Category Archives: Book Reviews

Currently Reading

I’ve started several books but haven’t finished anything lately. The Spy Who Loved Me, by Ian Fleming is a bit unlike his other Bond books, as this one is written from a woman’s perspective. I’m about halfway through this 172-page book, and so far it has just been Vivienne’s back-story – who she is and how she views men. So far, it has been masterfully written and engaging.
I found the book with the cover to the right at Half-Price Bookstore.
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Christmas Candle and Meme

For my third entry in the 2006 G.I.F.T. Challenge, I read The Christmas Candle, by Max Lucado. This was a touching, short story about faith and miracles. Every quarter of a century an angel visits a candle maker’s family, touching a certain candle and miracles happen.

While very short, this was a great little Christmas story that provides more meaning to the season than the usual stories. Max Lucado remains one of my favorite authors for his style of writing and the depth and insight he gives to everyday life.

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Continue reading Christmas Candle and Meme

Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers, by Linnea Sinclair is another scifi/romance. It’s an action/adventure story with plenty of romance, but in a futuristic space setting.

Captain Elliot and her C-3PO-type droid, named Dezi, find a marooned and unconscious man on a desolate planet. But the rescued man, Rhis, isn’t who he claims to be. And Captain Elliot soon finds herself in the middle of conspiracy and treachery. Elliot seems to trust Rhis even though he has lied to her, simply because she’s attracted to him.

The technical jargon is a bit much, as are Sinclair’s made up words and language. This book might have been easier to read (and not as corny), if she had toned down the bizarre language with so many “z’s” and “v’s.”

On the other hand, her descriptives regarding appearances were seriously lacking. There was an alien species, but I have no idea what they looked like. And no one else, other than the two main characters, was described in any detail either.

Besides my criticisms, there was a good story underneath, though the ending seemed a bit abrupt. As I won this in a giveaway (and know that I won’t be reading this again), I’ll be passing it along to Bookfool. I hope to hear what you think as well.

The Book Thief

One of the books I read over Thanksgiving break was The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. My sister kept teasing me because I was crying. As I told her, I think the only book I cried more through was while reading The Notebook.

The Book Thief is narrated by death and centers on a little girl in Germany during World War II. Even without reading other reviews, I knew this was going to be an emotional book. While it was quite long, it was cleverly written and easy to read.

Many people have stated this was their favorite read of the year. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for a couple reasons. One, this was published as a young adult book, but the profanity was beyond ridiculous. I might not have minded one or two instances, but throughout the whole novel: I would not recommend it to a youth. And second, it was just a little bit too long. Several things could have been cut out. It seemed to drag in places, like the neverending story. I guess after having read The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom, it would be hard to measure up.

It was still a great and powerful story. But instead of recommending The Book Thief, I’d have to recommend The Hiding Place (even more powerful, being a true story).

Diagnosis Murder: The Double Life

Diagnosis Murder #7: The Double Life, by Lee Goldberg is the seventh installment in the Diagnosis Murder series. Dr. Mark Sloan awakens from an accident to find that two years of his life have passed of which he has no memory.

Goldberg’s Diagnosis Murder novels are based from the hit TV show of the same name, for which Goldberg also wrote and produced. Dr. Sloan is the Chief of Staff at Community General Hospital in Los Angeles. In his spare time, Sloan solves mysteries and tracks down murderers, with the help of his son Steve (a homicide detective) and fellow doctors Amanda Bentley and Jessie Travis.

This book was nearly impossible to put down. I ended up reading it in one day. The murder mystery was very fast-paced and had a lot going on, but not so much that it became confusing. Goldberg weaves a complex mystery full of murders and puzzles. As always, he gives Dr. Sloan so much depth, emotion, and humor that you can imagine Dick Van Dyke playing the part on TV. Goldberg has proved once again that he is a master of writing whodunits.

Besides writing Diagnosis Murder books, Lee Goldberg also writes original stand-alone novels and novels from the Monk TV series (starring Tony Shalhoub on USA). Check out Goldberg’s website for a complete list of his books.


On another note, I want to wish my friend Carl a very Happy Birthday!
Enjoy your day of watching many hours of Lord of the Rings!

Eragon: Inheritance

Christopher Paolini’s Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1) was a pleasant surprise. Paolini was 15 when he started writing this epic tale, and 17 when it was first published. That alone is extremely impressive. But I would have loved it just as much if an adult wrote it. Yes, Paolini obviously borrowed ideas from his favorite authors (Le Guin, Tolkein, etc.), but Eragon is definitely a different story.

Originally, I wasn’t going to read the book, even though I had heard of it. But then, I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie. I was intrigued. Boy, was I glad I did.

This is a wonderful coming-of-age story. Eragon is a young teenage boy who was raised by his uncle in a poor village. He happens upon a mysterious rock that ends up changing his life. As Eragon matures and goes off in search of two killers, he is trained by a strange old man named Brom.

I was immediately swept up in the book within the first chapter. This epic tale of fantasy and lore is not only beautifully written, but exciting as well. There are quite a few surprises along the way. And all of the characters have depth and unique personalities.

This is the first in a trilogy, Eldest being the second book that was just recently released. I plan on going out and getting it soon. And you can bet that I’ll be at the theater opening night.

Dean and Me

I finished Dean and Me: (A Love Story) by Jerry Lewis and James Kaplan this weekend. While the book jumps around in time a lot, it’s still a great homage to Martin and Lewis’ partnership. It was very touching. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about their road to fame as well as Lewis’ view of legendary people (movie stars and mobsters) back in the day. I’ve always been a huge fan of Dean Martin’s movies and voice above all, so I love reading anyone’s portrayal of him.

I’m about halfway through Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1) by Christopher Paolini. Since the movie is coming out next month, I wanted to read it first. And I’m definitely impressed so far. I’ve been telling friends that it’s a cross between the Harry Potter books and Lord of the Rings (except far easier to read). I’m not a big reader of fantasy, but I’m really enjoying this so far. I’ll present a full review when I’ve finished.