To all you avid book readers out there, all the best for the year ahead and hope you get lots of reading done!  I make the normal New Years Resolutions, but whether I keep them or not is another story.  Anyway, one of my resolutions is to read more and keep this blog updated more frequently.  At times, I tend to get distracted easily, despite my enjoyment of reading.  The internet and computers have been a blessing, but they can also be a curse if not used appropriately.  Instead of reading or writing/blogging, my real passions, I end up browsing facebook idly, playing the likes of pacman or card games  – in general, just wasting time.  Maybe it’s because I have a job that requires a lot of me, emotionally and physically, that when I’m home and at my computer, it’s easier just to do the easy things, like play games and waste time on facebook, instead of being more productive.  After all, my excuse is I work hard, so when I’m home, what’s the harm in relaxing and being a little lazy?  Well, for me it is harmful, because I am not doing my creative side any justice.  We are all creative as humans, and it’s our choice as individuals as to how we use our gift of creativity that has been given to us.   So, here’s to a creative year.  A year of reading good books and writing about them.

In the last month of 2014, my reads were, Gray Mountain – John Grisham, Lucky – Alice Sebold, and Trackers – Deon Meyer.

Gray Mountain

I have read a few John Grisham books, but not for a while.  This book, set in the Appalachian mountains, in a small coal mining town, was a fair read.  A New York city lawyer, Samantha, loses her job and ends up working, without pay, for a small town law firm, helping the likes of abused wives, single mothers and helping elderly folk with their wills.  Samantha misses the city, and hopes to return, but does realize she hated her job, and feels a sense of fulfillment helping the needy members of society, who are more often than not, left on the fringes, with few people who really care about them.  On the other hand she is bored by the lack of “entertainment” in the small town and misses her old social life.  She takes up the case of a miner who has black lung disease, and in the process learns about strip mining and it’s evils.  The pace was a little slow, but it had a few twists and turns, just enough to keep me interested.  I have always been interested in the mountains, wherever in the world they may be and I guess that’s why I read this book.  Some reviews I’ve read, said the ending was bad, but I’ve read worse, and Gray Mountain wasn’t too bad.

lucky

Lucky, a memoir by Alice Sebold (author of Lovely Bones) is about her rape while at College.  It’s heart wrenching, and she hits you almost immediately with her brutal rape. She describes the aftermath of her rape, how her rapist was caught and convicted and how she dealt with it all.   She also writes about her childhood, her family, and of herself as a person, at that time. Not an easy read.  What do those of us, who haven’t been through something like she has, say?  Very little really.

trackers_400

Deon Meyer, an established South African crime writer, has written numerous books, none of which I’ve read before.  A mystery/thriller, set mostly in the Cape of South Africa, this book has various stories, which all tie in with each other at the end.  This book delves into the criminal underbelly of South African society, with it’s multi layered tale of thuggish criminals, gangs, murderers, those caught up in circumstances beyond their control, and the police and detectives (those ones that aren’t crooked) trying their best to do good jobs in a crime ridden country.  I’ll certainly look for more of his books to read.

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