Tag Archives: music

Book Review: The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

St. Martin’s Press
TBP May 2, 2017
352 Pages

On the cusp of turning fifty, Adam Sharp likes his life. He’s happy with his partner Claire, he excels in music trivia at quiz night at the local pub, he looks after his mother, and he does the occasional consulting job in IT.

But he can never quite shake off his nostalgia for what might have been: his blazing affair more than twenty years ago with an intelligent and strong-willed actress named Angelina Brown who taught him for the first time what it means to find—and then lose—love. How different might his life have been if he hadn’t let her walk away?

And then, out of nowhere, from the other side of the world, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously? -Goodreads

If you haven’t noticed, I love reading Graeme Simsion books. There is something about his writing that is honest and reliable even from a male’s perspective. This is still the case with The Best of Adam Sharp, however, I didn’t really enjoy this book.

Firstly, this book was different and I can see the author taking a risk. I don’t mind the risque scenes; they were surprising but I don’t mind them. What bothered me about this book was Adam and how boring he was even when his past was discussed. His tone never changes… not even once throughout the book. Because of that it made it extremely difficult to read this book (took me a week).

The book was slow and it dragged. There was no real life or passion within this book. It was hard to tell if Adam was actually in love or if it was more infatuation. It didn’t feel real at the beginning nor at the end. Overall that is what the book was lacking; deep emotion, real heartbreak, real anger etc..

Another issue I had was Adam is selfish and the love of his life was just as selfish and became even a worst person as she got older. This told a lot about Adam. He wasn’t the hero you want to love and I was disappointed in him and the weak characters around him. I say weak characters because no one really fought for what they wanted. I can’t even say Adam did because he went with whatever was allowed.

The music element was cute. It added some character to the book but the music didn’t define Adam nor was it as important as I thought it would be. The music was defined based on his relationship.  Yeah, he did trivia at the pub but he music wasn’t his life nor was he missing it.

I wanted better from this book. I wanted to be moved because it was different from The Roise Project. I like where the author is going with this but it needs some more work. I didn’t feel this was a bad book but it wasn’t something I would read or recommend unfortunately.

2 Pickles

NetGalley Review: The Haters by Jesse Andrews

Amulet Books To Be Published April 2016
Amulet Books
To Be Published April 2016

Wes and his best friend Corey thought jazz camp would be the ultimate experience. But no. . , it turned out to be a lame waste of time and a sausage fest.

But that is until they hear a unusual sound coming from a girl named Ash. The duo instantly becomes a trio and for a while jazz camp is what Wes and Corey hoped it would be.

But Ash decides that jazz camp isn’t enough and decides they need to hit the road. Wes and Corey do not think twice before jumping into her SUV and embarking on “The Haters Summer of Hate Tour.”

I requested this because it was Jesse Andrews. I mean I haven’t read “Earl, Me and the Dying Girl” mainly because I don’t know if I should read the book and then see the movie or watch the movie and then read the book. But none the less, I picked up this book and for so much hype over the author, this was a disappointing and rather annoying read.

Andrews writing comes off like the Uncle that is trying to stay current; the Uncle that is trying to stay cool. It was too obvious in this book and he was trying way too hard. Granted this book is about Andrews own experiences in jazz camp, so it may have had happened exactly like this. But the way that the book is written it was reaching. I say this as an adult that reads a lot of YA books.

Oddly enough though I liked Corey. I believe I liked him much more than Wes because of his blunt no-nonsense attitude. Corey just didn’t care to waste time; if he wasn’t okay with something or someone than it would be known. I guess I respected him more for that. But I kind of got the feeling that Corey was written not exactly to balance out Wes’s personality but to also show a lack of class.

As much as I liked Corey he got annoying very fast just as much as Wes did. Ash wasn’t the best character either. I didn’t feel as if any of the character were actually themselves at any point. It felt like they were all posers and yes, I am aware this is a coming of age novel but I am really just pointing this out as I have this feeling throughout the entire book.

I did enjoy the flow of the novel, despite the huge issues I had. Ultimately I expected something so much greater from the author that almost everyone has been talking about.

1 Pickle

Quick Five© With Kim Liggett

Courtesy of Kim Liggett
Courtesy of Kim Liggett

Name: Kim Liggett

Who is Kim?  Love of music and all things creative

Books: Blood & Salt (To Be Published September 22, 2015), The Last Harvest (Still Under Production)

Buy:  Barnes & Noble, Amazon

You got to love a author with a colorful background. You can almost bet that whatever they write will be the most amazing read you have had in a long time. Take author Kim Liggett, a former musician and actress who decided to keep her love of creativity by starting businesses and by writing a book (that has nothing to do with music).  I for one, look forward to Ms. Liggett’s new chapter. You should too.

You have businesses in the arts as well as music, why decide to write a Young Adult novel?

I’ve always been involved in the arts, one way or another. I just see this as an extension of my interests. I will always create, whether it’s books, businesses, or music…or maybe a beautiful garden someday. The future’s wide open.

