Book Wrap Up 4

Sunday 4 October 2020

It's been a while since I've done a proper book wrap up. Lately I did a graphic novel wrap up and I've been working on two Net Galley wrap ups, but I've yet to do one for books. So I decided it was about time. I also went to look at a lot of my unfinished drafts and put some of those in here as well. So enjoy!

Hope Never Dies (Obama Biden Mysteries #1) by Andrew Shaffer

It's been several months since the 2016 presidential election, and "Uncle Joe" Biden is puttering around his house, grouting the tile in his master bathroom, feeling lost and adrift in an America that doesn't make sense anymore. But when his favorite Amtrak conductor dies in a suspicious accident, Joe feels a familiar desire to serve - and he leap into the role of amateur sleuth, with a little help from his old friend President Barack Obama.

I'll be honest, I didn't have high hopes for this book. I read it because I thought it would be funny. Come on! Obama and Biden teaming up to solve a murder like the Hardy Boys? That's hilarious!

Was it really hilarious though? Kind of. The humor was there but it just added flavor to a forgettable mystery book. Though let's be honest. If you were really looking for a good mystery book you wouldn't be picking up something so obviously tongue-in-cheek. This was okay through and through. It wasn't bad but it did nothing to stand out. I didn't feel like reading it was a waste of time, but I'm also not going to rush to pick up the next book. 

Hope Never Dies is a perfect example of a book that sits comfortably in the middle of good and bad. If you're a huge fan of Joe Biden, then sure, read this, why not? His character is good, he's a smart man. Otherwise I'd let this one pass me up. 

Hope Never Dies (Obama Biden Myseries #1) gets a 6 out of 11

The Book Thief by Mark Zusak

I tried to write a full review for this a while back but since it's been a while (I read this in February) I figured that I should give up and instead, add it to this wrap up.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still. By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down. (Premise from Goodreads).

It's been so long since I read this that I can't quite think of what to say besides that I really liked it. I listened to this as an audio book and the narrator was great. The story was captivating from the very first moment and the cast of characters were quite realistic. If you're at all not sure about this book, listen to it the way I did. I borrowed it through Libby. If you have a library card, you may be able to access Libby and read/listen to a plethora of books for free.

The Book Thief by Mark Zusak gets an 10 out of 11

'Salem's Lot by Stephen King

Ben Mears, a popular writer, moves back to his old hometown of Jerusalem's Lot after the loss of his wife. He wants to reconnect with his past and try and get his writing juices flowing again. He wants to rent a creepy old house he remembers but it was already purchased by some unknown newcomers to the lot. That's when strange events start happening and it's all tied to the creepy old house.

This is a King classic that has been on my TBR since I was a kid. I finally got around to reading it and... yup, it's a Stephen King book.  If your'e a fan of his, you know exactly what to expect. A book that's really well written but is more long winded than a hurricane. 

Look, let's be honest. If you're thinking of tackling a King classic, you probably already know if you like his work or not. This is an okay King book. It's not bad, but I've also read a lot better. If you've liked books like IT, The Stand, The Tommyknockers, or other tomes of his, then you know exactly what to expect. I would like to see this one get the IT treatment and turned into two movies, or maybe even a mini-series like 11/22/63. 

If you've never read King before then maybe start with something shorter to get an idea for his style like Carrie, Cujo, or Misery. If you've already read him then you know what to do.

'Salem's Lot gets a 7 out of 11

The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente

The lives of six female superheroes and the girlfriends of superheroes. A ferocious riff on women in superhero comics. A series of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who’s ever been “refrigerated”: comic book women who are killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, disabled, or had their powers taken so that a male superhero’s storyline will progress. (Premise from Goodreads)

Now this is a book I both enjoyed AND I can fully understand how it's not for everyone. This is a series of six short stories linked by the fact that each woman is part of the Hell Hath club and these six women share their stories. Some of their stories are familiar. While Valente does make each story her own, you can clearly see how Gwen Stacy, Harley Quinn, and Mira (Aquawoman) inspired their various tales.

This book isn't terribly graphic as far as descriptions go, but it also does deal with heavy topics like suicide and sexual abuse so this is going to further limit who would enjoy this. But if you like books relating to comics, if you're aware of the Refrigerator trope, and/or if you just want to read an interesting book with a comic book theme, then this could be for you.

The Refrigerator Monologues gets a 7.5 out of 11

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