I'd Rather Be Reading

I have a grant proposal to write today.  I have a stack of legal work to do.  My desk is a mess.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the dog is sleeping in a patch of sunlight in the backyard, and what I’d really like to do is make another cup of coffee and go sit on the deck with a good book.  Alas.


What have I been reading lately?  Yesterday it was a classic:  To Kill a Mockingbird, which I had to read for my book club meeting last night.  It gets a whole post to itself, but I’m not quite ready to do it justice.  I valiantly resisted opening the second Hunger Games book (Catching Fire) until I got home from the meeting.  I read till I couldn’t keep my eyes open. No, I have not seen the movie yet.  I’m not sure what I think of the book so far.  The story is gripping, of course.  The writing isn’t very complex.  The story seems to be heading down somewhat obvious lines, but I will reserve judgment until I’ve finished it.
One thing, though–these books are not like the Twilight series any more than Twilight was like the Harry Potter books.  For starters, if Bella were forced to compete in the Hunger Games she would become catatonic and Edward would have to come save her.  Unless she was already a vampire, in which case she would use her awesome vampire skillz to vanquish all opponents in ten seconds or less.  Bella goes from girl in distress directly to superhero.  Katniss is strong but vulnerable.
I’m also making my way through the stack of thrillers on the table in my bedroom.  I recently read Reversible Errors by Scott Turow, whom you’ll remember from Presumed Innocent.  All his books are excellent, a cut above other stories in the legal thriller genre due to the complexities of the personalities involved.  Characters, not caricatures, they grow and change; they are complicated; they are human.  I enjoyed that one a lot.  Then I went through a whole stack of Michael Connelly books, most of them featuring police detective Harry Bosch.  He’s also a complex character and I recommend those if you like crime novels.  Finally, I am working my way though a pile of Jeffery Deaver novels.  You may remember The Bone Collector which was made into a movie starring Denzel Washington.  The hero is Lincoln Rhyne, a criminalist who is immobilized by quadriplegia.  Several of Deaver’s novels feature Rhyne.  Deaver is a tricky writer who takes the reader partly into his confidence, only to play tricks at the end.
Next on my list is James Patterson.  I have several books by him that sounded interesting from the blurbs.  Or maybe I will spend about three days reading Love Inspired romances first.  We’ll see. 🙂 [Verdict on James Patterson:  Overrated.  And he doesn’t even write his own books anymore!]
For more of my book blogging, see here and here and here.

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  1. familyvolley says:

    Would much rather be outside reading a good book also. Thanks for the “what I am reading list”. I have been searching for something to start on I am going to check out your suggestions.
    Good luck with Hunger Games. I liked them, the first one the best. The movie, I left motion sick from the camera jumping for two hours straight. I had to laugh at your mention of the Twilight series. Katniss is strong. Bella, well…. is whinny.

  2. familyvolley says:

    Would rather be outside reading a good book also. Enjoying the sunshine. Thanks for the reading suggestions. I have been looking for something new to start.
    Good luck with Hunger Games. I liked them. The movie, made me motion sick. had to laugh about your Twilight reference. Katniss is strong. Bella, well…likes to whine.

  3. Clisby says:

    I don’t particularly like dystopia novels, so while I thought book 1 of The Hunger Games was OK, it’s not something I’d ever re-read.
    However, I will say that I think the move was an excellent adaptation. It was well-cast, the director played it straight, and the changes (like explicitly showing the game-makers manipulating the games) contributed to the narrative. I border on saying the movie was better than the book, which I don’t say about many movies (Jaws leaps to mind, though.)
    I’m comparing it to The City of Ember, another dystopian novel – the book was reasonably good (I liked it better than The Hunger Games), while the movie SUCKED.
    I’m going to read the next book, but my 10-year-old is currently guarding it with this life. Maybe on spring break.

    • lesliesholly says:

      I haven’t seen the movie yet. My daughter saw it last night and said it was one of the best adaptations she’s seen. She did say she thought it ought to have been gorier. Not that she wanted it to be, and she understands they had to keep away from an R rating, but she thought it wasn’t true to the book and that it should have been more disturbing. I have now read all the books and the third one was so bad it gave me nightmares.

  4. Clisby says:

    They did downplay the gore, but I didn’t really see that as a negative. To me, forcing people to fight to the death is disturbing enough. Whether the deaths are gory or not doesn’t really register with me.

  1. May 13, 2014

    […] reviewer for Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City.  Y’all may have noticed by now that I love books.  So why wouldn’t I be thrilled to have the opportunity to read quality books (for free!) […]

  2. May 13, 2014

    […] reviewer for Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City.  Y’all may have noticed by now that I love books.  So why wouldn’t I be thrilled to have the opportunity to read quality books (for free!) […]

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