Thursday, October 19, 2017

Between A Heart And A Rock Place

I flew through this book! It's not long and drawn out like many other music biographies are, it's succinct, raw, honest, and straight to the point. Plus as far as rockers go, Pat has had a pretty tame life. No booze, drugs, scandals, or rehab have marred her reputation. She's straitlaced but still kicks ass and has a great time doing it. Pat chronicles her childhood, her rise to fame, marriage, motherhood, and making come backs. Before reading this I only knew the essential Pat Benatar songs, but now I have a whole new appreciation of her and the struggles she faced (namely music executives and record companies) trying to be a female rock singer in the eighties.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Prairie Fires

I was initially intimidated by the sheer size of this book, but I needn't have worried because it's fast paced and fascinating. Like most kids I grew up reading and LOVING the Little House book series. It filled my imagination and I found myself returning to the series again and again. The detail, rich illustrations, simple storytelling, and perseverance has lasting impressions on millions of readers. Many sequels, spin offs, biographies, and histories have been written by the Little House estate but this may be considered one of the greatest. Author, Caroline Fraser does a masterful job of weaving together the true portrait of the Ingalls-Wilder family though the woods, prairies, and shores and readers will be shocked to learn all that was omitted and/or changed. It get's really fascinating as Laura gets older and Rose enters the picture. Learning about their political beliefs, financial hardships, and Rose's brazenness was darkly fascinating. Especially interesting was how the books were written in the sunset of Laura's career and at her daughter's urging and editing. None of these insights make me think any less of the original series but it helps shed some light on this dynamic and interesting family and makes me appreciate it more. A WONDERFUL non-fiction read for all.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Turn Coat

I keep getting more and more obsessed with this series. They just keep getting better! The plots, dialogue, characters, everything! Harry Dresden is legit my biggest fictional crush. What a gem. I accidentally read this book AFTER reading book twelve, but honestly it really didn't change a thing or mess anything up. There was a surprise character death in this one that I didn't see coming, but honestly with the way it played out, I wasn't even mad. It's nice to see Molly getting some more page time, she's becoming a pretty solid apprentice (even when she screws up!). This series does not disappoint and I can't wait to get my hand on the next one!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Turtles All the Way Down

A new direction for John Green that did not disappoint. Reminded me heavily of Matthew Quick's teen novels dealing with mental illness. My only beef is that the main character Aza, seemed very... non-gendered. I literally did not realize she was a female until a chapter or two in. I don't know if it's because John Green is a male writer or he intentionally left her pretty gender neutral, but Aza's only defining qualities and personality was her her mental illness. I didn't get much other feel for her. I'm not even saying I wanted her girly, I just wanted to have more of a sense for her. The story follows Aza and her best friend as they go on a quest to find a rich old white man who has run away from the cops. There is a hundred thousand dollar reward and they feel pretty confident that they could turn up a lead or two. After all they kind of know his son. The story is filled with friendship, mental illness, romance, class privilege, loss of loved ones, beautiful words, and levity. Another solid from the king of teen.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sirena

As a kid I LOVED this book, as an adult it's good, but not nearly as amazing as I remember. It's a bit on the depressing side and could honestly, pass for an adult book rather than a teen one. Sirena tells the story of a mermaid who falls in love with a man, sleeps with him, becomes immortal, and then must face a decision on whether or not to let him leave their private island. The part I liked most about it was all the Greek gods and legends tied in with it. Odysseus even makes an appearance. Also, as far as mermaid books goes, this one still holds up the best. It's written brilliantly, but it is on the short side. I wanted to go to their private island and hang out with Sirena and her mortal lover. They sounded pretty chill. Still solid and now I want to read more by Donna Jo Napoli, I love her fairy tale retellings!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

There's Someone Inside Your House

This was a quick, teen horror read and brings back fond memories of the teen horror movie, Scream. It was a little campy, a lot of fun, and perfect to get me in the mood for Halloween and slasher films. In the small town of Nebraska, not much is notable for Hawaii native, Makani. After a tragic incident occurred the previous year, Makani was banished from Hawaii and sent to live with her Grandma in the middle of nowhere. Their small town is pretty humdrum but things suddenly start to get a lot more exciting when someone starts brutally killing high schoolers. With no motive, no discernible pattern people start to freak out. Who will be next? Why is someone doing this? Makani's boring school year just got a lot more exciting (in a very bad way!).

Monday, October 9, 2017

Branded Outlaw

To date the other L. Ron Hubbard book I've ever read was Battlefield Earth which I loved (I even loved the movie, sue me!) so reading an old pulp western was definitely a big change up for me. This book wasn't bad or good. It was short and sweet and had the standard ingredients for a western. Warning spoilers ahead. I've literally outlined the entire book. Man's childhood home and father are killed. He comes back seeking vengeance. No one believes him so he starts shooting up people. Man becomes an outlaw. He is saved by a young girl who helps clean his wounds and heal him. He falls in love. Turns out her father is the bad guy. He runs away. Gets captured. Escapes. Discovers the truth. Is vindicated. Gets the girl. A quick unmemorable read that wasn't poorly written.