Saturday, July 20, 2019

Bangkok 8

I had this book on my bookshelf for the longest time. My son just happens to be in Thailand on vacation now. I thought it was a great time to get this read.

I'm not sure what to think of this book. The reviews are more negative than positive. I choose to look at the positive. The author never claims to know all about Thailand and makes sure that the readers know that he puts the police in a bad light for the story. Not in real time.

I like the characters Sonchai and Pichai,(who we get to meet for a split second), the cops that can't be bought. Even though mystery and murder were about, there was the feel for spiritual and being a devout Buddhist throughout the story. This side is very interesting what Thais believe in.

In the beginning it was hard for me to get into the story. But as I kept at it, it did get more interesting. Thailand has a bit of everything. The book touched on everything. A lot of what Bangkok is about Red Light District, drug trade to Transsexual.
The biggest is Third World Country vs Western. Thai police working with the West FBI.Character I least liked, Kimberley Jones. If not 1 but a thousand times noting Sonchai and her. Blah! I found out that Bangkok 8 in the middle of book stood for the police district. And it might of been soon that mystery was solved. It was surprising of whodunit and why.

I had some notes that I thought would help to describe this book. But it ends up that really it would take away from story. 

I give Bangkok 8 4-> 
because it was slow to start. Am looking forward to reading the next one in line.

Friday, June 21, 2019

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion

I've only read one book of Fannie Flagg's before. And I liked this story. Very interesting to find a history that was buried. I like how Fannie has written a story around the history.

Sookie who has a mother that was head strong in her own life but a lot of worriment on her daughter from making it harder on her not to go in assisted living, to be taken care all the time to the dramatics of "Until they carry me out feet first". Sookie took care of everyone including pets. Her percular habits of getting the little birds to eat without Blue Jays interfering to finding out news about her own life. Was a very busy life indeed. One could only imagine how someone would think they are not good enough..
But at the end we ( I know I felt the same with my own mother) the impossible woman, Sookie's mother Lenore had driven her crazy and caused much heartbreak and yet despite it all Sookie missed her everyday for the rest of her life. And after her findings of her birth mother/family she did understand that Lenore gave her a good life even with all her craziness. Sookie was blessed with her own family, husband and children.

I thought it clever to intertwine history with the other side of Sookie's life, her biological life. In 1920 15,000 gas stations in the entire country. In 1933 the number had jumped to 170,000. Seeing that the automobile was the future.

At one part I found it more interesting with Sookie's biological family than her own with her adopted mother Lenore.
How a family from Poland opened a 24 hour gas station. It was so clean that you could eat off floor. Clean bathroom to bring people in. Eventually they were called The Gas Station Family. And to put more pride on them they passed inspection. And had Certified Bathrooms.
The whole family of The Jurdabralinski"s worked this gas station. In those days it's the only way to be successful. Was not a glamorous job.
The filling station became the center of the war-driven effort in Pulaski, Wisconsin. During the war The sisters going the war effort by flying planes and towing these planes to the GI's. Which became WASP- Women Air Force Service Pilots!
But it was disbanded because these jobs needed to go to the GI's. Our government denied that women did help and could be more than just USO show helpers. Even their records were classified.

As Sookie learned about her birth family she came to feel better about herself and proud. Sookie's birth mother and two aunts had helped open doors for the women who came after them.

I give The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion 4 
because I felt that calling it the last reunion was not correct. The Last Reunion wasn't really at the gas station. It was when all who was left of the WASP's came together at the ceremony was the last reunion. Although the Last Reunion at the gas station again with Sookie, to show her where the family worked. For that it was confusing. 
Looking forward to another Fannie Flagg book

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

At the Water's Edge

I was a bit conflicted with this book. I seen some reviews. I must agree I didn't think the story was serious of being around a Loch Ness Monster. But some how it fit the character of Ellis, Maddie's husband. How he was driven to the point of always the need to be pacified, the war a part of the adventure. Was there more to the relationship of his friend Hank, in Ellis's mind? Always giving Ellis what he wanted.

In the end Hank needed to grow up. What will he do now back in the States? Start over, would be the hardest since he was heartbroken, he has been cleaved down the middle over Ellis.

As for Maddie, the main character of this story, starting out as a woman that didn't know work (when she married) noticing an odd smell when in Scotland and all she could think about is how many heads had lain on the pillows before hers in the tavern. To all tea was loose leaf and steeped more than once.  Things were done as they can when in war. Taking a deer was a righteous theft because it was taken from land that was stolen. 

This story found friendship in women for Maddie. Annie and Meg began to think of Maddie as their friend, (one of them) and Maddie felt like it was the nicest thing that anyone did for her.

What I thought interesting in the beginning how the story was Angus was off to war his wife Mairi waited for his return. But with her losing a child and Angus was assumed dead she had a grave arranged with their names and dates placed on gravestone. Mairi went into that deep dark Loch and ended her life At the Water's Edge. But sadly Angus came home to no wife or child.

Maddie and Angus found each other. And I could see how the story was coming together, all intertwined. Dark days came upon Maddie (from husband Ellis) and she stepped out to the Water's Edge, black and rolling, endlessly deep. Maddie wanted to now what it was like to experience a love so deep you couldn't bear to exist.

A bit of romance, a bit of mystery, and yes a bit of nostalgia of a story about a monster gave these characters some interest to read on. Sure there were times I wanted to kick Ellis and Hank's a** and give Maddie a push. I had to remember what period of time it was written in. So the timeline of war that was going on kept bringing back, how they rationed out food etc..

I give At the Water's Edge 4 

Monday, April 08, 2019

Don't Let Go

This is my 1st Harlan Coben book. I read reviews and see that people do like his books. The opening "Daisy wore a clingy black dress with a neckline so deep it could tutor philosophy .", well you would think it's a story that has you going from the get go. I was a bit disappointed. As characters go, the word in depth is,  I expected Nap Dumas to be this cop that just plunged through his cases. I had to take in account that 1st his family moved to US and it was a small town he was policing. Plus he was 1 of a twin. Which makes it hard to go on because he never really made peace with the death. At times I thought I was reading about kids than adults with lives with careers at that moment. Like the story was all happening at once.
Don't let go: one job, the only job was to protect, and Augie let his daughter go, and so wondering if she was scared that night.

I enjoyed the story though. I really didn't pay much attention on trying to see who really was the culprit. Nap learnt a lot about people, his brother Leo, girlfriend Maura, friend/mentor Augie he embraced what he wanted to what was in front of him, and ignored what he wanted.
Love the reference of a library for Nap. "Books yellowing with age,  hushed sanctuary is revered, where we the people elevate books and education to the level of the religious."

Of course all came together at the end. Nap gets his man and girl. And the town of Westbridge is once again quiet.

I give Don't Let Go 
I look forward to reading more Harlan Coben books. Hoping that the characters get juicer.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Heat Wave

Interesting read. I wasn't too sure of how the story was going to be because of the tv show. But it eventually turned out ok.
Although it was a bit mixed up for me because I kept picturing the characters like the ones on the show. That was a distraction. For that the storyline was a bit lost on me.
What I took away from this book is that the relationship of Rook and Heat went faster than Castle and Becket. And Heat is a very strong character more so I believe than Becket.

I think it's cool that it weaves the author into the story but the person is a pseudonym. I like the show. I would like to continue reading on in the series. And hope it only gets better.

I give Heat Wave 4_____>
Hears to the next read Naked Heat