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kjharrison

My Books

The Help

The Help - Kathryn Stockett The Help depicts a specific time and place with such skill and artfulness that it feels so real. The voices of the women have a ring of truth and authenticity. The end is bittersweet, honest and only slightly teary. The Help depicts all the shades of gray mixed in with the awful black and white (no pun intended) so well that the reader truly understands the complexities of the lives of these women. It also shows that some of the most simple gestures can touch the deepest. This book is a gem.

The Delaneys And Me

The Delaneys And Me - Anne Brooke A fun and sexy short read from Anne Brooke. The perfect bedtime read.

Zero at the Bone

Zero at the Bone - Jane Seville This is the type of romance Jim Thompson would have written if he'd ever decided to write a romance. That seems to be what Seville was trying for. It had such potential, such great characters and a fun story, and let's not forget the hand holding scene that will send your heart soaring. If only the writing had been better....

I Fell in Love with a Zombie

I Fell in Love with a Zombie - Sean Kennedy I fell in Love with a Zombie was cute and fantastical. Kennedy pulls off making such a strange storyline work, which I found pretty amazing. Without giving away anything--I'm not a fan of spoilers--I thought it ended a little too soon. Just a few more pages to let the reader see the way other people react to Jay having a zombie for a lover.

If you're looking for a pure fun Halloween read, this is it.

Snared

Snared - J.L. Merrow Not the best romannce, but it is damn cute.

An Uncommon Whore

An Uncommon Whore - Belinda McBride Although this is my first stab at science fiction romance, I found this book to be decent. The characters were believable and the situation well set up. The world building could have been better, but that's a problem I also have with paranormal romance. At least it didn't feel as if McBride was doing the world building while actually writing the novel. Some day someone will write a paranormal or sci-fi romance after having developed the place in which the story takes place.

If you're looking for something short, sexy and sci-fi, then this is a good choice. I would like to see another book with these characters.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald Vapid.

The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien A novel made up short stories. I would not have read this if it was not for The Big Read and I am so glad I did. This book is honest, brutal and rings with such truth and brilliance that the reader often forgets that s/he's reading a novel. It's an effect the writer wants, especially since the book has a character with the author's name and past. Well crafted and brilliant. A worthwhile read for any story lover.

Give and Take

Give and Take - Anne Brooke Give and Take was a nice bedtime read. It was well written and I felt for David. The story was very believable and well executed. I wouldn't mind reading another story with Jeff and David, just to get to know Jeff and bit more. Jeff just seemed like a nice guy who gave David the space he needed.

This was my first Anne Brooke story. I'm looking forward tor reading more.

The Assignment

The Assignment  - Evangeline Anderson While the characters were fun and well drawn, the story was a bit thin. Also, the gay bars didn't quite ring true, especially the leather bars. And I mean right down to the names of them. I'm used to bars with names like The Stallion, The Eagle, The Vault and Ramrod so a bar called RamJack was a bit too vanilla for my sensibilities. I was also hoping to get a little taste of the leather life in the book, but that wasn't really there.

Luckily I enjoyed the characters and their situation enough to not let the lack of truth about the leather scene bother me. I kind of took it as leather-lite and moved on. And although the sex was very hot, I found the final sex scene to be a bit gratuitous. Keep in mind that I tend to not want a lot of sex in my romance. And yes, I am a gay man. I just prefer more story than sex.

All in all, a decent book.

My Sister's Keeper

My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult This story really holds your attention. It was nothing that I thought it would be. And the ending is a kick in the pants. It is a very sad ending, so keep the tissues close.

The Road

The Road - Cormac McCarthy If you like misery then this book is for you. McCarthy rips everything out of the novel--punctuation, names, chapters, color, etc...--and uses only what is needed to an effect that will make you want to slit your wrists and hope for death. The only colors are shades of gray. There is no happiness or hope, even despite the smidgen of hope at the very end. And it is a shame because Cormac McCarthy is an amazing writer with talent and a sense of story that I have not seen is years. He understands what makes a reader turn the page, plotting, timing, mood and voice. And although the writing is absolutely amazing, the book has very little depth.

This is the story about the love of a father for his son, which can be told in a much more positive way. Misery DOES NOT equal depth. This book is not deep. It shows humanity at its worse and tries to make the reader feel as if this is what people are all about. And although I feel that every writer should read this book, it's not for the subject mater but for the control of language and the artistry of writing.

If you want a great, well-written post apocalyptic book read The Stand by Stephen King. The Stand has depth and real insight into the human condition. The Road is a piece of amazingly well written crap.

Look Again

Look Again - Lisa Scottoline This could have been very sappy, but Scottoline knows how to tell a good story with compelling characters and very little schmaltz. She also knows how to crank up the tension when needed (which is through the entire middle of this book) while keeping the reader guessing. There's also a touch of romance to make it just that much better. If you're looking for a good book to pass some time, This is it.