Saturday, December 24, 2011

CBR3 #49 - #55 Mini Reviews

The reviews below represent the books I read over the past 6 weeks.  I completed the Cannonball Read challenge for the 3rd year in a row and I'm looking forward to reading some more over the next week. 

CBR3 #49 - The Woman in the Fifth - Douglas Kennedy 

I am a sucker for books set in Paris and I was curious as this book is promoted on the back of the book as a thriller/romance/philosophical tale.  The main reason why Harry Ricks is in Paris is feasible and meeting a lovely woman at a party is feasible as well.  But the author lost me as soon as he pulled in the mystical/bending reality plot line.  

CBR3 #50 - The Gift - Cecelia Ahern
I picked this book up off the give away shelf at work since I was looking for some holiday reads.  What I didn't realize is that I had read The Book of Tommorrow by this author earlier this year and I really didn't enjoy it.  Cecelia aims to retell The Christmas Tale in this book and does a fair job. It is true that we tend to ignore the people on the street that could use our help and potentially change our lives.  I think Cecelia takes this idea to the extreme within this book.  Overall though it is a nice holiday read.

CBR3 #51 - I Am Half-Sick of Shadows - Alan Bradley - Received as part of Random House's #earlybirdreads program
Cute and quirky tale of an English estate home being rented out to a movie studio in order to cover the bills.  The family's youngest, Flavia, is a budding detective and chemist who gets to sharpen her skills when the leading lady is suddenly murdered with some film strips late one night.  Flavia aids the local inspector in figuring out who was the murderer while plotting to take down Father Christmas on Christmas Eve.  Another great holiday read with an English touch. 

CBR3 #52 - The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
Totally picked up this book at the second hand bookstore because I knew it would be a quick read that would capture my attention.  Plus I was curious how Dan Brown incorporated Washington DC into his latest book. But I would say that I believe I am becoming more and more a skeptic regarding Dan Brown and his plotlines.  Washington DC was represented well in the book. 

CBR3 #53 - The 19th Wife - David Ebershoff
This book was also a second hand bookshop purchase, but it had been on my to-read list for a while.  The book explores the biography account of Ann Eliza Young, the 19th wife of Brigham Young, and also incorporates a modern day story of a plural wife in Utah.  I enjoyed how the author mixed the historical story with the modern day story.  I learned a lot out the Mormon faith and how they got started as a community.  I did find by three-quarters through the book that I had my fill and really only kept reading to learn the mystery entwined in the modern day plot.

CBR3 #54 - Love You More -  Lisa Gardner
This book is another one that was on my to-read list for a while.  I saw it at the library the other night and checked it out right away.  If you want a smartly written mystery novel with good character backstories as well, you should read Lisa's books.  This book focused on how much a parent's love for a child can push them to do unimaginable things.

CBR3 #55 - Shrouds Of Holly - Kate Kingsbury
Another good holiday read with a little bit of mystery and a little bit of romance.  What would you do if you set your husband and stable master to get fresh holly from the woods and the only thing that came back was their horse with a dead man in the carriage?