Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What Stimulates You?

I have told you before that I love to read and you obviously can tell by my posts that I also love movies, television shows, blogs, magazines and newspapers. I love all of those things that spur my imagination and challenge my brain; which with my brain doesn’t take much. I read all the time. I read while waiting in line at the bank, riding in the car, waiting in the doctor’s office and when I have a few free moments. Heck I even read while I watch television. I have noticed that my reading taste change over time and I no longer crave the horror tales and dark and morose movies that used to stimulate me. I don’t know what they stimulated me to do other than have nightmares and fear zombies but that is another story. I went through a period in which I read, watched and was intrigued with all things science fiction. I was a trekkie and watched every Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars and read every Science Fiction fantasy I could get my hands on. Then I went through my Elmer Kelton, Louis Lamar and Larry McMurtry phase where westerns were my passion. Oh I’ve done the non-fiction and fictional biographies as well as the love and passion phase of my reading maturity. All of this brings me to what I read today.

It becomes increasingly difficult for me to find things that either I haven’t read or is a new and fresh story. I watch movies and think “hey isn’t this just a re-make of a Rosalind Russell movie? Didn’t Cary Grant play George Clooney’s part?” I will critique and compare new releases to their predecessors. Oh I’m not all full of myself and think I’m superior or even have the background to judge other than I soak everything in. I watch and remember. Isn’t it funny I can remember lines from The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer but I can’t remember my own phone number? Is that a sign of an idiot savant or just an idiot? Don’t answer that.

What all this rhetoric is leading to is a book I just finished. I wanted to share it with you. I picked it up on a whim, actually because of the cover. Now let me just take a minute to tell you that I am the book purchaser that publisher’s target. I can not tell you how many times I have grabbed a paperback because the cover looked intriguing only to get home and realize that I have not purchased and read that book before but several times before. You see they will change the cover just to confuse me. I know they follow me with a camera and watch me pick up a book look at the cover and see me throw it in my basket. They say “AH-HA! We can put the same book out forty-seven gajillion times with a different cover and Gladys will buy it.” They then rush back to their printing presses and stick a photo of a kitten hanging from a limb on the front and put it back on the shelf knowing full well that War and Peace has nothing to do with that kitten.

They know that I will pick it up and say “hey I’ve never read this before.” Then I’ll plop down my $8.00 and walk out only to find I have read this book before. Do I learn? NO! I will repeat this over and over again. That is why I have read “Where the Heart Is” by Billie Letts two thousand times. I digress.

See what I mean and there are two other covers out there but I couldn't get them to fit on the page. They do this KNOWING I will pick it up and buy it yet again.

The book of which I speak is called The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I picked it up because it had a picture of a dog on the front. I didn’t read the synopsis or even see if it was on my reading list. Yes, I keep a list in my purse of books I want to read. It is 10 pages long and I never remember to check it when looking for a book. Anyway I threw it in my basket at the local big box warehouse store and headed to the check out. I sat down yesterday at the beach and devoured the book. It is a good story but it is even better in that it is told from the dog’s point of

view. It is just a good tale. If you are looking for something that will make you smile, cry and angry all at once this book will do it. It also made me look at my dogs a little differently. Now I’m not going to give you a run-down on the book because honestly I hate it when people review a movie or a book and tell you the whole plot line and spoil it. Instead I just suggest you read it or unlike me, read the cover. I’m just bringing it to your attention. If you really want to know more about it go here and watch this. Enzo will tell you all about it.

I also just finished Billie Letts’ book Made in the U.S.A. I enjoyed it but not near as much as Where the Heart Is the first bazillion times I read it. It is the story of two children who are pretty much on their own finding a friend and a place to belong. I think it’s pretty apropos of many family situations in today’s society but it’s not preachy.

Another book I just retired to my Friends of the Library stack is Janet Evanovich’s Finger Lickin Fifteen. Honestly I love her more than my Kenneth Coles. Her Stephanie Plum series never disappoints me. She is laugh out loud funny. I recommend these if you are feeling a little down or just want a good laugh. Yes there are now 15 of them. Start with One for The Money and work your way through them. You’ll thank me later.

Now I’m off to read My Life in Paris by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme. Yes I’ve already read The Julie/Julia Project and no, I have not seen the movie, yet. I’ll let you know what I think of it.

Other books on my queue The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I know this is the latest greatest movie out there but I have not read the book and as I have said before my imagination is so much better than most movies. I am also working on The Fountain Head by Alice Rand for Bye Bye Pie’s Virtual Book Club. As June, the author of Bye Bye Pie, who is linky Mclinkinstern today?

So my question is, what are you reading?


Katherine Aucoin said...

Well, Miz Gladys, you got me started on Mary Kay Andrews a few months back and now I think I've read just about all of her books, even her new one, "The Fixer Upper". I'm almost done with "Deep Dish". Good recommendations.

I'll keep this post in mind and check out a couple of the books you have read when I'm finished with my current book.

Gladys said...

Katherine - So glad you liked M.K. Keep Janet Evanovich in mind for your next series of reads.

Kelley said...

Oh I LOVE M.K. Andrews and Janet Evonovich, too! I first picked up 'Little Bitty Lies' because I liked the book cover.

Wally Lamb is another favorite of mine. He's only written three novels, but wow, he does real good with words! Read "She's Come Undone', his first novel, and you'll see what I mean.

Gladys said...

Kelley - yes Wally Lamb is wonderful. You really feel the south in his books.

LisaPie said...

