Tuesday, August 11, 2015

July Book Review

Rating System
5- Loved it! All the feels and flails. New favorite
4- Really liked it
3- Decent
2- Would not recommend. Ehh
1- Did not like.  Didn't finish. Gave book away.
Rating: 2.5
""Now we're just alike." So begins Fiona and Patricia's friendship that warm autumn morning in first grade in Lake Charles, Louisiana, their bond forged ever closer by Fiona's abusive mother and Patricia's neglectful one. Their relationship is a source of continuity and strength through their move to L.A. to become actresses; through Fiona's marriage and Patricia's sudden fame. When husband and career pressures exact a toll, the women wonder if their friendship can survive. Then a dark secret from their past emerges, threatening to destroy not only their bond, but all they've worked for as well."
I thought this was going to be a pretty decent book maybe along the lines of Barbara Delinsky or something but nope. The dark secret wasn't so much of a secret.  I kind of had it figured out since it was first mentioned. I can't really say what specifically about the book I didn't like.  The characters weren't memorable and the story kind of felt pointless.
Rating: 3
Literary Ladies book pick
"Take a wonderfully crazed excursion into the demented heart of a tropical paradise—a world of cargo cults, cannibals, mad scientists, ninjas, and talking fruit bats. Our bumbling hero is Tucker Case, a hopeless geek trapped in a cool guy's body, who makes a living as a pilot for the Mary Jean Cosmetics Corporation. But when he demolishes his boss's pink plane during a drunken airborne liaison, Tuck must run for his life from Mary Jean's goons. Now there's only one employment opportunity left for him: piloting shady secret missions for an unscrupulous medical missionary and a sexy blond high priestess on the remotest of Micronesian hells. Here is a brazen, ingenious, irreverent, and wickedly funny novel from a modern master of the outrageous."
This was my third or fourth Moore book and will probably be my last. One of my friends is a huge Moore fan and thinks he is hilarious but he just isn't for me. His stories are outrageous and the characters are just that, characters. I enjoyed Fluke though. If you are a fan of crazy stories with some satire thrown in, Moore will be right up your alley.
Rating: 3.5
Literary Ladies book pick
"With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424—one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system."
I should preface this and saw that I have yet to watch OITNB. I know! I've heard this book was hit or miss for some people.  I really liked this book. I could relate to Piper's situation of in the sense of being a middle class white woman sentenced to prison. Her emotions and thoughts were probably how I would have felt being in that situation. It also really makes you think about how f'ed up the system is.
After reading the book, it made me think about the series and how they either must has embellished the show since there isn't enough substance in the book to create a tv show, let alone a multi season one.  I only hope that additional content was provided by Kerman.
Rating: 3.5/4
Literary Ladies book pick
"Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940. Suite Française tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. As Parisians flee the city, human folly surfaces in every imaginable way: a wealthy mother searches for sweets in a town without food; a couple is terrified at the thought of losing their jobs, even as their world begins to fall apart. Moving on to a provincial village now occupied by German soldiers, the locals must learn to coexist with the enemy—in their town, their homes, even in their hearts.When Irène Némirovsky began working on Suite Française, she was already a highly successful writer living in Paris. But she was also a Jew, and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz, where she died. For sixty-four years, this novel remained hidden and unknown."
When this book came out several years ago, there was a lot of hub bub about it. I've had it sitting on my shelf for a while. This book is actually made up of two stories; Storm in June and Dolce. Nemirovsky had planned it as being a five story saga but unfortunately ended up in Auschwitz before she could complete it. I liked Dolce better than Storm in June. Storm in June seemed like a lot of rich people whining while in Dolce, you really got to see the humanity in people and the emotions.
I thought the writing stole the show. The storylines themselves weren't much but the way Nemirovsky wrote about the emotions and feelings of the characters, you could understand their plight. The best part was the large appendix included which were transcripts of her journals.  It contained her thoughts and outlines for each book as well as her day to day life during the German occupation. I liked being able to see her process and the thought process involved her writing. You really got to see her vision for where the stories were headed.
It took me about three weeks to read Suite Francaise.  Even though it was my favorite book of the month, I didn't devour it by any means.  It was the kind of book where you read a chapter or two and then put it down. I did fairly good on my Literary Ladies challenge and I only have three books left to read in August as I'm currently reading my seventh pick now, Fear of Flying.
One to Read: Suite Francaise
One to Skip: The Safety of Secrets

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  1. I just finished OITNB and have never watched the show either. As a former prison guard I can relate to the book and felt that she depicted prison life in a very accurate fashion.

  2. The show admits they've gone off book at this point. I do want to read the book eventually. I'll probably do it when the show ends, just for perspective. This is one of those times I've done things backwards.

  3. HA! Reading this made me remember that I completely forgot to watch OITNB. I was about 7 episodes in and just forgot to keep watching it. Ooops!

  4. I like Orange is the New Black, but I don't love it love it all the time. I actually dislike Piper a lot on the show. I'm not sure if I'd like her in the book or not.

    Suite Francaise sounds interesting, especially the journals at the end.

  5. I did not like OITNB, but maybe it would go down better in book form?

  6. I thought OITNB the book was a lot different from the TV show but equally good... just different!

  7. I read OITNB this summer too and I enjoyed it (even after I watched the show! haha) Piper kinda annoyed me in it but not enough to not enjoy it.

  8. I started OITNB years and years ago, like when Oprah recommended it, but couldn't get into it. I tried it again a few years ago, right before the show started and didn't finish it then either. I can't imagine from what I read though, that the show is anything like that book. I think I need to try it again. Third times a charm. right?

  9. I read OITNB and have never seen the show. I found Piper unlikeable. The times she seemed to attempt to take responsibility for her actions, there was always a "but". Yes, I did this, but... I should be punished, but... I think what she was punished for ten years later, does indeed suck...but it is what it is. No one WANTS to go to prison.

  10. I always think I want to check out some of Christopher Moore's books, but based on your description, I'm not sure I'd like them. (At least not the one you read most recently.) I love satire, but not when the author goes completely over-the-top.

    I'm at the same point in the Literary Ladies Summer Book Challenge: 7/10. I'm planning to make my next book one of my picks for that challenge. My problem is that I keep finding other books I really want to read (and it doesn't help that some of my library books can't be renewed because other people are on the waiting list for them), so my reading priorities seem to be constantly shifting.

  11. i tried reading OITNB book and it didn't do anything for me..i couldn't even finish it! i like the show way better although the current season is "meh". i read Moore's book "Lamb" - one of my favourites (and so funny!)

  12. So disappointing that OITNB book was just ok, the show is so good.

  13. Interesting about OITNB, I was thinking about picking it up, since I watch the show. I really enjoy Moore! Practical Demonkeeping was one of my favorite of his.

  14. I've been wanting to read OITNB for quite a while. I know they always say the book is better, but I'm not sure I would love it now that I've watched the series. As far as I know, Kerman didn't/doesn't add to the TV show. The journals sound really interesting in Suite Francaise, but that could also be because I love memoirs, and that part sounds similar.