Cybill Disobedience by Cybill Shepherd

Every now and then I read an autobiography.  Cybill Shepherd’s version of her life came out on Kindle as a freebie and what the heck, I loved Moonlighting and always thought she was an amazing woman for more then just her looks.  It takes a lot of bravery to look into one’s own past and put it out there for everyone to judge.  I admire her for that.

It was an interesting read.  I was never one of those that men fell over so getting a perspective from that side of a woman’s world was fascinating.  She used and was used by her own beauty and the men that thought that was all she was.

The autobiography’s voice seemed very much Cybill – Aimee Lee Ball, her collaborator, did a great job.

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Posted in 2011 Reading List, Autobiography | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Give Me Your Heart by Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates takes creepy to a whole new level in this unsettling collection of short stories.   Oates is an intelligent, concise, and horrifying wordsmith and storyteller.  These stories left me with some intense emotional reactions which stayed with me well after I laid the Kindle down and tried to go to sleep.  Love can be a very dark and disturbing thing, and a human being can be driven down some long convoluted paths by it.  The lucky ones don’t get lost down that road.   The people in Oates’ stories are not, unfortunately, lucky.

I have not read any of her work in a long long time.  I’m going to have to add her to the list of author’s whose backlist I’ll have to start going through – although the sheer immensity of it is daunting to say the least!   According to the wikipedia, over seventy books.  That will certainly keep me going for awhile.

Posted in 2011 Reading List, Horror | Leave a comment

The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin

I absolutely loved this little gem of a novella by Steve Martin.  You would think from the title that it is the autobiography of one of our feline companions.  Daniel Pecan Cambridge, the protagonist, may not be a cat, but he certainly has been given a sweet, twisted, intense and yet gentle character that one cannot help but love while shaking one’s head in exasperation.  I was sucked in from the very first lines and couldn’t put it down.  Every word, every phrase, every sentence seemed a perfectly crafted jewel that expressed Daniel’s obsessed inner self in such a way that I kept crying through my laughter.  Steve Martin seems like such a Renaissance man; I admire his writing, his imagination, his ability to match his writing style to his beautiful character studies, his humor and his loving attitude towards his own creations.  Daniel is so intensely human, flawed, vulnerable, and yet ultimately hopeful and able to love and be open and willing to allow himself to change for those he loves.

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But I still think the title makes it sound like Nekoka’s autobiography.

Posted in 2011 Reading List, Modern Literature | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris’ eleventh in the Sookie Stackhouse novels was enjoyable if a little light compared to others in the series.  It felt a bit more like setting up for the final books then a story in and of itself.  Not that I didn’t like spending time with the characters I’ve grown to love, and Harris’ writing is as always a joy to read.  It was just a little bit too much been there done that.  Sookie was beyond some of this in the last few books; it feels like she has regressed a tad. 

Still, very much looking forward to the next installment!

Posted in 2011 Reading List, Fantasy | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Liam Campbell Mystery Series by Dana Stabenow

I’ve mentioned before how much I love Dana Stabenow’s Kate Shugak series.  When she announced that the Liam Campbell series was available on Kindle, I realized I had not yet dived into that series (although it was on my To Read list) so I downloaded the first, Fire and Ice – which was actually FREE!

Liam Campbell is a straight-arrow Alaskan State Trooper, newly assigned to a post in the town of Newenham after being demoted (which I won’t get into for spoiler reasons).  It only took me a few pages to realize that I was going to love this series as much as Kate’s.  And by the end of the book, I was head over heals for Liam, Wyanet Chouinard, and all the rest of the characters Dana brings to life so well.  I went ahead and downloaded all the other books in the series that were available – So Sure Of Death, Nothing Gold Can Stay, and Better To Rest.  So much for my eBook allowance for May.  If there is one down-side to the Kindle, it is that it is so damn easy to buy books on it Smile

So instead of writing up my little brief reviews of each book, I have been indulging in a genuine FEAST of reading.  I couldn’t get enough of them and man, I am sorry I finished up so quickly.  If I didn’t hate the cold with a passion, I would totally be planning an Alaskan vacation.  I don’t know if it is the stories, the characters, the writing, or how Dana Stabenow brings so much of Alaska alive, but I find both series irresistible.

But now, unfortunately, I am completely up to date on both Liam and Kate.  Now the wait for the next volume to be published.

Posted in 2011 Reading List, Mystery | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I’m working my way through Neil Gaimon’s bibliography and American Gods is my favorite so far.  It hooked me from the very first paragraph and I had to force myself to put it down at night or I wouldn’t get any sleep.  Growing up I was fascinated by mythology and read everything I could get my hands on about gods, goddesses, fairy tales, and all the various pantheons.  I used to talk to Artemis as if she was my big sister after reading about my name (Cynthia).  While she didn’t make the cut as an American God, it was fascinating to see how Neil Gaiman worked the old world gods into the American mythology, and the conflict with the new gods that we as a nation created.

I liked Shadow, the protagonist, from the get go and found myself deeply invested in his story.  It was very well written, wonderfully paced, complex and satisfactorily concluded.  Some of the scenes keep coming back to me like intensely colored playlets as I fall into sleep.  I understand it is going to be made into an HBO series; that will hopefully be as awesome as the novel is.

Posted in 2011 Reading List, Fantasy | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Demon Hunts by C. E. Murphy

I can’t believe I’ve fallen three books behind on my 2011 reading list!  I better get them up before I forget what I have been reading!

This is book five in the Walker Papers series about a Seattle detective/mechanic/urban shaman.  C. E. Murphy spins a good story with an unusual set of likeable characters.  This particular installment grants us more of Joanne’s past and a decently interesting storyline involving cannibalism and wendigo’s.  Not my favorite of the series but a fun read and I am looking forward to more.

Posted in 2011 Reading List, Fantasy | Tagged , , | 2 Comments