Jodi's Book Club
Fiction


Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James

Fifty Shades Darker " " "

Fifty Shades Freed " " "

" The Fifty Shades trilogy is not the best writing, but at its core, it's a great modern-day fairy tale where she rescues him. The kinky sex is gratuitous and excessive to the point of monotony. I found myself slamming pages when it came to that so I could hurry up and get back to the good part - the plot - which included danger, conspiracy, big new money, jet-setting, photoshoots, philanthropy, family, Freudian psychology, rare books, higher education, a broken childhood, stalkers' exes, a cat fight, helicopter rides, a helicopter crash, and, of course, true love." -- Jodi Arias


One Hundred Years of Solitude
By Gabriel García Márquez
Finished reading: 2013.09.09

"Sometimes you come across a book that is so delicious you don't want it to end. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez is not one of them. I can see why a comparison was made with the Book of Genesis by the New York Times Book Review. The story goes on for centuries, with some characters living unnaturally long lives, and few of them sufficiently developed to really connect with. Yet still, my temptation to shelve this book before finishing it was outweighed by just enough curiosity to find out how this odd tale ultimately pans out. Indeed, the ending was the best part, and that's not criticism. It gave me chills, it was so unexpected, albeit in part horrifying. The story's elements of incredibility, or what some readers call ‘magical realism,’ are intentional.

“Úrsula, the matriarch, lives on for generations, outlasting her spouse, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, most of whom grow old and pass on, while her own bodily functions become more decrepit with age (‘Little by little she was shrinking, turning into a fetus, becoming mummified in life to the point that in her last months she was a cherry raisin lost inside her nightgown....She looked like a newborn old woman.’) Among her posterity is her great-granddaughter, Remedios the Beauty, who is both hauntingly beautiful and a few cards shy of a full deck, and who floats away to heaven on a billow of freshly laundered sheets. Rebecca, an orphan who showed up one day carrying a bag of bones belonging to her deceased parents, is assimilated into the family, and eats dirt and paint chips as a pastime, if not just to placate her anxiety.

“There are civil wars that endure for seemingly interminable lengths of time. In fact, everything in this book seems interminable. At just over four hundred pages, reasonable for a work of fiction, its sparse dialogue and huge paragraphs (one lasting seven -- that's seven -- pages) give the feel that the number is closer to 1,000. One Hundred Years of Solitude took one hundred years to finish, or so it seemed, but not all of its length is unbearable. One of the most impressive feats is a brilliant run-on sentence spanning three pages. Even as the narrative drags, it is occasionally punctuated with dialogue that is unexpectedly random and funny (‘“Look at the mess we've got ourselves into," Colonel Aureliano Buendía said at that time, "just because we invited a gringo to eat some bananas.” ' And, ‘ “My, my!" she shouted happily with open arms, "look how my darling cannibal has grown!”').

"By the end, I had to concede that this book really is all it's cracked up to be, if you are a serious lover of serious fiction. Some passages are so beautiful they border on poetic ('...those impenitent and ill-fated times which were squandered on the useless effort of making them drift toward the desert of disenchantment and oblivion'). It was these little diamonds that made sticking it out more bearable. Although I feel a shade more cultured for having completed what's been dubbed 'one of the hallmarks of twentieth-century fiction,' I can’t say I have any desire to read another book by Gabriel García Márquez." -- Jodi Arias


To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Finished reading: 2013.06.27

"This author, now elderly and nearly blind and deaf, was conned out of her royalties for a period, but won them back in a recent legal battle. Good for her! There is so much quotable material in this book. A few that stuck out to me: 'The one place a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentment right into the jury box.' (Atticus Finch) and, 'It's never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn't hurt you.' (Atticus Finch). I cried three times reading this book." -- Jodi Arias.


Memoirs of a Geisha
Arthur Golden

"This is probably the best of the 43 books I read in 2012. I reread the last page over and over and over. It evokes a powerful feeling of nostalgia. But you can't just skip to the end! It wouldn't mean anything. Its depth of meaning comes only from knowing the entire story. It's one of those books that, after you're done reading it, you wish you were still reading it." --Jodi Arias.


The Lost Symbol
By Dan Brown

"I love the Robert Langdon Series. I always feel smarter after reading Dan Brown's books (hey, one can pretend!). I can't wait to read Inferno, the fourth installment." --Jodi Arias.


The Twilight Series Book 1: Twilight
By Stephenie Meyer

"I read these all in 2010 & 2011 and loved them. They're not religious books, so it was interesting to note that the author, who is LDS, seamlessly weaves LDS themes throughout the saga (eternal life, eternal marriage, eternal families, etc.). I've heard only complaints about the movies, but I would love to watch them just for the eye candy of a beautiful cast and beautiful cinematography." --Jodi Arias.


The Twilight Series Book 2: New Moon
By Stephenie Meyer


The Twilight Series Book 3: Eclipse
By Stephenie Meyer


The Twilight Series Book 4: Breaking Dawn
By Stephenie Meyer


The Da Vinci Code
By Dan Brown


Angels & Demons (Angels and Demons)
By Dan Brown


The Return Of Merlin
Deepak Chopra

"So far, Deepak Chopra's nonfiction is better than his fiction." Jodi Arias


Books by Anne Rice

Interview with the Vampire

The Vampire Lestat

Pandora

Memnoch the Devil

Servant of the Bones

"Anne Rice isn’t for everyone, but I adore this author. A constant complaint I've heard is that she is too wordy, but I've found her writing style to be beautiful and poetic. It evokes nostalgia. I get lost in her stories." --Jodi Arias.


Bless Me, Ultima
By Rudolfo Anaya

"I read this book so long ago I can't remember what it was about. I do remember enjoying it, though. I was in high school and my dad was going back to college. This was required reading for one of his classes, and I wanted to know what college students were reading so I delved into it." --Jodi Arias.


Politically Correct Bedtime Stories
By James Finn Garner

"This book is clever and funny. I liked it much." --Jodi Arias.


I have read hundreds of books. Please be patient, as the process of adding them to this site is time-consuming. Thank you. --JAA