Friday, November 20, 2009

A Touch of DUMB Book #2

So, I am behind as usual. Last weekend was the great tiling fiasco of '09. When my Father wants something done, he wants it done now. Because of this, I had the immense pleasure of tiling two bathrooms (heads) on a boat. The whole situation sucked the life out of me and put me in the position of needing to numb my pain with beer for two days. This lead to emotional breakdown and deep hibernation. In situations such as described, this is not an unusual reaction on my part. I am now back in the game. 2.5 books into this deal. My filler was Charlane Harris' A Touch of Dead. I know, stop with the Charlane Harris. But I have been embroiled in the Sookie series for a year and this was in my Kindle queue. Imagine my surprise when I was greeted with short stories. I hate goddamn short stories. Remember what I said about the filler in my last review? Well this was a whole goddamn book of filler. Filler from past books that her editor edited out. With good reason, I may add.

The first section is a charming little note by the author explaining why she psyched out all of the readers of this series with a damn book of short stories as the latest release. Great, lady. Mind you, all the books in the series are titled Dead somethingoranother so they are impossible to keep straight. How the hell am I supposed to figure out where stories fit in? Luckily, for those readers (me) that can not keep the Dead somethingoranother books straight, she explains that the forth coming short stories are in chronological order. Genius.

The first, Fairy Dust, is about how Sookie solves the murder of Claude and Claudine's triplet, Claudette. Christ. The second, Dracula Night, is about how she figures out that vampire claiming to be the real Dracula at Eric's Halloween party is not really Dracula. Christ. The third, One Word Answer, is about how she solves the mystery of the death of her vampire cousin, Hadley. Christ. The fourth, Lucky, is about how Sookie and her friend Amelia solve the mystery of who has been tampering with her insurance agent's files. Seriously. It all comes down to the fact that he is a witch and has been hogging too much of the allotted luck for the city of Bon Temps for himself. She must have some really good pot to come up with this shit. Finally, the fifth, oh lord, the fifth. The fifth, Gift Wrap, is charming tale of how Sookie's Great Grandfather gets her laid for Christmas. Enough said.

I just don't know what else to say. If you have read the rest of this series, save your cash. This just was not worth it. That's all I've got.

I would like to say thanks to the ladies of Paheeba Day... I will be enjoying Auntie Mame this evening. Yes, that is my Friday night. I guess there could be worse ways of spending it. Say with a book of short stories.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Book #1 Part 2

I have no clue what the deal is but cutting and pasting is not working out for me. Which is a shame because I tend to get more of my personal business completed at work than I do at home. So here we go, I am going to retype this like the steno that I am not.

Strange how when I commit to something I immediately wish that I would not have. I have been looking at this post as though it were dreaded homework for the past 3 days. Which is odd since I have been totally gung ho about being part of Cannonball Read this year. Anyway, here is to hoping that once I get one review under my belt the words will flow from my fingertips on a weekly basis. As for my excuse as to why I am a day late (now 2, or is it 3?) I can only say that I managed to procrastinate (drink) the entire weekend. Really, nothing new there. Excuses aside, here we go. Review #1

I kicked off this challenge with plans, big plans, War and Peace Plans. Ok, not really, but I had developed a list. I was in the middle of The Eyre Affair (totally loved it and very soon I will be reading the next in the series so hold on to your socks because a review will be coming) when my evil boss suggested (demanded) that I attend a conference with her in San Diego. Great! At least 10 hours of fight time to read. Horrid! At least 10 hours on an airplane. After finishing The Eyre Affair (did I mention that I loved it?) on the first leg I was left with my list. In honor of the start date (I know Nov 1 is not Halloween, but close enough) I was primed to read Shelley's Frankenstein. My travel accommodations dictated that I make another selection. It seems that being pressed against the fuselage in a vain attempt to avoid contact with one's seat mate, mouth breathing to avoid various and sundry unsavory aromas that seem to prevalent on commercial aircraft, and willing the bird to stay aloft does not allow for the concentration needed to digest 19th century horror. Just saying. Maybe it is ADD, maybe a stronger person could have done it. Not me. I dialed down, way down, my literary selection to better suit the situation.

So there I was alone in my 2 sq feet of space with Shakespeare's Trollop (and who does not love the world trollop, I mean really) by Charlaine Harris. Also known for her Southern Vampire series (read 'em), Aurora Teagarden Mysteries (read 'em after I demolished Sookie), Harper Connely Mysterys (no relation, read 'em up until the 3rd book when the step brother and step sister had sex which is just gross) and this series, the Lily Bard Mysteries. Get it, Bard...Shakespeare. That alone should clue you into the quality level of these books. Do not get me wrong, I love crappy, trashy, semi-illiterate (Twilight anyone?) novels and I have read most of her writing. Once I get on series I am like a dog on a Greenie provided the work is even semi palatable. I really get hooked on this "fluff and filler" genre. Easy to read, you can skip entire sentences, hell, even pages. Perfect for air travel.

There really is not a lot to say about these books in way of a review. They are short (this one was 194 pages) they have a murder within the first 2 chapters and the guilty party is never who you expect it to be. Not because you are not savvy enough to pick up on the clues, but because the clues are not provided. I am guessing that this is so that you do not crack the case by page 65 and miss out on the remaining 150 pages of filler. Anyway, person is murdered, Lily finds the body, goes to Karate and works out every night (this activity is covered ad nauseam which is really annoying, but filler is the name of the game), Lily cleans houses and dishes the dirt (pathetic pun intended) on her clients, has sex (which is another thing I do not understand. Because these books pander to the ladies is it wholly necessary to add cheesetastic bedroom scenes? Wouldn't I just read a Harlequin if that is what I was after? Filler, I guess), figures out who the murder is in her head so you have too fill up on the filler, the last chapter hits the killer is caught and you find yourself hungry for the next book. Not bad, not good. They are just there. Good to read after work when you are in shutdown mode, good for the plane, good for beach. Fluff and filler. Also good for the Kindle, they are cheap ($4-6) and your airplane seat mate will not judge you for your taste in novels. Yes, I am that shallow.

Side note on The Eyre Affair. I was positive that I had read Jane Eyre and I that I simply drank that brain cell away. Not so much. So I am working on it now. However, going from hardcore fluff to a beloved English novel is quite the transition. I am not able to guarantee that I will have completed it by Sunday. It that appears to be the case I will have to power through the latest Sookie. Easy to do in a day. Hey, I am just trying to keep on track!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Book #1

Yeah, so I wrote a lengthy post today at work emailed it home. Now I can't get the freaking thing to paste into this post. Is this a Windows 7 issue? WHY can't things ever be easy??? So, this is going to have to wait until tomorrow when, hopefully, my mood has stabilized.