Here are the books I have read for the month of December. There’s a legend that explains the rating system below the reviews. Looks like I hit 86% of my reading goal for the year.
1. Inherited Murder by Lee Martin ©1994 –This is one of my favorite mystery authors. She is known for the interesting twists and red herrings in her stories. This one, however, went on far too long. Plus, I read it last month and already forgot what it was about. ☻☻
2. Returning to Earth by Jim Harrison ©2007 – Musings of a dying man as he preserves his life story on paper for his family. ☻☻☻☻☻
3. Focus on the Good Stuff by Mike Robbins ©2007 – Everyone should read this book. It deals with appreciating the good things in your life and how appreciating others through praise and action makes life easier and more rewarding. I know, this sounds cliché and boring, but the book has some really useful insights on how people tick. ☻☻☻☻☻
4 Sage-ing While Age-ing by Shirley MacLaine ©2007 – Oh Shirley. You are such an open-minded person. I enjoy your takes on spirituality, creation, and other metaphysical issues. However, when you start to go on and on about extraterrestrials, you just lose me. I’m not denying that they exist (in fact I am quite sure we are not the only inhabited planet in the universe (notice I didn’t say “intelligent life”)). But the detail you go into on this topic, including the names of the aliens, etc. was just too much for me. I fought the urge to fall asleep through much of this book. ☻☻☻
5 Case Histories by Kate Atkinson ©2004 – My first time reading this British author. This is a wonderful “study” of an investigator who is simultaneously working on several cases at a time. First the crime and the people are introduced, then the narrative jumps back and forth from past to present. But it is very easy to read and follow. ☻☻☻☻☻
6 Water Witches by Chris Bohjalian ©1995 – One of my very favorite authors. This one is about a family of dowsers (people with the ability to find underground water with the aid of a tree branch or other stick-like object). Politics, ski lodges, ecology, and family relationships are explored and it’s a real treat if you are a thoughtful reader and enjoy a little metaphysics on the side.☻☻☻☻☻
7 I Am Legend by Richard Matheson – Fascinating story about the “last” man on earth after a plague, but I bought the paperback and discovered that only 161 pages of the book were actually “I Am Legend”. The rest of the book was short stories. I read a few of them and found them unexciting. So thumbs-up for the story and thumbs-down for the packaging averages to a 3 smileys rating (the story by itself is actually a 4 smiley).☻☻☻
☻☻☻☻☻ Excellent. I highly recommend this book. Wonderfully plotted or chockful 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.