Hi Gladys,
Lisa Pie here linking over from Bye Bye Pie. I also read June every morning and spew hot tea all over my screen.
I just read the new Billie Letts book recently. I have read all of her books and I agree, Where the Heart Is is the best.

Right now I am reading an older Barbara Kingsolver book, Pigs in Heaven. I think Miss Kingsolver is a genius and an artist. She paints the most beautiful, vivid pictures with her written words. I give all of her books 5 *****'s and 2 thumbs up.

I have already read Fountainhead and will see you at Junie June June's book club whenever that happens.

Nice blog you have here! I like it.

Gladys said...

Lisa Pie - I too love Barbara Kingsolver and Pigs In Heaven is another one of those books I bought six times because they kept changing the ding donged cover.

Have you read Fannie Flag Can't Wait to Get to Heaven? You must read all of her books starting with Fried Green Tomatoes.

LisaPie said...

Yes Indeedy, I have read all of Fannie Flagg's book too.

In the same vein, you might like Mark Childress. Oh, and you know how you said you go for a theme for a while? I do that too. I read nothing but Hispanic authors for about 6 years or more. If you can find a copy of Enchiladas, Rice and Beans by Daniel Reveles you should snag it. (No matter what cover is on it!!) He is one of those storytellers that makes you want to go to that fictitious town and meet all those people. Kinda like back in the day when I alternated between wanting to live in Dick and Joanna's inn up in Vermont where Larry and his two brothers Darryl visited and up in Cicely Alaska listening to Chris in the morning on the radio and visiting with Marilyn at Dr. Fleischman's office. That's the way Daniel Reveles makes you want to go visit his town on the border in the Baja of California.

Sorry to be the rambling commenter!

Caution Flag said...

I'm so glad I found your blog!! Just read Chocolat and am now reading Red, White, and Blue. The first half of RWB was good; the second half is okay.

Gladys said...

Lisa Pie - I too had my Hispanic author phase. I read everything from Fashionistas to Love in the Time of Cholera.

Caution Flag - I'm not familiar with Red White and Blue. who is the author?

martina said...

Mom used to voraciously read Nora Roberts books. Then she found out the same stories are reprinted with different titles.
I'm reading To Kill a Mockingbird. Hadn't read it before but have seen the movie 10 or more times. Just read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book. Stupid title/excellent book.

Gladys said...

Martina - I love To Kill A Mockingbird. Wonderful book. I loved the Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. I did not want it to end. It reminded me of 87 Charing Cross Road. I think it will make an excellent movie.

Jaime said...

i loved the fountainhead. i read it in high school. and again in college. and in law school. i could never bring myself to get through atlas shrugged though - too many pages!

right now i'm reading "good in bed" by jennifer weiner. (though i did just finish reading the entire southern vampire series in a week. what can i say? i'm a bit obsessed with the vampire fiction these days)

ms martyr said...

Gladys, if you like a fantasy and private investigator mix, you should like The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. There are eleven books so far, I'm working on number 8 or 9 at the moment. They should be read in order for character development. I got most of mine off eBay.
Kay Hooper writes a good murder mystery series as does Tess Gerritsen. I can't recommend Kay Hooper's romance novels, but that's where she got her start. I'm reading the new Stephanie Plum as soon as I finish my Dresden Files.

Gladys said...

Jaimie- I read all of the Stephenie Myers books and thought they were well done. I also read all of Jennifer Weiner books. Good Chick reads.

If you want some more vampire books read Charlain Harris.

Gladys said...

Ms Matyre- I think I have read a couple of those.

Girly Stuff said...

You must read Time Traveler's Wife!

It reminds me of an old Koontz book called "Lightning," did you ever read that?

And I just read "Help" and enjoyed it.

You should check out, look for me on there.

Gladys said...

Girly - I did read Lightening. Now I really can't wait. I am on Goodreads.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Do yourself a favor and move The Time-Traveler's Wife to the top of your list. It's in my top 10--and that's saying something.

Love Janet Evanovich too--nobody makes me laugh out loud like Stephanie Plum.

Currently reading: We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver. It's the fictional story of a mother whose son does a school shooting. It's excellent.

Kelley said...

I also like Martin Clark's books, especially his debut, 'The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living'. His books could best be described as quirky mysteries, with lots of intrigue and a good dash of funny, too. His other books are 'Plain Heathen Mischief' and 'The Legal Limit'.

Gladys said...

Jenn - I think my list just grew again. I am waiting for my daughter to finish Time Traveler. I am taking it with me next week.

Kelley - I haven't seen those books. I'll have to see if they have them at the Books A Few in Tiny Town, next week. I seem to read 10 times as much when I don't have my own house to clean or a washing machine to feed.

RosieJo said...

I did see the Julie/Julia movie Monday afternoon and I have gained 5 lbs since then and my husband has lost 2 lbs. That's just what he does and I can't do anything aboout it!! I listened to Evanovich's '15' on our last beach trip and even a bad Stephanie Plum is really good. I want to wear black and have Ella at my beck and call, too. I have just started to read the Anne George series of light mysteries starting with Murder on a Girls' night out. I can always re-read John McDonalds's The Executioners and see both Cape Fear movies over and over and over, well, you understand. Have you guessed that I am a retired Librarian who is playing 'catch-up'? We don't get to just sit around and read all day like people think we do. OH! and Mary Kay Andrew's Little Bitty Lies and Blue Christmas and of course Kathy Hogan Trocheck's Callihan Garrity series which begins at the Waffle House in Macon, GA.