Dy's Take

June 4, 2012

Dead Men Don’t Crochet by Betty Hechtman

Filed under: Disappointing,Mystery,Series,Skip It — Dy @ 22:14

(32) Crochet Mystery #2

Even less impressive than the first volume in this series. I only had a copy because the first time I ordered the first book (I crochet, I like mysteries, go figure!) the person sending accidentally sent me the 2nd book in the series and I wanted to clear it off my shelves. Sadly, it is still in my big box of books I have listed on PBSwap waiting for a new home.

The MC is getting more annoying, the supporting characters are cookie-cutters and the police boyfriend is both annoying and a stereotype on multiple levels. I will not be reading any more of these. If you want to give it a shot, please let me know and I’ll drop it in the mail for free just to get rid of it!

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December 25, 2011

The Happy Ending by Jonathan Sturak

Filed under: Indie Author,Short Stories,Skip It — Dy @ 19:48

(98)

Overwritten at the beginning, poorly edited overall, the action sequence is unclear and difficult to read with a finale that is beyond unrealistic.

I admit, I went into this Amazon freebie thinking it was erotica.

I don’t mind that it’s not, but I wish it had proved to be good enough to be worth the 20 minutes I spent reading it.

December 11, 2011

Pole Dancer by Eric Wilder

Filed under: Indie Author,Short Stories,Skip It — Dy @ 22:57

(95)

This is so poorly written I don’t know where to begin. It’s not a complete story, it has no depth, and the writing is beyond atrocious. Formatting leaves a lot to be desired, too. All in all the sort of thing that gives indie authors such a bad reputation.

November 19, 2011

The Alchemist: A Graphic NovelThe Alchemist: A Graphic Novel by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist: A Graphic Novel(86)

I’m glad I’ve never read the apparently huge book this graphic novel is based on. Thanks to this GN I am pretty darn sure I don’t want to read it. If it is this dang boring when it is abridged and fully illustrated, the book itself must be truly awful. Well, that and I do have a bias against preachy/spiritual tomes and this was one.

As a side note – when are GN artists going to learn to draw realistically proportioned women?

August 12, 2011

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

Filed under: Book Club,Skip It — Dy @ 23:38

Await Your Reply(62)

2 of 5 stars

I stayed up late to slog through the end of this for my book club. Honestly?  Sleeping would have been a much better use of my time.

I kept waiting for the convergence of story lines that the flap copy promised. I think the person who wrote the flap copy read a different book because the plotlines never really converged. What we got at the end was a throwaway interior monologue by the object of everyone’s affection — just in case we hadn’t figured it out yet the author laid it all out.

I will confess, though, that my biggest pet peeve with this mess of text was the nonlinear storytelling (combined with the repetition in certain areas, particularly in Ryan’s story). I like nontraditional when it works, but this was so convoluted that it just didn’t. I had to lay out a timeline in my head to figure out who was the last person to see the mystery man, and, frankly, neither the plot, characters, or themes were compelling enough to make me work that hard to figure it out.

Also, not a fan of the violence and, well, dirt. They didn’t really add much to the story and I felt like it was cheaply used to get people to jump in and see why things began the way they did.

Overall, I feel my time would have been better spent reading something else and would not recommend this clunker.

October 27, 2010

Parking Lot Hero by J.M. Snyder

Filed under: Erotica,Short Stories,Skip It — Dy @ 16:28

(60)

This was a short story about the two main characters from the author’s series of longer works.

Twas also my first experience of gay pr)n. Which is so very not my thing, though I do try to maintain an open mind.

The writing was hideous though, and the plot thin and drowned in internal dialogue and there was only one sex scene.  As a not-fan I’m grateful, but if I were a fan of the genre I’d be really ticked off.

All this negativity and I’m totally ignoring the basic premise of the series and therefore the story–one of the men develops superpowers after sex courtesy of his telepath partner’s …er… bodily fluids ejaculate.  I’ve read the same thing in straight erotica and it’s just as ridiculous an idea there.

October 19, 2010

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

Filed under: audiobook,NonFiction,Skip It — Dy @ 12:26

(57)

Okay, technically I didn’t finish this book.

Still, I listened to it. Until I got to the end where the poor reader was just reading a list of ‘acceptable’ vegan grocery items, then reading recipes aloud. I freely admit I skipped that part.

I grabbed this without checking the promo copy thinking it was a lightweight chicklit read. It’s an aggressive, proselytizing, foul-mouthed and self-righteous diet book.

I can sum up this whole book for you and save you having to listen to the offensive (and I cuss like a sailor) piece of #$%^&*.

Quit smoking & drinking, sweat more, buy organic and become a vegan if you want to be a,”Skinny Bitch.”

The most interesting part about this book was the  conspiracy theory raving in the middle complete with background details about corruption in agribusiness and the government agencies that are supposed to regulate it that were offered in each chapter and elaborated on in the chapter titled, “Have No Faith.”

However, there are two sides to every issue and I would rather have been presented with both and credited with enough intelligence to make up my own mind. Also, since it was audio, there were no footnotes to back up the arguments made. They probably made better reading.

