Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

As an audio book, I swear this was at least 100 hours long. I think it was really about 30 but it seemed to take forever. I now realize that there are sections of Dan Brown's novels that I skip and you just can't with an audio book.

Nevertheless, this was a pretty good book. Although the end seemed a little preachy and would have been something I would have skipped.

Robert Langdon is back, this time in Washington DC as a favor to his old friend, Peter Solomon. He's there to give a lecture but finds himself embroiled in yet another one of his adventures. Really, it's amazing how adventurous being a Harvard professor can be. The Lost Symbol focuses this time on the Masons. This was actually interesting to me as I recently learned that my grandfather was a mason. I'm curious now how much of this "history" in the novel is real and how much is made up to make an entertaining book. Peter is kidnapped by Mal'akh, who desires to become the ultimate demon and thinks the ancient mysteries of the freemasons will help him.

There were several plot twists that made me go WTF? although one of them it was obvious that it couldn't have really happened. All in all, entertaining enough to keep me listening for an ungodly amount of time.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell

For some reason, I now forget the Scarpetta books almost as fast I as read them. Which is a bad thing now since Cornwell keeps pulling old plots and characters from the past to make starring appearances in the new books.

Scarpetta has a dead body of a runner on her table that is causing her problems. Nothing about the crime looks right and the Biograph watch that was left on the body is more confusing when there isn't any information (on the internet) about it. Lucy and Berger are together and having problems. Lucy, aside from Benton, is my least favorite character. And unfortunately, her and Benton feature pretty prominently in this book. Scarpetta now appears as a guest on CNN on a regular basis and the case of a missing socialite, Hannah Starr, is the only questions Scarpetta is being asked. And is werewolf guy back?

The book seemed to move along at a good pace, which is good considering how disjointed all of the cases and the plot were. However, Cornwell actually managed to tie everything together at the end in a way that actually was entertaining and made some sense.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

My first foray into the Sookie Stackhouse series which has been made into HBO's True Blood (which I probably won't get from Blockbuster for a few more years). This was actually a cute book, not serious or heavy. Something of a beach read.

Sookie is a waitress in a local bar and has the unique ability to read minds. She does her best to stay out of people's heads and even calls her ability a "disability". Vampires have just become legal citizens and the folks in Bon Temps are eager to see their first vampire.

Enter Bill. How that's a name for a vampire, I don't know, but his name is Bill. Bill and Sookie end up as a couple while trying to figure out a series of murders that have suddenly happened in Bon Temps.

Quick read, cute characters.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Spook by Mary Roach

Mary Roach has already tackled sex and corpses, now she tackles the afterlife. Spook was actually pretty good in Roach's typical fun but scientific way.

Roach explores reincarnation, whether a soul exists (is it the big toe? or the sperm?), how much a soul weighs (surprisingly a lot of tests to determine this), ectoplasm, mediums, etc. She actually got to speak with Allison Du Bois, who is the basis of the TV series Medium.

I still don't believe quite a bit, and neither did Roach, but I do know that sometimes faith and belief is not based on fact or anything provable. It just is.