Thursday, October 29, 2009

Book Review, kind of

I was 23 years old and I had just broken up with my girlfriend of a few years, when my roommate and friend, Rob, put on the song Murder of One by the Counting Crows. We got drunk on Rolling Rock at the local bar and listened to that CD all weekend. That song is a great song but, to me, it is even a better song because it reminds me a good time.

Lauren and I started to watch the show Lost in the fall of 2004. Max, who was only six months old at that time had just started to sleep through the night around that same time. Lauren and I would put Max to bed and make Lost a TV "date night". Lost is a great show but, to me, it is even a better show because it reminds me of a good time in my life where everything was falling into place.

A few weeks ago David Baldacci's, the NY Times Best selling author, publisher contacted me and asked that I review his latest book True Blue. I have read and heard good things about Baldacci's other books but I never have read any. I usually turn down book review opportunities because I am a slow reader. I also read slow. I can never finish a book by the deadline the publisher sets to turn in the review. I had just finished reading Outliers by Malcom Gladwell (what a really cool read) and I was looking for a new book. The publisher said they would send me a copy for free if I would give it an honest review on the blog. They also gave me a few weeks to read True Blue. I figured what the hell, and agreed to the arrangement. I figured I could read a few chapters every night.

The book arrived in the mail and I cracked the spine of Baldacci's True Blue some time in the first week of October. The story is about Mace, a cop, who was framed for a crime she did not commit. The first couple of chapters cover her getting out of prison and starting her investigation of who framed her. Without her badge and her gun she knows she will have a difficult time finding those that set her up. The book starts a little to slow for my liking but Baldacci does a nice job of making me want to see what happens next. Like, all of the sudden someone is killed and Mace finds herself investigating that murder as well.

Just as I was on a roll reading True Blue the story takes another twist. Not in the pages, but in MLB. The Phillies were in the playoffs and playing the Rockies. I watched every game with the book on my lap, glancing at the words between pitches. The Phils beat the Rockies in five games. I had a few more days to read more of the book.

Just when I got the part where Mace and Roy, her lawyer love interest, get shot at by gang members in a bad part of Washington DC (or was it gang bangers? Could be the FBI is also after Mace) the Phillies start the National League Championship series against the Dodgers. Again I sit with the book on my lap, glancing at pages, while watching the Phils take the Dodgers in five games. Baldacci's True Blue is in my hands when I jump up to celebrate the fact that the Phillies are going to the World Series for the second year in a row.

The week between the NLCS and the World Series I work really hard to finish the book. I have re-read a few chapters to refresh my memory. The story of Mace and Roy and Mace's sister who is also a cop takes a couple of twists as more bad guys surface and a homeless man is taking into custody for a murder he may or may not have committed.

I am about 250 pages into the book when the World Series starts. I am not really a superstitious person but I am sitting on the couch watching the Phillies with the book True Blue on my lap. Baldacci writes some interesting characters and the story is a good story so far. The book is a good book.

If the Phils, as my friend Charlotte in PA says, don't cock it up and win the World Series True Blue may just become an excellent book in my eyes.

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James said...

I'm the same way about books, movies, music, etc. Music in particular. When people talk about music that had an impact on their lives, I can never think of examples of my own. They think of lyrics and melodies that moved them, impacted them. All I can think of is the "soundtrack" that was playing at particularly meaningful times in my life. Close enough, I guess.

eclectic said...

They cocked it up last night, dammit. Here's hoping they turn it around again at home.

Charlotte in Pa said...

Perhaps they cocked it up on purpose. See, I think they want you to be holding that book on your lap when they beat the Yankees in five games (as is the current tradition) to win the World Series again. If they had won last night, they surely would have won in four.

Anonymous said...

I think you started to put a book in your lap in 10th grade Social Studies Class to cover up your hapiness

Anonymous said...

Mr Jones and Me

Anonymous said...

William, You set yourself up so often for remarks from anon, who we know is,I'll keep the I.D. sacred. He must know from experience. I'll leave it at that. What was the last book he read? A Judy Bloom book maybe? Didn't take you long to get back on track from all that positive feed back to your previous blog. You LOVE it when your fans PRAISE!Keep 'em coming!