Bridget Blog Books for my thoughts
So grateful for audio books! Makes reading so much easier! There was a time I didn't like them but I've gotten spoiled! So , any book I own, I automatically look for audio! Not sure why but I don't like listening to audio books without owning the book (there are some exceptions...like if the audio is fairly short like the recent one I had but it was Malcolm X speeches). Like this book but its easier to listen to than sit down and read. :)
When nine year old Tricia McFarland steps off a hiking trail – mostly to ease her bladder, but more to escape the arguing of her brother and mother - she makes a mistake. When she doesn’t retrace her steps, she makes a bigger one. What follows is nine days of deprivation and rising terror…
King says he works best when he’s writing epics, full of a hundred characters, but I’ve always found his best work to be the simplest: a few characters, a simple setting – Misery comes to mind, as do his short stories.
Concentrating on Tricia gives him a chance to dig in and scoop her out, to see what she’s made of, and we feel every ache and cut as she does. King certainly puts her through the grinder in her walk in the woods: Thirst, hunger, swarms of insects that love the taste of her sweat. There are simple joys too, like a meteor shower on a crystal clear night.
But there’s something more in the woods: Something odd following her, waiting for her strength to fail. It’s girl versus nature tale, simple and effective in its delivery and its imagery.
I checked the map from where Trish started her walk after I’d finished the novel, and it seemed to me the woods were conspiring against her – I don’t think it’s possible to walk as she did without crossing what looks like a major road. But then again, the things she sees – or imagines she sees – probably wouldn’t have been there either.
I devoured the first half of this book in roughly two hours. It’s not a long tale at around three hundred pages, and it didn’t take me long to finish the rest.
The only parts that slowed it down for me were the baseball references. Trish has a personal stereo with a radio that can pick up baseball games, and the sound of human voices is what keeps her moving, especially when her hero appears, a man named Tom Gordon.
The only problem with a book with sports references (of any kind) is the inference that your reader knows what you’re talking about. I don’t know anything about baseball except its basic terminology, so I was lost when Gordon is called “A closer” or “it’s the bottom of the eighth with three outs.”
It’s either a case of explaining it and slowing the book down, or moving on and hoping for the best. I mentally skimmed the parts where Trish is listening and commenting on the baseball matches she’s listening to. They weren’t more than a page or so anyway, so the effect was minimal. But it felt like I missed something important, since Trisha’s survival is linked to the game so closely. Even the chapters are titled after segments of a baseball game. (I feel the same way when I watch “A Field of Dreams”. Still love the movie though.)
I would have rated this four stars but for King’s notorious weak spot: His endings. I bought this book from a charity shop, and the ending changed my mind from I-want-to-keep-it to I’m-donating-it-back.
In the last few chapters, King simply seems to give up. He jumps out of Trish’s world and rushes headlong to the climax, as though suddenly bored with the tale and wanting to get it done. He skips four days of her walking in two pages to reach that climax. It’s a jarring jump out of a very involving and personal story.
And, much, much worse, when Trish finally faces the creature following her (Something which seemed to me was a twisted relative of IT), it’s not her that banishes it, but a random passing hunter. Not what I wanted to see in any way. I wanted to see her do it! It’s her I’ve been rooting for over the past three hundred pages, Mr King! Don’t drop in a random stranger with a rifle just to wrap it up.
A few years ago, I was in Washington State, driving through its endless evergreen forests. You could have lost anything in there – aircraft carriers, towns, whole civilisations. Walk into those woods more than a few hundred yards and you would die as you looked for a way out. A single child, alone, un-provisioned, unprepared? No one would ever find her.
Forests are a primeval environment anyway, a scary-as-hell place to get lost. A scary as hell sensation to feel like you’re being followed on top of that (as I can personally attest to).
Trish is made of tough stuff, I’ll tell you that, and to not have her beat the creature following her is simply a cheat.
