You Caught Me Kissing by Dorothy Bridges -- I love movies. My love for movies is definitely on par with my love of books. One does not trump the other. So when I found out that the mother of Beau and Jeff Bridges wrote a book chronicling her decades-long romance with Lloyd Bridges, I was immediately on board! ...Well, it wasn't what I thought, exactly. Instead of an autobiography, the book is a slim collection of love poems that Dorothy wrote to her husband every Valentine's Day, including valentines she wrote to Lloyd after his passing. She also included short tidbits of their life together (with a one-sentence mention of his infidelities) and a generous amount of family photographs. Beau, Jeff and sister Lucinda each contribute thoughts on their parents' marriage. All in all, only a quick snapshot when I wanted something more.
The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke -- What an eye-popping surprise! I had originally picked up this mystery because the character of Dave Robicheaux was brought to screen in the movie Heaven's Prisoners, starring Alec Baldwin. But if I was going to tackle the books, I wanted to start at the beginning of the series. Wow. Never before have I read a police detective novel so adept at setting the scene, atmosphere and mood. Paragraph after paragraph was devoted to the sights, smells, and sounds of New Orleans. Dialogue was realistic, with no explanation of colloquial terms or slang. James Lee Burke trusts the reader, and there is no finer treat. This was a gorgeous book, even though the subject matter was gritty.
Piece of Work by Laura Zigman -- Her debut Animal Husbandry was adapted into the film Someone Like You, starring Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman. I have read all of Laura Zigman's novels, but I don't retain any information after I close the cover! Why do I keep persisting? Because she always starts out so promising! Her latest, concerning a woman's struggle to balance work and family life, is no exception. The author successfully hooks me with the story but too many insignificant details bog down the pace. I'm left thinking, "What's the point?" Bland, very bland.