Sunday, April 19, 2009

Three quick, after-the-Readathon mini-reviews

I have SO much reviewing to still do for this month it's not even funny. So for the ones I don't have a whole lengthy review to give, I'm just doing a short synopsis and whether or not I enjoyed it and think it's worth your time. For tonight I have two adult reads and a classic.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, is a story we all know from our childhood, mainly from watching the amazing movie. I had never picked this book (or any of the subsequent books in the series) up, but when I did for the read-a-thon I was pretty surprised...and a bit disappointed.

Though cinematic versions of books are often very different from the original plot, this one really through me for a loop. I was really surprised at how the story played out and all the changes that had to be made for the movie, to make it enjoyable to a large audience. The book was kinda boring, very hard to read in places (the text is right on top of illustrated pages), and the characters each very different from what I knew. Dorothy's slippers weren't even red, they were silver!

I was pretty disappointed in this one, as it didn't hold my attention well at all. It's a classic though, one that is much loved all over the world, so this is obviously not the opinion of many!

I read this one for the Project 100 Challenge.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 100th Anniversary Edition
L. Frank Baum
320 pages
Middle Grade
August 2001

My next read, Together: A Novel of Shared Vision was written by Tom Sullivan and Betty White. I was a tad bit disappointed when I received this one and it wasn't a memoir like I had originally thought, but I picked it up anyway, always in for a good dog story.

In it, a young, active man named Brenden takes a terrible fall while hiking down a mountain and injures his brain to the point where he is left permanently blind. He grudgingly begins working with a guide dog, one that hasn't worked out with anyone else, and they eventually become best friends, though not without lots of trials and work.

Unfortunately, this one didn't totally hold my interest either and was a tad boring in parts too. I don't think the part of the dog was written exceptionally well, so he didn't come off as the strong character he was supposed to.

That being said, if you enjoy dog stories, it would be a nice choice. And the reviews on Amazon are ALL five stars, so it very well may have just been me that wasn't totally enjoying it.

I read this one for the TBR Challenge.

Together: A Novel of Shared Vision
Tom Sullivan with Betty White
240 pages
Adult fiction
Thomas Nelson publishing
June 2008

Finally, one that I LOVED was A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick. This is the first in a series about a small quilt shop and the women that frequent it/run it. I seem to be drawn to "crafty fiction," as I've really enjoyed Jennifer Chiaverini's books, as well as Debbie Macomber's "Blossom Street" series. Something about women making things with their hands just appeals to me. Quilting, knitting, cooking, I love it all.

Basically, when Evelyn Dixon's marriage ends in Texas, she packs her bags and moves to New Bern, Connecticut, where she buys a run down old shop and starts her own quilting store. While struggling to run a failing shop and try to make friends in the process, Evelyn learns she has breast cancer, giving her yet another thing to fight for. Her new girlfriends band together to help save both Evelyn and her shop.

Though these types of novels are always predictable, they're a comforting sort of predictable. Bostwick's writing was superb and her characters believable and lovable. The sequel comes out in a couple months, which I'm now eagerly anticipating!

I read this one for the Spring Reading Thing Challenge.

A Single Thread
Marie Bostwick
288 pages
Adult fiction
November 2008

To learn more, or to purchase, click on the book covers above to link to Amazon.


Amanda said...

I wonder if age and exposure to the Wizard of Oz movie makes any difference. My son has never seen the movie, and he's read all of the books in the Wizard of Oz series. He's been reading them since he was six and loves them. My husband also, when he was a kid, read and loved them, but I don't know if he'd seen the movie.

Lenore said...

My stepmother likes crafty fiction so I'll have to recommend that.

And being from Kansas, I am all about The Wizard of Oz. Ha!