Thursday, April 26, 2012

100 Word Review: Defending Jacob

I love a smart legal thriller, and I guess that's one way to describe Defending Jacob by William Landay.  It's really much more than a legal thriller...a family drama, even. 

While I was reading, I kept seeing the movie version playing in my head.  Of course, my movie version includes Matthew McConaughey in a lead role (even though he fits none of the physical descriptions of any of the characters).  Ever since the movie A Time to Kill, Matthew McConaughey has played a lawyer in the in-my-head-movie-version of every legal thriller I've read. 
Maybe that's why I like legal thrillers.  Hmmmmm....


Anyway, Defending Jacob is a great read.  I really enjoyed the unique story and I bet you will, too. 

Here's my 100 word review:  

A shocking crime...
A surprise suspect...
A career destroyed...
A bloodline exposed...

Landay forces readers to ask many questions:
How well do you know your child?
Should you doubt the one you love?
How far will you go to protect your family?
What will you do with the truth?
And...
Are murderers born, or are they made?

This book is:
Gripping...Spellbinding...Intense...Suspenseful...Enthralling...
Powerful...Disturbing...Complex...Riveting...

Masterfully written with plot twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat.
Landay pulls you in and won't let you go, even to the very last word.

(100)


And, one for the road...



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I bet you read faster than me...

Here's an interesting way to kill a few minutes. This test will tell you how fast you read on an e-reader. I only scored 342 words per minute, which isn't very fast (...equal to 11th grade students, which is really disturbing considering many of them HATE to read).
I think I had test anxiety...
and my eyes are tired and full of pollen...
and I'm in the same room as a distracting 4 year old...
and I have undiagnosed adult onset ADD.

The good news is that, if I could sustain this reading speed, I could read:

ereader testWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy in 28 hours and 37 minutes
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling in 3 hours and 45 minutes
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien in 23 hours and 19 minutes
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller in 8 hours and 30 minutes
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell in 4 hours and 20 minutes
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand in 15 hours and 11 minutes
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck in 8 hours and 16 minutes
Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper in 7 hours and 5 minutes
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens in 6 hours and 36 minutes
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain in 5 hours and 20 minutes
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte in 5 hours and 16 minutes
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee in 4 hours and 50 minutes
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger in 3 hours and 35 minutes
The Color Purple by Alice Walker in 3 hours and 15 minutes
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque in 3 hours and 1 minute
Lord of the Flies by William Golding in 2 hours and 55 minutes
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll in 1 hour and 17 minutes
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum in 1 hour and 55 minutes
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells in 2 hours and 57 minutes
The Bible in 37 hours and 54 minutes

I guess that's good news.  I've read many of these books and I'm pretty sure it took me a LOT longer.  A whole lot longer.  
Click on the above picture and take the e-reader speed test provided by Staples.
Read normal (no cheating!).
Leave me a comment telling me how you did. 
I bet you  read faster than me, but you can't love reading any more than I do (even if I am a slow poke).

--Renee--

Thursday, April 5, 2012

100 Word Review: A Red Herring Without Mustard

This is the third of the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley, and possibly the best in the series.  Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce is Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Miss Marple rolled into a precocious, stubborn, highly intelligent, mystery-solving child heroine. I could just go back and repeat my review from The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, which I adored.  These books are so charming and refreshing!  Flavia, her family, and the eccentric cast of characters from the hamlet of Bishop's Lacey are such a nice change of pace. I look forward to the much desired relationship between Flavia and her father developing further in the future books.  It borders on touching in this one. 
If you are looking for a fun series that takes a break from vampires, werewolves, forbidden teen romances, and government controlled fights to the death, then you might like (adore) these cerebral murder mysteries.  Just make sure you read each character with the appropriate British accent...you won't be able to help it. 
[By the way, I did read The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, the second book in the series, last year while I was enthralled in grad school work.  I never wrote a review of it, but it's just as delightful and fun as Sweetness and Red Herring.]


Here's my 100 word review of A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley.


A gypsy with a crystal ball...
a message from the buried past...
an accidental tent fire...
a savage attack...
knife-wielding Porcelain...
buried baby bones...
murder under Poseiden's toe...
a fishy-smelling culprit...
a religious cult...
a red bull.


A perpetually grieving father...
a bankrupt estate...
the chemistry lab...
Gladys, the bicycle...
sibling rivalry...
a family portrait...
lots of red herrings...
and a girl longing to know her dead mother and be admired by her vacant father.


A charming 1950's murder mystery with the suspense, wit, cleverness, and mastery of the English language that Flavia fans have come to expect.


(100)