Well, I’ve deviated slightly from my reading list, but I’m still reading, and today I have two book reviews for you. The first is Celia Rivenbark’s latest, You Can’t Drink All Day if You Don’t Start in the Morning. It’s a combination of humor memoir and cookbook that, frankly, isn’t as good as her other books. Y’all, I laughed until I snorted in Barnes and Noble reading We’re Just Like You Only Prettier, but this one just didn’t have the oomph I wanted. The humorous situations were there, but I don’t know. She just didn’t quite tap deep enough into them. Plus I don’t think I could eat any of the recipes, but it’s not her fault I’m a hippie freak.
I still love this woman and want to be like her when I grow up, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that You Don’t Sweat Much for a Fat Girl will bring back the absurd hilarity I fell in love with when I discovered her. The title alone gives me hope that I’ll relate to it more, but we’ll see.
I love you, Celia Rivenbark, and I still want to have drinks with you the next time I’m in town, but I’m giving this book one star (Y’all might give it more if you love the recipes, but most of them are meaty, so…). *
The next book up for review is John Grisham’s A Time to Kill. I picked it up because I was thinking about reading it with my class. They voted for another book instead, and I really think they’re missing out. A Time to Kill is, quite simply, great. The story is compelling, the characters are well-defined, the subject matter is thought-provoking, and if you haven’t seen the movie, it will keep you in suspense until the very end. If you have seen the movie, you might be distracted by the characters as they were portrayed on film, but that is not the book’s fault.
My only criticism, really, is that I felt like Grisham dumbed down the plot and the character development by repeating details so much when what he really needed was just fewer characters and scenes. It’s honestly hard to keep up with everyone, and I found myself at times wishing I’d started a cast list to keep them all straight. I didn’t need Harry Rex at all or half the police officers. And I could have done without the pimp lawyer who never comes to even meet Carl Lee. I didn’t think he moved the plot along at all, and cutting him out would have cut out a decent chunk of the story, which might have made it unnecessary to repeat details to remind the reader of so much.
All in all, though, I thought it was a great read, and I am giving A Time to Kill by John Grisham four out of five stars. ****