Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This is Not a Review

I try to finish all of the more "literary" works that I start to read.  I know many of them take more effort, and part of the whole reading more widely experience is in my opinion struggling through reads that are not necessarily up my alley.  So, it's pretty disappointing to give up on Leaden Wings by Zhang Jie.  But I am struggling to find any interest at the moment.

I think it still holds some promise, of me returning to it at some later date.  However, right now...there are just too many characters and little swatches of dialogue/vignettes between these characters for me to keep track of them all. 

The odd thing is I have no trouble tossing most anything else I read if it doesn't catch my attention in the first twenty pages or so.  But, here I've been agonizing for several days over whether I should quit Leaden Wings.

I may need to see somebody about this...

1O Books I'd Recommend to Non-Readers

Broke and the Bookish is hosting their Top Ten Tuesday.  Don't just read my list.  Go check them out, and see everyone's picks.

This is a tough question, because it really depends on the person you're making a recommendation to. If I know somebody is an action movie fan, then I'd hardly recommend a romance.  You get the picture.  So, here's my list:

1. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee.  Literary without all the effort. Universal.
2. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien.  A fantastic children's story.  Much easier than Lord of the Rings, and probably more fun.
3. Neon Rain - James Lee Burke.  Ok, this is what I was talking about...this is a violent book.  Not for everybody.  But, I was explaining this book to my dad one time years ago, and my non-reading brother overheard me, and said that sounds like a great story!  Of course, he never read it, that I know.
4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl.  A great book to give that kid you'd like to see read, but is resistant.  Also works for adults who have children.
5. Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein.  Hilarious poems for children (or are they for adults?)
6. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen.  Ok, so not for men.  Hell, I've never even read it (or Austen for that matter).  But, I've never known a woman to read Austen and not like it.  So, if your non-reader is a woman, this is called playing the odds.
7. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  There's a lot of name recognition here.  There are the popular movies (which I refuse to see).  In other words, this may be an easy sell to a non-reader.
8. The Firm - John Grisham.  This was THE huge book of the early 90's. It is a page turner, and pretty simple.  Grisham used the formula over and over again, and it's pretty stale by now...but there's a reason he became a millionaire.  The Firm is that reason.  He does it well in this book.  And the non-reader, won't realize that Grisham regurgitated a lot of the magic he captured in The Firm in later efforts.
9. Hope and Glory - Robert B. Parker.  Huh?  Ok, so I thought I could use a little romance on the list (outside of Austen).  And I've actually read this one.  It's a simple, breezy, charming love story about a man trying to win back the girl of his dreams.  It's short.  Has Parker's fantastic dialogue. And IMO, appeals to both sexes.
10. Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone.  Hey eight thousand, gazillion people can't be wrong, right?  I wouldn't know.  I've never read it.

So, if you're not a reader (and if that's the case why the hell are you here?), pick up one of these.  If you are a reader, what books are on your list?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Smooth Criminals challenge

I'm late to this show.  But Ben @ Deadend Follies is sponsoring the Smooth Criminals Challenge.  Crime novels are my fave, so it makes no sense for me not to participate.

Here are my picks (subject to change on whim):

Hardboiled Classic :  Murder for the Bride by John D. MacDonald
Noir Classic: The Bride Wore Black by Cornell Woolrich
Prison Book: Papillon by Henri Charriere
Book by writer who did time: The Real Cool Killers by Chester Himes
Book with psycopath protagonist: The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
Gothic: The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hide (yes I know it's either a long short story or a novella, sue me...I've never read it.)
Classic where plot revolves around a crime: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (this is a re-read)
Why the hell am I doing this to myself book:  Ulysses by James Joyce (or Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevski)

I'm not sure if that last one is required to be a crime novel...if it is, I'll do C&P...If not, I'm on the fence.