Monday, May 31, 2010

A Mercy--#32 finished

It is hard for me to really kind of rate this book. I thought the story and the characters interesting but it was just too hard to follow the book and to know who was actually telling the story at too many times. This is the first book I have read by Toni Morrison so I am not sure it this is just her style or if it was a style she adopted for this book. The disconnectedness of the story did feed into it somewhat in that the characters themselves were basically disconnected as well, so maybe the style was done with this purpose in mind. Whatever the reason, I think it took away from the story.

I do have to say that the author does a very good job of expressing the emotions of the characters without having to come out and say them in the story also. I haven't thought this through but if that was the reason for the disconnected storyline then, okay I have to give her credit then. Anyway, overall I would say I enjoyed the book, like I said earlier, interesting characters and story.

It is on something like 40 people's WL still so I will be mailing it off at some point but in no real hurry right now though.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lapham Rising--#31 finished

I guess satires don't play well for me. I really am/was not excited about this book. Parts were funny in a sense & other parts sort of made you think the author had a point but altogether just not anything I really enjoyed. I had a college professor that hated Donald Trump and all he stood for, and this was around 1990, I can't imagine what he would say today about "The Apprentice" and everything else Trump. Anyway I get the point that living to excess is not good and I generally agree with this, but I just didn't think the book was very effective in bringing the point out.

I did enjoy the main character as a curmudgeon but even this went overboard. The whole talking dog thing, I didn't get and basically didn't care for--I guess the curmudgeon needed someone to talk back and forth with throughout the book. Also the whole Hamptons life isn't something I have any desire to understand or contemplate and probably had a lot to do with my not really liking the book.

Oh well, not everyone is going to be my cup of tea. I have posted it on PBS, there are 4 copies ahead of it so I am not expecting it to move for some time. Also the Bad Times in Buenos Aires timed out for the one person who had it on his WL, so that is also now a waiting game. No problem, I think they will both move at some point but might be even a year before it happens though.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bad Times in Buenos Aires--#30 finished

Book number 30 is already completed--wow. Maybe not the pace of last year but still moving right along. I kind of liked this book, it is not anything great or truly insightful but it does give the reader a sense of Argentina, at least what it was, in the mid 1990s. I am not sure what or how much has changed since then but hopefully it has changed for the better. It certainly seemed like a real low point for the country, well even that is probably not true. It was better than when thousands disappeared for being radicals a generation earlier, but the 1990s seems like a neurotic time for Argentina. I have always been interested in Latin America but I really don't know much about the people, countries and the histories there and this was really made evident while reading this book.

While I enjoyed the book, it is already dated and left me wondering what is it like in Argentina today. I will be posting it on PBS, there is 1 person that has it on the WL so I will have to see if it moves or not. I am still reading Epic and also started reading Lapham Rising. I will be looking to add a 3rd book into the mix later tonight as well.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Queen of the Ring--#29 finished

The Queen of the Ring is about women's wrestling champion Mildred Burke from back in the 1930s & into the 1950s. It is a book written by Jeff Leen, a graduate of Ritenour High School here in Overland, where I live. It is also the same school district that my kids are going to. I read a review & interview by the Post Dispatch of Jeff Leen last summer right before the book came out and I immediately put it on my WL, I was the first.

I watched some wrestling or maybe all star wrestling when I was growing up and basically liked it. Since I wrestled in junior high & high school, I came to really dislike the all star wrestling because it was fake. People seemed to get confused because they didn't know it was fake or couldn't understand why high school wrestling wasn't as exciting as all star wrestling. Oh well, so all that to basically say, this was not really a topic that interested me much, but with the local connection I had to get it and read it.

I really enjoyed the book and was really impressed with research that went into it. While there were some of the female wrestlers still around when he was writing the book, the two main characters--Mildred Burke & her one time husband, promoter and business manager Billy Wolfe--were deceased. Billy in the 1960s and Mildred in the 1980s. Mildred did/does have an unpublished biography that the author used extensively as a source, but even that he seems to have had to walk a fine line since things seemed to be "misremembered"(thanks Roger Clemons--I hope that was his word) or possibly written to keep Mildred in a better light.

I find it almost amazing that all of this went on for almost 20 years and that I had no knowledge of it prior to reading this book. I knew there were some women wrestlers but I had no idea of the origins or how large it was at one time. I also found it interesting all the backroom deals and how matches got setup, stuff that I had not really thought of before hand.

I really have to recommend this book to almost anyone. It is easy to read with very interesting characters and goings on. It is a book that I have thought about keeping but will probably pass along on PBS since that is how I got it & I would like to see others enjoy the book as well. I will probably do a book review on PBS first as well.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

3 days of running

Well, I had been a slacker with my running but I finally put some decent runs in. Friday I ran 3 miles, first time in about a week & a half. Time was slow but just glad to get something in.

Saturday afternoon I was able to run at Forest Park, getting 6 miles in. The average time ended up being something like 12:10, so not too bad at all.

Sunday, late in the afternoon, I got another 3 miles in, the first during some rain, then it let off till I was done, then the rain came again. That first mile was tough, legs were sore and I had to stop for a bathroom break. The next 2 were okay but still slow. Overall I think it was just over 13 minute miles, so slow but at least getting them in.

I don't know what this week is going to look like as far as getting runs in but hopefully will at least get one more in before the weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spitting Feathers--#28 finished

Spitting Feathers is an English chic lit or chic lite book. An okay read, nice story, happy ending and all that. Nothing exciting but it was a change of pace, something I was looking for when I started it. I had been spending too much time reading The Shelters of Stone and wanted something lite and Spitting Feathers qualified.

I am not going to bother explaining the book, it really isn't necessary. As for the chic-lit books I have read, Hot and Bothered and My 15 Minutes were probably the 2 best. Spitting Feathers is a step below them, maybe with a Chasing Harry Winston, but far ahead of Phi Beta Bimbo and A Spy with a Silver Lining. I have already posted it on my PBS bookshelf, there is something like 10 books ahead of it so it won't be moving anytime soon. No problem with that, I can wait it out.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Shelters of Stone--#27 finished

It had been a while since I had finished a book. This was a long one, 891 pages & I had been working on it for over a month, at least. This is the 5th book in Jean Auel's Earth Children series that started with Clan of the Cave Bear--that became a Daryl Hannah movie way back when. In my mind, and now on the blog, have to credit this series with helping getting me back into reading. I have really enjoyed reading the books in the series and I think she is working on another or more as well. It took her some time to get the 5th book done, something like 8 or so years between the 4th and 5th books.

I liked this one, The Shelters of Stone, it had to go back and do some reminding for the reader about Ayla's history, which was helpful since it had been a while since I read the 4th book. I guess this one though just didn't have anything that I thought was major happen to it. It was a lot more foreshadowing going on, which is fine, I just hope the next book comes sooner rather than later. This was a lot more of Ayla and her now husband Jondalar getting settled into the life of his people and Ayla introducing the many new and different things she knows to them. Like I said though it was mostly about laying the groundwork for the next book or so it seemed to me. Good read and I think a good addition to the series certainly helping the story on. This one goes into my keeper stacks with the others in the series so that at some time I can do a re-read of it.

I am also working on Spitting Feathers, a kind of romance type or chic lit type book. I also started The Attack about 2 weeks ago but didn't get very far at all in it, but will probably keep at it. Tonight I also just started out on The Queen of the Ring, a book about female wrestler Mildred Burke from the '40s & '50s.