Follow by Email

Friday, September 19, 2014

Summer Books and Short Reviews

When it comes to reading, I love variety. 
Here are three different books that have 
nothing in common except a great plot.

Science Fiction

Lena Winfrey Seder wrote an amazing story that mixes psychological drama and humor with a little bit of Frankenstein. I loved her creative, scary story and recommend it highly.

Serious Reading

Bellefleur by Joyce Carol Oates has some of the longest sentences in the world. Her writing is colorful, sensational and passionate and I'm left wondering if modern readers have the patience necessary for being sucked into such powerful, descriptive language. There are chapters about pet spiders and even a separate chapter about the family cat. My favorite chapter is the one about the clavichord and yet, at the end of this blazing hot summer when I've reached the final chapter and the story about this tragic family with some sort of gloomy curse is tightly crocheted together in my brain, all I can say is that I worked too hard to follow her prose. I need a vacation from reading! Admittedly, my attention span made me re-read passages over and over and to my delight, the re-reading kept me engaged enough to continue. Her imaginative, creative writing and deep descriptions can begin on one topic and end on another with several sets of parentheses falling somewhere in the middle. Truly, a master crafts-person, I feel Oates researched every one of her topics and added it to her dark and gloomy, gourmet dish. This is the casserole and epitome of the kitchen soup novel where every idea makes a statement, turns a key and presents an opportunity for a sigh. This famous, talented author makes verbosity elegant and if you're willing to struggle through some lengthy explanations depicting evil, hideous odors and a familial pride so immense only the fortress walls of a castle can keep everything together, you'll love reading this book.

 Young Adult

What a fun, engaging story. Tyler is a bored kid with a new friend from another planet who can turn life right into a fast-paced video game. Kids of all ages will enjoy Tyler’s adventures as he runs from the Borolox during a very exciting paint-ball sequence or meets up with Spider-Thing. The name Dirk distracted me a bit, because it made me think of the main character in books by Cussler. After a few moments, I realized the genius behind that idea but still longed for a little more character development. Here’s this kid Dirk from another planet and he’s Tyler’s age with dark hair. I know more about Ryan, another great character, than I do Dirk. Will we find out more about Dirk and his personal life in the sequel? I also wondered what Dirk was doing while Tyler hung out with the Fabulous Foursome. Was he at home? Does he get bored or jealous? These might be silly questions because this is a wonderful book! 

What have you been reading?


  1. I do know Lena's work well, and it's good that she has the release out.

    I'm currently reading a history of the northern town Whitehorse.

  2. I'm not a YA fan, but I'll be reading the other two.

    I recently read Induction Day by PK Hrezo.

  3. I am still trying to finish Timothy Egan's book The Big Burn
    It is a fabulous book about the conservation dreams and reality of Teddy Roosevelt. I have a very soft spot for Teddy Roosevelt and this book just shows what a vision he had. Especially for my family who has strong ties to the USFS.
    Too bad between my eyes and concentration problems I am reading very slow. I wanted to finish the book before "The Roosevelts" started on PBS. Great series !

    cheers, parsnip

  4. Hey Eve! These sound like good books. I love hearing what people are reading, or what their favourite books are. I have a post ready about my 10 favourite books of all's not up yet, but soon! Right now I'm reading 'Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk', by David Sedaris. He is one of my favourite writers...always insightful, and always hysterical.

  5. Eve, you always give great reviews, and thank you so much for the review of Evolution or Revolution. Take care!

  6. Thanks for the wonderful reviews, Eve! I think I'll get My Wizard Buddy for my kids. They hate to read, but they might like that book!