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Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Five--Abbreviated

I really only have time to talk about books this week. I'm still not watching much TV, unless I TiVo it so I can fast forward through the commercials. Instead, in the evenings, we read. Here you go.

The Host by Stephanie Meyer

I've read Meyer's Twilight series books. I found them quick, easy reads. Just light, fluffy young adult novels. Entertaining, but great beach reads or an easy escape read. This one was very different. A much deeper story, with more mature themes. The Host is Invasion of the Body Snatchers, sort of. It's several years after a parasitic alien species has invaded earth. The Souls need host bodies to survive and have been doing so for all of time. They arrive on a planet and take over their host's bodies and live like the former inhabitants do, but with slight differences. On Earth, Melanie, Jared, and Jamie are some of the last Soul-free human inhabitants, when Melanie is caught. She is inhabited by a Soul, called Wanderer. Usually, the host being disappears, but Melanie hangs on, becoming a strong voice in Wanderer's head. In fact, she's still there so much that Wanderer starts to love and feel strongly for the people that Melanie loved when she was the soul inhabitant of the body. She begins to engage Melanie in conversation and she begins to empathize with Melanie and the other humans. Melanie's crazy uncle was a survivalist and had given her a map to his hideout. Wanderer follows this map and becomes entrenched with a group of surviving humans. Her struggles at befriending the humans are among the least of her problems.

It's an engaging read. I loved the inside view of the alien beings and would have liked to hear more about how the humans reacted when they first arrived. I grew up with two brothers who were huge SciFi fans, so I'm a bit of a fan myself--I didn't have much choice, they controlled the TV remote! This book doesn't disappoint. Meyer is a talented writer. I hope that she delves into some adult fiction, with more elaborate themes, soon.

Southern Fried by Cathey Pickens

I don't think I've read a mystery since high school. I mean a paperback, relatively predictable, mystery full of quirky characters and slight plot twists. I mean the kind of book that you can read while the TV is blaring a Cartoon Network show or one that you can read while in the pick up lane at school with the car radio on. Well, this is that book. I wanted a quick read. I've been reading books that are close to one thousand pages and I just needed a break. I'm not going to bother with the plot line. Just wanted to mention, that every once in a while, you've just got to read something that's not on the New York Times Best Sellers List. (Maybe this was? If so, I beg the author's humble forgiveness.)

I'm a library girl. Rarely do I purchase a book, except as a real treat or perhaps a cookbook or a reference book or travel guide. I don't reread novels and I found that most of the time that I would lend out a novel, I would never see it again. (One person actually told me that they took all of the books I "lent" them to a used book store for credit!) So, to me, purchasing a novel wasn't worth the money. I did have a really good friend give me a novel once for a birthday gift. It was a hardcover, currently on the NY Times Best Sellers List. What a nice treat! Cheapskate that I am, I think that's the last full price book that I've owned (that was 7 years ago!) She always is really good at giving presents!

Every once in a while, you've got to wander the library and just come home with something different. It's good for your thinker.

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