The Lady Who Loved Him by Christi Caldwell is Book Two in The Brethren Series. This is the story of Lady Chloe Edgerton and Leopold Dunlop, The Marquess of Tennyson. I have read the previous book 'The Spy Who Seduced Her' (and Loved It!) but feel this can be a standalone book.
Leo was once a boy that loved to read but he was also one that was abused by his father. His Uncle who is the Duke of Aubrey picked him to be a part of The Brethren group. There, Leo learned to flush out traitors and help with uncovering crimes against the Crown. Leo adjusted to his new role by becoming a 'Cold Callous Ruthless Bastard' that fit the need The Brethren needed. But now the Brethren members feels he has taken it to far. One member named Rowley, has spoken to say that Leo has one last chance to stay apart of the team. Leo is instructed that if even a false rumor is said about him that he will loose his position with the group. Although his Uncle has taken up for Leo he even says that Leo has taken his persona to far. Leo, doesn't want to loose his place in the group because in his mind it saved him from his father.
Chloe was raised by a very abusive father who hurt her mother and siblings. They lived in terror although their father is now dead, the memories are still with Chloe. Chloe has no plans to ever marry, and has been good about side stepping her marriage minded mother and brother. So much so that Chloe is now 25 years old and only wanting independence.
But when a compromising position between Chloe and Leo happens... it leads them into a marriage of convenience. Both thinking to go forward as they had planned with their lives before marriage start finding it hard to do so. Their feelings are starting to grow between the two.
I absolutely loved this book! I highly recommend Mr. Caldwell's writing...her books make you feel what the characters are going through. It books you cannot put down until you know their ending.
Tasks for Festivus: Post your personal list of 3 Festivus Miracles –OR– post a picture of your Festivus pole (NOTHING pornographic, please!), –OR– Perform the Airing of Grievances: name 5 books you’ve read this year that have disappointed you - tell us in tongue-lashing detail why and how they failed to live up to expectations.
2017 has brought a great many books and thankfully most of them were good or entertaining or at least ok. However, there have also been some real stinkers*, and of those the following tomes have taken the proverbial Christmas cookie:
(* I have only considered books that I read in full. If I had considered DNF's, this list would be much longer.)
1. The Spy Who Loved Me - Ian Fleming
I thought I had already read the worst that Fleming could dream up when I tried to suppress to throw up all the way through From Russia With Love but this was nothing compared to the sick-fest that was The Spy Who Loved Me. I seriously would have liked to hit Bond and his creator with a shovel, repeatedly, hard, when reading that book. Even thinking about the book still brings up feelings of rage and nausea.
2. The Unexpected Guest - Charles Osborne
I refuse to cite Agatha Christie as the author of this. She may have written the original play, but Osborne managed to destroy the original work as only Osborne can - with gusto and beyond any hope of repair. Even if Dame Agatha's works are sometimes a bit twisted, Osborne managed to turn this one into a farcical hot mess. Again. Like the other Christie books he turned his hand to.
3. The Courts of Babylon - Peter Bodo
Boy, oh boy, oh boy. This was the book that tried to set a new record of how many dumbass comments one author can cram into a book. I have no motivation to find out whether Bodo really did set a record here, and I am sorely disappointed that not only Bodo represented sports and sports reporting to thousands of viewers, readers, listeners who have over the years been subjected to his self-congratulatory, patronising, imperialist, sexist, and bigoted comments, but also that I actually finished reading this book.
4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
Well, this will be brief: the author's got pretty much all of the HP characters wrong and their plot had some serious holes. This was fan-fiction at best, which is an insult to fan-fiction because this was really bad fan-fiction. No, seriously, just give it a miss and enjoy a re-read of the original HP books.
5. Two Serious Ladies - Jane Bowles
I don't even know what this book was. I'm still more puzzled that this book apparently made Jane Bowles into some sort of adored writer. I don't get it. At all. This was one of the most boring, underwhelming, inconsequential books about drama-lama main characters who were so wrapped up in their first-world not-even-close-to-real-problems that ...
Nah, I can't even be bothered to waste energy airing my grievances about this one.