Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Books and Stuff

Okay, I hate to admit this in public, but I have recently read two Meg Cabot books. I've long avoided reading Ms. Cabot out of principle. But one of my critique group members, Sarah, suggested I look into her books, because her humor was similar to what I'm going for in one of mine. So I reluctantly asked Melissa to check me out some Meg Cabot next time she was at the library. (Melissa goes to the library often--it's her third home, after home and church.)

So--I know you're dying to hear what I think of Meg Cabot. They're not bad books. They have some good qualities, and I can see why they appeal to a certain reader. (Obviously, Meg is making a TON more money at this writing thing than I am, so who am I to judge?) They are easy to read, full of action, and have some interesting characters. On the down side, they are somewhat formulaic, predictable, and too full of Prada, Gucci, etc. But hey, the great Fred Astaire made TONS of money making formulaic, predictable movies: boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back.

The one I just read was part of the Mediator series, and is so appropriate for this week of Halloween. The main character is a mediator--that is, a person who is contacted by the dead who have not completely passed over for one reason or another. It has suspense, intrigue, murder mystery qualities to it. I liked that. But it does seem that every Meg Cabot book has the main character lusting after the cute, popular guy. I know not every girl in the world is after the cutest guy in school--cute is in the eye of the beholder.

So, I doubt I'll read all her books, but for quick airplane reads or anytime you want to read without really thinking, by all means, these are great books for that.

Another book I read this week is Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. I got it in Chicago on the recommendation of our tour guide. It's chock full of really interesting Chicago history, surrounding the 1893 Colombian Exposition. It's an oddly told book, with lots and lots of redundant parts. Part of the book recounts the difficulties and victories of the main folks working on the Exposition. The other part of the book ties in the serial killer HH Holmes--who really had nothing to do with the Exposition, just that he was in Chicago at the same time. So telling the two stories together is a little odd--they really have virtually nothing in common. Reading the book feels like reading two different stories. The writing is sometimes compelling and delightful, but other times it is bogged down in its own importance. Still, I'm glad I read it.

Okay, now on to some fun for all: My friend Amy (http://lux-st-clare.blogspot.com)gave our blog an award! Yippee. We're supposed to list 7 things you don't know about me/us, so here goes: These apply to Neysa only. The other girls will have to post their own.

1. My hair is entirely gray, I color it so I don't feel like Barbara Bush. I'm old, but not that old.
2. I used to be big into running, miles and miles every day.
3. I was high school valedictorian--along with three others.
4. I just wrote lyrics to a song commissioned for the Idaho Capitol renovation celebration in January, 2010.
5. I have never broken any bones.
6. If I could have any gift for one week, it would be the services of a handyman to fix everything in our decrepit house.
7. I've known my husband since I was 7 years old.

I'm also supposed to nominate 7 other blogs for the Creative Blog award, but Amy pretty much got all the ones I read. Oh well.

Happy Halloween,


1 comment:

  1. I wish I could say I was a runner. I have tried and tried to be a runner, but unless there's a ball of some kind involved, I just get bored. :)

    I also read Devil in the White City and felt the same way. I would get hooked on the architectural part of it and then be let down because the next chapter was about the murderer. I would have liked it better in two separate books.