Thursday, April 21, 2011

adding to the "must read" list!

The Swimming Pool

Not sure if I can wait until after my 161 project... thinking NOT.  Oh, no!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

adding to the ever growing collection...

The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books

An autographed copy now sits proudly on the bookshelf (complete with inscription intended to inspire & motivate me to get off my butt & start writing!!!).  ~sigh~ 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

a worthy investment...


Just read a GREAT article by Lawrence Block on "Writing Can't be Learned, but It Can be Taught," via Jane Friedman's "There Are No Rules" blog.  I'm intrigued and adding The Liar's Bible to my to reading list.  Hmmm... maybe I should start a "writing manuals tab"???  Hmmmm.....

Friday, April 8, 2011

2/161: Hollywood Tough by Stephen J. Cannell

Hollywood Tough

Um... this story didn't work for me.

I got tired of it real quick.  And I became embroiled in a subplot, that was actually the real plot, that I completely forgot about the first plot and the second plot!  WHAT???  Yeah, WHAT???

First plot (not necessarily in order): a sinister comment by a mysterious high profile hollywood hotshot piques one tough guy cop's, Shane Scully, interest enough to launch his own "private" investigation. Hmmmm...

Second plot: one of Shane's grifter contacts (to eventually proven to be a lying, conniving grifter contact) from the street asks for help finding an old friend; after Shane finds the old friend, said friend ends up dead.  Hmmmm...

Third plot: Shane, feeling responsible, starts investigating the death, which leads him back to the grifter, which leads him to a mob boss transplanted from the East Coast out to hustle Hollywood; Shane will have none of that, being the tough guy cop that he is, so he congers up an elaborate, intricate, confusing sting that involves corrupt cops, mob connections and the LAPD producing (seriously????) a ridiculous movie with idiotic swelled heads and an equally idiotic inflated budget.  Hmmm....

Fourth plot:  Shane's wife, Alexa, also a cop, and their son, Chooch, are both absorbed, each in their own way, in a gang war showdown quickly spiraling out of control with increasing tension & bloodshed at almost every turn that involves kidnappings, drive-by shootings, drugs, tanker trucks, a trip to Arizona, ICU and an essay on "Heroes."  Hmmm....


I muddled thru but I certainly don't believe it all came together in the end.  It was confusing and frustrating and out of control and pretty much hard to swallow.  I mean, really?  Ugh.  I usually like serial story lines, my favs being Dennis LeHane's Kenzie & Gennaro and Sandford's Lucas Davenport, but I am not very interested in reading any more Shane Scully.  Too bad because I do like Stephen J. Cannell as a Hollywood writer - but maybe I don't like him as a novel writer?  Hmmm....

As with all books, I usually find something to take away & hang on to...  not much this time but there was one thing.  "Occam's Razor," which ia theory that when things are extremely complicated, the simpliest answer is usually the right one.  Hmmm...  well, this story was extremely complicated and I suppose the simpliest answer is the author tried too hard.  He tried too hard to make it interesting and intriguing and captivating and it just did NOT work for me.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 2011 BookPage

Why is it that sometimes I'm totally unmoved, unmotivated by any literature and then other times, I'm overwhelmed by options???  Will I ever be able to read all I want to read?  Truly?

April 2011's BookPage is PACKED with interesting reads...  I'm amazed...

The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives (Katie Couric)
Never Knowing (Chevy Stevens) - and Still Missing, if it isn't already on a list somewhere
The Night Season (Chelsea Cain)
Save Me (Lisa Scottoline)
Mystery (Jonathan Kellerman)
Cold Wind (CJ Box)
The Troubled Man (Henning Mankell)
Every Day by the Sun (Dean Faulkner Wells)
The Mediator (Meg Cabot)
When you Reach me (Rebecca Stead)
The Inheritance of Beauty (Nicole Seitz)
Making Toast (Roger Rosenblatt)
The Other Wes Moore (Wes Moore)
Low Country (Dorethea Benton Frank)
The Extra 2% (Johan Keri)
Verily, Verily: the KJV - 400 years of Influence & Beauty (Jon M. Sweeney)
My One & Only (Kristen Higgins)
The Uncoupling (Meg Wolitzer)
The Love of My Youth (Mary Gordon)
Night Road (Kristin Hannah)
Started Early, Took My Dog (Kate Atkinson)
The Map of True Places (Brunonia Barry)
The Dry Grass of August (Anna Jean Mayhew)
The Wilder Life (Wendy McClure)
A Covert Affair (Jennet Conant)
One Hundred Names for Love (Diane Ackerman)
Where She Went (Gayle Forman) - sequel to If I Stay