Month: June 2013

Book Review: Chris Crutcher’s Period 8

Book Review: Chris Crutcher’s Period 8

A Young Adult novel that asks some hard questions. My Take WOW! This was fabulous and terrifying. I love the idea of Period 8 and a teacher like Logs. It should be a requirement in every school, except it wouldn’t work, but the concept is…wow. No, Period 8 isn’t deep philosophy. It’s more of a peek into high school life and students’ thoughts as Crutcher sets up the background for the suspense of the story, and he does a good job of stretching it out, keeping us in suspense. Nor does he ever provide concluding details which is what brings it down a point for me. Just way too many loose threads and no real conclusion. I feel so bad for Paulie. His parents are off-again and on-again because his dad can’t keep it in his pants and his mom keeps caving because she loves him. And Paulie’s got his perspective on this. I love that he lays it out there for his dad. And it shocks me that his dad is so childish about this. Most of it is a slice of real life. It’s the suspense aspect that takes it into a whole ‘nother realm with one student […]

Posted June 29, 2013 by Kathy Davie in / 0 Comments

Book Review: Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man

Book Review: Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man

The only Hammett-written story in the Thin Man series. The Thin Man was nominated in 1934 for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. My Take I’ve always loved the Thin Man movies so I thought I’d try out the book. To be honest, I’m not sure if I’m giving this a “4” because the story is that well written or if I’m simply too attached to the Thin Man movies. I’ve seen the flicks so many times and am thoroughly enthralled with Nick and Nora Charles — I couldn’t help but hear Myrna Loy speaking some of these lines and seeing William Powell as Nick. Per usual, the story is much richer — and quite different in almost everything — from the movie. I’m also annoyed as I had read (on the Internet, so you know how trustworthy that is!) that Hammett’s Thin Man only had a touch of Nick and Nora, that the story wasn’t about them. Wrong. This is all Nick and Nora, only not as obviously funny as the film. In fact, Hammett’s version is darker, and I’d be curious to know if he was drawing on the Hollywood types with whom he socialized. The book […]

Posted June 27, 2013 by Kathy Davie in / 0 Comments

Book Review: Katie Lane’s Going Cowboy Crazy

Book Review: Katie Lane’s Going Cowboy Crazy

First in the Deep in the Heart of Texas romance series revolving around the townsfolk of Bramble, Texas. The couple focus is on Faith Aldridge and Slate Calhoun. My Take This was a bad attempt to be funny, IMO, and I have a hard time believing a town could be so oblivious — and that stupid — as to who Faith is not. It’s something of an overdone comedy with their forcing Faith into her twin’s role and a good thing for Faith as it forces her to step outside of herself and grow. But still…the whole town?? A town that just takes over and plans their wedding and hides cars while Slate devastates this quiet, shy girl with his wants. Hog and her incredibly irritating attitude; I wanted so badly to smack her around. Faith is cute and irritating. That obsession she has with cleaning and hygiene…! Oh, brother. I think someone told Lane that characters need to have quirks and this is the one that came to mind. There’re mistaken identities (of a sort) going around: that Slate and Hope are childhood sweethearts, that Faith is Hope. That whole routine of Faith bound and determined to believe what […]

Posted June 27, 2013 by Kathy Davie in / 0 Comments

Book Review: Tracy Kidder & Richard Todd’s Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction

Book Review: Tracy Kidder & Richard Todd’s Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction

It’s as Kidder says on the cover: “Stories and advice from a lifetime of writing and editing”. My Take Kidder says “it is essential only that there be something important at stake, a problem that confronts the characters or confronts the reader in trying to understand them. The unfolding of the problem and its resolution are the real payoff. A car chase is not required.” While it’s aimed primarily at writers of nonfiction, it’s worth reading for anyone interested in writing whether it’s fiction, nonfiction, or simply a casual history. It’s something of an autobiography on Kidder, dipping into highlights and low points of how he began writing, how he continued with Todd’s aid as an editor, their friendship, and using his own published works to demonstrate stumbling blocks he encountered. Along the way, he touches on starting your book, what goes into a book with narratives, points-of-view, settings that “tell what is at issue — what a character is trying to do, what a character fears or is trying to hide, hopes to gain or stands to lose, what a character is up against.” The cautions and concerns of writing memoirs and essays. There’s an amazing analysis of how […]

Posted June 27, 2013 by Kathy Davie in / 0 Comments

Book Review: Charlaine Harris’ Dead Ever After

Book Review: Charlaine Harris’ Dead Ever After

Thirteenth and the last full novel in the Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasy series revolving around Sookie, a telepath and waitress in a bar in Louisiana. It was nominated for the Goodreads Choice for Paranormal Fantasy in 2013. Actually, it’s not quite last…After Dead, 13.5, is coming out the end of October 2013. And once you read Dead Ever After, you’ll realize that “If I Had a Hammer“, noted as 11.1, is more realistically 13.25. My Take I hesitated to read this story if only because of the diatribes I’d been reading from others, furious at how Harris had ended the series. And it terrified me. My imagination went wild assuming all sorts of horrific scenarios. I have no idea why these people went so nuts. I think Harris ended this beautifully, perfectly. It does have some odd stylistic inclusions that I haven’t experienced in this series before. Namely, the start with the unnamed characters that seem to have nothing to do with Sookie until we read further in, only to discover it’s all to do with Sookie. All a part of the tidy-up. For that’s exactly what Harris is doing. Allowing the major secondary characters to say goodbye, to tell […]

Posted June 24, 2013 by Kathy Davie in / 1 Comment