Day 32…Other Voices, Other Rooms

Another amazing Southern Gothic novel!

When I think of Truman Capote, I think of Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Of course, that is a perfectly charming novella.

Then I remember he wrote the true crime novel In Cold Blood a groundbreaking book that changed the way crimes are covered.

But I had never heard of Other Voices, Other Rooms, It is required reading for my Southern Gothic Literature class.

(By the way, I am LOVING this class! It is fantastic!)

This book has all the prerequisites for a good Southern drama…his father left them, his mother died…there’s a apathetic step-mother, a decaying Southern mansion, an eccentric cousin…hopelessness and bleakness.

An unblinking view of Southern flaws, this is not an easy read…but it is worth it.

 

Day 32…

…today I am reading

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Day 31…Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob is a great murder mystery…with a twist.

Assistant District Attorney Andy Barber always takes the murder cases…especially the high-profile cases. When a young boy gets killed on his way to school…the same school Andy’s son Jacob attends…Andy jumps right in to find the murderer and insure the safety of the other students.

But things get complicated when his own son, Jacob, becomes a suspect. Andy is taken off the case and suspended from his job. He soon finds defending his son is a full-time job.

There are so many details and clues that don’t add up. This is a well-done, thought-provoking novel and well worth the read.

Day 31…

…today I am reading

Day 30…Talking as Fast as I Can

I have always loved Gilmore Girls. I watched from the very beginning. I have all the DVD’s and have watched them many times.

Listening to Talking as Fast as I Can was like going back to Stars Hollow and visiting with Lorelai Gilmore. Lauren Graham is such a charming, likeable person. She is also a gifted actress and a pretty darned good writer.

This book is part memoir, part behind the scenes of both the original Gilmore Girls series and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Both are equally fascinating.

Graham is down to earth. She is not afraid to look silly or tell embarrassing stories.

And I love her. I love her as a person and I love her as Lorelai Gilmore.

I love this book and the stroll down memory lane.

I smell snow…

Day 30…

…today I am reading

Day 29…It’s a Good Life

Any fan of The Twilight Zone will recognize this story immediately.

It’s a Good Life is a definitely Twilight Zonish.

Anthony was born a monster. The day he was born, he changed his doctor into something horrible and removed Peaksville from the world.

Or did he destroy the rest of the world, leaving only Peaksville?

Everyone has to think good thoughts and agree with Anthony or bad things happen.

Very bad things.

This tale will give you shivers of horror and disgust.

A MUST read!

Day 29…

today I am reading

Day 28…The Alchemist

June 9

The Alchemist is a cross between a self-help book and a fairy tale. It is fairly successful at both.

We follow a shepherd boy, Santiago, on a journey to find his treasure. Along the way, he learns to listen to his heart and take advantage of opportunities along the way.

Most importantly, he learns to follow his dreams. Always.

Day 28…

today I am reading

Day 27…The Child Next Door

June 8

YIKES!! Somehow I missed two days in a row!

I have an excuse! I started back to class and I’ve been busy.

So…I have not done my reviews but I have been reading my books.

Let’s talked about The Child Next Door.

Kirsten wakes up and hears voices through her baby monitor. “Let’s take the child–and go!” She is terrified but when she checks on her baby Daisy, she is safe in her bed.

So begins a psychological thriller where it is hard to tell what is real and what isn’t.

Someone is lying…but who?

Day 27…

…today I am reading

Day 26…The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Spoiler alert!! The book does not end when the wizard floats off in the balloon.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is such a wonderful book. Most of us are familiar with the movie. It is hard to read the book without picturing Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tinman and Cowardly Lion.

But it goes so much further. It has all the familiar things to love with some twists that were not in the movie.

I am not going to recap the book…or movie.

But…

I am going to suggest you read it. Now.

GO!

Day 26…

…today I am reading

Day 25…You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories

I love short stories…especially when they are as well-written and perceptive as the stories in You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories. 

Curtis Sittenfeld really taps into the hearts and minds of modern society. These ten tales are thought-provoking, depressing, uplifting and inciteful.

I truly enjoyed them all. My favorite, though, was “The World Has Many Butterflies.” First, I love butterflies, so I was immediately drawn to this story. Second, for some reason, I really identified with Julie.

Julie and Graham are married…but not to each other. They have known each other for years. Then they begin to play “I’ll think it, you say it,” a gossipy little game they both enjoy. Julie feels quite close to Graham. When she finds out Graham is getting divorced, she decides to make her move. She finds that what she interpreted as a deep connection is actually a shallow flirtation with a man who is not interested in her.

Admittedly, this book is full of white, middle-aged characters…but since I am white and middle-aged, I identify with them.

Day 25…

…today I am reading

Day 24…All Is Not Forgotten

Think of the worst thing that has ever happened to you.

Now…

Think about how it would be if that memory could be erased from your brain, as if it ever happened.

This sounds pretty good, right? Well…maybe not.

In All Is Not Forgotten, this idea is presented, dissected and judged.

Jenny is assaulted in an extremely brutal and demeaning manner. (The descriptions of this scene could be a trigger…read with caution.) Her parents agree to a controversial treatment to erase the memory of the attack.

Unfortunately, Jenny’s body retains the effects of the trauma. This causes anxiety and fear.

Jenny’s father is upset because he now believes that the perpetrator will not be caught if Jenny cannot describe him or the attack.

Jenny’s psychiatrist is a specialist in memory recovery who guides us through the harrowing process of dredging up the sensations and emotions of her attack. As he talks to Jenny and her parents, a story emerges that raises more questions than answers.

Wendy Walker gives an interesting take on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and whether it is better to deal with the trauma directly or pretend it never happened. All Is Not Forgotten is also a well-thought-out suspense novel with an unexpected resolution.

Day 24…

…today I am reading

Day 23…The Ex

You did something really bad to your fiancé…something that caused an abrupt end to your relationship.

You have not talked to him in decades, but you secretly cyber-stalk him.

Then his daughter calls and tell you her daddy is in trouble…can you please help?

As a successful criminal defense attorney, you can probably get him out of jail and have the charges dropped.

Do you help him?

Alafair Burke explores this conundrum in The Ex and it is fascinating.

This book is disturbing in many ways. Jack Harris lost his wife in a mass shooting at Penn Station in New York City. The father of the Penn Station shooter is gunned down in another mass shooting years later. With school shootings and other mass shootings becoming more deadly, this topic is bound to divide readers on the subject of gun control and how can we prevent these types of shootings.

This book is not political. It does not take a stand. But it is hard not to form opinions while reading this book.

The Ex has many twists and turns. It is unpredictable and well thought out…a very satisfying read.

Day 23…

…today I am reading