Once again, I'm copping out by spewing forth a pack of short reviews at you instead of the long individual posts. I'm not just being lazy here--it's just that none of these are really worthy of a full review. I've said a lot about Grisham, King and Gabaldon in previous posts, so you can look those reviews up if you're interested. As you can see I'm leaving the Harry Potter books for one big review when I'm done with the series, and when I catch up I can get back to the long reviews. When it's worth it.
#51 The Street Lawyer by John Grisham
Another solid Grisham book. This one's about a wealthy, successful and heartless lawyer who, after being held hostage by a homeless man decides to ditch his career and work for the homeless. It's a bit preachy, as Grisham is obviously trying to bring attention to the problems of the homeless, but it's still a pretty good read. Grisham's always reliable when you want a quick, enjoyable story, and this one doesn't disappoint.
#53 From a Buick 8 by Stephen King
Hands down one of the worst books I have ever read by this guy. It was slow, stupid, and mind-numbingly boring. I found myself skipping pages like there was no tomorrow, as the Good Old Boys in the book talked some more about how weird this car was and oh what could it be and oh tell the kid about this other weirdness that happened with the car. That's it! It's a car. In a shed. Weird crap comes out of the car. They talk about it. Endlessly. Definitely one of King's worst books, and it's convinced me that just about everything he's done since he finished The Dark Tower series has been terrible. I don't think I'll be picking up anything new by him. Better stick to the classics. This book just bored the hell out of me. Shame on you, Mr. King.
#54 A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
Now that's more like it. It's better if one just ignores that the...what? Fifth Book (I'm too lazy to look it up) of this series ever existed, and just skip along to this one if you really want to read anything past the third. This is still a pretty stupid, overlong book when compared to the start of the series, but it's not terrible. That's some compliment, huh? But really, after the 1500th time that Gabaldon puts one of her characters in mortal danger the whole thing becomes a maddening exercise of repetition. Do something stupid, get kidnapped or nearly killed, survive to do something stupid again. Have some boring sex (seriously, are we supposed to believe that Jamie and Claire are having sex at 50 that's just as steamy as it's ever been? come ON) and just talk about how perfect everyone is. That's it. At least there's some interesting bits with the Revolutionary War starting, but of course that's only in the background to all the moronic things these characters do. And there's more Brianna and Roger, two of the most insufferable characters of all time. And for the love of God, just end this series already. I still don't understand why this book had to be 600 pages long. There is NO NEED. Get over yourself, Gabaldon, and just end it. End our pain already.
#55 Airs Above Ground by Mary Stewart
An awesome little spy thriller. It's not spectacular, but I definitely recommend it if you like mysteries and spy stories. I'm not even a fan of the genre, and this one won me over. It's well-paced and smart, with likable characters and some great action sequences. A great read.