it, I would not recommend this if you enjoy mysteries. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Naked by David Sedaris

David Sedaris, author of Me Talk Pretty One Day, chronicles his life in a hilarious collection of essays. I listened to the abridged version on audiobooks, and enjoyed how he and his sister performed the book. It was fantastically done. Their voices made the story so hilarious.

Sedaris begins the book with his memories of his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder behaviors during his grade school days. Even though OCD is not something to laugh about, the way he describes it is hilarious. His teachers did not understand his disorder and year after year they made their way over to his house to talk with his mother about his compulsion to lick light switches 100 times a day. Sedaris's alcoholic mother always invited them in for drinks and to discuss her son. The subject matter could have been interpreted a completely different way, but how Sedaris decided to write about his past was with humor rather than sadness or seiousness.

Family relationships, his sexuality, and nudist colonies are some of the other topics explored in this memoir. The way Sedaris writes will have you laughing out loud. This book is unusual, funny, and memorable.

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Horizontal Life


Okay. So, I know how I am going to keep up with my reading when the school year starts.  AUDIO BOOKS. I decided to get an audiobook when I drove 2 hours both ways to my friend's wedding. When I was in grad school and I would drive back and forth to visit Chip I would often times listen to a book. So, the other day I went to the library to see what they had. This particular branch did not have a wide selection, but I hadn't read this Chelsea Handler book yet so I decided to pick it up. It was only 5 disks so I thought that would be good for a weekend trip.

This book was the best Chelsea book in my opinion. She channels her early to late 20s in this one night stand tell all book. I still cannot be sure how much of her books are true and how much are fabricated, but either way I was laughing out loud as I was driving up highway 77. She chronicles her intoxicated late nights with strange men and how they turned out. SUPER funny, laid back, easy to listen to audiobook. As you know by now, I really enjoy stories that are mindless and don't require much brain power every now and again.

I've already picked up two more audiobooks from the library. I am back to work now and my commute is 30-40 minutes, so as I take it, that's more than an hour of "reading" per day. I should be able to get through quite a few books even if I don't have as much reading time.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gold by Chris Cleave

Gold by Chris Cleave

As a fan of Chris Cleave's previous two novels, and a strong follower of the Olympics, I eagerly awaited his newest novel, Gold. With the thirtieth Olympiad drawing near, I chose to read this book as the games began in London.

Three track cyclists, all three bound together by the most tedious of circumstances, train for the Olympic games. Zoe, damaged and selfish, takes her aggression and sadness out on the bike rather than facing her demons head on. Kate, her best friend who always seems to take second place in the duo, is so kind that she has been taken advantage of more times than she can count in her life. She has lost more than one gold metal picking up after Zoe's fallen pieces. And Jack, the man whose decisions shape these women's lives forever, seems to not believe how he got into his position in life. Not only is this story about these three cyclists, but the true soul of the story is based upon Jack and Kate's StarWars loving 8 year old girl, Sophie, who fights for her life from Leukemia's tight grasp.

The first half of the story was disappointing to me. I was used to Cleave's novels and their striking themes straight from the get go. This one took some warm up time to get the plot spinning on its wheels (pun intended). Once I read to the halfway point, I couldn't put the book down. I thought the book was going to turn out one way, but Cleave surprised me so much that my hand came to my mouth as I gasped out loud at my surprise.

Gold had me cheering, crying, screaming, cringing, and sighing with relief. I loved and hated the 3 main characters as they made choices which complicated their personal and athletic lives. Sophie's spunk reminded me of the resiliency of the human spirit. Fans of Cleave will experience an Olympiad of emotions in this captivating read.