Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Godfather by Mario Puzo. Am I the only person over 30 who hadn't read this one? How can you not love The Godfather? Blasphemy. It's a part of our pop culture lexicon, classic and constantly repeated lines, countless television, movies and video games are based on the Mafia basics laid out in The Godfather, and yet I still feel like I learned a little something of the history, reasoning and brilliance of the old school mafia after finishing this book. I'm not talking about our modern day thugs, not two bit drug dealers or bookies but the leadership and community protectors that were the 1930-1950's mafia Dons and though the movie is probably what sticks out for most people, the book is actually better. Essentially it's a fantastic, well written soap opera for men, but that doesn't negate how great it is! Violence, intrigue, diplomacy, stealthy war strategy, sex, murder, murder and more murder. And by liking the book don't think that I'm condoning the lifestyle, violence and brutality of these people, but like reading The Prince by Machiavelli, I can respect the hell out of their ability to get things done, protect the people who respect them, and provide for those under their care. These men had balls and values. Not our typical Christian moral values but values nonetheless. And reading about men like this can be compelling, entertaining and fascinating. It's like sitting down and listening to stories from Tony Soprano's grandfather, a bit old-fashioned, sexist, and certainly not trendy but he's a better leader than Tony could dream of becoming. Good way to spend a few hours!

Next is Middle Age: A Romance by Joyce Carol Oates. This woman seems to write a book a month, prolific and challenging, a good contrast the Puzo.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I finished The Shadow of the Wind and was unsatisfied and rather disappointed. I had high hopes for this book because it sounded really interesting, set in a lovely place during a changing, dynamic time period but I was kind of bored. Too many secondary characters, too many random flashbacks, too many meandering separate story lines. I was bored almost from the beginning and then had trouble connecting with the rest of the book. So it was a bit my fault for shutting down a little early but just not one of my favorites. Now I'm reading The Godfather by Mr. Mario Puzo. Exciting, ballsy, old school and so easy to read! Makes me want to watch the movies again. Thanks, Kristen, I needed one like this to cleanse my palate.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I've been a horrible blogger. I haven't posted since last September. I have no excuse for myself so I will ignore the guilt I feel for letting down my two readers and just move on.

Summer is right around the corner and so my reading and reviewing have returned. I know you are excited, dear reader. ( and I really mean reader, I have one, maybe two on a good day!)
The first book for the 2008 Book It Summer program, which after reading 5 books I will win a free personal pan pizza with my choice of toppings, is The Shadow of the Wind by some Spanish fellow, whose name I will look up on Amazon later today and replace here. Anyway, this book is better as just a jacket blurb. I just can't get into the story. I want to, I feel like I should be able to and yet here I am saying that the jacket blurb is more enticing than the book itself. I read about 30 pages yesterday, (I'm 150 pages into the 400+ page book) and I have to say that things are looking up for this book. More action and less longing, more talk and less maudlin teenage brooding. The basics of this book include a 1950's time period, Barcelona, Spain location, a book shop owner's lovestruck son, a fascinating place called the Cemetery for Books, and a severely damaged evil book burner who might be the devil. Sounds fascinating right? Well, I'll report back once I finish this sucker and let you know. Oh, and I have been reading plenty since last September I just felt that my opinion on those books was too intense to share. Ok, actually I was just too lazy and distracted to post in the last few months, but I'm back and more opinionated than ever. If possible.