Thursday, November 15, 2012

Americans in Paris?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


My reading habits are such that I enjoy just about anything.  I have my favourites, of course;  Murder Mysteries, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and the occasional Biographical novel such as The Agony and the Ecstasy-a Michelangelo  Masterpiece- but rarely am I actually angry that I bothered reading something.

Fallen by Lauren Kate was infuriating.  On her behalf, the premise is intriguing.  This is a star-crossed lovers fantasy.  I adore this story-line.  The mortal and the fallen angel.  I love the past-lives theme and the reincarnation and the meeting again and again only to never be able to be together.  I was totally excited by this idea.  The problem is that Kate NEVER gets to any explanation.  The main character, Luce, is shipped off to a reform school after having an acquaintance die. She's been haunted by shadows all of her life and been sent to every shrink known to man-kind.  She's been subjected to mind altering drugs and evaluation-all of which I abhor.  One feels sorry for this girl and is looking forward to discovering the truth behind her visions.

But we never get the truth.  The story is going on and on and never unfolding.  We get pieces of details instead of details.  I kept reading thinking that on the next page I might get a clue.  I am told Luce is damned.  It is never revealed why she is damned.  Her love interest hates her then loves her.  We get some insight to the good and evil, but there are people killed who don't deserve to die.  The story is that people around her are getting killed.  But she is the one who is supposed to die when she falls in love with her angel for the millionth time.  We are never told why two innocent boys who happen to be standing around doing nothing are killed.  What did they have to do with this fallen angel plot?  

And there is too much mushy talk. The characters are suspiciously similar to the Twilight's Cullens.  The writing is amateur at best.  I loathe to speak of another author this way.  I love books and admire authors, being one myself I know how difficult it is to write a story.  But this book is lacking in sooooo many ways.  she's taken an excellent premise and gone no where with it.  I should get to find out why Luce is damned by the end of the book!  I should know who Cam really is, not just that he's a "Bad Guy." I should know what the "eighteen day truce" is that is made between two fallen angels at the close.  I should have some desire to find out what the next book will bring!  Instead, What is meant to be a cliff-hanger just leaves the reader completely disgruntled and thinking, "Why bother to read the next one?  She'll never get to the point anyway!" 

I am so sorry to report this, but I am terribly disappointed in what appeared by the cover and reviews to be an excellent read.  I simply am too annoyed to buy the next one.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

By Alan Bradley

This is a Flavia de Luce Mystery.

I love it!  Flavia is an eleven year old chemistry wiz with a taste for poison.
Of course, she lives in a mansion in England, so we know I'm hooked right there.  

This delightful little surprise of a mystery had my attention from the first sentence.  Flavia lives with her stiff upper lipped father and two elder sisters whom continually ridicule her.  She exacts her revenge with  methodical plots she concocts in her laboratory. A stranger is found dead in the cucumber patch and our heroine takes it upon herself to find out who done it, secretly fearing it was her beloved Dad.  Full of adventure, suspense and literary references, it's one of the best reads I've come across this year. 

I'm just tickled pink by it and am on to the next in the series, The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag.

More Flavia, please!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Unsuspecting Delight: John Connelly's The Gates & The Infernals

I picked these up off a whim as I'm a fan of Connelly's Charlie Parker series.  These are, however, something quite differentThey are a new series set in London, (I had no idea.  The physical universe is apparently intent on bull-baiting me at every turn!) They are about a kid and his dog.  What?  Yes.  And I'm telling you, they are a plethora of intellectual amusement for the adult who delves into childish behaviour whenever possible. Samuel has witnessed the opening of the Gates to Hell and entrance to another dimension.    This was precipitated by a "Collider" machine that was built with the intent on re-creating the Big Bang theory and studying the aftermath of molecules and particles and the possibility of other universes, or the "Multi-verse."  You know I'm in heaven now.  How ironic. The names of the characters and the incredibly stupid things they do are, well, fun. The story line is child's play, but the footnotes are absolutely hilarious.  There are references on quantum physics, other universes, and even how to give an evil laugh:  Bwah ha ha ha ha!  Just stupendous.  I found myself giggling more at these little inserts from the author than the story itself.  It's demonic physics bliss for the way too bored.  C'est Moi. Complete ridiculosity.  Yeah.  I made up that word, as is the right of authors.  The slangs are all British.  The humor is clever and dry in the way only Europeans can write.  John Connelly is Irish, and this is utter bollocks, which is positively delightful.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Burning Soul: John Connelly

This one wasn't nearly as exciting as Connelly's past novels.  PI, Charlie Parker is an extremely interesting character, and in The White Road, Every Dead Thing, and several previous novels, I couldn't sleep at night for page turning.  This one became a bit predictable.  Of course, Angel and Louis show up to save him-as usual.  Of course, the notorious bad boys arrive to guard his client.  There a few interesting twists and that makes it worth reading, but only just.

