Who’s On Your Burn-Out List?

April 14, 2008 at 6:01 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading | 4 Comments
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  1. a fire that is totally destructive of something.
  2. fatigue, frustration, or apathy resulting from prolonged stress, overwork, or intense activity.

After reading Devourer of Books’ review of Change of Heart, I’m beginning to believe there’s something to the concept of being burnt out on an author’s work. This is especially true when there seems to be a formula of some kind involved. I’ve experienced this before. In high school I was in a Danielle Steele phase until I thought I would scream if I ever heard Carmel, CA mentioned ever again (no offense to those who live in and love the city). Once that never was exposed, I’ve never read any of her books again. Now it appears that Jodi Picoult might be added to my Burn-out List.

Also in high school I read several of Stephen King‘s novels. For whatever reason I could never get very far into Cujo without stopping. I would say that he is also a member of my Burn-out List, but for a different reason – gore overexposure. Unlike with Danielle Steele, I do see myself reading more of his work at some point. To this day, Misery holds the distinction of the only book I’ve ever stayed up all night to finish. With the exception of eating dinner, from the moment I got home from the library, I read that novel until it was done. I’ve stayed up well passed my bedtime with other novels, but at some point I have always gone to sleep. Not so with Misery. I physically could not put the book down. It was that good.

So who is on your Burn-Out List? This is your chance to get all of the Carmel, CA’s you’ve got off of your chest. It might also prove to be a public service to others. If this post has even the remotest chance of saving someone else from getting facial ticks at the mere mention of a beautiful coastal town in California, I’ve done my work.

A Change of Heart about Jodi Picoult?

April 8, 2008 at 12:09 pm | Posted in Books, Disappointment, entertainment, LIfe, My Life with Books, Reading, Worst of the Year | 18 Comments
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At the time I started this blog, I was very much in to Jodi Picoult. My Sister’s Keeper was the first novel I read, but Plain Truth was my favorite. Before January of 2007 I’d also read and enjoyed The Tenth Circle, Vanishing Acts, Salem Falls, and The Pact. Over the course of ’07, I read three of her books. I enjoyed Nineteen Minutes, finishing it just shy of a month before the Virginia Tech Massacre brought much of Southwest Virginia to it knees. Still, Keeping Faith was just so-so and Perfect Match was such a wall banger that I would have categorized it as the worst book I read in ’07 had it not been for The Emperor’s Children.

I’ve read nine of her books and enjoyed – if not thoroughly enjoyed – seven of them. Still, I am hesitant to even pick up and hold a copy of her latest novel, Change of Heart? It might be because there are some elements involved that are related to the Keeping Faith (miracle healings) and Perfect Match (Catholic priest). I also left Vanishing Acts, The Pact, and Nineteen Minutes feeling I had gotten too much of a real sense of what it was like to be a man imprisoned. Are those connections worth overlooking her novel or is it just that I’m over her? I certainly hope not because when her work is good, it makes for an amazing ride.

If you’re a Jodi Picoult fan, I would like to hear what you have to say. What are your favorite novels? Did you like them all? Why or why not? Have you or are you planning on reading Change of Heart? I’m hoping that I might be able to grab on to the coattails of some enthusiastic readers.

* Comments may contain spoilers *

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