Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Book: Death's End

 Book: Death's End

Author: Cixin Liu

Pages: 624

This is my 99th read for the year

This is the 3rd installment in the Three Body Problem series.  Here is what Amazon had to say (to save time)

Half a century after the Doomsday Battle, the uneasy balance of Dark Forest Deterrece keeps the Trisolaran invaders at bay.  Earth enjuoys unprecedented propserity due to the infustion of Trisolaran knowledge.  With human science advancing daily and the Trisolarans adopting Earth culture, it seems that the two civilizations will soon be able to co-exist peacefully as equals without the terrible threat of mutually assured annihilation.  But the peace has also made humanity complacement.

Cheng Xin, an aerospace engineer from the early twenty-first century, awakens from hibernation in this new age.  She brings with her knowledge of a long-forgotten program dating from the beginning of the Trisolar Crisis, and her very presence may upset the delicate balance between two worlds.  Will humanity reach of the stars or die in its cradle?

This was probably my least favorite book of the series.  The author made this one way too long in my opinion just coming up with more and more ideas - taking us further and further into the future the point of insanity.  So much information in this one and not as much emotional attachment to particular characters.  There is a large section where the author tells three fables (more or less) that take up tons of pages that could have either been shortened or summarized.  I know why he included them but it just seems unnecessary on some level.  Too much hibernation - not enough story arc.

I am glad I finished it.  He is a talented writer, but this one lost me a bit.  I will be anxious to see the direction the TV show takes all of this.

Stars: 3.5

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Book: The Big Door Prize

 Book: The Big Door Prize

Author: M.O. Walsh

Pages: 384

This is my 98th read for the year

This is the story mainly of Douglas and the residents of Deerfield, Louisiana.  A machine has shown up in town that will give users their life potential.  As residents start to use the machine, they decide that whatever the machine tells them their potential is - that is who they should be. Royalty, Cowboy, Magicians - they are following their results.  Douglas' potential hits very close to home and he starts to doubt the validty of the machine.  He thought he was happy with his life but now he and the towns people aren't so sure.

This was an okay book.  I actually picked it up because I am watching the show on Apple TV and thought it might make an interesting read.  It is only slightly like the show, and honestly this is one instance where I like the show better.  And the show isn't that good.  I had a hard time wrapping my head around the book because it was different than what I thought it would be like from watching the show, so I really couldn't get into it and I didn't really like any of the characters.  

Stars: 3

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Book: The Writing Retreat

 Book: The Writing Retreat

Author: Julia Bartz

Pages: 320

This is my 97th read for the year

This is the story of Alex.  She has been invited by a coveted author for a month long writing retreat at her beautiful home.  Even when she finds out her ex-friend Wren is going to be there, she is not deterred.  When she gets to Rosa's house and they find out what they will all be doing during this retreat, it becomes clear that Rosa isn't who the public thinks she is.  When one of the writers vanishes during a snowstorm, Alex is determined ti figure out who Rose is really and what is going on.

This wasn't a good book.  I listened to it to pass some yardwork time, and it did a fair job at that - passing time.  It isn't good writing.  It has quite a few sex scenes were are never my thing, and honestly did not really add to the story.  My age is showing when I don't really like books with a lot of vulgar language or sexual slang.  The characters were not likable.  Finding out what Rosa was really up to as a writer was the only interesting thing about this book, but not enough to redeem it for me.

Stars: 2

Friday, June 7, 2024

Book: The Mime Order

 Book: The Mime Order

Author: Samantha Shannon

Pages: 560

This is my 96th read for the year

This is the 2nd book in the Bone Season series.  Paige has escaped the prison of Oxford and is back with Jaxon - her mime lord.  She is not sure what has happened to Warden and not sure if she will ever see him again.  Paige now sees the syndicate through new eyes and is determined to bring down the corruption.  She thinks the only way forward is to become the Underqueen and make changes that are needed for clairvoyants.

This was another great installment from Shannon.  I did get a newer version of this book and Shannon does say in the beginning that she has cleaned it up as she has become a more seasoned author.  After reading the first one (Which I still thought was amazing), I can tell the difference.  She is a great writer.  Paige is a very likable character - strong and determined.  Like all of her other books, there are tons of characters so you need to be on your game.  However she is an expert world builder, and to me that makes a big difference. I docked it a half a star because the "battle" near the end of the book drew out a bit too long for me - too much detail.   I am anxious to see where the series is going.

Stars: 4.5

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Book: Empire Falls

 Book: Empire Falls

Author: Richard Russo

Pages: 483

This is my 95th read for the year

This is the story of Miles Roby.  He has been running the Empire Falls Grill for 20 years hoping that the owner will leave him the restaurant when she dies.  A town that his mom had hoped he would escape from after he went to college, Miles wonders why he stays.  He thinks it is due to his daughter, and maybe his wayward brother and his unreliable father - all whom he feels responsible for.  However - those closest to him tell him it is time for him to start thinking about himself and planning a future outside of this small town.

This was a great book.  It was part of the Rory Gilmore reading challenge, and I am glad I decided to read it.  It is beautifully written, and even though it is a book that is mostly about the mundane every day life of Miles, it didn't feel mundane at all.  This man - whose love for his family  - even for the people who have always let him down - is endless.  The characters make you feel how you should feel about them.  The author has the ability  to make you love the expanse of a whole community as well as get interested in their individual lives.  Very deserving of the Pulitzer Prize in my opinion.

Stars: 5

Monday, June 3, 2024

Book: Driving Miss Daisy

 Book: Driving Ms. Daisy

Author: Alfred Uhry

Pages: 80

This is my 94th read for the year

This is the story of Daisy Werthan, her son, Boolie, and her chauffeur, Hoke Coleburn  A play that takes place over the course of 25 years between 1948 to 1973.  Daisy has wrecked her car and at the age of 72, her son believes she needs to give up her driver's license.  He hires Hoke to drive her around, and over the years Daisy - who has an hard outer shell - befriends Hoke in her own personal way.  Hoke continues to drive for Daisy to near the end of her life and is there for her even when she is starting to forget everyone around her.

This is a great book.  This is one of my favorite movies, and I don't know how I have never read this play.  It is very short, but well deserving of the Pultizer Prize it won.  A whole story transpires seemlessly and I am so glad I read it.

Stars: 5

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Book The Huntress

 Book: The Huntress

Author: Kate Quinn

Pages: 576

This is my 93rd read for the year

This story is about several people but mostly Nina who was a night bomber in the war, and Jordan - a young American who dreams of being a photographer.  Nina becomes an expert flier but when she becomes stranded, she becomes the target of The Huntress and barely escapes.  A few years later - the war is over and she enlists the help of some friends to find the Huntress and bring her to justice once a for all - especially for her crimes of killing children.  

Jordan, recently engaged, finds out that her father has become engaged himself.  Jordan's mom died years ago and the idea of a stepmother actually brings her joy.  Especially since her new stepmother comes with a 4 year old daughter named Ruth, whom Jordan is immediately smitten with.  However - during her father's wedding, a discovery about her stepmother gives her pause and wonders who exactly her dad married.

This was a pretty good book.  I did find it dragging at times - especially with the Nina parts of the book.  It seems to be overly wordy.  I enjoyed the Jordan sections much more - trying to figure out the mystery of her step mother more than Nina's plight at a pilot.  It was easy to figure out who the Huntress was, but still an enjoyable story to get there.

Stars: 3.5