SINCE I HAVE the memory of a fish, I am glad I write down all the books I read on the logophile-friendly website Goodreads. While I don’t read as much as I used to, I still love a good book, Diet Coke (not tea, unfortunately), and a warm blanket. Books are a means of escape for me, a way to pretend I’m somebody else, or to invite me into a weird situation of something I wouldn’t be part of anyway.
I don’t care about genre, both in my writing and reading worlds. I don’t like to limit myself to labels, preferring a storyline that intrigues me at the moment I pick up a copy. Some days, I like cheesy romance, such as the free books on iBooks; others, I prefer Stephen King’s sharp, witty horror; and others, I’m just a random girl who doesn’t even read the back of the book (typically I don’t!) and discovers I’m reading magical realism.
So before I forget, here are the latest five books I have read. Some are awful, and others not so bad. I will give a tiny synopsis and then delve into my opinion and ask you to rush to your nearest library/bookstore or do anything else instead.
FAMILY JEWELS by Stuart Woods
Stone Barrington is a lawyer, pilot, womanizer, know-it-all, detective guru who can literally do anything. He fulfills every man’s dream, I guess? Sleep with as many women as you can, fight for the law (what a joke), fly a bunch of planes, and solve any mystery in the books. Well, if any man found this book appealing, I’d kick him to the curb.
I have not read a book as sexist, trash-laced, or ridiculously dumb like this one in a long time. Why would you want to uphold the legality of this country when you have the morals of a joke? I just don’t get this book, and I found a lot of people who disagreed with me on Goodreads. As a young woman reading this (because I give fair opportunity in my reading choices), I was disgusted to think that this author would think of women as, basically, sex objects. Though the president is female (wow, what a shocker!), I read on in this book to find Woods describe her wearing a dress that was especially low-cut for a woman of her importance. Um?
Let’s forget the political mumbo-jumbo Woods spews out in this book, or his awful perception of women. The storyline was about as interesting as a dishrag. It was a boring read. Did it have interesting elements? I did like the pilot component and the idea of flying wherever you want whenever you want. But the whole bad guy portion of the story seemed like a last minute thought, as if Woods was writing while drunk, which he probably was. I think a third-grader could have written something more original and creative.
I hate to be so rude and judgmental of a book, especially as a writer, but this book was highly offensive to me, and I would think fathers (which is a big demographic, my friends) would find this book pretty offensive as well.
Don’t ever pick this book up if you see it in your local grocery store.
TRULY MADLY GUILTY by Lianne Moriarty
A barbecue gone wrong? I didn’t even realize a barbecue is a little fiesta Australian-style until a quarter of the way into this book, but anything to do with a country as fascinating as Australia has got a hold on me. Anyway, this book connects three couples and their children with a dangerous event that unleashes some damaging secrets. It’s a good guilty pleasure read, I suppose.
I love Liane Moriarty, and I’m not afraid to say it. She’s a great writer who has a colorful way of describing mundane things. While my friends make fun of me for reading “mom books,” Moriarty has a way of spinning intrigue into middle-aged women’s lives. Moriarty makes me want to be a mom of three living in the ‘burbs, and I’m not even twenty yet. Check out some of her other popular books: Big Little Lies, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, and What Alice Forgot. Actually, just read all of them. They’re fun, summer reads!
THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 by Ruth Ware
A well-anticipated sophomore book by In a Dark, Dark Wood‘s Ruth Ware, The Woman in Cabin 10 introduces Laura Blacklock, a travel writer who’s supposed to do an editorial on a sleek, rich person’s cruise. When she witnesses a murder en route to Iceland, she is thrown into a complicated and twisted cat-and-mouse game as she battles the truth of what she saw.
There is a big market for darker-in-tone books like this one, and though I think they can get jumbled up and a bit repetitive, this one was okay. On Goodreads I gave it a four-star rating, but since I have forgotten why, I think a solid three-star is an apt rating for this book. While elements of this one could be easily found in a Gillian Flynn read or Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train, Ware offers many twists and turns, some of which are very surprising.
This one is a quick read, perfect for your own trip, though it may mess with your thoughts about taking a cruise ever again…
ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel García Márquez
Seven generations of the Buendía family are examined in a biblical style that combines reality, magic, and comedy in a way that is nothing less than satisfying. Throw in a hint of Latin/South American folklore and culture from Colombia, and we’ve got the best book I’ve read this year.
There is something about the poetic nature of García Márquez that embodies the mystic experience of both living and dying. He weaves a web of reality and magic, and this book is nothing less than surreal. I loved the epic feel to the four hundred pages of pure, raw genius, and I would expect that most people would too, if they open up to reading something new and different.
What made this book the best? I think García Márquez knows how to radiate pain in the family from his own experiences, but his writing technique is sharp and honest, and it requires his audience to react honestly as well. Though I wish this book were a movie, I’m kind of glad that it is not so that my mind can define One Hundred Years of Solitude‘s grand scope rather than the (mostly) trash Hollywood produces these days.
THE SAHARA LEGACY by Ernest Dempsey
Sean Wyatt is a force to be reckoned with: Brilliant, cunning, and a bit sarcastic, Sean’s got the whole package, especially since he’s an ex-government agent with a penchant for lost historical objects and make-believe foreign locations. Seat and his best friend, Tommy, are drawn into a treasure hunt in the Sahara Desert that leads them to a unique oasis that becomes the catalyst of the fight between the good guys and the bad guys.
Dempsey’s Sean Wyatt series is not necessarily Shakespeare or Stephen King, but it is entertaining and unique. For history and archaeology lovers, the Sean Wyatt series is perfect, as it combines action, myth, history, and adventure into one collection. Specifically, this book is enigmatic, original, and fun. A lot of books, movies, and TV shows of this generation have a problem with creativity, but with each new Wyatt book, Dempsey weaves intricate plotlines that feast on a sense of feat. (I’m not trying to rhyme, I promise!)
This series is an absolute recommend, and especially because Dempsey is not the most well-known writer of today, but he deserves to be. Check him out and support an up-and-coming author!
WELL, THERE YOU have it.
I’m reading End of Watch by Stephen King right now, and I think it’s going to be a good one. If you have any recommendations of your own, please let me know. I’m always on a hunt for the good, the bad, and the ugly to read!
Thanks, and I will have an interesting post next week.