Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Thursday, October 28, 2021

This Thing Between Us

 Book: This Thing Between Us

Author: Gus Moreno

Pages: 272

This is my 89th read for the year

This is the story of Thiago.  His wife is killed an Thiago's world become unbearable.  His wife's death has made the news and turned his world upside down.  Strange things were happenings to Vera - his wife -and him before she died and things continued to happen after she was gone. Thiago decides to take the money his wife left him and move to a remote cabin away from everything and everyone.   Soon he realizes he can never truly escape any of it.  Especially some sort of evil that seems to be following him.

This book was strange.  Most of the book was okay - trying to figure out what was plaguing Thiago and Vera, the story of how she died - all fine.  But the ending got very bizaare.   It was hard to follow and drawn out and I quickly lost interest in the story.  A lot of rambling.

I listened to this one while doing some yard work, so not all was lost.  But I don't recommend it.

Stars: 3

Friday, October 22, 2021

Book: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

 Book: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

Author: Grady Hendrix

Pages: 424

This is my 88th read for the year

This book is about a group of women who are in a bookclub in a well to do neighborhood in Charleston.  They form a club that reads horror novels.  One night one of the members, Patricia is attacked by a neighbor and a man named James Harris enters her life because of it.  The group is immediately charmed by him and his business prospects, but when children start disappearing in a poor section of town, Patricia starts to become suspicious of James.  No one else in her group of friends or neighbors believe that James has anything to do with the missing children.  Patricia sets out to prove she is right and it leads her down a path she never expected.

This book was dumb.  I doln't have another word for it.  I will say this - it started out interesting.  It was written as satire, but it quickly turned into just a blah novel.  It takes place in the 1990s, but the husbands treating the wives like second class citizens got old quick.  None of the characters are likable.  The book jumps half way through 3 years into the future and I thought this might be the chance for redemption, but it was not.  It is sexist and racist and just plain boring.

Skip it

Stars: 2

Monday, October 18, 2021

Book: The Smell Of Other People's Houses

 Book: The Smell Of Other People's Houses

Author: Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

Pages: 240

This is my 87th read for the year

Set in Alaska in the 1970s, the story covers Ruth (who has a growing secret), Dora (who is desperately trying to escape a bad situation), Alyce (who is struggling with the choice whether to dance or help her famliy), and Hank (who has run away with his brothers).  Their lives, friends, and families all become intertwined over the course of this story,  On some level each helps the other either indirectely or directly and changes the course of their lives.

This was a pretty good YA book.  It is short, but it is full of chracters.  The writing is excellent.  The chapters are told from different points of view of the main characters and they flow nicely together.  It wasn't a big page turner, but I looked forward to picking it up this well told story.  

Stars: 4

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Book: About Grace

 Book: About Grace

Author: Anthony Doerr

Pages: 432

This is my 86th read for the year

This is the story of David Winkler.  David has dreams that come true.  Ever since he was a little boy he would have a nightmare about something bad happening to someone, and then it would happen.  Usually it is to people he doesn't know.  But when the nightmare is about the death of his infant daughter, he decides to make a big, life changing decision to protect her and make sure that she survives.  He disappears from her life for years hoping that by staying away, he is doing everything to protect her.  A daughter of a friend is what causes David to look for her and his long lost life.

This book was okay.  I loved Cloud Cuckoo Land and All The Light We Cannot See by the same author.  This one fell flat for me.  I didn't like the main character.  Most of the main characters, actually, except for the people David meets in the Caribbean.  David was frustrating and infuriating.  And he never improved.  Just....wishy washy the entire book.

This was Doerr's first novel, and you can tell from the writing how talented he is.  But I cannot recommend this one as compared to his other novels.

Stars: 2 1/2

Monday, October 11, 2021

Book: Cloud Cuckoo Land

 Book: Cloud Cuckoo Land

Author: Anthony Doerr

Pages: 640

This is my 85th read for the year

This book spans three timelines and tells 5 stories.  In Constantinople in the 15th century where a young boy with a cleft lip and palate Omeir comes into the world and isn't expected to live.  Near by an orphan named Anna begs a local teacher to teach her to read.  On a hunt one night, she discovers a book- the story of Aethon who longs to be turned into a bird.

500 years later - in a small town of Idaho, the stories of Seymour and Zeno unfold.  Zeno - an octogenarian who has taught a group of children the story of Aethon - has come to the library in his small town to rehearse a play the children will be doing based on the book.  Tucked away in the shelves of the library is a bomb that has been placed there by a troubled Seymour.

Decades in the future - Konstance is on an interstellar ship called the Argos.  Earth has become uninhabitable, and the ship is carrying humans to their new home.  At the age of 14, Konstance - like all other kids on the ship before her - gains her "library day" and can now ask any question she has and the ship will give her the answer.  As she starts to delve deeper, she discovers a secret that will change everything.

Soon it becomes clear how these lives all intertwine:  The book and the story of Aethon.

This was a fantastic book.  I am a big fan of Anthony Doerr - All The Light We Cannot See remains one of my favorite books.  This one was just as fabulous.  It is a slow burn, and you do wonder for a bit how these stories are going to fit together.  Be patient because it is worth it.  As the story unfolds, and we see how the people fit together around a book and story that is over 1000 years old, the magic is revealed.  The writing is superb.  The ending pulls it all together  (with an epilogue - my favorite ending).

Highly recommend.

Stars: 5

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Book: Billy Summers

 Book: Billy Summers

Author: Stephen King

Pages: 528

This is my 84th read for the year

This is the story of Billy Summers.  A killer for hire, Billy has one more job he has agreed to take before he gets out of the business for good.  Little does he know what a long and winding path that job - and the fallout from that job - are waiting for him.  A simple, quick job that he has figured out down to the last detail backfires when a young girl is dumped from a van in front of his apartment one night.  Now Billy knows he must make it right.  For her - and for him.

This was an okay book.  I listened to it to pass the time while doing jobs around the house, but this wasn't one of my favorites of his.  There seemed to be a lot of overuse of words just to fill pages.  Over explaining that didn't seem necessary to move the story along.  I didn't like any of the characters.  King does insert a lot of political views that even I - (who whole heartedly agrees with him) got tired of.  It did nothing for the plot.  I want the old King back - a good psychological thriller that leaves me wanting to leave the light on at bedtime.  

Stars: 2