Monday, June 17, 2013
An intriguing mystery of an innocent man who severed twenty plus years in prison. A woman, whose account of the story sent him to prison. New evidence exonerates the man from rape and murder and is newly freed. So what has been kept a secret? What is fact? What is reality? What is the truth? Who can be trusted?
At first, I just thought this would be a mystery novel where I wasn't going to be that excited about. I enjoy reading novels that push on societal issues and raise interesting conversations. However, Buhmann's Lay Death at Her Door began to raise ideas about truth, perception and how truth is far from what anyone can see.
From the start of the novel, I began to ask myself about eyewitness accounts. How can motive play a role? How can personal experiences play a role? I think the questions that I kept thinking about as I read the novel made me like the novel more. I needed to step out of the idea of a mystery and truly enjoy what that mystery can do to expand ideas about life.
I am always drawn to the idea of truth. What does it mean? How can facts change what we believe? Or in some cases, do motives alter the truth?
I recommend this novel for those who want to be sucked into a great mystery or even want to challenge the conversation of reality, truth and facts. Start asking those hard questions and see how Buhmann's Lay Death at Her Door can further the conversation.
3 Shots of Espresso - Coffee Buzz
This novel is great for those who like mysteries and enjoy thinking beyond just reading a quick mystery.
Thanks Red Adept Publishing for introducing me to a fun and compelling new read!
Congrats Elizabeth Buhmann on your novel!
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Flynn, Gillian. Sharp Objects. New York: Shaye Areheart Books, 2006. Kindle. 321 pps. $9.99
Camille Preaker. Journalist. Small town Midwestern reject. Chicagoan. Mysterious. Camille must go back to her home town to report on a murdered child and another missing child. From there, unfolds a mystery from Camille's past, a dead sister from years ago, a poor relationship with her mother, and a half sister she hardly knows, oh yeah, and those children she went back for. Once again, Gillian Flynn crams a whole lot of crazy, pain, and mystery into a small but powerful book.
SHARP OBJECTS didn't have the same cadence of Flynn's other two books, which had gone back and forth between characters. This novel just kept the continual perspective of Camille; since she's a reporter, you tend to only believe Camille despite her past and her role in the story. I thought I knew what was up the whole time, but the final twist at the end did this novel justice.
|My reading progress on SHARP OBJECTS|
Plot and Writing:
After reading all three of Flynn's novels, I feel that her writing is better when she switches between characters; that style makes the book even more suspenseful. But then, SHARP OBJECTS was really suspenseful without her having to switch back and forth between characters.
Camille's past, and how it affects her present self, is intense and extremely intriguing. It's a great way to keep you reading and a fabulous plot device to keep the novel going. Flynn has a way of pushing the reader and making you cringe, but you just keep on reading; I love this.
The other characters are truly disturbing and must be only read and not described, so I'll let you come to your own conclusions.
After all three Flynn novels, I am intrigued to read another. I hope we won't have to wait until 2015. The three years apart is now unacceptable since GONE GIRL was so popular.
Rating: 5 Shots of Espresso
SHARP OBJECTS receives 5 of 5 shots of espresso. I'm glad I read this one last because I think the cadence of the narratives of different characters is what drew me to Flynn. Her way to keep you reading with only one narrator and the ultra disturbing plot of SHARP OBJECTS was easier to digest after being familiar with Flynn.
|Reading once again on the iPad and I am sold!|
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
First of all, I want to thank both Lori of TNBBC and fabulous author Joshua Mohr for letting me partake in this amazing blog tour. Lori does a fabulous job bringing bloggers from all around together to share their love for books, writing and creativity.
Today, Joshua takes life's milestones head on and discusses writing, life and the in between. Enjoy!
What was the first piece of writing you wrote where you thought, I should do this, I should keep writing?
I love writing! That may sound simplistic, but I know a lot of novelists who begrudgingly go through the process. That hasn't been my experience at all. I have fun on the page. To answer your question, probably sometime during graduate school was when I started zeroing on something interesting. I was writing a lot of tepid short stories that NOBODY wanted to read, and a teacher recommended that I try tackling something longer. That ended up evolving into my first novel, "Some Things that Meant the World to Me." From there, I've been a kid in a literary candy store.
Is there a moment in your life (big or small) where you had a moment, like Bob Coffen, where you needed to be more proactive with your life?
Wow, I feel like every day has the potential to be amazing. The real question is if we are going to take advantage of all the possibilities. Proactivity is one of the few things in life we can actually control. We can get out there. We can experience more art, live the life we want to. I try to push myself every day to do something that challenges my comfort zone.
How had writing helped shape you and how has your life's bigger moments shaped your writing?
There's certainly synergy between one's life experiences and the imagined lives rendered in novels. I draw on my life all the time. My friends know that if they're not careful, they'll make a cameo in what I'm currently scribbling. To my eye, art gives us the opportunity to make sense of the world we're experiencing. I try to use my writing as a way to keep learning.
What would you like your next big milestone to be I your life? Why? Are there steps to make this happen already?
My wife and I are expecting a baby in June. That's the next big milestone. I'm excited and terrified and I can't wait to experience that tangle of challenges. Thank god for coffee!
Are you writing anything else? When's your next writing milestone?
