April 2007 Reading List
Here are the books I have read for the month of April. There’s a legend that explains the rating system below the reviews.
1. Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill ©2007 – The son of author Stephen King carves out his own career with this horror tale of a man who is a collector of items associated with death. One day he buys a ghost from an internet site, and his troubles begin. ☻☻☻☻
2. You Don’t Love Me Yet by Jonathan Lethem © 2007 – Novel about the alternative rock band scene in Los Angeles, and a complaint hotline. ☻☻☻
3. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne © 2006 – As a student of metaphysics I enjoyed this book on some levels, although I felt the concepts were too simplified and tailored to materialistic appetites. It concerns the universal Law of Attraction, which states that what you think about and put much attention into, “good” or “bad”, you will you attract into your life. A much better book is “The Law of Attraction” by Esther and Jerry Hicks. ☻☻☻
4 Angels All Over Town by Luanne Rice ©1985 –This appealing first novel explores the emotional growth of three sisters as they fall in love, marry, and struggle with changing loyalties.☻☻☻
5 Full of Grace by Dorothea Benton Frank ©2006 – New Jersey girl is transplanted to the South. She deals with a meddlesome Italian Catholic family and her boyfriend, who is suffering from a brain tumor. Unfortunately the book turns into a promotion for the Catholic church. I will never read this author again without checking for religious content first. ☻☻
6 Grave Peril by Jim Butcher © 2001 – Book three of the Dresden Files, a book series that was made into a television series by the Sci-Fi channel. In my opinion, the tv show is better than the books, but still worth reading if you like sci-fi fantasy. In this outing, Chicago wizard Harry Dresden solves the mystery of why malignant ghosts are suddenly wreaking havoc on the Earth plane. ☻☻☻
7 Stigma by Philip Hawley, Jr. ©2007 – A troubled doctor gets caught up in a global conspiracy after a mysteriously afflicted four-year-old Guatemalan boy dies on his watch. Pediatric ER physician Luke McKenna’s curiosity is piqued when it seems the child’s symptoms don’t match any known disease; he’s more intrigued, however, when hospital administrators and Guatemalan officials whisk away the child’s body before McKenna can perform a postmortem investigation. Just a bit too long. ☻☻☻☻
8 Good Karma by Joan Duncan Oliver ©2006 – Metaphysics concerning responsibility, honesty, intention, self-awareness, and ways to live peacefully with others. Discussions of what “karma” actually is and how it affects our lives. Lovers of the show “My Name is Earl” will get to see what karma is really all about. ☻☻☻☻☻
9 Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith ©2006 – Book 7 of my favorite African detective series. In this book, Mma Ramotswe investigates a blackmail case, rampant fear at the Mokolodi Game Reserve and what’s causing it, and a doctor who may be falsifying blood pressure readings to generate money from blood pressure medication sales. All done in the gentle style of the author – a feel-good book that backs up your faith in people and the fact that all people are the same everywhere. ☻☻☻☻☻
Hardscrabble Road by Jane Haddam © 2006 An unbelievable boring book that sounded so promising. It revolves around a conservative talk show host with a substance abuse problem (sound familiar?), the homeless man he blames for his problems, his sister who is a nun, and some property he bequeathed to the nun’s Order. Billed as a “literate novel”, it is packed full of unnecessary dialogue, details, and stiff language. I think I got to page 80, then decided life was too short to waste on a book like this. Beware the moniker “literate novel” when choosing a novel for escape or pure entertainment. A dud. ☻
☻☻☻☻☻ Excellent. I highly recommend this book. Wonderfully plotted or chockfull of insights.
☻☻☻☻ Very good. May have minor aspects of style or plot that prevented it from getting 5 smileys.
☻☻☻ Flawed, but of some entertainment or thought-provoking value.
☻☻ Read this book if you are stranded on a desert island and have nothing else handy to read.
☻ Don’t bother, it’s a waste of time. A suggested use is to light the fire for cooking your fish on the desert island.