The story revolves around a man who has a prior history of child killing.  He's now being framed for a new child's abduction.  The town is primitive.  The Chief of  Police is a pedophile.  Although it all gets wrapped up nicely in the end, which is true to Connelly, it could have been longer and had a bit more of Parker's personality.  In earlier books of Connelly's, the gloves come off and there are all kinds of mind games and disturbing details of murder and mayhem.  This one just sort of carried on until it ended.  A bit ho-hum. 

The good news is that I'm currently in a completely different novel of Connelly's not in this series.  The Book of Lost Things.  I'll report on it later, but as of now, it's fantastic!

Believing the Lie: Elizabeth George

This rather large book was unfortunately, very disappointing.  I've read all of Elizabeth's Thomas Linley series and most captured my attention immediately and held it.  This story, however, violates the timeline of the series.  In Careless in Red, which takes place directly after Thomas's wife, Helen is murdered, Barbara Havers is divorced with a twelve year old son.  When did that happen?  Believing the Lie places her back at the cottage behind Hadiyya, no kid, no divorce, no nothing.  WTF?  Ms. George needs to keep her storyboard in tact.  That was the most frustrating thing about BTL.  Havers is a brilliant character and I want to know who she married, when it happened, how it happened, what caused the divorce, (other than her pugnacious attitude) and why the flip that entire scenario just disappeared out of the series!

In addition to this, there is no murder in the book.  There's a dead guy and it does take us out of London for a change and far North, but  to what end?  The ex is a complete nutter with no regard for her own children.  His lover is whom I suspect of actually murdering him, but that never gets resolved.  The only thing that does happen is that Deborah drives me insane with her insistence on pursuing a dead end lead in a mystery she has no right to be investigating.  You wind up embroiled in tales having zip to do with why the guy is dead and let's face it, if you're reading a murder mystery, you want the gory details!

The story is a blase read if you just want to read a story. But it's not taking you anywhere.  I hate the reporter.  I despise Linley's new alcoholic lover and I miss the delightful, intelligent interchange that used to happen in these books.  The series has become a slew of tangents and aberrations with no plot or definitive ending. Even the characters are no longer clearly defined!

If you are a George fan, the series was worth reading right up until "What came before he shot her."

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Reversal & The Fifth Witness

  Initially, let me address the title of my blog for those of you who recently became acquainted.  I read every day.  I read as much as I can get away with during the day, meaning I sneak in a chapter or two between customers if I'm working in a boutique or at my own weekend business.  My reading is done predominantly in the evening, however. It is not unusual to wake up in the morning with a book on my face. I sleep with them! My bed was handmade and crafted especially for this purpose.  It has two large shelves directly above my head complete with reading light and stacks of books on the agenda.  That is because my mattress is ultra comfortable and frankly, I'm lazy.  Once I am under the covers, there is no climbing out for anything.  

     The title of the blog is "Reader's Thumb" because the pages are made of paper and over time, literally siphon the oils out of my skin.  I am ambidextrous.  That only means I do certain things with either hand.  I am more right handed than left, but I can only do certain things with my left for some reason.  Typically, it is my right thumb that bears the brunt of damage from my book holding.  It gets dry and actually hurts.  I have to switch hands because my thumb is sore.  Hence, "Reader's Thumb."  There is only one person in the world I know who reads as much or more than I do and may share my dilemma.  Perhaps there are more and I don't know them. My hunch is that loyal readers are all walking with sore thumbs and I am just the first to give it a name, such as  repetitive injury health professionals announced the new form of carpel tunnel syndrome from texting: "Blackberry thumb."  

   Michael Connelly strikes again!  In The Reversal, a serial sex offender has somehow managed to get the charges reversed after twenty-four years in prison.  The Lincoln Lawyer enlists his half brother, detective Harry Bosh, a fictitious character from Connelly's other series, to do the leg work on this quarter of a century old crime.  We aren't disappointed.  Of course, there is also the personal side to my favorite defense attorney, his ex-wife, Maggie "McFierce" and their interludes. A solid read.  I won't tell you what Bosch finds at the culprit's condo.  You'll just have to get the book.

     The Fifth Witness is another mind rattling page turner.  This one focuses on a client whom while amidst a political war to keep her home from foreclosure finds herself the suspect in a murder investigation.  All the courtroom drama of Law & Order and a surprising ending.  Haller is a straight shooter, but like myself, when he's blindsided, isn't above an underhanded play that dooms the adversary.  That's all I'm saying.   