 G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers To Be Published Sept. 22, 2015 352 Pages
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
To Be Published Sept. 22, 2015
352 Pages

Your book “Blood and Salt” is being described as Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the corn. How accurate is that statement? Why did you choose to write a romantic horror?

I’d say it’s extremely accurate. A lot of people probably think it’s some kind of gimmick comp, but it’s pretty dead-on. I’m dyslexic, so reading was hard. It had to be pretty damn compelling to get me to finish a book—I gravitated toward the naughtier bits of horror and romance novels to get me through.

What do you want readers to get out of reading your novels?

I hope they’re swept up. I hope there’s enough interest to keep even the most reluctant reader flipping the pages until the very end. Because the end is so worth it. ; )

How has the current popularity in Young Adult novels influenced your writing? If there is any influence at all?

I love the pacing of YA novels. I find that aspect really addictive. I’m a new writer—I can still read a book for sheer pleasure without analyzing the prose. I’m grateful for that—because above all else, I consider myself a fan of the genre.

Finally… who were the biggest rock bands you sang backup for in the 80s’ ( I’m dying to know)?

Haha! Blast from the past. Duran Duran, The Eurythmics, Eddie Money…I did a lot of studio work and some touring in the mid to late 80’s. It was a crazy way to grow up—to be a teen. And yes, someday, that will work its way into a book. : )

Twitter: @kim_liggett

Website: http://www.kimliggett.com

Not Music to My Ears: Book Review: All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry

That cliche quote “never judge a book by its cover” should not be about the cover of a book but about the summary of the novel -.-

    St. Martin's Griffin  Published July 30, 2013             240 Pages
St. Martin’s Griffin
Published July 30, 2013
240 Pages

 

Best friends Aurora and a nameless narrator are completely obsessed with each other and have been since birth. Their mothers were friends up until Aurora’s father died, who was a famous guitar player. All is well until Jack comes to the their world and steals the nameless narrator’s heart. This supposedly causes a gap in the girls perfect friendship.

No. No. NO.

The book was sub par. The only thing interesting was the background of the girls history. But while Aurora had a story i.e. her father dying and her mother bring on drugs, the nameless narrator was dull. Her mother had this colorful history but it amounted to nothing It did because what the mother was didn’t even rub off on the daughter and there was a lot of implying about that happened with Aurora’s mother and the narrator’s mother.

Nothing was set in stone. Jack when he entered the story did not cause a gap between the girls because he loved the narrator only. He was a struggling musician that saw Aurora as a way to get into the business. No, not sexually nor even implying cheating. Aurora’s father’s death isn’t explained but it is implied that a evil producer had something to do with it. Jack, wanting to get from under, didn’t care and made a deal. The narrator was upset at Aurora for introducing Jack to the producer because again it is implied she knew about him but the narrator quickly gets over it when Aurora is missing/in need.

Another issue about the book is there is nothing defining the girls but their friendship. Aurora is a spoiled brat who can do what she wants and even though the narrator has a bit of a life outside of Aurora its not much to make me like her. The narrator was just blah.

When a summary states that there is going to be a issue between two best friends because of a guy then you expect a crap load of drama. Jack was a guy that choose his dream over the girl and he knew the cost. Aurora didn’t care for the guy she just wanted to go do something and the narrator was dumb enough to not stand up.

The book lacked true passion, drama, music and believable characters. You’re not a bad ass because you wear all black and smoke with your mom.  Over all the book gets 5 out of 10. Completely misleading and boring.

 

Happy Birthday Ella Fitzgerald!

google images
google images

The “First Lady of Song” was born today and Motif Ink is going to honor her by focusing on a children’s book written in her honor as well as a mini bio for those who do not know her. Ella was born in Newport News, Virginia, which is also called Bad News, Virginia. Her parents were married by common-law but once they separated Ella and her mother moved to Yonkers, New York. From her Ella would help out her family doing odd jobs for money.

When her mother passed away Ella started living on the streets. What started out as a dream to be a dancer turned to be a singer when she entered an amateur contest at Harlem’s Apollo Theater.  After winning firs place, Ella’s career instantly took off.

Ella’s voice is distinct; you can pick it out in a room full of voices. She recorded more than 200 albums, and has won 13 Grammy Awards and although she passed away in 1996, she is constantly honored. For instance, Google created a home page in honor for her birthday today.

The children’s book “Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat Ella Fitzgerald” is a colorful book that tells how Ella was an orphan and with the small amount of change she received from people in the street she was able to change her life. What I think makes this book a great children’s book is it is fun but it is informative and uplifting. Granted it is going to take more than small change for people to reach their dreams but it gives children hope at a young age which is great.

google images
google images

The author uses prose to create a tone that is upbeat and rhythmic. The illustration followed as such, with great detail and bright colors. As for biography for children it is a good resource.

 

Happy Birthday Ella!