Thursday, February 20, 2014

Feb. 20: Thursday

Today was a warm and melty day at long, long, long last: we have had 80" of snow (plus about 4 more from last night), which is THREE FEET more than average. And it's been cold. So. Lovely to see the sun and go for a squishy, splashy run.

AND Mom came up with Aunt Joan for a lightning quick visit. . . so, so, so lovely to see my favorite aunt. Only sorry it was as short as it had to be. Reminder to self: get your heinie down to PA more often. Point taken.

And I am going to record a lot of books I've listened to and/or read, as I enjoy my fragrant cup of Lapsang Souchon, purchased in Portland this past weekend. Luscious.

Jeeves and the Wedding BellsJeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not quite Wodehouse, but a pleasure nonetheless--such a pleasure that I hope Faulks offers us more Bertie and Jeeves adventures in the future! Did notice the occasional reference to WWI, which didn't work well, so I hope he doesn't try to add a social conscience to the oeuvre!

  How to Be BeyonceHow to Be Beyonce by Madison Moore
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Got this free from audible as a valentine's present and it was TERRIBLE. I didn't expect great lit. but this was a muddled, insultingly inane bunch of nothing. YUCK. Less than not recommended.

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #13)The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another charming, warm entry into the ranks of the two McCall-Smith series I actually enjoy: No. 1 Ladies' and the Sunday Philosophy Club. As the title reveals (somewhat misleadingly, actually), this is a Mma Ramotswe book. As far as I could tell (I was reading while on two planes and in an airport, so perhaps not as attentively as I might have), there IS no Limpopo Academy, but there are plenty of other plots, ideas, themes, and conversations to follow. I'd recommend this new entry for any former fans: while McCall Smith doesn't really develop any new territory, he revisits old familiar ground with humor and detail.

Not to spoil, but: the apprentices have actual names now! Mma Potokwane suffers a setback! We hear a LOT about 97%, and we meet a legend.

Warmly recommended for existing fans; probably not the best introduction for neophytes.
Reread February 14, 2014. 

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, #14)The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So, I'm already a fan, and this is a good but not great entry in the series. However: this work reveals lovely new side of Charlie the Apprentice, and that boosts it considerably. Warm and readable.

Now, the one-liners from the booksale: 

BeachcombersBeachcombers by Nancy Thayer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I think I read quite a bit of Nancy Thayer "back in the day," but either her style has slipped or my standards have risen, and I found this one flat, predictable, awkwardly written, and, ultimately, skimmable. Pretty cover, but doesn't live up to its cover's promise.

  Out of Eden (The McGraws, #1)Out of Eden by Beth Ciotta
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

So: does a romance *have* to be poorly written, trite, and predictable? Out of Eden does not convince me otherwise, with lines like "he ridded her of the lacy thong" (no, I don't know the proper tense of that verb, either, so I would avoid it!), and "A moment blipped in her mind. Her. Jack." (NO idea how to do that right: herself? She? So, again, my editor should tell me to avoid it if I'm not sharp enough to decide to do that myself). On top of the hokey "Got to change my life" story line (Jennifer Crusie did it so, so, so much better in Faking It), there's a stereotypical Mafia plot line that's achingly awkward.

Much as I adore my Library and its booksales, I think I have to raise my standards. And, Goodreads, one star should not be "did not like it" but should be "it was terrible."

View all my reviews

Now, on to correct three more media critiques and then possibly deal with the laundry explosion (which is really a "drawers full of too much stuff" explosion issue) in my bedroom. Ah, such a life.

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