Title: Chocolate chip cookie murder
Author: Joanne Fluke
Length: 214 pages
Why I read it: Looked interesting.
What it’s about: Hanna owns, and works in her own bakery in the small town of Lake Eden. One day, she notices the daily dairy delivery is late, and while she’s taking out the trash she discovers why. The milk man had been shot, and her cookies are scattered around him. she then is asked by her brother-in-law cop to help him solve the murder.
The good: It kept me guessing until maybe 50 pages from the end. It was a fun read, it was fun to read about Hanna dodging her mother’s calls or saying things like ” I wonder what my mom would say if she knew the fine china she’d given me were used as a dessert dish for my cat.” I absolutely loved the small town setting. It’s obvious that Fluke draws inspiration from Agatha Christie’s Marple books.
The bad: Even though I understand the reason Bill asked Hannah to help with the investigation, there was one thing that bothered me to no end. The fact that Hannah could go to a crime scene, tamper with evidence, and drag her sister, the cop’s wife along,and not only get away with it, but not inadvertently make herself a suspect is just too much. Then there is the fact that she has a source of very important information, but Bill just takes the “she wants to stay anonymous” excuse too easily. Thirdly, Bill doesn’t want anyone, especially the police force, to know that he got outside help on the case, yet Hannah calls him at work and leaves messages for him about the case.
Final thoughts: It was okay. It would have been a short read if I hadn’t kept getting distracted by other books. it’s a good book for just passing time, and even though it is a mystery, it doesn’t require a lot of thinking.
Title: The Snow Child
Author: Eowyn Ivey
Length: 312 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Why I read it: Book club
What it’s about: Jack and Mabel having a stillborn child years ago decide to move to Alaska and try homesteading. during the first snowfall of the year, they build a child out of snow, and for the next few weeks they see snatches of a blue coat and red mittens running through the trees.
The good: Ivey’s imagery throughout the book of Alaska was so beautiful, I not only felt the cold, but I could see everything that was described. I could also understand why my sister wanted to move there ( she never did, but she still wants to). This was a retelling of an old Russian fairy tale, but instead of it merely be a retelling, Ivey incorporated it into the story. She had Mabel have an old leather bound book about the snow child that was written in Russian. I personally loved the scenes where Jack and Mabel played in the snow, showing a playfulness that alleviated the seriousness of their everyday life. Esther and Garrett were also very fun characters, and I couldn’t wait for them to show up next. as for Faina, she seemed just as ethereal as she was meant to seem. She was so mysterious and it was fun to see her not only so childlike, but also as a very capable hunter. The whole book Mabel and Jack were asking themselves how they could protect her or help her, and then she’d be handing them berries or a fish or some other animal she’d killed.
The bad: The first two chapters are so depressing. Mabel thinks about killing herself, and Ivey describes how Jack and Mabel hardly talk to or acknowledge each other. And she goes into their stillborn baby, and the sadness is so palpable, I didn’t want to read it. I also found it a struggle after Jack hurt himself. I thought Mabel being the way she was in the beginning, would revert back to that and just give up. I’m so glad I was wrong about that. But Jack and Mabel arguing was just as bad as the first few pages.
Final thoughts: Definitely worth reading. a cute story, perfect for reading on a cold night curled up in front of a fire.
Author: A. E. Rought
Length: 275 pages
Why I read it: D.A.C.
What it’s about: The story is about Emma, a high school girl who is mourning her dead boyfriend, when suddenly a new boy catches her interest. Alex, is nice, good looking, and has quite a few similarities to Emma’s dead boyfriend.
The good: I love retellings, and with all the Shakespeare, or fairytale retellings, one centered around Frankenstein was intriguing and a very welcome breath of fresh air. Emma’s dad was a funny, stand out character. He didn’t remind me of my dad, but there was a reversed similarity to Emma’s parents and mine.
The bad: On almost every page, Emma would mention how much like her ex Alex was. Or she’d mention the night her ex died. She also was fickle about Alex, one minute she said she would stay away from him and she was questioning her feelings for him, but he’d smile and she’d pretty much swoon for him. who the bad guys were was pretty obvious early on as well.
Final thoughts: it was a well thought out book, and I loved the nods to Mary Shelley. despite the faults, it is one I would recommend to people.
Title: My Booky Wook
Author: Russell Brand
Length: 293 pages
Why I read it: Curiosity
What it’s about: Brand’s attempts to be a successful entertainer while dealing with drug addiction, alcoholism, sex addiction, self harm, and bulimia.
The good: Brand was graphically honest about his addictions, even painting a picture of the effects of heroin in such a real way that it feels like you are actually smoking it. He was painfully honest about his early life, he held nothing back. He let his arrogance and unsympathetic, whether it was when he watched his hamster eat her babies, or his antics during Re:Brand. The best thing about it was, it was real.
The bad: While I don’t really want to read about every aspect of his sex addiction, I didn’t really understand it either. I wish Brand would have explained why he needed/wanted sex so intensely. My best guess is to find the acceptance he never really got as a child. Brand explained so completely why he felt he needed to cut himself, and to do drugs, and even why he felt he had to be bulimic, that I felt I was right there with him. But the lack of explaining his need for sex seemed to be a blip in the story telling.
Final thoughts: I didn’t like it, but it’s not the worst story ever.It just fell short of what I expected, while at the same time giving me a new found respect for Brand. Not because he overcame his demons, but because he doesn’t let his past hold him back from taking a role in a movie and just being himself.