Monday, January 17, 2011

What's on the Nightstand #5 and #6

 So what's on the nightstand this week? I've got two new ones to introduce but I've also been playing around with my new additions to my collection I got over the holidays too. Lordy, you should see my nightstand now! Not to mention, the clearance rack at Books a Million had several treasures for me after the holidays. I collected three Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series and a Carolyn Haines SBD series. Major SCORE! Once the books are stacked higher than the lamp I'll photograph them again. ha ha! I only buy books I really enjoy so I've been re-reading a few of them in addition to these two. I'll tell y'all about them later on but here are the most recent books I've read.

Killing Floor #5 Killing Floor by Lee Child
    This is my first experience with Lee’s books and I’m very impressed with his work so far. Killing Floor begins in a small town in Georgia, Margrave to be exact. Jack Reacher, principal character, is an ex-military policeman set adrift after finishing his service to his country. He’s single, answering to no one and nothing anymore, off the grid in every way and enjoying the stash of money that came with retirement. Jack is sharp, intelligent and full of my favorite kind of wit, dry.I enjoyed Lee’s dialog scenes most of all throughout the entire book. This is my first experience with the clipped style of writing that seems to be Lee’s signature. He writes from a very masculine, minimalist point of view. In the beginning, I didn’t know if I as a woman could connect with Jack Reacher. His thought processes were sort of foreign to me at first but once I got into the story everything began to fit perfectly.  
    This story kept me guessing around every corner which is extremely important to me in a book. There’s nothing more disappointing than predictability. Lee has passed the test with Jack’s adventure into the sultry ugliness that always leaves an oil slick of evil behind when money and power are involved.
    Lee’s Reacher books are stand alone even though there are lots of them. But you know me; I’m a stickler for reading in a certain order. Killing Floor is the first in the Reacher series and I’d suggest to newbies that Killing Floor be the one you start with in order to understand some of Jack’s back story before going into his other adventures. Killing Floor was a wonderful read and I’d recommend it for sure. A complete listing of Lee's books can be found on his website.
cover#6 Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
     I'm a sucker for a beautiful cover, always have been. Ever since Hernando Public Library got this one in I've been arguing with myself about whether I would read it or not. Personally, I like my books with a healthy dose of fantasy. Too much real life without enough funny in a book irritates me. Immersing myself in a book is my form of escapism and frankly I have all the real life I want in my life.So I don't want it in my books thank you very much.
    Reading this book jacket my first thought was no way, uh uh, too much misery for me. But every time I passed by that beautiful cover it teased me, "Come on, you know you want to take me home." It was when I started answering the voice in my head,"cut it out, the cover ain't that dang pretty," that I decided I better go on and give it a try before the librarian called the padded wagon on me.
    Despite the very serious and painful first twelve years of her life, Cee Cee Honeycutt's sense of humor is laugh-out-loud good.She sees things very differently than most girls her age yet at the same time is very much twelve. Add to that a huge dollop of tragedy, a absentee father and a new found southern relative and let the adventures begin.
    I connected with Cee Cee on a personal level in a way I never expected. She begins to collect women as her story unfolds. Aunts, new role models, neighborhood menaces and everything in between since she doesn't have a traditional family anymore.Cee Cee's world is transformed into a colorful menagerie of southern women, each leaving their unique mark on her life. I can see that picture in my own life in lots of ways. I come from a family of tough southern women and there are lots of glimpses I recognize from my own people in these characters.  
     Near the end of the story is the most hilarious paragraph in the book. It's too funny not to share. I have to stifle a laugh even now as I think about it. We've all had that great aunt or grandmother at some point in our lives. She gets to be a certain age and it's like someone removes the normal barriers between the things that pop in her brain and what fly's out her mouth.This scene features that person who has come into Cee Cee's life. Sapphire, aunt to Cee Cee's friend Oletta. They are at a garden party where a tiff breaks out. 

Everyone scrambled to get out of the way-well, everyone but Sapphire, who was enjoying the spectacle immensely. She stayed glued to her chair, cupped her old gnarled hands around her mouth, and hollered, "Get her, Thelma. Whup her ass real good." 

    Do not even try to tell me you didn't just get a mental picture of that woman in your life who would say exactly the same thing and bust out laughing. Mine is a cross between my great-grandmother Bynum and my sister. Well...except in my case, my sister might be the one doing the fighting. 
   I personally don't know how Beth pulled off all the nuances of living in and being southern since she's not but I have to tip my hat to her. She nailed it all. Follow Beth's adventures on her website.
   Photo of Beth Hoffman

Till then,

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