Friday, July 16, 2010

Two Book Reviews

I have read more this week than I’ve read in a good while.  I’m still reading!  It has been a great way to keep my mind off things going on with my health and whatnot.  Consequently, I have completed two more challenge books. 

sizzling-sixteen The first book is for the Twenty Ten Challenge’s New in 2010 category.  I was so excited to find out Janet Evanovich had a new book coming out and when I saw Sizzling Sixteen at Target for 30% off, I had to have it.  I was really excited to see what would happen to Vinnie (as the casting news rolls in from the movie, I keep hoping and praying they get Steve Buscemi to be Vinnie—he’d be PERFECT), and to of course get more of the Ranger/Morelli love triangle. 

While I am of the opinion that the book itself was fine and the story moved along nicely and contained a decent mystery, it lacked something quintessentially Plum for me.  I didn’t laugh out loud.  I am so bummed that Lula and Tank seem to have completely forgotten the other one exists.  Even Mooner’s entrance, which is usually enough to get any of the Plum books going, didn’t do a thing for me.  I read through it in less than 2 days and enjoyed it well enough, but I just didn’t love it.  3 Stars on GoodReads, and here’s hoping #17 delivers.  I am presently working on the new Miss Julia book by Ann Ross, but it seems to have gotten misplaced by someone who has been in or out cleaning the house at some point or other in the past 2 1/2 weeks.  I know where the cover is, and that’s as good as it gets.  I will find it, however.

Secrets_From_The_Vinyl_Cafe On the other hand, I was thrilled to receive an email from Paperback Swap (PBS) that a copy of Stuart McLean’s Secrets from the Vinyl Cafe was winging its way towards me.  The Vinyl Cafe books have become beloved favorites of mine, right up there with Philip Gulley’s Harmony.  This edition of stories was no exception.  From the hilarious illustrations on the covers (inside and out), to the fun cartoon strips inside, to the many stories included, Secrets from the Vinyl Cafe had me absolutely weeping with the first story about Dave’s mom and laughing out loud  when 11-year-old Sam thinks his mother has become a shoplifter and he is the only one in his family who is walking the straight line.

Dave, the owner of the Vinyl Cafe, is a kind of Everyman who gets himself into trouble for doing the craziest things.  He always has good intentions, but things always go terribly wrong.  I love Dave as a character most of all.

But Dave’s family is not the only one showcased in the book.  Many beloved characters from previous books make an appearance here as well.  Carl of the Breadstarter, Kenny Wong of the Scottish Meatpie restaurant, and more all show up to lend hilarity and gravitas as warranted.  I gave this one 5 Stars for evoking sheer joy and emotion from this reader.  If you haven’t read this one, you surely should.

As for the reading challenges, I am counting this one towards the What's In a Name 3 challenge as a title with a musical term in it.  Vinyl refers to vinyl records, which Dave sells in his Vinyl Cafe.  I’m also counting it in the Twenty-Ten Challenge’s Win Win section for a book I used to complete another challenge!  I’m whipping right along again. :-)  Let’s hope I can keep some momentum going.

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