Thursday, March 27, 2008

Booking Through Thursday-Cover up

Booking Through Thursday

While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?

Not knowing the difference between trade paperback and mass market paperback I had to do some research. I found this. So I have to go with trade paperback. At my local used book store they have a small section of trade paperbacks and that's where I head first. I like the size of them in my hands. If I have to have a particular book, I will stoop to the smaller mass market books. In that case, the older the better.

The covers very seldom influence my purchase. I'm reading alot of classics lately and covers don't matter at all, although the Barnes and Noble collection choose some really good covers, usually artwork based on the book. I don't much care for movie tie-ins, but after a movie is out the used bookstore is usually flooded with them and they are too cheap to resist. But you have to be very careful to get the complete book and not just the movie pieces.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Queen of the Slayers

Queen of the Slayers by Nancy Holder

My guilty pleasure--Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was 45 years old before I found it. It's a very witty program.

The book was pretty good. It picked up right after the TV series ended, but it doesn't have that Whedon touch. This is the first book I've seen based on the series, but Holder has written dozens. She did a good job on the characters. I could hear some of them as plain as if I was watching them. But at times she throws in little things from the series as if she's trying to prove she watched it. Sometimes they were totally unnecessary.

The premise is set after the Hellmouth is closed. All the demons are P.O.'d about losing their favorite lair, so they're raising a ruckus all over the planet. And turns out the Borgia's were vampires who wound up trapped in another dimension and are trying to get back to rule Rome. A distant ancestor is dating a girl who is now one of the potentials. And she decides she wants to be Queen of the slayers and begins gathering girls to her side. So Buffy and the Scoobies are spread between Ohio, England and Rome trying to get control of the chaos.

It's still goofy, but it's great fun.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Booking Through Thursday-The End

Booking Through Thursday

You’ve just reached the end of a book . . . what do you do now? Savor and muse over the book? Dive right into the next one? Go take the dog for a walk, the kids to the park, before even thinking about the next book you’re going to read? What?

(Obviously, there can be more than one answer, here–a book with a cliff-hanger is going to engender different reactions than a serene, stand-alone, but you get the idea!)

None of the above. I'm usually reading two or three books at a time. I'm in a Yahoo group that reads books in sections. And I'm reading Les Mes right now too. I've got the unabridged version and when Hugo moved into 40 pages about the battle of Waterloo or 60 pages about the French history I'll set it aside and pick up a quick read for a break. Since this book is 1500 pages, I've managed to squeeze Oliver Twist and Pride and Prejudice in.

I'm in the 888 and ILL challenges too, so I have quite a TBR pile (table-I need to take a picture) and sometimes I'll see a title I "have to read right this minute" and set aside the book I'm into then.

It's a strange system, but I'm enjoying myself.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Killer Bodies

Killer Bodies by Michael Fleeman

Someone gave me this book I read it in one day. There's not much to it. Two famous body builders kill their personal assistant. Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan were both famous in the body building world. He was self-destructing and she was on her way up when they met and married.

But together they murdered their live-in assistant. And from the book I'm not sure how or why. The author gives some possible motives such as she was stealing from them or Melissa and Craig had an affair. The body was burned in the trunk of a car, so the coroner couldn't determine a specific cause of death. It could have been strangulation, fire or a drug overdose.

I didn't get the feeling the author had any sources besides public records. He didn't even know when Melissa met the couple. I think the only reason the book was written was because Titus and Ryan were famous in their little pond. There weren't enough facts to make an interesting story out of John and Jane Doe.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Notes on a Scandal

Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller
Sheba Hart is the new art teacher. She is married and has two children. She has just taken her first job at St. Georges. She drifts into an affair with one of the students, 15 year old "Conolly.

Loner Barbara Covett has 35 years teaching experience. She lives alone with her cat. She is intrigued by Shelby and slowly cultivates a friendship with the younger woman.

As the book opens, Barbara is secretly writing about Sheba's affair. The world has found out about the affair and Sheba is daily news fodder. She has lost everything--her family, home and job. She and Barbara are living in her brother's house while he is away.

I enjoyed this book until I got to the end. And then it just bombed.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Booking Through Thursday-Playing Editor

Booking Through Thursday

How about a chance to play editor-in-chief? Fill in the blanks:

__________ would have been a much better book if ______________________.

Notes on a Scandal would have been a much better book if it had had an ending.

Naturally, the most recent books came to mind first. I have even posted this one on my blog. When I finished it I jut thought "Is that it?" Everything felt up in the air to me. Which is a shame because I really got into the book and liked it up to the last page.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Tess Derbyfield is the oldest daughter of peasants in a village in England. Her father learns their family is descended from a noble family. Tess' parents decide to send her to "claim kin" with the d'Urbervilles in a nearby town.

Once Tess arrives, she learns the d'Urbervilles bought the name and title and they are not related. However, Alec d'Urberville takes a shine to Tess and gives her a job managing the family's poultry farm. Alec eventually "has his way" with
Tess. She soon returns to her parents home and has a child who dies a week after birth.

Tess eventually winds up working on a dairy farm, where she meets Angel Clare. After persuasion, Tess agrees to marry him. After the wedding, Angel confesses an affair he'd been involved in. So Tess confesses her past. With the double standard of the day, Angel is unable to accept it. They separate while Angel tries to come to terms with her past.

Angel goes to Brazil to find good farm land. Tess tries to fend for herself until Angel sends for her. But life is hard for the rural poor and Tess has hard times to come.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Search

The Search by Iris Johansen

Sarah Patrick is part of a search and rescue team. She is coerced by billionaire John Logan to help him find one of his employees who has been kidnapped. Logan is running a top secret science lab when the villian, Rudznik, blows it up in revenge for past history.

As far as mysteries go, this one was OK. There wasn't alot of mystery, but it was interesting to see how the story played out. Johansen doles out the secrets of the science lab and Sarah's past slowly to keep you wondering.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Mr. Utterson is concerned with the welfare of his old friend and client Dr. Jekyll. Dr. Jekyll has favorably remembered Mr. Hyde in his will in case of death or his disappearance. Mr. Utterson is alarmed and begins to investigate Mr. Hyde who soon turns out to be a most disagreeable character. Mr. Utterson believes that Mr. Hyde has a hold over Dr. Jekyll that is forcing the doctor to follow Mr. Hyde's demands.

It is learned that Dr. Jekyll has become interested in the conflicting natures within men. He has created a potion that allows him to commit acts that he would otherwise not have the courage to do. But as time goes on these acts become more and more savage.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Booking Through Thursday-Hero

Booking through Thursday

You should have seen this one coming … Who is your favorite Male lead character? And why?

I love Gus McCrae. He's one of the funniest characters I've come across. Plus, he's hell-bent to do the heroic thing. He's a tough as nails ex-Texas Ranger who has fought banditos, desperados, and Indians.

And Don Quixote is funny in a sad way. Totally bonkers, but he has the Rocky Horror attitude---don't dream it, be it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hester Prynne lives in colonial New England. In 1642, she has in illegitimate child. Hester refuses to tell who the father is. She had come to America to await her husband. When he does join her, she is standing on the court steps with an "A" emblazoned on her chest as punishment for her crime.

Her husband begins calling himself Roger Chillingworth. He is now practicing medicine and moves in with the sickly Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. He suspects a connection between Dimmesdale and Hester and sets out to discover what it is.