Read Books This will provide a list of the books I've read with a brief review. Users are blocked, contact me for access. I welcome discussions, but I'm tired of spam.

May 19, 2010

The Spellmans Strike Again: A Novel by Lisa Lutz

Filed under: Favorites,Humor,Mystery,Series — Tags: — Randolph @ 3:58 pm

The Spellmans Strike Again by Lisa LutzThis is book four in Lisa Lutz’es series of The Spellmans. The books is a humorous look at a family of instigators, only they are dysfunctional.

In this book, Izzy deals with ex-boyfriend #12, the doorknobs are disappearing from the family home, Izzy pays an actor friend to be a spying butler, Rae blackmails a school drug dealer into giving her free rides, Izzy is going on blind dates with lawyers because her mother is blackmailing her, Rae kidnaps her sister Izzy, Rae has everyone wearing “Free Schmidt” t-shirts, and Izzy is still trying to get the dope on their competitor, Harkey. So, it’s just typical stuff.

This is a great read and lives up to the previous volumes.

May 14, 2010

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose

Filed under: Art — Randolph @ 3:57 pm

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine ProseReading Like a Writer is a description of writing. It focuses on the use of the word in literature, and makes excellent use of examples for well-known books to illustrate her points. Francine Prose describes the strengths of her selected passages and why the wording is important.

The book is aimed at improving the readers ability to appreciate good literature. She discusses the nuances of word use, picking at the meaning of individual words, and what is not said and why that is important. She talks about the use of paragraphs, and how changing the paragraphing changes meaning of text. She shows how to derive meaning from what isn’t stated in the text, and makes me appreciate the effort that a quality writer goes to to get the words right.

After reading this work, I feel I have a new respect for literature. I’m eager to try to tackle some of the books she’s recommended.

May 5, 2010

The Machine Crusade by Brian Herbert

Filed under: Science Fiction,Series — Randolph @ 3:56 pm

The Machine Crusade by Brian HerbertThe Machine Crusade is the second in a trilogy of the Legends of Dune, chronicling the Butlerian Jihad of man battling intelligent machines. This book didn’t contribute anything sufficiently important to warrant its own volume, it should have been incorporated into the other two works in the series.

I was sorely disappointed in this book. The writing is bad, the dialog horrible. The Dune series is famous for its political intrigue, but in this book, the resolutions came too quickly and felt contrived. It was difficult to work through the book, toward the end, I just wanted to finish it.

This book had extreme violence, which goes against the grain of all other Dune books i’ve read.

On the positive side, it was good to read about some of the early events in the universe and have things explained. At a high level, there were interesting events taking place, it just wasn’t well told.

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