Friday, June 09, 2006

Book List - April&May 14/10

As promised, I'm posting my belated book list. In tracking my books, it's become totally obvious to me that I find something I like to read and obsess about it until I've read them all. I had no idea. I mean, I knew that I preferred certain authors, but this is ridiculous. You'll see what I mean once you get to May...

April 5/5
She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb
Sackett – Louis L'Amour
Trail to Peach Meadow Canyon - Louis L'Amour
The Happiest Toddler on the Block – Harvey Karp
Sackett's Land – Louis L'Amour

She's Come Undone was SUCH a downer. Nothing went right for the main character. Just when I would think it couldn't get any worse, it would. And it would be A LOT worse. My biggest pet peeve about it though was the review which said, "[This book] whisks you on a wild journey through life with an unforgettable heroine, both heartbreaking and comical. In [this] remarkable coming-of-age odyssey, a lonely girl satisfies her cravings for love and happiness with her own unsettling solutions. ... [Author] paints such a realistic picture of a young woman's inner world that you'll have trouble convincing yourself he never was a teenaged girl." Sounds pretty good, huh? Let me tell you, it was never comical, her cravings for love and happiness were not satisfied, and this is not remotely a realistic picture of the lives of young women. Don't read this book.

I decided to start reading the Sackett books because I was so appalled at the language and content of She's Come Undone that DD (dear daughter) was being exposed to as I listened in the car. Now and then she would repeat a word she recognized like Snake or Food. I read the Sacketts when I was younger and loved them. They're very good for what they're trying to be - basically the story of the U.S.'s beginnings as told by 3 families. As a child I liked the history. As an adult I enjoy the author's storytelling and colorful language. It's like listening to an old cowboy tell a story. Also, the reader they got to do the recordings is great.

The Happiest Toddler on the Block is a child-rearing book. It was interesting and we've had pretty good success trying some of his strategies. I especially like "the fast food" theory, which is to repeat back to the child what he has said. That's not a new concept in communication, but it was new to me to do it with an angry toddler. Instead of trying to distract her with something when she's mad, I repeat her feelings back to her in similar tones to what she's using and let her know that I heard what she wants and show her by mirroring her emotions that I know she's upset. Imagine how you'd feel if you asked your boss for a raise and he responded by ignoring your question and offering you a new office chair. We've been able to derail a lot of her tantrums early by doing this.

May - 9/5
To The Far Blue Mountains – Louis L'Amour
The Daybreakers – Louis L'Amour
Living Dead in Dallas – Charlaine Harris
Club Dead – Charlaine Harris
Dead to the World – Charlaine Harris
Dead as a Doornail – Charlaine Harris
Real Murders – Charlaine Harris
A Bone to Pick – Charlaine Harris
The Julius House – Charlaine Harris

My secret is out. I'm a Charlaine Harris junkie. In addition to these, so far in June I've read 6 more in 9 days. She's basically got 3 mystery series, all set in the South with female leads with a wry sense of humor and a knack for finding dead bodies and solving whodunits. I realized finally that I'm not reading them so much for the mysteries as I am for the characters. It's like with Monk, the TV show. You partly watch it for the mystery but mostly because it's fun to see how he reacts to the situations he's forced into by his various cases. I enjoyed these so much that it inspired me to write my own mystery series. I've already got some ideas, so we'll see how it goes.

1 comment:

Lahdeedah said...

Is Louis Armour someone I would like? I'm looking for a new reading fix! I liked Rain of Gold but it was epicish. I went through the Devil Wears Prada in like, a day. I need more authors!!!
Maybe I could get into some westerns.