Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reviews–January 13, 2014

It’s been a while since I posted any reviews. I doubt I’ll remember everything I’ve read or listened to, but hopefully you’ll find some ideas for books.

  • A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin – This is the last book (so far) in the Song of Fire and Ice series. All I can really say about this book is that you shouldn’t believe a character is dead until their head is good and truly separated from their shoulders (and even then, it’s questionable). The armies are separating and merging for one great war that had better involve dragons. We’ll have to wait for the next book/s to find out! Note: lots of violence and sexuality. A-
  • The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg – I should tell you first of all that Fannie Flagg is one of my absolute favorite author and I was ecstatic when I heard that she had a new book coming out. And the book did not disappoint. The story takes place simultaneously in present day in southern Alabama and in the 1940’s in Pulaski, WI and then Texas. It’s a far-ranging story over time and place about how we construct our identity. I highly recommend it. A+
  • Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Webber – I like memoir, especially spiritual memoir. Nadia Bolz-Webber is a woman who doesn’t look like your typical “Christian” woman, much less a Lutheran pastor, and this book tells the story of how she got from alcohol and drugs to pastoring. Mostly, though, I like to read how much she loves Jesus, and she loves sharing Jesus with people who society is ready to give up on. It’s a great read! A
  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – This is the third Gillian Flynn book I’ve read and I loved it (although not quite as much as the other two). The main character was the only survivor after her family was murdered when she was seven years old. Her brother was thought to be the one who committed the crime and is in prison for it. The book is an exploration of the crime and the truth behind what happened and the main character’s search for truth. It’s a bit dark, but I liked it. B
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – This was the second Gillian Flynn book I read and I found it gripping. The main character is a journalist who is sent back to her hometown to report on two suspicious deaths. This, of course, brings back her own issues. Again, it’s rather dark, but a good book. A-
  • Law and Disorder by John Douglas – Douglas is a retired FBI agent who wrote this book about cases where law enforcement could have done a better job or can learn lessons.  It’s a fascinating book. A
  • Shattered Innocence by Robert Scott – This is the story of Jacey Lee Duggard, the 11 year old girl who was kidnapped and held prisoner for 18 years, bearing 2 children to her captor. This is a fascinating story, particularly showing the failure of the legal system to keep a known kidnapper from kidnapping Jacey Lee Duggard and holding her for so long. B
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt – This is a true story of a murder in Savannah, Georgia and the prosecution and appeals of the man who was convicted. There is a lot of commentary about other characters in Savannah society and it’s unclear who actually committed the murder, and we may never know. But, it was a good book.B
  • Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer – Another true crime story, but this one focused on a family that practiced polygamy. Ultimately, it was a story of faith, violence, and mental illness. Not bad. B-
  • Inferno by Dan Brown – I really dislike Dan Brown’s writing style, but his plots drag me in and the next thing I know, I’m halfway through the book and have to finish. It’s an addiction. This book takes place in Italy and has to do with Dante’s Inferno. B-
  • Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn – This is the first of the Gillian Flynn books that I read. Oh. My. Goodness. She gets you hooked into the story and you can’t put the book down. In this book, the main character’s wife is missing and appears to be abducted or murdered. But things are far more complex. And sinister. Definitely read this book. A
  • Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus by Dean Jensen – This story about Lillian Leitzel is truly fascinating. It starts with her birth in Eastern Europe and her early years working on the trapeze and continues through the golden years of circuses in the United States and ends with her death in a European ballroom. A good read. A-

I didn’t include any audiobooks this time because this list just got too long. I’ll do the audiobooks later. I  hope you find something new to try. Enjoy!

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