Monday, February 15, 2010

The Honeymoon

By: James Patterson 3/4

I am just starting to get into these types of action books though I do enjoy especially since I am listening to them while driving home from work, which makes my commute a lot faster.

This is my second James Patterson book and I do enjoy it, and I think that I enjoyed this one a tad more than the first one, “The Lifeguard”.  I was actually rooting for the villain, a sexy lady that kills for money! It was OK, will I remember this book in detail in 1 year probably not but I will keep listening to James Patterson. It does concern me that there is a whole lot of very explicit sex, and there is nothing wrong with that, but I did see a little girl of 12/13 years reading a James Patterson book. HMMm Reading is all good but should she really being reading such graphic stuff, I guess now anything to keep them reading!

Izzy and Lenore

By: Jon Katz 4.2/5

Like many books I read, I find books about humans and animals fun and feel good. There is no helping in getting the warm fuzzy when reading books like “Marley & Me” or “The Art of Racing in the Rain”, and that is why Jon Katz’s book “Izzy and Lenore” is another feel good, warm fuzzy, happy tears read. Having never heard of Jon Katz and going solely on Judging a Book by Its Cover, I picked up this unlikely favorite as a “buy two get one free” deal at Barnes & Noble.
I was pleasantly surprised on his easy going style of writing and the surprise of what the book is actually about, yes Izzy and Lenore make a presence, but it is beyond the bonds of human and animal. It is about the unknown sense and feelings of animals and their awareness towards death. I am not surprised that an animal might be more intuitive of the needs of the dying than we as humans have, who are so uncomfortable with the idea of death. It begs us to try to understand what is this strange fear we have, does it make us realize our own mortality? Does this create a bond we will never know about between a deathbed patient and an animal?

Jon Katz does a great job of writing from his point of view and not giving his animals human emotions that we tend to do as animal lovers. He also talks a lot of his life struggles and his need for these spirits and characters (in the case of Lenore) in his life. I am willing to pick up another of Jon Katz’s books with a certain nervousness to not be reading about the same stuff.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Snow Falling on Cedars

By: David Guterson 4/5

This was one of my challenge books for 2010, as I have always had this book in possession for a few years now and never ever picked it up to read, even though I have heard great things about it. 
I didn’t even really know what it was about when I first picked it up, or when it was taking place. Snow Falling on Cedars takes place in a few times mostly during WWII and then 10 years after the war, taking place on a small island in the Northwest of America. Since those times many things have changed including perceptions of people and the way we look at the world. The story involves many different families on an island, a close tight community that is mixed with Japanese Americans at a very difficult time.

The story is a trial story, intertwined with individual stories of linked stories on the island. The story can be a story of childhood love lost, or of a murder trial that is unjust and prejudice, or the story of a small town during a brutal snow storm, or of maintaining relationships. There are many characters like Hatsue, Ischmael, Kabuo, Carl Hein, Susan Marie, and more, of which we learn a little by little of their intertwined lives.

This was my first experience with David Guterson and his work, and I am not even clear if he wrote more books. I love the intertwined lives, and the suspense of the trial. Is there a deeper meaning in this book? Maybe.  Does the snow resemble cleanness and impurity of the island? I guess not, I could not see that, as there are very few people who are hesitant to point a finger at JAP! 

The story does have 4 different settings that actions happen, which is the town, the sea and boats, the strawberry fields, and the cedar forest. Looking simply at the forest it seems to be the place of secrets as if the trees that are together can better hide a person, and yes even a secret love affair. The sea is open, and large calm and at time ferocious. The dense fogs that lays across the harbor also can hide many secrets as well, as secret dealing between fisherman that by character are men of few words.  Most scenes on the sea talk about the calmness of things to come. The strawberry fields are scenes that take the reader to think about the larger aspects of life, like the future and families.  Most of these scenes are talking about children and working  in them, they create a sense of security, which is why maybe a lack of field for Kabuo meant a lack of this secure feeling. And lastly the town, which seems to have the most harsh scenes of brutal winter storms. This to means might portray the brutal and mixed up feelings of the people in the town about the war and a people that they were trained to think to hate.

The reason I give this book only a 4 out of 5 is due to the amount of pages and sometimes and unnecessary discussion of family backgrounds that were unnecessary, such as learning about Ischmael’s father, or maybe the life of Fujiko as maybe I don’t see the point of learning that much. I would have liked to learn more about the main characters. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Lifeguard

By: James Patterson 3/5

The book is a girl meet, boy and fall in love while looking for stolen painting. Of course the hero is no to be blamed and he is at no fault. Girl and Boy fall in love and get married, one is a life guard the other an FBI agent. Dr. Gache by Van Gogh


By: Michael Crichton 4.5/5

I am not very familiar with Michael Crichton, and have been told many great things. The first book I read by this author was Next and thoroughly enjoyed the book. I had no idea what Prey was about, so I was surprised by the subject. I did this book as an audio book, and somehow found myself driving aimlessly to keep going and hear more. The book was captivating and the story line was great. What if science and technology and biology mix, would this be our world? Is this a fear that we should honestly be afraid of? Where will science lead us? Is it our ultimate doom? Nanotechnology is an emerging science with real goals of making things smaller and smaller, what will it be used for. It is proven that in today time, nanotechnology is in the world around you, such as cell phones, TVs, DVDs, MP3s, and even your tanning lotion! So Crichton begs the question, “What if?”

The characters were very believable and I love Jack as the hero, and unlikely nerd that saves the day. I despised Julia from the first few moments of the book, and I felt like I could read her. Plot was fantastic with twists, turns, and never expecting the next chapter! Crichton’s style of writing is easy, un cumbered by lengthy descriptions that some authors have the tendency to do in order to show their impressive big words. I loved the research that Crichton has to ultimately do in order to portray this book as realistic and most importantly the prologue at the being of the book explaining his reasoning behind his choice to write the book. Michael Crichton, I am hooked!