More importantly, this book made me uncomfortable. Calling women (this is a total chick book) fat, lazy, and gross is not the way to win over your readers. And the profanity. Really, ladies?  I very literally cuss like a sailor and I found your unnecessarily crude language offensive. How much more so it must be to those with more genteel tongues.

Here the profanity was used for shock value, which worked, but not in the way the authors intended. At least, not on me.

Skip it folks. In fact, skip all the diet books and use what you learned in high school biology along with a little common sense and you’ll be a lot better off.

————————–

PS – would love to know the author’s credentials. Who in their right mind recommends FASTING as a healthy way to lose weight for crying out loud?!

October 16, 2010

Better Late Than Never by Savannah Stuart

Filed under: Erotica,Short Stories,Skip It — Dy @ 22:56

(54)

Vanilla, even by my fairly tame standards. Painfully vanilla in fact. I kept waiting for it to get hot and it never did. *sigh*

August 3, 2010

Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

(45)

I slogged through read this whole book. Even though I missed the book club meeting where it was discussed.

Oh how I wish I had the hours spent reading it back so I could read something not boring with an over-emphasized regional dialect that made me want to edit my copy on the spot.

Of course that’s just me.

June 26, 2010

Her Very Special Robot by Ann Jacobs

Filed under: Erotica,Skip It — Dy @ 11:44

(36)

Free Kindle prOn. Which is good, because if they charged for it people would be po’d.

That, and apparently erotica is getting more diverse.  The author used terms I was genuinely unfamiliar with and I’ve WRITTEN in this genre — felt sort of like I needed a thesaurus.  And the dialogue was awful. But, well, this stuff is a lot like it’s filmed counterpart–not created with strong writing in mind.

As an erotica fan, though, I’d still say skip this one.

October 2, 2009

The Brass Bed by Jennifer Stevenson

Filed under: Erotica,Skip It — Dy @ 17:48

( 83 )

I read this one based on a friend’s positive review. My feelings were not as positive.

I always complain about the lack of plot in erotica (it would be nice to have more of one most of the time.) This had a decent plot, but the overall poor writing overshadowed it. While kids are taught in elementary writing to use vivid dialogue tags, the bottom line fact of the matter is 90% of the time it’s better to just use “said.”  That little word disappears where the others stand out and are often the weaker choice. Also: adverbs are weak writing. -ly is NOT your friend. .

Just sayin’

For me this book was also lacking in the relationship department. Too unromantic to be a paranormal romance, too tame to be erotica. It was barely R-rated. Which is fine, but not what I was expecting based on how it was advertised. Throwing in a few dirty words does not erotica make.

I checked out the whole series from the library, but the other two are going back unread.

April 10, 2009

Murder Most Delectable, Edited by Martin Greenberg

Filed under: Mystery,Short Stories,Skip It — Dy @ 07:55

( 31 )

Most of the stories in this anthology were unimpressive, big name authors be damned.  A sadly unenjoyable anthology.

January 13, 2009

Discipline by Paco Ahlgren

Filed under: Book Club,Literary Locals,LitFic,Skip It — Dy @ 23:09

( 3 )

The author of this one tracked down one of the women in my book club from her review blog and offered her a dozen  copies of his book for her to pimp hand out to friends and family, asking only that we review it on Amazon when we’re done.

I very much wish I had the spare time over the last five days that I’ve spent reading this back to do something else with them–like wash the dishes or catch up on laundry.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a truly bad book. It’s just not a good one, either. I was hanging in there til page 76, when the MC experienced, “grizzly visions.” Seeing as there were no bears involved I found this lapse in copyediting unforgivable, and found myself reading with skepticism for the other 351 pages, waiting for more errors (there were a few,  mostly in the early chapters, and none as godawful as the one mentioned above).

Frankly, the book feels arrogant.  Even when Douglas is young his voice is old, experienced, and a bit smug. Jack, well, I actually liked Jack.  He was like a good ole boy version of Morpheus from the Matrix.  Jefferson though? He was high handed and pedantic and not particularly likable. I didn’t go into this book with any expectations. I came away from it feeling as though I’d spent five days being talked down to by a smug little wank.

Several people from my book club have mentioned that they saw the very end bit coming very early on. I didn’t catch it as early as most, but I did catch it. I think maybe I didn’t because this book was such a plodder for me. I got through it, but I am not sad to see the end of it. It could have come a hundred-plus pages sooner and I’d have been far happier.

June 8, 2008

My Russian by Deirdre McNamer

Filed under: Book Club,ChickLit,Mystery,Skip It — Dy @ 10:33

( 34 )

I still like the person who made us read this in book club, even though the book sucked.  The main character was so damn selfish.

Which brings up the question… What is up with the recent trend of selfish ans self-centered women as MCs lately?  Maybe it’s just my book club, but the trend is getting old…

August 12, 2007

Weaveworld by Clive Barker

Filed under: Book Club,Fantasy,Horror,Skip It — Dy @ 14:55

Ewww. Ick. Blech. I am still friends with the woman who picked this for our book club, but it was a near thing.

Seriously, this book was just nasty (wrinkle your nose while you say the word to really get what I mean)!

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