      The Reversal and The Fifth witness are brilliant.  Of course, I am biased.  They are based in LA so it is particularly entertaining.  My other favorite series is set in Cotswolds where I've never been and am determined to visit. Who knows when that will occur?  In the interim, I enjoy my characters living in the vicinity.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The DROP, Michael Connelly

If you follow my Blog, then you know I'm a big Michael Connelly fan.  I'm mid The DROP and will finish it tonight.  Normally I wouldn't comment until I actually completed the novel, but this is too juicy.  I love Harry Bosch, LAPD Homicide Detective,  and he's back in top form investigating the possible suicide of someone with "High Jingo."  Sorry, you'll just have to read the book to discover what that means! In The DROP, the suicide takes priority over his other case, an Open-Unsolved nasty sex crime two score past.

In recent Bosch novels, Harry's teenage daughter has come to live with him for reasons you are only privy to if you follow the series.  Their relationship is delightful.  He's a single Dad working a difficult job confronting life's evil menaces.  He's on the most heinous crime scenes and has zero sympathy for the bad guys. This also translates into anxiety regarding his little girl and the knowledge that he can't protect her every moment.  It's provocative insight.  You'll be wishing Harry Bosch was your father or your lover, depending on your age.

Of course, I recommend it. I've also got two Lincoln Lawyers on tap, The Reversal and The Fifth Witness.  I'll relay my account of those as soon as I get to them. And I'm into a Jasper FForde-the jury is still out.  Very intelligent and hilarious, but you know me, unless someone's eyes get cut out and the lashes used to make a revolving children's toy (i.e. John Connelly's Charlie Parker series)  well, I get distracted easily.  What does that say about me?  

I'm not even going to analyze it.  I like a compelling story, and Michael Connelly always delivers the goods.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Hunger Games

This movie is out in theatres.  I refused to see it before reading the book.  

A friend of mine handed it to me a few days ago.  It's an easy read, true, but enthralling. Just when you think your life is a mess, meet the kid from sector 12.  When is the last time you ate a squirrel?  When did you have to kill it first?  

A total mind f*ck.  There's also a romantic side to it.  I've already ordered the rest of the trilogy and can't wait to get my fingers on the pages.  Grab it up.  It's worth it.

Caught: Harlan Coben

A delightful read for any murder mystery enthusiast!  Full of shocking twists, this is a true page turner. I read it in a single day.  You want Dan Mercer to be innocent.  The evidence suggests otherwise.  This book was so true to life in its introspection, I had a good mind to post quotes from it on Facebook.  Pick it up, enjoy!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Roxy does Retail: A Ludicrous Guide to Boutique Shopping Etiquette

 The previous post had an unworking link. 

Roxy does Retail


My last blog which, I apologize, was about five months ago, was regarding the book versus kindle argument.  In it, I said I did not want a kindle and never would.

I hereby stand corrected.  I still prefer a paperback book that I can hold in my hand and smell and destroy by dog-earring the pages. Truly, this is a past-time of mine, beating up a book by taking it everywhere with me, including the beach and the bathtub.  Mostly, I read in bed before I sleep, but I do take books anywhere and everywhere.

However!  My distaste for a kindle was based on that.  I also did not understand what it really was, so I humbly state my apologies.  A kindle is actually quite useful.  Books weigh more and to take more than one with you while traveling increases the weight of your luggage, which we are now paying for.   With a kindle, you can have more than one book at your disposal.  It's slim and easily fits into a carry-on bag.  And it's easy access.  There's no paying for shipping for a book you buy online. You just download it and presto!  You have a book.  This is undeniably awesome. 

And now, I must say I understand the benefits to an author of others owning and using a kindle. I am an author.  I found the publishing process very similar to acting.  You have to submit a query letter to hundreds of agents who may or may not get back to you. If they reply, it is usually a rejection.  If you get interest, you have to send your manuscript.  They want a few chapters, and each agent is different with special requirements on font, spacing and other things.  After a year of this, although I had interest on my book, I still did not have an agent. 

My book was just sitting on my shelf at home in manuscript format.  It's a product just sitting around doing nothing.  I hate that.  So I decided to publish it myself. Yes, on KINDLE!  So here I am, Miss, "I never want a kindle."  eating crow.  I do want a kindle.  I want everyone to have one.  I still like books.  But that I could have several in a transportable device is just too juicy.  They aren't expensive.  I will be purchasing mine any minute now. 

To check out my book, click here: