I picked this up from the new book shelf - remembered it was a hit last summer. Cronin has entered the speculative fiction/dystopia genre with this very long tome. I generally like speculative fiction, but have avoided all the vampire novels. This one features multitudes of very nasty vampires, the subject of the 'army experiment gone awry' described on the jacket. The characters in the first third of the book are better developed than the later characters, when the author jumps forward 90 years. The second half of the book wanders around for far too long, with many plot detours. I was hoping the vampires would be vanquished in the conclusion, but this is just a setup for a trilogy. 766 pages, hardback
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
For fans of Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series, you will know why this was a hard book to read. I put it off for quite a while but finally decided to read it just because I love E. George. I'm glad I did; it wasn't as horrifying as I'd feared. If you don't read George, this book provides the backstory to the random murder of Lynley's pregnant wife, an act that probably cost George some fans. As a stand-alone novel, What Came Before He Shot Her presents a gritty look at life for the disenfranchised in the London housing projects. Read on my Kindle, hard copy has 548 p.
I've gotten bitten by the gardening bug--maybe literally bitten... Anyway, this book is 267 pages of great information and beautiful pictures of all the ways you can go from lawn green to Earth "green" and how to maintain some wallet green. Great information and now I'm ready to take charge of my yard.
This one said, "A hilarious, one-of-a-kind mystery" on the cover. There was no way I could pass up a claim like that! All is not well in Paradise (Ohio, that is). The head of the Breitenstrater Pie Company falls over dead eating one of his own pies and the second in command is missing. Local laudromat owner and stain removal expert, Josie Toadfern, takes it upon herself to get to the heart of the matter and clean up the mess! This is book two in the Stain-Busting mystery series. I didn't find it as hilarious as claimed, but it was still a fun read and I learned a few cleaning tips. 260 pg.
Herman Guenther, a master lox cutter, has secrets that were serious enough to get him killed with his own slicing knife . Ruby follows the clues in Texas and then heads to Alaska and New York to try and figure out who wanted Herman dead and why. This is fourth book in the Ruby, the Rabbi's Wife series. I hadn't read any of the earlier books and it didn't seem to matter (although I am curious as to what happened to her husband....) This was a good book to take on a looooong car ride since it didn't require too much concentration. 239 pg.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I love Meg Cabot, I love YA lit, and I love modern-day versions of classic literature....so it was basically a guarantee that I'd love this book. I listened to it on audio, and the narrator was great...believable as the 17-year-old heroine, with a mild, non-irritating voice.
Without giving much away, this has parallels to some stories in the King Arthur/Avalon realm, and while predictable, it shakes up SOME expectations of what will happen.
Apparently the Disney Channel made this into a movie in 2010, but they took extreme liberties with the plot line. I don't think I'll be adding that version to my Netflix queue. ;)
Subtitle: And Other Small Acts of Liberation
I listened to this on audio, and it was a pleasant enough collection. I have mixed feelings about the author reading his or her own work. Sometimes it's great, but most of the time I understand why actors are hired for the job. In this case, Berg had a surprisingly annoying voice (I had 'pictured' it as so nice!), but not so irritating that I had to stop listening.
I was hoping this was a series of weight-related fictional anecdotes, but only two focused on the struggles of healthy eating and weight loss. I'm always on the lookout for good books about that issue!
The rest of the stories ranged from reuniting with an old high school boyfriend to watching a friend die to an adolescent realizing how awkward she is, a woman who can't get over her ex-husband and one who takes her friend away from her confining nursing home; thirteen stories in all...none are particularly uplifting, and I was disappointed at this as generally Berg is good for comfort reading. I found myself disgusted as most of the individual heroines.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Secrets of Surrender," which I posted earlier this month. The author is a wonderful storyteller who makes the reader care about her characters and their unusual predicaments. This was a quick and enjoyable read. 370 pages.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
This is the third of the books Naphtali recommended to get to know what is new and popular in teen literature. The book is definitely for mature readers and tackles tough topics: suicide, death, life, love, self-esteem, codependency and purpose. Some readers probably won't get past the sex and language. But, if you look deeper it could provide fodder for good discussions. In some ways, it might be good to start with the Afterward, so you have a deeper context for the story. 328 p.
The problem.... I don't know if I had heard it at some point, but I guessed the ending within the first hour of the book. I almost never am able to do that.
Basically, without spoiling the ending (but you'll likely guess it as well), Shutter Island follows Teddy, some sort of special government operative, and his partner as they try to track down an inmate (excuse, me, Doctor - patient) who has gone missing. A surprise (or more likely not) awaits you at the end of their journey.
audio: 4.75 hours (abridged)
print: 385 pages
I didn't like this as a mystery - it reveled in crime and criminals too much. I didn't like it as a police procedural - the cop was too clean.
Or maybe it just made me too uncomfortable with the thought that there are some folks for whom other people are completely expendable, if they get in the way of the pursuit of power or money - even on the small scale of a single neighborhood.
Audio: ca. 15 hours
Print: 416 pages
If you want a depressing reminder of the tradition of politics yielding to business interests, or the sweeping greed and egomania of business tycoons, this might be the book for you.
