Monday, March 31, 2014

When Will There Be Good News, by Kate Atkinson

My devouring of the Jackson Brodie series continues.  To racap, I loved the first (case histories), disliked the second, and now I've finished the third which is also very good.  Atkinson loves coincidences, so if those bother you in novels skip these books.  But the interweaving of story lines and characters is done very well, for an extremely satisfying read.
Having just said that, this book went just a bit too far in two specific instances.  I thought the very small sub-plot with Brodie being swindled of his money by his wife just too much beyond belief.  I also was bothered by the coincidence of having Brodie be the searches who found Joanna 30 or so years ago. 
Still, a very enjoyable read, and a good comeback from what I thought was a terrible second novel.

The Martian, by Andy Weir

  • Title:  The Martian
  • Author:  Andy Weir
  • Borrowed from DC Public (e-Book)
  • Started: 3/19/2014
  • Finished:  3/23/2014
I loved this book.  Getting that out of the way first so there is no confusion on where I stand.  This book was wonderful.  It doesn't sound like it would be (from the review that first turned me onto this book in the WSJ, Feb 2014, "there's a lot of fascinating arithmetic [in the book]"), math?  I have to do math while I read the book?
But no math is required, our hero does the math for us, and makes us (me, anyway) feel that I could have figured some of these problems out on my own as well (I couldn't).   As to our hero -- somehow you keep forgetting he's the best of the best to have been selected for such a mission in the first place, because he is so grounded, self-effacing, funny.
But really, how could anyone fail to love a book about surviving being stranged on Mars that includes the following line as an FU to NASA when they tell him to watch his language over email as it is all being disclosed to the public:
"Look a pair of boobs! (. Y .)"

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

MaddAddam, by Margaret Atwood

  • Title: MaddAddam
  • Author: Margaret Atwood
  • Borrowed from DC Public (AudioBook)
  • Started:  2/27/2014
  • Finished:  3/19/2014
Can't believe it has been almost 4 years since I read the first two books in this trilogy, I recall I liked the first but not the second, found the third to be pretty calm and enjoyable.  Atwood certainly knows how to write about the end of the world/dystopain future, though to be fair this one ends on a (potentially) hopeful note.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

One Good Turn, by Kate Atkinson

  • Title:  One Good Turn
  • Author:  Kate Atkinson
  • Borrowed from Worcester County Public Library (Kindle Book)
  • Started: 3/10/2014
  • Finished: 3/18/2014
This is the second of the "Jackson Brodie" books, I loved the first (Case Histories) but this one was pretty weak.  A page turner, but the mystery (mysteries) and overall feel were off for me this time.  I'll keep at the series though, the first book was too good, worth another read.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mercury Falls, by Robert Kroese

  • Title:  Mercury Falls
  • Author:  Robert Kroese
  • Borrowed via Amazon's Lending Library
  • Started: 2/27/2014
  • Finished: 3/9/2014
Scanning for something to read while waiting for a few holds at the library to come through, I opted for Mercury Falls by Kroese.  I didn't know anything about the book or author besides a brief blurb on my Kindle book search.
Overall I enjoyed the book, didn't love it and have no plans to continue the series, but that's not to say this isn't a nice enough read.  A bit too jokey for me, I see some compare Kroese's style to Douglas Adams, but I'd say it is closer to an even more light-hearted Gregory McDonald Fletch book. 
I always try to avoid reviews when I'm reading a book, then take them in when finished.  When I checked the Amazon reviews I see that the author got into a back & forth with a negative reviewer (never a good idea), but I can understand the tempation when  someone is knocking your hard work.