It’s summer vacation here. I have books that I have been dying to read for a while but never seemed to get around to when I was trying to keep up with the boys’ school. I’ve jumped in feet first and I’ll share my thoughts – for what they’re worth.
The Shack, William P. Young – My mom liked it OK with her book discussion group. My sister liked it well-enough, as did her husband. I figured I couldn’t go wrong. Well, let’s just say it’s been a LONG LONG time since I have disliked a book so much. Truly, utterly, thoroughly hated a book. I will read just about anything. I will finish just about any book. I quit half-way through. Why? Aside from the trite writing, I have to confess to a personal bias. Once again “words-Amy-hates” come into play. Since I can remember remembering, I have hated/loathed/detested the word Papa. Sorry, I just do. No rational reason. That word figures prominently (and stupidly in case you want my real opinion) in The Shack. It was simply downhill from there for me. YMMV.
The Fourth Hand, John Irving – I think most people are fans of John Irving or they’re not. Let’s face it, he’s weird. I’m a fan – I love his quirky characters and I like long, long books. This book is not long, but it’s got plenty of quirky. The premise of the book is that a man (whose hand was bitten off by a tiger) gets a new hand – with strings attached. The wife of the “owner” of the previous hand wants visitation rights to the hand once it’s attached to the recipient. Crazy stuff. I really enjoyed the beginning and middle of this book – the end not as much, but I don’t know how I would have ended such a strange story either.
The Accidental Pope, Raymond Flynn – I’ve had this on my shelf for a long time, borrowed from my parents. I loved the idea of the book. Regular guy (well, sort of regular he’s a priest that left the priesthood to get married, run the family fishing business and have four kids) is “accidentally elected at the next pope. I really enjoyed the first half of this book. The second half, eh, not so much. I don’t regret reading it, but I was hoping for “more.” “More” of what, I’m not entirely sure, but not “more” of what was given. That said, I think this book could easily be turned into a “fun” movie.
The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters, Elisabeth Robinson – To me, this is the perfect “beach read.” I really enjoyed the story and the ins and outs of Hollywood. In the end, I didn’t really love any of the characters, but I don’t regret reading the book either.
The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon- I’m in the middle of this book right now and I have to say I love it. A lot. It makes me wish I could read Spanish so I could read the original text and not the (in my uneducated opinion) very good translation. It has everything so far. Intrigue. Quirky. Location. Characters I hate to shut the book on for even a little bit … you know, all that. I’m sure I”ll finish it tomorrow at the beach and I’m thinking I will still love it. Back from the beach – I finished the book. I kind of guessed at a small part of the ending, but definitely not all. This one gets (quickly counting the thumbs in my house) 12 thumbs up from me – great beach book or just a fun “escape” book. The writing is beautiful. I was struck by a few passages and actually paused and went back to read them again – something I don’t do often – again, wishing I could read Spanish because I know it would be that much better.