Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hooked on Hooked

I am almost finished with the fantastic Hooked: A Story of Love and Other Addictions by Matt Richtel . Don't let its Lifetime movie title fool you, this is a good book. Hooked is the story of Nat, a medical journalist whose dead ex-girlfriend passes him a note telling him to leave the cafe he is sitting in, just before it blows up. I know -- I had you at dead ex-girlfriend -- didn't I?

From there the story takes off -- Nat trying to put the pieces together of who bombed the cafe and whether or not his ex-girlfriend, Annie, is still alive. The story is wonderfully put together with great action and intriguing flashbacks of Nat and Annie's relationship. Throw in a cocktail of supporting characters, from an acupuncturist and her barfly husband to corrupt cops and a waitress with an arson record and you have a book that is a joy to read.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meeting McLarty

This weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the book reading and signing of Ron McLarty at the Weaver Library in East Providence, RI. Mr. McLarty is the author of The Memory of Running, The Traveller, and his most recently novel, Art in America. Over the course of an hour, Mr. McLarty told the audience about his unique journey to becoming a published author. He discussed the struggle of writing 11 books and being unable to get them published. He talked about how he persuaded the books on tape company that he worked for to allow him to make a recording of The Memory of Running. But it wasn't until a chance encounter with Stephen King (and the article King wrote about The Memory of Running) that made the publishing world notice his work. Mr. McLarty entertained his audience by reading several passages from The Traveler and Art in America as well as discussing some of his inspirations for writing his new book. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet Ron McLarty and to see the passion that he puts into writing and reading his books.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ask Again Later

I just recently finished the fantastic Ask Again Later by Jill A. Davis. The story revolves around Emily, a woman who is unsure of her life. When her mother is diagnosed with cancer, Emily drops her unhappy life (an all consuming job as a lawyer, a great man who she might love but runs away from) and moves in to her mother's house. During this time, she and her estranged father try to reconnect and she becomes a receptionist for his law firm.

I really enjoyed this book. Emily copes with stressful situations through humor and sarcasm with hysterical results. At times I found myself laughing out loud at some of the conversations she holds with her self absorbed mother, obtuse father, and entertaining shrink. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a quick, light, and very funny read.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

In the Woods: great literature or utterly disappointing?

I recently read In the Woods by Tana French. It was suggested during book club by a local author. I went online and read a sample chapter and was very excited at the prospect of reading this book. For the next 2 1/2 days I worked my way through the 438 (or so) paged book and came away disappointed. The beginning was fantastic, a murder of a young teenager in a small town in Ireland, two detectives who are called to the scene, and one of the them hiding a secret from his childhood that took place in the same town.

I fell in love with the characters and got swept up in the plot. All of a sudden, with 150 pages to go, I just wanted it to end. I wanted the story to wrap up -- needed to know who the murderer was and how it connected to the detective's past. So I soldiered on through the last 150 pages and came away with one mystery solved and one unresolved.

I never thought of myself as a person who needed closure or everything wrapped up in a bow at the end. Yet, I was frustrated by the fact that one of the mysteries would never be solved and that made me dislike the book overall. So here is the question: Have ever read a book (or seen a movie) that you completely loved until the ending? If so, what was it?

My First Blog Post

Congratulate me! My very first blog post! Here is to spelling everything right. I want to give a big thanks to my friend Kristin for being my blogging mentor and showing me the way to blog heaven. By the way, the name of the blog may change. I was under pressure to come up with a name and all I could think about was HIMYM and Barney's blog. Seeing that Barney and I would probably never blog about the same thing I threw in the 'book' part. I should just rename it Jess's Book Blog, but Barney's Book Blog has such a nice ring to it. What do you think?