October 2020–Part Three

Thank you for joining me here!   (Reminder: the page numbers I list here reflect the number of Kindle pages, not paper pages.)  I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

All the Devils Are HereAll the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny (Length: 443 pages).   If I had to choose only one author to read for the rest of my life (God forbid!), it would be Louise Penny.  I adore all of her work, and her as a person (her Facebook page is a delight).  This novel is #16 in her Three Pines/Inspector Gamache series, and be still my heart, it’s set in Paris!!  Having had the good fortune to visit Paris for 2 weeks over 20 years ago, this novel’s depictions of the beautiful sights in Paris made it seem like I was there yesterday.  The setting is the best part of this novel, as the mystery and the plot aren’t the strongest in Penny’s canon, in my opinion.  There are some technical and continuity issues in this mystery centered around corporate espionage.  (For example, what happened to the second security guard in the apartment in the final standoff??)  There are many plot holes which require the reader to suspend disbelief, and given Penny’s typically intelligent narratives, this is a bit disappointing.  In terms of character development, the reader is finally able to learn why Armand and his son Daniel have been estranged for so long, and quite simply, the reason is LAME.  However, given all of the above, I LOVED the fast pacing of the plot (ridiculous as it is), the incredible setting and the quality of Penny’s writing.  I am still a fan, and will always be a fan of her work.   

Book #2:

Chris Beat CancerChris Beat Cancer by Chris Wark (Length: 296 pages).  This is a very specific book choice which (hopefully) doesn’t apply to you.  The author is a stage 3 colon cancer survivor of 15 years, who advocates against adjuvant (clean up) chemotherapy to prevent a recurrence of cancer, and instead promotes a diet and lifestyle change. While his tips are obviously specific to cancer prevention, I found this to contain excellent information for anyone who wishes to lead a healthier lifestyle.  Main point:  animal products are one of the biggest drivers of disease in our bodies.  The author does include a ton of scientific studies to back up his main points (which is great on the Kindle because you can just click on the link immediately).  I am not a fan of the more radical alternative therapies as I believe science plays a huge role in medicine, and we can’t discount all that scientists have discovered.  However, given how much we are brainwashed by the meat and dairy industries, I think the author has some excellent points here that would benefit even the average reader who isn’t fighting or seeking to prevent cancer or other diseases.  

Book #3:

Too lateToo Late by Colleen Hoover (Length: 395 pages).  Ugh.  Just NO.  This is awful.  This is the third novel by this author that I’ve read, and picked it up because it was recommended as a “read next” choice.  The plot here is trite, centered around a college student who lives with an extremely abusive boyfriend who is also a drug dealer.  Yet she falls in love with an undercover cop who inexplicably falls in love with her as well.  The protagonist is clearly brainwashed, which typically would be understandable given that she’s an abuse victim, however her actions don’t make sense even within this emotional framework.  The abuse scenes (sexual and physical) are very exploitative and don’t advance the plot in a way that the reader can forgive the exploitation.  There’s enough forward momentum that I wanted to keep reading to see how it ends, but I felt gross the whole time.  Only true Colleen Hoover fans will enjoy this book, and after this one, I’m not ever going to be one of them.  

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