Sunday, April 17, 2011

Miscellaneous books in "tossed" pile

Some miscellaneous books on a list of ones I tossed before completing. You could call these panned by me.
Fannie Flagg Standing in the Rainbow. Known widely as the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe: A Novel (a gem of a read and turned to a movie) and other such goodies as Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) and Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man: A Novel this had review quotes like “Another surefire winner…” Sadly, not for me.
After a snippy prologue, and expecting interesting characters to develop quickly, I was given simply a few snappy names (her Southern style and creativity are always to be admired for sure), long meandering paragraphs, and boring descriptions that were doubly hard to read in very small font.
As I am over 50, I follow the rule that you are allowed to give up on a book after reading and being disappointed in X number of pages, where X is 100 minus your age. Bye-bye Fannie.
John Irving A Widow for One Year (Modern Library of the World's Best Books). Maybe I’ll try Hotel New Hampshire; most people agree his Cider House Rules is a winner. I just couldn’t get into this saga and mixed up family’s meanderings.
James Patterson Double Cross. Alex Cross makes another formulaic appearance. Did not appeal.
Deanie Francis Mills Tight Rope. Sometimes I do like a good mystery, and I admit this was put aside mainly because the copy I have is a paperback and the typeset was too thick and hard to read.
Iain Pears The Titian Committee. This one I did read all the way through. The characters tromp around Venice a lot, but all in all I don’t recommend this novel. Having read his Giotto’s Hand, I expected the same charming quirkiness. Here he is rather weak. There are more in his art-themed series: for instance Bernini Bust, The Raphael Affair. One may rise to the top, but it won’t be this.


  1. I recently bought Fried Green Tomatoes, and am now really looking forward to reading this! Fannie Flagg looks like a good book club author.

    I think you have pointed out some interesting author that I haven't read before, but need to. Namly, Iain Pears sounds interesting. I would want to read his most highly touted book (which is ???).

    Another classic is John Irving's "The World According to Garp", though I must confess that I have not read any of his books.

  2. Flagg makes a good discussion author. You can discuss her characters, writing style, sense of locale, and also about her personal philosophy and beliefs. I've read most of her books - seems like a charming lady (especially if you watch any of the old TV clips). I believe I'd pick up "Standing in the Rainbow" again if I can get it out of the library in hardcover in the middle of winter.

    John Irving is an author I'd like to revisit also. "Widow for A Year" would do better for me when the nights are long, not when spring is budding out quickly.

  3. One of my very favorite books is Iain Pears' An Instance of the Fingerpost.

    However, you have to be really open minded in a religious sense. This book would probably offend some people in that area.

    It is about a murder that takes place in the 1660's and the story is told in 4 parts. (There is a name for this type of book told in different parts, but can't remember it)
    Each part is told from the point of view of a different person, so you learn that some people are telling lies. Very interesting.

    He has a new book called Stone's Fall which I will read one of these days. A.C.