Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sunday Salon: Cozy or Fast-Paced Books

Welcome to my Sunday Salon! Last week I wrote about series and why we like them. This week I will follow up with the 2 I finished recently. Remember, you can click on the Sunday Salon button to visit other readers and see what they are up to today.
I finally finished All Creatures Great & Small. It took me 3 weeks, and was the only book I was reading at the time. I am usually a 2-day maximum reader. I don't know what it was about that book, but I just didn't want to pick it up each time I thought about reading, but I didn't want to start something new and have 2 going at once; I just can't handle that anymore! I needed to read it for a book club. What's very weird, is that I enjoyed the book while I was reading it! The characters are very funny, and knowing that they are real people makes it even funnier. Herriot's style is very conversational and easy to follow, and his love for his job and the Yorkshire Highlands shines through in everything he writes. I could imagine myself everywhere he described. I guess what held me back from plowing through the book is that it is different from my usual choices. It isn't a silly story, the descriptions are vivid and important, so there's nothing to skip over, and overall it's a series of "cozy" stories about country life. I could pick the book back up at any time and open to any chapter and enjoy the story that is there. I think ultimately I had no motivation, as far as plot development, to continue reading and see what happened.
Did I enjoy the stories? Yes! Would I recommend the book? Yes! Do I wonder why I've never read this book before now, when it is such a classic and so many people have told me to read it? Yes! Will I try other books in this series at some point? Yes! Probably as beach reading where that's all I do is sit and read.

Another book I finished this week was Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich. As expected, funny, fast reading. Some people have commented that they are getting a little sick of the silliness in these books, and I have to agree. Every character is a "character," even Stephanie to a point. There need to be more normal people for these wackos to have as their straight man. Stephanie's dad would be a good choice, but he just reads the paper and eats and leaves the room. Evanovich tries to develop Joe Morelli as a voice of sanity, but there's not a lot of follow-through. I wonder when Lula will learn to speak properly; she's been off the streets and working with the bail agency for over a year and she does not attempt to fit more into this world. There is a lot of foolishness, as Neicy Nash would say, in these books that just doesn't need to be there. However, on the other side of the coin, no one else that I know of is writing books that have me often laughing out loud and picturing myself as a fly on the wall when some of these crazy characters interact with each other. I will probably continue to read this series, as there is always a new one each summer, and, let's face it, summer is about lighter reading. I have also given Evanovich's newer series, Metro Girl, a try, and I like it. There are not as many crazy characters (yet!) as there have only been 2 books, but they are also funny and the mysteries have been more mysterious than goofy.
I am starting on a book from a series that I was reading a few years ago and it just kind of fell by the wayside. I don't know why, because I liked the author's style, the characters, and the mysteries. The series is called Meg Lanslow Mysteries and the author is Donna Andrews. All of the books have something about birds in the title. One of the things I liked about the series is that Meg does some traveling, so readers learn about other places and lifestyles. Also, Meg is a professional blacksmith, so there is information about her technique and artistry. I'm sure I'm going to enjoy Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon.


Table Talk said...

This is the second time recently that I've read about the Andrews books, so I must get on to the library and see if they have them available. I love series.

Ronda's Rants said...

Thanks so much for stopping by the other day with the kind words of encouragement for my "bucket list!" I love your blog and I can't wait to try out some of your suggestions for reading! I'll stop by again next Sunday! Happy reading!

Marie said...

Glad you liked the James Herriot. I haven't gotten around to him yet but I think I'll try to pick up his books sometime soon.

Justine said...

Did you get any Patrick Sanchez books yet? Hmmm???? I may look for this Donna Andrews chick the next time I'm at the library.

Justine :o )

Mrs. B. said...

I've always wanted to read Evanovich and James Herriot. Thanks for the reviews!

Shelia said...

Hi Elizabeth and thank you so much for stopping by the little Mitford books. Oh, I'm so glad so many folks have read them. I just scrolled down your blog and bit and see you really are an avid reader. I wish I had a little more time to do that. Well, I'll be back to see you and hope you'll come back to see me.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Shelia said...

Thanks Elizabeth, I didn't know about the Christmas ornaments. I'll have to go and check it out soon!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

PAT said...

Hello Elizabeth

I'm visiting before we return to the lake, tomorrow.

I've read all the James Herriot books. I've been thinking about reading them again. I began reading them, when they were first published and still own all of them. I love his descriptions of Yorkshire. He was a good storyteller.

Have a wonderful week.

Bridget said...

Hi, I just popped over from Gollum's. I'm almost finished with Fearless Fourteen...would have been done a long time ago if I could stay away from the blogs!
Cheers, Bridget

penny said...

My father loves the aqll creatures series! I've never read them myself. Thanks for the blog rating and comment by the way.

The Apron Queen said...

As a young teen, I read every single James Herriot book there is. I *LOVE* his stories & writing style. I wanted to be a vet, so my Nana bought me the books. I changed my mind about being a vet when I found out that I had to stick my arm in a cow's bottom. Funny thing is that I became a Labor & Delivery nurse... if you catch my drift. :D

gautami tripathy said...

I simply adore James Harriet!

SS 1: Review of Shelf Monkey
SS 2: List of acquired books

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