Audio: 15 hours
Print: 432 pages
I liked this book less for the story itself and more for the beautiful reading and the snippets of old prose thrown in.
Audio: 8.5 hours
Print: 305 pages
Monday, May 16, 2011
The final segment in Larsson's trilogy recounting the saga of Lisbeth Salander, the anti-heroine of the series. This story begins with Lisbeth's recovery in a hospital from the bullet wounds she suffered at the end of the previous volume. She has been arrested for crimes detailed in the 2nd volume, but which she did not commit. Larsson switches back and forth between Lisbeth's recovery and her own work to discredit the prosecution's case against her, and that of her friend, a magazine editor, who is also conducting his own investigation. There's less action in this story, and more focus on tracking down the secret government agency which caused much of Lisbeth's persecution in order to protect her father, a Russian spy who defected. All the loose ends are tied up in the end. Lisbeth remains a troubled loner, with her own sense of right and wrong that doesn't mesh well with conventional society. She's intriguing but not a character that engenders much sympathy. A satisfying conclusion to the series. This is translated from the Swedish, and I'm amazed at the fluidity of the language, in dialogue and description. 563 p
Saturday, May 14, 2011
I saw this book at a Trails Regional Library book sale and figured it was worth reading since it came recommended by Carolyn G. Hart as "fresh, vivid, and off-the-wall original." I translated this to mean it was humorous and that sounded good to me! This book is indeed filled with some quirky, but loveable, characters, although I didn't experience any laugh-out-loud moments. When a member of Wayne's male support group is murdered, Wayne and Kate decide to investigate. In the process, they become targets themselves. A Kate Jasper Mystery, Book 12. 260 pg.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Last one for the day I promise, I've been on a reading rampage--only because the house is clean, I swear! In this book our favorite PI Kinsey Millhone is looking into the kidnapping and possible murder of a small child that took place in 1967--in her current year 1988. Oh the twists and turns! 384 pages.
I started reading these books in high school I think. My meme (my mom's mom) belonged to about 10 different mail-order book clubs. She would pass the books along after she was done with them. I stumble into reading this series every once in a while and wonder why I ever stopped--I think I'm hooked again! This time Kinsey Millhone has two investigations competeing for her attention, a car accident that might have been a ploy for a law suit and a "nurse" who's using the elderly to her advantage. 384 pages.
This book is going to be a movie this summer, currently slated for release in August. My friend received the book in a bag from ShoWest while he was there--lucky duck! It's an interesting concept that follows two friends on July 15 of every year beginning in 1988. Emma and Dexter are two very interesting people--slightly on opposite sides of the spectrum--that some how make a friendship work, through some ups and downs of course. 448 pages
Monday, May 9, 2011
I picked up this book at Dollar General for $3 and decided to use it for my Lenten/Easter devotional. It explores what it means to love based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. I don't know why, but it never struck me how important the first descriptor in the list is: love is patient. Later on, when the verses go into what love is not, I started to think about what the opposite would be. For instance, "love is not rude" could become a positive behavior of "love is respectful". The book comes complete with a discussion guide which helps the reader look at current relationships with an eye toward making them better. I found it an enlightening read. 214 p.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
From the time of her father's death, Sally Lockhart feels that all is not right. In trying to unravel the mystery, Sally is pursued by villains but also finds strong friends to help her along the way. The book is set in the underworld of Victorian London. The author has a way with words that quickly draws you into the tale. I can see why it was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Horn Book Fanfare Honor Book, a Booklist Editors' Choice and a Winner of the International Reading Association's Children's Book Award. This is only book 1 in the series. I hope to read the rest as well! 230 p.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
Someone is kidnapping children and leaving a calling card of a plastic flute. Lou Boldt, a no-nonsense, logical police lieutenant is assigned to the task force to track down the kidnapper and restore the children to their families. But things get complicated when Boldt's own daughter is taken and her safety is only assured if Boldt will sabotage the task force. This is book 5 in the Boldt and Matthews series. I picked up this book at a library book sale because I had heard of the author, but hadn't read any of his books. 528 p.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
A thought-provoking description of how financial markets and politics are heavily influenced by the multi-trillion-dollar networks of largely unregulated investment vehicles controlled by foreign funds, corporations, private equity funds and hedge funds. These wealth sources are buying up large portions of the world's resources, from companies to agriculture, to secure monopolies and manipulate markets. Books like these show how complex and interconnected our economy is, and how easy it is for pundits and politicians to distort the discussion from the real issues. 266 p.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
This second book in Moore's "Sons of Sin" series centers on middle son Will Jones. The former spy and Bow Street Runner is trying to bring down a dangerous man who hides behind the so-called "charities" that he runs. In the first chapter, Will meets a mysterious woman, known as "Helen of Troy," who has reasons of her own for going after the same evil man. I enjoyed this book as much as the first one ("To Tempt a Saint") due to the vibrant characterizations and nearly non-stop action. It takes place in Regency England but not among the aristocracy or upper-class, which is a nice change. I highly recommend this series and will definitely read the final book when it is published later this year. 284 pages.