I'm pretty deep into my next book. It will be a weird mystery, in which a woman wakes up with a sentence in her head, in a language she does not speak. And the sentence is warning her about a murder. She launches on this odd adventure to save the "victim." Who knows if it will end up being about that, but it's keeping me busy right now! :)
Thanks Joshua for your time and awesome book, FIGHT SONG. I'll post my review after the tour. Check out tomorrow's post of where Joshua writes over at Lori's TNBBC. For the entire list of events, please check them out here.
Joshua, congrats on your baby in June! What a very exciting time in you and your family's life. I can't wait to read your next book; I am really intrigued!
Happy Reading and Check out Joshua's latest adventures here at his site.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Flynn, Gillian. Dark Places. New York: Crown, 2009. Kindle. 345 pps. $9.99
Libby Day, survivor of tragic family murder; Ben Day, survivor and convicted murderer of tragic family murder. Or is it that simple? Flynn takes you through the hate, pain and story through the eyes of Libby Day 25 years later. But does she remember everything? Was she old enough to know that Ben Day really did kill their mother and two sisters? Or was she coaxed by lawyers, psychologists and police to say Ben did it. Satanism, the 80s and a horribly terrible family massacre spill out and all over the place in DARK PLACES.
The first 50 pages or so had me u sure if I could handle the grotesque of human nature and if I was as into the book as much as I liked Flynn's GONE GIRL. But then once the story started to unfold and Libby is torn back and forth if whether or not her brother did kill their family, I became hooked. At around page 200, I couldn't stop. I would have finished but I had to get to bed due to work the following morning.
|The reading progress...messed it up at first.|
Plot and Writing:
Like I said, the first 50 or so pages didn't truly captivate me because I was disturbed by the reality of the terribly murdered family. The brutality was really hard to swallow. However, the way Flynn cuts you off at the end of every chapter kept me wanting more and sitting up in bed freaking out what would happen next. I enjoyed the perspective of Libby from the present looking back, of Ben the day of the murders, and of Patty the day of the murders.
Libby Day seemed true to what a person would be like after such a horrendous tragedy. I don't think people get over it and her anger is completely and understandably justified. Patty Day seemed to be a FOIL character and a mother who simply went through the motions. Ben Day was the most interesting character due to how he was developed throughout the story. The rumors of Ben, the inability to believe everything he says because he's been convicted of murder and the support of Ben by random strangers. Ben's character is by far the most interesting.
I'm still totally stoked about reading Flynn's DARK PLACES on the Kindle and iPad. I'm beginning to really like reading this way and am reading Flynn's SHARP OBJECTS the same way. The iPad is changing my opinion of eBooks.
I am also still I to this mystery kick and plan on keeping up!
Rating: 5 Shots of Espresso
DARK PLACES receives 5 of 5 shots of espresso. I read almost the entire last third of the book in one day. It was crazy at the end and kept intrigued and wanting more and more. Flynn's ability to pull me away from my true crime shows after a long day at work is proving to be an almost nightly occurrence of me, some Flynn pages and a cup of hot tea.
|Reading on the iPad|
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Flynn, Gillian. Gone Girl. New York: Random House, 2012. Kindle. 415 pps. $12.99
Amy Dunne goes missing; Nick Dunne begins acting suspicions. Between the detective's clues and Amy's treasure hunt clues, the reader is left waiting to hear what happened to Amy. Oh, and did I mention that Amy just happens to go missing on her and Nick's 5 year wedding anniversary? Yeah, there's that part too. This is just the beginning of Amy Dunne's mysterious disappearance. But read the book to find out more!
I could not turn off my Kindle because the short, intense cadence of the book kept me wanting to read more. The twists and plot changes kept me from predicting the end of the book, which made me genuinely like reading the book.
Plot and Writing:
I really enjoyed the plot twists and the short paragraphs going back and forth between the missing wife, Amy, and the suspicious husband, Nick. The relationship between the married couple and their unreliable and very biased narratives keep you guessing as you are sent in many different directions. This kept me curious and pushed against all that I know from all of my real life crime shows. Overall, I really enjoyed the plot and Flynn's writing style.
Both Amy and Nick are unlikable characters, but their biased versions make you want to hear what else they could possibly say. The way each of them constructs their own version of the story is why I loved hearing what they would say next. I am fond of reading about terrible characters that are just so terrible you need to know more. And these two take it further than you could ever imagine.
Flynn's Gone Girl happens to be one of those books I always try to miss because I am not drawn to books that have such a following or popularity. I, honestly, only even purchased this on my Kindle because I needed an easy read for my flight to and from Mexico. I figured it would the perfect choice. I typically only like my Kindle for books I probably won't be that into and for travel purposes, but this book has changed my opinion of two things--that the book was surprisingly good and I actually like reading off of my Kindle or iPad.
Upon finishing Gone Girl, I have purchased Flynn's Dark Places to read next. I am going to try reading some more mystery-type books for the year 2013 for two reasons--these we're my favorite style of books as a kid and because I need to find books that spark my interest of wanting to find as much time as I can to read, which is something I missed out on in 2012!
Rating: 4 Shots of Espresso
Gone Girl receives 4 of 5 espresso shots because some of the plot from the big initial twist to the end seemed to drag on at times. There were some sections that were just building suspense for the reader to want to know what is next, but I think this took my attention away at times.
To A Happy New Year's of Reading!
|GoodReads' Reading Record for Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl|
|Reading Gone Girl on the iPad|
|Reading Gone Girl on the Kindle|