Winter Reading Club book reviews

The reviews are in from EIPL's Adult Winter Reading Club

‘In the Woods” by Tana French
Excellent and suspenseful. A great read.

“Carrie” by Stephen King
This Stephen King novel is, as all of his book are, one in which you start page one and are at the end before you know it. It is not scary and it is predictable, but it’s Stephen King’s first novel and a disturbing, fun read.

“Honky” by Dalton Conley
The author writes of his experiences as a white child growing up in a lower income black neighborhood. He fits in well, attends better schools using a false address. The confusing part for me as a parent – why didn’t they move to a nicer location? The parents both stay after their apartment is robbed several times and there are several shootings. I read this memoir for a Book Discussion group – I did not like it! Boring!

“Kcymaerxthaere Travel guide Guide – Volume 6: Discover Kymaerica” by Eames Demetrios
Interesting concept – poor execution. A travel guide to an alternate world with the same landmarks as this world.

“Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, Myself” by Monica Seles
Monica’s autobiography focuses on her tennis life and food. I enjoyed reading about her tennis memories and reliving those matches.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde
In this timeless classic, a young man watches his beautiful portrait become grotesque and aged while he remains forever young. This eerie mortality tale explores the meaning of beauty and the function of art in all forms, whether acting, literature, music, etc. Wilde questions the role of the artist – and the artist’s soul.

“The Good Enough to Eat Breakfast Cookbook” by Carrie Levin
Chef Carrie Levin, owner of the “Good Enough to Eat” restaurant in Manhattan, is “obsessed with perfecting breakfast standards.” Levin shares the magic that turns pancakes into a feast and biscuits into a mouth-watering favorite, but beware the ways of the kitchen! These recipes can be tackled by a beginner, but many of them assume you own a commercial-grade mixer and that you can whiz your way around a kitchen like Betty Crocker on speed.

“Star Wars – Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil” by Drew Karpyshyn
This is a Star Wars novel about the Old Republic which concludes the Darth Bane trilogy. The story delves into the dark side of the Force. Lots of action makes this a fast read.

“Cross Country” by James Patterson
This was a confusing Alex Cross mystery. The story involves looking for a murderer, but a lot of the action takes place in Africa. I had the feeling that this was the author’s platform about the political and human horrors in Africa.

“Pirate Latitudes” by Michael Crichton
This is a fabulous pirate adventure story. The action is non-stop. I will really miss this author’s writing.

“Going Rogue” by Sarah Palin
“Going Rogue” is the VP candidate’s autobiography. It describes her modest upbringing and entry into local politics. It then goes on to discuss the 2008 Presidential election and why she resigned form politics completely in the pursuit of God’s plan. I recommend this book to all. It was clearly written and an enjoyable read. It underlined the great divide between “good America” and politics that grows exponentially “meaner” as candidates and officials rise through the US political system.

“Juliet, Naked” by Nick Hornby
The title of this book refers to a fictional CD of demos from a once famous musician. A review of the CD is posted on the internet by an obsessed fan’s girlfriend and through a series of events all of their lives intersect. Not exactly sure why I liked this story – maybe I can relate to Annie.

“Housekeeping” by Marilynne Robinson
This story had lots of descriptive writing with imagery of water and trains in this book. The plot was a little slim and seemed to drag on. I felt sorry for the main character, Ruthie.

“The Crying of Lot 49” by Thomas Pynchon
What an odd tale! The plot begins with Oedipal Maas being named co-executor of an ex-boyfriends will. This leads her to a series of events including learning about an alternative postal system. Maybe I’m being too literal about this book…

“Open: An autobiography” by Andre Agassi
Andre’s bio begins at age 7 when he is forced into long practices. He confesses he hates tennis all thru the book. It ends at age 35, after numerous matches, wins and of course losses. You don’t need to know much about tennis. I never realized how physical the game is. He suffered injuries and endured long training sessions. There are little details on his three loves: a girlfriend, Brooke Shields (wife #1), and current wife Steffi Graph. I did enjoy reading the book and I liked the photos in this book.

“Miss Garnet’s Angel” by Salley Vickers
In this wonderful story, a lonely, dispassionate Englishwoman discovers romance, love, and friendship in Venice. After the book’s tedious and slow beginning, we start to care very much for this initially uncaring woman as we discover not only her joyless past, but also the mysteries of art, angels, and Apocrypha.

“Sundays at Tiffany’s” by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet
The story begins with a little girl who has an imaginary friend: a man. She grows up and now in her thirties she sees this same imaginary man, but he is real, and they begin a romance. Very strange – he knows he was the imaginary friend and she was to have forgotten about him – but now everyone can see him. I was hoping for a better ending…

“Two Dollar Bill” by Stuart Woods
This book was a mediocre one. Without saying too much about the story, I can reveal that it had two protagonists. One was a standard retired private investigator with many connections. The other was an atypical bad guy. The redeeming value was its ability to blend a story that was a cartoonish mystery with a silly group of characters.