Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Fourth Hand by John Irving


"While reporting a story from India, New York journalist Patrick Wallingford inadvertently becomes his own headline when his left hand is eaten by a lion. In Boston, a renowned surgeon eagerly awaits the opportunity to perform the nation’s first hand transplant. But what if the donor’s widow demands visitation rights with the hand? In answering this unexpected question, John Irving has written a novel that is by turns brilliantly comic and emotionally moving, offering a penetrating look at the power of second chances and the will to change." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This book started with a touch of quirky humor but over time changed into a serious love story. I liked how Patrick learns about true love and compassion as he tries to win Doris' heart. I also found the insight into television news coverage informative.

Date read: 3/22/2008
No. of pages: 313
Year: 2002
Genre: Fiction

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fahrenheit 451

Have you read it yet?

Here are my thoughts.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Twelve Red Herrings by Jeffrey Archer

Title: Twelve Read Herrings
Author: Jeffrey Archer
ISBN: 0006490484
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers/1994
Pages: 324

At one time, I used to read Jeffrey Archer like crazy. I do like the way he writes. I won't call those masterpieces, nonetheless, his books hold interest.

Twelve Red Herrings is a collection of short stories. As the name suggests, there are twelve stories, each with a read herring. It is left on the reader whether he can find that out opr not. The stories can all go in a numerous way. Archer has given great endings. But the reader can interprete those in his own way too. The last story has four different endings. All to be read in order.

Trial and error has the jury foxed, Cheap at Half Price has a woman getting a diamond necklace fooling two men, Dougie Mortimer's Right Arm is about losing a winning sports for money. Do Not Pass Go is about an Iraqi who is hunted by Sadam Hussain. Chunnel Vision is about novel writing and trying to find a great ending for that. Shoeshine Boy is about a Governer-General and visit by Mountbatten as a dignitary. You'll Never Live to Regret It is about Insurance payout. Never Stop On the Motorway has a suspence which can be called nail-biting. Not for Sale is about a girl who wants to be a well- known artist. Timeo Danaos is a story about a penny pinching banker. An Eye For An Eye is about a woman accused for her husband's murder. One Man's Meat has four different takes, to be read in the order it is given.

I liked all but my favourites are Do Pass Let Go and Never Stop on the Motor Way. This book is worth reading. I did like the stories and had a whale of a time imagining different endings. I could discover few odf the Red Herrings. You go ahead and try finding those!

Short stories are good to read as one can simply pick and choose, not following any particular order. As I am kind of busy packing as I move to a new house next week, this book suited me fine!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

FIRST Degree

David Rosenfelt
Genre: Legal Thriller
Published: 2003
Personal Rating: 4/5

Andy Carpenter is back! And, he's back with his girlfriend, PI Laurie Collins. The good news is that Andy's circumstances allow him to pick and choose what clients he wants to represent. The bad news is he has accepted Laurie as his client when she is accused of murder.

This is actually my third encounter with Andy, but First Degree is the second in the series. What I enjoy most is Andy's wit and the courtroom scenes. While there are still murder scenes and maybe a tense scene, here or there, Rosenfelt writes with a flow that makes me feel comfortable and one that has continually pleased. The ending in this one had some spots that were too pat, but still enjoyable. I look forward to Bury the Lead.

Friday, April 4, 2008

One of those hideous books where the mother dies

One of those hideous books where the mother dies by Sonya Sones
4 stars

Reasons for reading: I enjoyed her What My Mother Doesn't Know a few years ago, Numbers Challenge, Triple 8 Challenge

Summary (from Booklist): "After the death of her mother, high-schooler Ruby is sent from Boston to L.A. to live with the father she has never met: "He's such a scumbag / that he divorced my mother / before I was even born." The "scumbag" is Whip Logan, a famous movie actor, but Ruby is too angry to be impressed; at the airport she wonders whether to "ask him for his autograph, / or kick him in the balls." Sones' latest free-verse novel follows Ruby through her first few months in her new home, a mansion where her every desire is granted--except what she longs for most: her best friend, her boyfriend, and of course, her mother."

My thoughts: I'm usually not a verse-novel gal, but Sones is a really good writer. The poems make it really seem like you're right in Ruby's head, feeling such deep grief and anger, and they definitely resonate the way poetry should. But there's humour, as well, such as Airplane Lunch:





I liked that Ruby loves to read and that she doesn't want her life to be like one of those hideous books: "I love to read,/ but I can't stand books like that./And I flat out refuse/to have one of those lives/that I wouldn't even want/to read about." I hate those hideous books, too!

This one loses a star only because the truth about Ruby's dad and some of the other events (I won't spoil it) are predictable. But even that doesn't detract much from the greatness of the book, which is a well done cross between a (non-hideous) teen angst book and a fish-out-of-water story.

(Cross-posted on my blog.)