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Random words, pictures and thoughts of one who always wishes to be on the mind's road to discovery!

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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Kicking the Habit is Just Cute Fun!

Kicking the HabitKicking the Habit by Kari Lee Townsend
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This Goodreads giveaway arrived yesterday afternoon and I finished it this morning. A fun romp of a mystery with an adorable ex-nunny bunny as the heroine and a hunky small town detective as her serious foil. Having gone into the confessional to retrieve Father Flanagan's Bible for him, newly ex-Sister Mary Cecelia ( she just told the priest she was leaving the convent before taking her final vows ) is surprised when a man enters the other side of the booth and, before she can make him aware that she is not the priest, blurts out that he has been betrayed and that he didn't know he was involved in an illegal activity. Once he realizes his mistake, he runs from the Church only to be shot between the eyes and falls quite dead on the front steps with the good ex-nun hot on his heels.

Soon, Ace Jackson, the aforementioned hunk arrives and it is clear that the dead man, a Senator and prominent resident of New Hope, Ma, has been killed by an expert sniper. The FBI takes over the case and assigns Ace to protect CeCe as she prefers to be called--he is nun-sitting. But this petite amateur detective has no intention of revealing the Senator's " confession " nor does she intend to be prevented from investigating this murder on her own.

From that moment on the Church steps til the last page, the investigation proceeds with twists and turns and surprising revelations about the Senator and other denizens of New Hope. Suspects are provided and discarded throughout but not without discovering some interesting stories about each of them in turn.

Although this takes place in Ma it is interesting to see the writer's mind must have wandered on p.144 because for one brief moment it is Fall in Connecticut! Confused me for a second but then I got back on track. Especially since at that very moment Cece found herself in probably the most serious danger to date.

Enjoy--this is a fun read on a gray wintery December day in Vermont --or anywhere for that matter!

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Would She Stay if He Regained His Weight? A Good Question!

Vegas to VaranasiVegas to Varanasi by Shelly Hickman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a first reads giveaway that came in the mail two days ago, so, since I finished it so quickly it is obviously an easy read. Basically, it is the story of a single mother of two twenty something kids, a boy and a girl, whose father was her high school sweetheart who turned out to be gay. They are divorced but still socialize--he and his partner, Richard and she, with her partner, David. David, a charming man with whom she has lived for several years, develops a serious alcohol problem and becomes quite neglectful of Anna and her kids as he strives to write the new American best seller. Once he has finished it and it has been submitted to a publisher, he ends his live-in relationship with Anna but wants to remain friends, particularly with her children.

In the meantime, Anna through one of her physical therapy patients, reconnects with another high school classmate, Kirin, who was apparently quite overweight and insecure back then. He remembers Anna as one of the few students who paid any attention to him, even stood up for him, back then. She doesn't really remember him at all but now she is overwhelmed by this man, who is, according to the book, now a modern day Indian Adonis. They start dating, eventually he asks her to join him on a trip to Varanasi to visit his dying Grandmother. She goes, they return and basically the first part of the book is repeated with a few new scenarios. But, all the problems are resolved and all is right with the kids, Anna and Kirin and even David and his new squeeze who turns out to be Kirin's ex-fiancé.

Up to and including the trip to India I really enjoyed the book. Kirin has been hurt and jilted by women when fat, obese even, but he seems more secure as a newly thin person than Anna does, with her constant preoccupation with his beauty. Okay, as her friend Judith tells her, how could she not notice his looks but come on--get over it! Obviously, some one this gorgeous is going to be noticed and once in awhile the woman involved with him, no matter how long, will notice in some fleeting moment that beauty once more---BUT, eventually, it is not consciously noted. What else, besides sexual performance does this man have to offer? And why is Anna so insecure that even after a long relationship she still needs to keep her home in case this beauty decides she isn't worth his time after all?

The best part of the book so far as description of scene and development of character takes place in India. Once Anna and Kirin return things go nowhere back home. The author does make clear that the two of them aren't sure their new found intimacy and attraction will last once they return to the reality of home and family and that is a legitimate concern. The second part of the book made me impatient and irritated with them all. No one gets impatient, angry, irritated. Everyone is kind and caring and there for everyone else in a way that I just could not believe. Anna, in particular, drove me nuts with her patience with David. Close the door already--but then it is because Anna is just so caring and sweet that ex-husband Luke, old lover, David and new lover, Kirin just put up with her.

Finally, after all this repetition, the author ends the book with one chapter that starts 9 months after the end of the last chapter and culminates with at least four adults changing the diaper of a very poopy newborn. Sort of a let down to say the least. So all in all, though easily read, the book is just okay.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Found This Book Just Too Boring to Finish

King of CubaKing of Cuba by Cristina Garcia
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Could not finish this book; only got to page 88. I, too, grew up in NYC but did not have much contact with Cuban emigres there. Fidel's sister, I think it was, had attended my College a couple of years before me but was invited to leave because of her political activism. I remember Fidel and his party trashing a hotel room in which they had live chickens and I remember the new Cuban arrivals in Miami and the turmoil the local people felt at first with them. So, I was a bit curious about a novel involving a man, a few years older than myself, who had probably come to Florida during those years and his fixation with wanting to destroy the tyrant and return to his homeland before dying.

Unfortunately, I think my lack of real life knowledge of the people, their culture and their language made the book tedious for me to read. I found no humor in the sexual exploits of a man with one foot in the grave--indeed the exploits of two such men. Nor the strange dreams they both have when, as a result of their advanced ages, they are unable to stay awake. Probably, since the author is a multiple literary award winner, others would thoroughly enjoy this book. It is the subject matter and my lack of interest in it, which has resulted in my rating and review.

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