Friday, August 29, 2008

A Cold Day in Hell

A Cold Day in Hell by Stella Cameron

Christian De'Angelo has just moved to Pointe Judah, Louisiana. He has with him the teenage son of a murdered mobster. Sonny has made friends with Arron, a local boy. And the two have been getting into trouble. One day, someone shoots at them in the swamp. But which boy was the target?

I enjoy Camerons books when I'm in the mood for a mystery. But she sets her stories in the same small towns- 2 that I've recognized so far. With each successive book more characters are added. This is fine when you begin with the first book. But "A Cold Day in Hell" must be deep into a series. There's a lot of people to remember.

That said, the book dept my interest for the two days it took to read. And I wasn't sure whodunit. It's a good, quick read.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Index Liborum Liberorum

Index Librorum Liberorum
Toast the taste makers of the religious world

I finished another challenge. This one was difficult.

1.) Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert<>France
2.) Les Misérables by Victor Hugo<>France
3.) The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo<>France
4.) Justine by the Marquis de Sade<>France
5.) Candide by Voltaire<>France
6.) The Prince by Niccolὸ AMachiavelli<>Italy
7.) The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene<>England
8.) Paradise Lost by Milton<>England
9.) Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift<>Ireland

Both of the books by Victor Hugo were huge. It was my second time reading Les Mes. Candide and Gulliver's Travels were both fun to read. Justine was a waste of time, money and brain space. It was the only one I agreed with the Vatican on. My favorite off the List was The Power and the Glory. I'll reread that one someday.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost by John Milton

"Paradise Lost" is the story of the exile of Adam and Eve from Eden. The book is a 12 part poem. It begins with the fall of Satan from heaven. He then decides to corrupt men to get back at God. It's a wonderful fictionalization of a story we all know well.

I have a special edition from Barnes & Noble complete with the illustrations of Gustave Dore. That's half the beauty of the book.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

The hunchback is Quasimodo. He was orphaned at the age of 4 and adopted by Claude Frollo. Frollo is an archdeacon at Notre Dame. Quasimodo is the bell-ringer. He loves the bells but they have left him deaf. He is also deformed. He's an outcast in Paris.

Claude Frollo is devoted to learning. And he falls desperately in love with Esmerelda, a beautiful young gypsy dancer. One night he attempts to abduct her with the help of Quasimodo, but an army officer thwarts their plan. Only Quasimodo is caught. Esmerelda gives him water and he also falls in love with her. He's never had much human kindness. But Frollo isn't giving up. And Paris society decides Esmerelda is a witch and must hang.

Naturally, being Victor Hugo, the book is a commentary on humanity. This time in Paris in the 15th century.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Cell by Stephen King

Clayton Riddell is having just about the best day of his life. Someone is finally going to publish his comic book. He stops for ice cream. But while in line, the people around him suddenly go nuts. He quickly realizes they had all gotten a "Pulse" through their cell phones. Now Chaos rules the city.

So Clayton and another cell-less man named Thomas McCourt decide to find safety together. After picking up a couple of other normal people they start heading north. Messages are beginning to appear that lead people to an area without cell coverage. And Clayton is desperate to get to his family.

I love Stephen King, but I didn't much like this book. It was easy reading with King's usually flippancy and his humor popping up. But there was something far fetched about this story. (King far-fetched? Nah!) But with all the talk about people's brains being short-circuited and rebooted, it just didn't catch my imagination the way most King books do. But being King, it's still worth reading.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Booking Through Thursday-Gold Metal Reading

Booking Through Thursday

You, um, may have noticed that the Olympics are going on right now, so that’s the genesis of this week’s question, in two parts:


Do you or have you ever read books about the Olympics? About sports in general?
Fictional ones? Or non-fiction? Or both?
And, Second:

Do you consider yourself a sports fan?
Because, of course, if you’re a rabid fan and read about sports constantly, there’s a logic there; if you hate sports and never read anything sports-related, that, too … but you don’t have to love sports to enjoy a good sports story.
(Or a good sports movie, for that matter. Feel free to expand this into a discussion about “Friday Night Lights” or “The Natural” or whatever…)

No, No, and double no.

I did watch the USA girls gymnastics the other night and I'm keeping up with the medal count but that's about as far as it goes. I also own all my mothers figure skating books but I haven't read any of them.

I read Playing for Pizza which is about a football player. Does that count?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Optimist's Daughter

The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty

1973 Pulitzer

"The Optimist's Daughter" follows Laurel McKelva Hand as she copes with the death of her father. Laurel was raised in the South but moved to Chicago to follow an art career. Laurel and her young step-mother take her father to Mississippi for burial.
In her fathers old house, Laurel must come to terms with the past.

It's a simple little story, but it has a big emotional impact if you've lost a parent.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John le Carré

Alex Leamus is a a British spy working in East Berlin. He's just lost his last operative. So he decides it's time to retire. But the bosses want him to do one more job. That's to take down a particularly vicious German agent.

So the stage is set to look like he is self-destructing. He begins a desk job at the agency but is fired because of thefts. He gets a job in a library, a cheap boarding house room and begins drinking. He then assaults a local grocer and lands in jail.

So naturally the East-Germans begin to try to turn him into a double-agent. Once he's taken to East Berlin, he has to call on all his experience to stay alive.