Wednesday, April 19, 2006

DaVinci Code Hype

When did the news stop being the news and start being hype and gossip? I haven't been able to watch Good Morning America this week, because all they are doing is hyping the movie The DaVinci Code under the guise of investigating the controversial claims the book makes. Not only are they hyping the movie, but today with the discussion of the Freemasons, they are also hyping Dan Brown's next book, that he hasn't even finished writing yet! I'm so tired of tuning in to the TV and instead of hearing what's going on in the world, hearing about what's being cranked out by the networks' parent companies. News is what's going on around the world, what's going on at the White House, medical breakthroughs that aren't sponsored by a pharmaceutical company paying for a portion of the broadcast, etc. In the good old days (which I unfortunately didn't get to live through), gossip about movie and music stars came out in glossy magazines that most people had the good sense to only believe half of what was written. The news was read by men viewers felt they could trust without pancake makeup or product endorsements. We don't have satellite or cable TV in our home, so I am limited to the local stations. I just want to be able to hear the news, is that really too much to ask?

Irreparable Harm by Randy Singer is a slamdunk Christian suspense novel. Singer is able to take on two controversial topics and handle them both with delicacy and care. Mitchell Taylor, just out of law school, ends up representing Maryna Sireth in a case involving both cloning and abortion. The characters are well-balanced and realistic (except for Blaine, but you always have to have a bad guy) and the Christianity is used as a foundation for the characters, not as a soapbox. Maryna's Buddhism is handled with respect. This is loosely a sequel to Directed Verdict, but you certainly don't have to read that one to enjoy this one, only a few characters return. The ones that do come back are rounded out better, and I look forward to the next book in the series. Grisham has nothing on Randy Singer. This has fast-paced action, lots of legal talk, romance, and it's just enjoyable to read. A definite must read!

Julie and Romeo Get Lucky by Jeanne Ray is the sequel to Julie and Romeo. Jeanne Ray's writing is so spot-on accurate, sometimes I swear she must be recording people in their home and then simply transcribing it! But she's so much funnier and sweeter than real life. Romeo throws out his back carrying Julie up her stairs and ends up an invalid in her bed. Nora, Julie's oldest daughter, is pregnant and on bed rest, so she moves home too. Sarah, Julie's granddaughter, is obsessed with Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, and so the story goes from there. Julie can't grab a spare moment to herself when everything is falling apart. Ray has a unique talent for describing physical comedy that few writers can manage. I found myself laughing and gasping out loud at poor Romeo. I wish life was as sweet as it is in Ray's world, and I treasure the moments I get to spend there. Read her other books as well; they're all winners.

My advice for the day is skip the TV and grab a book: at least that way if you want to kick it when you're through, the repairs will be much cheaper.