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Patch Book Club: Red Herrings Galore but Few Surprises in ‘The Lost Years’

What have you been reading this week?

I admit it. I haven't been doing much reading this week. I have been caught up in watching all four seasons of Battlestar Galactica on Netflix. What can I say? I did, however, get a little reading done. I'd love to know what you've been reading lately, so please leave a comment and tell me about the books you have read recently. 

“The Lost Years” by Mary Higgins Clark – Verdict: Predictable. For a writer as popular as Clark, she must have some better books out there. This one was a disappointment. A grieving daughter, Mariah Lyons, is left to figure out who killed her father, a renowned scholar who may have discovered a priceless Biblical text before he was murdered. Was it Mariah’s Alzheimer-stricken mother or one of her father’s friends or her father’s mistress? Clark throws some very obvious red herrings across the reader’s path, but honestly the answer to this mystery was painfully obvious early on in the book. Yes, I kept reading because I felt surely I was missing whatever it is that makes Clark so popular. After all 288 pages, I still had not found it. 

“The Blessing Way” by Tony Hillerman – Verdict: Slow and meandering until it becomes inexplicably and pointlessly rushed. I’m new to Tony Hillerman, so I won’t judge his entire body of work based on this one book. There were parts of the book that were truly interesting -- in particular the parts describing various Navajo tribal ceremonies and lore. However, the actually murder-mystery part of the book was lacking. The last 50 pages or so just seemed like a very rushed, unconvincing explanation of everything that had transpired beforehand. Also, there wasn’t much in the way of character development. One of the main characters, Joe Leaphorn, is a central figure in later books so I guess readers learn more about him throughout the series. In this book though, it ended with me knowing little more than I did before the book started. That said, I would probably read another Hillerman book for the cultural elements if nothing else. 

What have you been reading this week? Let us know in the comments.

You might also be interested in reading:

Crystal Huskey (Editor) September 13, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Kristi, I knew I liked you. You had me at Battlestar Galactica LOL! I'm reading "Telling True Stories." One of the best books I've read this year is "Who Fears Death." Also reading "Divergent," which is OK.
Kristi Reed (Editor) September 13, 2012 at 06:58 PM
LOL! Maybe we need to start the fracking Battlestar Gallactica club! I am trying to figure out what to watch next -- Firefly or rewatch all the Vampire Diaries episodes again before the new season starts. My taste in books, movies and tv shows is a bit ... eclectic.
Crystal Huskey (Editor) September 13, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Love Firefly!
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew September 13, 2012 at 10:22 PM
So say we all ...
Kristi Reed (Editor) September 13, 2012 at 10:36 PM
So say we all!
Ed Varn September 14, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Wow, where to begin? Kristi, seriously..."Battlestar Gallactica"? Are you going to go all Scientology on us now? LOL I agree that first Hillerman book is a bit of a bore; he hadn't found his pace with them at that point. The first three all feature Leaphorn, then he does three with his "understudy", Jim Chee, before the remainder feature them both. Try "Dance Hall of the Dead" next; if it still doesn't get ya, then it prolly won't...ever. As for Mary Higgins Clark, anything by her is a book to make you hurl. For you who prefer fiction, here is a great website that lists complete bibliographies by authors with summaries of almost all their books: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/
Ed Varn September 14, 2012 at 12:03 AM
For non-fiction readers, I just finished getting around to reading "Killing Lincoln." A book to be avoided like the plague. The style of writing is awful, and I didn't learn a single new thing about him I didn't already know. I suppose the fact I think he's one of our worst Presidents ever colors my opinion, but still...O'Reilly is a hack at this kind of writing. On the other hand, I'm about halfway through the current Zimmerman biography of Steve Jobs, and find it fascinating. That guy was really whack! Thinking a vegan diet means you don't have to shower or use deodorant?
Dave Ballard September 14, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Whatever you do, stay out of Galactica's firing solution. =D "May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one." - Mal Browncoats represent!
Pat Thomas September 14, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Aaaaand, back on the ACTUAL topic! ^_^ Can I suggest Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" as a series to review at some point, book by delicious book? Especially with Halloween coming up...
Kristi Reed (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 12:15 AM
@Ed - No Scientology, but I do like SciFi -- wait, I guess Scientology is SciFi. Scratch that. I like some SciFi. I am a big Star Trek fan too. I really enjoyed Gallactica. Of course, I liked the first one too back in the 70s. I'm glad to know the Hillerman books get better. I really did like the Navajo aspect and the setting. I'll try Dance Hall. As for Clark - based on that book, I have to agree with you.
Kristi Reed (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Maybe you would like "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" better? My favorite non-fiction writer: William Shirer (heavy reading though)
Kristi Reed (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Yes, and I am also going to try to spell it correctly from here on out ... facepalm.
Kristi Reed (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 12:24 AM
"Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Chicago’s first (and only) Wizard P.I."?? Count me in.
Pat Thomas September 14, 2012 at 12:41 AM
It's on. I'm breaking out "Storm Front" (Book #1) tonight. =D
Ed Varn September 14, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Shirer is heavy reading indeed, but no historian beyond Churchill analyzed the Third Reich as well as he.
Kristi Reed (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 09:41 AM
I haven't come across a better historian. I also haven't come across too many people who have read Shirer. I like you better and better all the time Ed.
Jan Schredl September 15, 2012 at 04:26 AM
For something raw, humorous, mystical and true try 'Graffiti On My Soul' by Johanna, a girl's journey from a monastery to a nightmare--different and gripping!
Kristi Reed (Editor) September 15, 2012 at 12:23 PM
That certainly sounds different - I just looked it up on Amazon and it has great reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Graffiti-My-Soul-Johanna/dp/1608609618

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