Monday, December 31, 2012

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

The year is coming to an end...that went so freaking fast. I have to say though, I'm quite glad to say goodbye to 2012. It wasn't my favorite year.

I'm still reading away and adding just a few more books before I wrap up my 2012 book count. I won't fill the entire bracket, but the backup plan should work just fine. And I've learned a few things...

If you remember, in 2011 I did book reviews 5 at a time. Books got grouped together and reviews were rather short. I didn't like that because I felt like each book really didn't get their due. So...this year I gave each book it's own's own post. Ugh. Not the best idea ever. It's really crummy to have to make a whole post on a book that I really didn't enjoy much. Lame. But...I will finish up the 2012 books in that fashion. The 2013 books...nope.

So here's the plan for 2013...I will only be highlighting books that I find worthwhile. Books rating 3 or fewer stars will be grouped into fives like they were back in 2011.  Books earning 4 or 5 stars will be highlighted individually as appropriate. I think it's only fair. Write a good book, get a longer review. Write a book that makes me want to pull my hair out...get a short review that doesn't result in my blood pressure raising.

Want an example? Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. Oh my living hell. This book just about killed me. I really don't even know how to qualify it.

The book jacket mentions something about the book being some kind of travel guide. It gets marketed here and there as fiction. The movie they supposedly made based on it?? Ya. Not based on it. Don't even start to think that's what you're getting. The only similarity? It's in Italy. Ugh.

So...what you're getting is basically a journal of her summers in Italy, some recipes for Italian cooking, some tourist information based on where she visited, and a lot of talk about the renovation of the home she purchased.

Let me sum it up for you in one word. Boring. Seriously. Boring. Writing? Not bad. She can put together a sentence, she uses good description. But there is no plot. Seriously. It's a journal. There is no denouement to speak of. No conflict, no resolution. I seriously should have listened to Patti, when at about page 275 she told me to give up. It frustrated me to no end.

This book is the reason that I now have the 30 page rule. What is the 30 page rule, you ask? Well...from now on, if I am not involved and finding myself interested in a book by page 30...adios, welcome to the abandoned shelf. Seriously. I've had it with wasting my time on mediocre books. I have over 500 books on my "want to read" shelf. From now on, books will be earning my attention.

And there you go. Rant over. I gave Under the Tuscan Sun 2 out of 5 stars. It irritated me. I will not read it again. Tada. The end.

Happy New Year and thank goodness for revisions to the reading plan!


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