Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Gives More Time for Reading

Accounting and work got the better of me during May. Graduating college is important, I figured. So, I focused on my studies instead of on reading. Now, however, I have much more time to read, especially while not working this week. I had seen on my Barnes and Noble email that there was a new Jason Bourne book (Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy, Bourne Ultimatum, all by Robert Ludlum) and decided to check it out. The Bourne Deception is actually the 7th in the series, the last four written by Eric van Lustbader, but still attributed to Robert Ludlum. I didn't even hesitate like I usually would after finding out it was not the next one in the series; I had finally found a promising book to read!

After a few pages, it's clear that it's a Bourne book because of the action and foreshadowing involved. '"It's as they say: On Bali time stands still, and in that stillness lie many lifetimes,"' says Bourne's latest girl, Moira, while they relax on the island. But soon enough, you meet the next guy trying to kill Bourne - Leonid Danilovich Arkadin. He is very good at what he does, clearly. Arkadin plans well and yet, he stays out of the limelight. Quickly four other characters come into view, as well, but van Lustbader does a good job of helping the reader keep the story lines straight by putting the characters' names in the first sentence of each new paragraph/section.

This takes place in Munich, Germany; Bali, Indonesia' the Swiss Alps, Azerbaijan, Egypt and Washington, D.C. in the first hundred pages. Moira has her new and literally risky business in D.C. and Bourne's action is in Bali while Arkadin travels to Azerbaijan after Bali. Van Lustbader sets up the details of each place very well so that the reader always knows where he or she is. Munich has "The newborn morning ... drowsing, barely awake, and utterly silent. The trees, well manicured and leafy, dappled the sidewalks in inky shade. The air was soft and cool, as yet innocent of the harsh sun that would turn the sky white in a few hours' time" (33). That clashes with Egypt, described as "hotter than Hades."

The description is one part of the book that I love. He uses precise color words for each new thing, whether it's "ultramarine blue," "sea-blue," or "icy blue," showing that he knows how to paint a picture in your head. The verbs, adverbs, and phrases are all descriptive and well-said, too. The only problem I have is small; there are errors that might be considered if this were not written in a literary sense but needing to be grammatically correct. Double negatives like "not unsympathetically" or "with no little sarcasm" and repetitive phrases like "Soraya herself" momentarily detract from the story but arguably could be appropriate.

I'm about 1/4 of the way into the book, and I find it interesting and something I would recommend to action lovers. Once you have seen a Bourne movie, you can imagine the characters and how The Bourne Deception would play out perfectly in another film.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Just the Beginning

Someday, I'm going to be a very good author. All authors need a place to begin, and I'm choosing to practice my writing skills and get out there by blogging. When I'm not taking college classes, I'm reading a lot. But beware - I read more than one book at a time, so you'll have to keep up with the different books. For example, right now I'm reading a book by Marlee Matlin, The Calder Game by Blue Balliett, and I'm about to start Thirteen by Lauren Myracle. I need a book for work and a book for home and a book for right next to my bed.

Why is my blog only about good books? Well, I can probably count on one hand the number of books I've read that I didn't like, and I've read over 1,000 books. I definitely like some books more than others, but I have read everything from science fiction to romance, adventure to fantasy, horror to historical fiction, biographies to realistic fiction, and more.

I'm keeping this entry short because it's more of a test entry for me to see how things work and to introduce my topic and current readings to you.

Thanks for reading!