Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Christmas Wedding

So ya think I got married over the holiday, huh? Nope! But  Gaby Summerhill did.  Who's Gaby Summerhill you may ask?  She's the central character in James Patterson's latest departure from murder and mystery, called The Christmas Wedding co written with Richard DiLallo.

Patterson's past departures were quite enjoyable reads, with Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas one of his best books in all genres. Having read that as well as Sam's Letters to Jennifer and Sundays at Tiffany's,  my expectations for The Christmas Wedding were set.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed. But if you enjoy Carol Higgins Clark type novels, The Christmas Wedding should be on your list or shelf.  Patterson sticks with the fast paced writing style but this reader thought this attempt was a bit much on fluff.  I've read my fair share of lighter side novels, Clark, Nicholas Sparks, Richard Evans, etc. so I'm not opposed to reading these and find most of them enjoyable. It's a nice break from reading, say, a 800 page tome on Winston Churchill.

I will however say, one of his characters, Marty, made a very good statement about the joy of reading, which plays into Patterson's foundation, readkiddoread.com - dedicated to making kids readers for life.

The quote : " ...If you're not reading  - - - with your heart as well as your brain - - - you'll be one stupid grown-up. Even worse, you'll be missing out on one of the best experiences you can possibly have. Nowhere will you meet more interesting people than in books. I've met a lot of people, I've read a lot of books..."

Self promoting perhaps? Either way it's a great foundation and a creative way to intertwine in the book.

Patterson is back to mystery page turners next week with Private: #1 Suspect (Jack Morgan) co authored with Maxine Paetro, which is the second book in the Jack Morgan series, the first being: Private.

What's on your list?

We all have lists. Things to do today, tomorrow or this week type lists. "honey-do" lists, summer project and winter project lists. Bucket Lists, shopping lists, places we want to visit before we die lists,  etc.  But do we make lists of things past?

How  about a list of moments and memories? We're all getting older and our memories are fading.  Inspired by Rosanne Cash's CD The List as well as her live show, my sister and I collaborated on a list of Christmas moments and memories as a gift to our parents.   Although we typed it ( my handwriting is atrocious!), we handed it to our parents on Christmas day. We didn't tweet it, facebook it, text it or email it.

What would be on your list and who would you give it to?  Maybe birthday memories shared with your parents? or maybe  a list of songs that you listened to as a teenager or college student and you share it with your child of that same age?

The List by Rosanne Cash is a twelve track CD of songs her father, Johnny recommended her to know. He called it her, "education". That list was 100 in total.  Here's what I hope is the first CD of many. ( added are a  few photos from her live show at Minneapolis Orchestra this past November):

1.  Miss the Mississippi and You - (featuring Joe Bonadio/John Leventhal/Tim Luntzel)
2 . Motherless Children - (featuring John Leventhal/Shawn Pelton)
3. Sea of Heartbreak
4 . Take These Chains from My Heart - (featuring Joe Bonadio/John Leventhal/Kenny Williams)
5. I'm Movin' On - (featuring Joe Bonadio/John Leventhal/RIck DePofi)
6 . Heartaches by the Number - (featuring Joe Bonadio/John Leventhal/Elvis Costello)
7. 500 Miles
8 . Long Black Veil - (featuring Jeff Tweedy/RIck DePofi)
9. She's Got You - (featuring John Leventhal/Kenny Williams/Zev Katz/Shawn Pelton)
10 . Girl from the North Country - (featuring John Leventhal/RIck DePofi/Zev Katz/Shawn Pelton)
11. Silver Wings - (featuring John Leventhal/Rufus Wainwright/Zev Katz/Shawn Pelton)
12 . Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow - (featuring John Leventhal)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Trust in The Professional

We started the year by reading three of  Robert B. Parker's Spenser series  and having read most of the them in 2010, I thought it fitting to wrap up 2011 with the final three of the series as sadly, Robert Parker passed away last  year.

His writing style is succinct but with just the right number of words and dry humorist bantering between the characters, you'll push through his books like a Minnesota snowplow in winter - - -  Fast, Furious and Fun.

Trust has different meanings. As a verb it means to place confidence, to be confident. As a noun, it can be explained several ways: assured reliance on character; dependence on something future and property held by one person for the benefit of other, among various definitions.

In The Professional Parker delves into just that,  trust in all meanings. Trust in oneself, trust in others and trust as in a financial instrument. As  I reflect on The Professional, Parker's use of the words meaning is quite creative and one of the better of the series.

Come to Boston as we track through the trysts of trusts as Spenser, Hawk and Susan piece together a who done it, who did it and who's doing what to whom.

Will Spenser live on now that Parker passed? Perhaps there's hope as the Parker estate granted Michael Brandman permission to continue another character by Parker called, Jesse Stone.

We can only trust they find someone to preserve his legacy and keep scribbling the great tale of Spenser!

***This just in - - a member of my research team, that would be me, discovered that Ace Atkins will also continue the Spenser series as granted by Parkers estate. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Gift Books ereaders vs. books, the debate continues...

What's the best book you've received for Christmas?  USA Today last week interviewed several well known individuals and what they remember as their best book received. David McCullough, Laura Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Diane Keaton, Ellen DeGeneres, and James Patterson just to name of few.

This begs the question, how would one gift an ebook and inscribe it and will the next generation cherish the same memories when given an ebook vs. a physical book?

How could one save an ebook and reflect back in years to come and remember the gifter?

Over the river and through the woods....

to Grandfathers house we go.....well, not exactly. But Jeffery Deaver's Bodies Left Behind,takes you on a suspenseful adventure through the Wisconsin woods. Deaver's descriptive writing brings the reader deeper and deeper into the book and in this case, the woods. From plants and trees to thrills and chills  Bodies Left Behind will make you acutely aware of every tree, bush, flower, animal track and footprint on your next hike.

Speaking of flowers, in John Sandford's latest , Shock Wave, finds Virgil Flowers on the hunt again for a serial bomber. At first, I thought the subject matter was a bit of a stretch: a larger retailer swooping in to a small town in MN to steal any commerce away from small businesses with only terrorism standing in their way.  But the more I read, I'm finding I'm becoming more of a fan of Flowers than I originally thought.  Lucas Davenport, Sandford's Prey detective will be at it again in Stolen Prey, due out in May 2012.

Adding another James Patterson's Alex Cross books (Kill Alex Cross) to the mix of November literary travels, five more books have been added to the read list making it forty-four for the year.