Books, Books, Books...An Obsession Realized

Have you ever wanted to find that next great book. Well, hopefully this blog will help you find that. Maybe you can find that next great book to read, or avoid the losers.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Must Love Dogs

Must Love Dogs by Claire Cooke is a "cute" book which is being turned into a movie. To be honest the only reason I picked it up in the bookstore was because Diane Lane was on the cover. I absolutely adore her. She has been my dream woman (yes, I recognize the irony) ever since I saw her in Under The Tuscan Sun.

As I read the book the images of Diane Lane kept popping into my head. Sarah, the main character of the book is recently divorced and forced by her sister to re-enter the dating world. To do so Sarah uses the time honored personals column as her sping board. Sarah, like me, is very self-depricating when it comes to her body. She considers herself overweight, frumpy, and unattractive. I had a hard time picturing this using Diane Lane as my visual inspiration.

Once you get passed the mental characters of the movie actors thrown on paper, this book is a quick mindless read. And, during the summer holiday where thinking is too much like work, this is the perfect book. Sarah gets into more trouble with the men who answer her ad. The most heartfelt and hilarious moment is at the beginning of the book when Sarah actually answers a personal ad, meets her date at a coffee shop and discovers it is her father. She, of course, is mortified. Her father on the other hand is amused and tells the entire family (five siblings in all). Eventually Sarah ends up juggling three different men, and mishap after amusing mishap ensues.

I am not typically a fast reader, but I was finished with this book in a week. Those are record breaking reads for me. Even books I love to read typically take about a month for me to get through. This one was light, fun, and easy. I would reccommend it if you are into dating books or anything by Jane Greene. Plus, after you've read it, you can catch Diane Lane in the movie. I hope it's as cute as this book.

Happy Reading!!!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Tsar of All Russia Lives

My first blog post on this particular blog will delve into a world of intrigue surrounding the Romanov Dynasty of Russia. Tsar Nicholas of Russia and his family were exterminated by the Communists, led by Lenin, in 1918. Steve Berry's book The Romanov Prophecy begins a year or so prior to those executions.

The tsarevich, Alexi Romanov, the thirteen year old son and heir to the Romanov throne is suffering from an hemophiliac attack and close to death. The tsarina's personal "priest" and confidant, Rasputin, is summoned to save the child; he does. Once the miracle is performed and young Alexi is safe Rasputin has a vision of the demise of himself and the entire royal family. Yet, there is hope in his vision; hope that the Romaniv family will rise a rule again. Flash forward to present day Russia where a commission has been convened to re-seat the closest blood relative in the Romanov line on the throne of Imperial Russia.

Berry keeps the reader, literally, on the edge of their seat. I am not a particularly fast reader, but I had to finish this book, I had to find out what came next. There was nearly constant suspense. Berry was able to blend the ruthlessness of the old Soviet government, the visciousness of the Russian "mafiya", and the heartlessness of the antiquatied Russian military. All three have their reasons to want their own candidate put forward for Tsar. They all work together and choose, Stefan Baklanov. All the while they are working against Miles Lord who is on a path to discover the true heir to the Romanov Dynasty.

Berry expertly weaves history and fiction. History buffs will love this novel for its accuracy and its flights of fancy. Berry ponders numerous "what-ifs" in this fast paced, high energy race through Russia. What if the people of Russia decide to remove Vladimir Putin from power and replace him with a new Tsar? What if American corporations were involved in financing the new Tsar and his government (not a far stretch of the imagination)? What if the Russian mafia, miltary, and former Soviet government officials were involved in shaping who the new Tsar would be? Berry relies heavily on these great "What if" questions.

As printed all over the jacket of the book, if you're a Dan Brown fan, this is the book for you. Dan Brown fans have been lacking a new adventrue; here it is. This book is a must read for thriller and mystery fans. You cheer the fallen Romanov Dynasty as they attempt to find their way back to their rightful seat of power. It will make you want to see a new Tsar of All Russia on the throne again.