|Articles of war [sound recording] : [a novel] |
by Arvin, Nick.
*** stars. This book has some of the feel of " The Red Badge of Courage" set in World War II France shortly after the Normandy invasion. An 18-year-old Iowa boy is called Heck by his comrades because he refuses to swear. He meets a young French girl, but is so young and inexperienced that he does not know if what he feels for her is love or not. He is overwhelmed by the horrors of battle, feels he is a coward, and ultimately commits an outright act of cowardice. The pivotal event of the novel concerns Heck's confrontation of the consequences for a soldier who has deserted. No one would call this boy a brave soldier, but it is difficult to judge Heck who never even saw an ocean before he was shipped off to Omaha beach. How can one cast stones when you have no idea how you would react if thrown into hell at 18. Arvin does a good job of capturing the confusion, terror and randomness of war. Recommend. posted May 18, 2013 at 6:47PM
|The wonder spot [sound recording] |
by Bank, Melissa.
1/2 * stars. I guess at 65 I am too old to appreciate the wanderings of a 30 year old woman from man to man and job to job. The men disappeared from chapter to chapter often without explanation of why Sophie was attracted to them or why they are no longer in her life. She hates her jobs, but moves on only with the assistance of friends. I kept waiting for the stories of self-indulgent inertia to lead to some progress or insights in Sophie's life. My hope was never fulfilled. I found her life boring to the very end. Cannot recommend posted May 18, 2013 at 6:18PM
|The confidant |
by Gremillon, Helene
*** stars This story is set in 1975 France. A young book editor starts receiving letters shortly after the death of her mother. They slowly tell the story of events just before and during World War II. At first she believes the letters are from an author who wants to get his book read and has used them as a strategy to bring his work to her attention. Gradually she begins to wonder if the stories relate to her own life. The author keeps you reading to find out what happens. recommend. posted May 13, 2013 at 4:04PM
|The violets of March / : a novel|
by Jio, Sarah
*** stars A young woman whose husband has left her for another woman returns to Bainbridge Island, Washington to the home of her great aunt to heal. She finds a ? dairy / ? novel about events in the World War II era. Gradually she begins to wonder if the story relates to her own life and long kept family secrets. Ms. Jio keeps you reading to find out what happens and has a talent for interweaving the past and the present. recommend. posted May 13, 2013 at 4:00PM
|Salvage the bones : a novel |
by Ward, Jesmyn.
*** stars This is an amazing story of an African American family over 12 days of the approach, duration, and aftermath of hurricane Katrina. The teenage daughter is pregnant who finds her heroines in mythology. One brother has a fighting pit bull. Ms. Ward does not pull any punches in describing the brutality of the life of this poor family. It took me a while to engage with the book, but was soon invested in the survival of the family. recommend posted May 13, 2013 at 3:43PM
|Going clear [sound recording] : [Scientology, Hollywood, and the prison of belie|
by Wright, Lawrence, 1947-
*** 1/2 stars I grew up in rural Iowa. In the 1960's a family from the community "disappeared" into Scientology in California. From that day forward I have had a fear of and curiosity about the "church". Mr. Wright has done thorough research and written a very readable account of the history of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. Recommend posted May 13, 2013 at 3:33PM
|Say you're sorry |
by Robotham, Michael, 1960-
*** 1/2 stars. Michael Robotham writes a page turner!! The story alternates narration between Piper, one of two teen-age girls kidnapped and held hostage for more than 3 years, and Joseph O'Loughlin, a clinical psychologist who struggles with Parkinson's disease and the fact that his own daughter was also kidnapped in the past. He is called in as a consultant when two people are murdered in the former home of one of the girls. The main suspect is a psychologically wounded young man who hears voices and says he saw a young girl fleeing through a snowstorm being chased by a snowman. One of O'Loughlan's first tasks is to convince the local police to re-open the case of the missing girls and that there might still be someone to save. At times the book is difficult because the girls are subjected to sexual violence, but with that warning, I have to recommend the book highly. By the last 50 pages you are frantic to know who the real kidnapper is and whether Piper will survive. This is the 5th book in this British series. I have read them all plus a couple of stand - alone novels. As always I suggest starting with the first book in the series, "The Suspect" as Robotham's characters are complex and develop from book to book. posted May 8, 2013 at 1:54AM
|Dune Road [sound recording] : a novel |
by Green, Jane, 1968-
** stars. The Dune Road of the title is the site of the home of a reclusive writer. The story revolves around a newly divorced woman and single mother who becomes the assistant to the author. There are a lot of people with hidden agendas. I found some of the story lines very predictable. A little too much of a soap opera for me. Can't recommend posted May 8, 2013 at 1:30AM
|Telegraph Avenue [sound recording] : [a novel] |
by Chabon, Michael.
*** stars. Michael Chabon always speaks with a unique voice and creates believable, complex characters. Telegraph Avenue is a real place where Oakland, an historically African American city and Berkeley meet. The male protagonist is Archy Stallings, who is African-American and Oakland-raised. With his white best friend, Nat Jaffe, Archy owns a store called Brokeland Records, and sells used vinyl. At first I was a little confused about the setting, which is modern day, largely because of the nostalgia that characterizes Archy's yearnings for everything from Blaxploitation films to the Black Panthers to the music his records bring back. It is the story of a man who fears fatherhood as a man raised without a father who has a pregnant wife and a newly discovered illegitimate son. I bonded most strongly with Gwen, Archy's wife who is a midwife who struggles to establish the validity of her profession among racist physicians. She is amazing in her strength and her ability to love Archy. My favorite of Chabon's books is still " The Yiddish Policeman's Union " but I have never been disappointed by his books. Recommend. posted May 8, 2013 at 1:14AM
|The American heiress [sound recording] : [a novel] |
by Goodwin, Daisy.
*** stars. Cora Cash ( yes, Cash) the wealthiest heiress in America goes to England to buy herself a title. She leaves behind a young man who lacks the courage to marry her and takes with her a mother, who is far from endearing. She "stumbles" upon a Duke with a mother to more than match her own. Think "Downton Abbey". The Duke, who was the second son, inherited the title only when his beloved brother died. Add to this an imagined or real mistress to the Duke, the Prince of Wales, and the downstairs staff and you have a great collection of characters and egos. Perhaps the most sympathetic person is Cora's black maid who tries to find an honorable means of weaving her way through the intrigue. I enjoyed the book. I believe the author would like to be Edith Wharton, but no one is, so the book cannot be held to such a standard. You are left guessing until the very end whether the Duke is a cad or man in love with his wife. A very nice read. Recommend. posted Apr 29, 2013 at 7:35PM
|With every letter [sound recording] : a novel |
by Sundin, Sarah
I STOPPED READING THIS BOOK. The story was ostensibly about the training of nurses for the WWII program of air evacuation of the wounded. I seek out books set in the WWII era. I had no idea that it is a CHRISTIAN ROMANCE. The "Lord had a purpose" in having the protagonists fall in love. I strongly object to this simplistic view of a deity. Perhaps he if were spending less time being a matchmaker, he could have been more active in preventing the Holocaust. I almost never stop reading a book, but this is the exception. I HATED THIS BOOK and put myself out of my misery. I will now climb off my soapbox.... posted Apr 23, 2013 at 11:24PM
|Never end : an Erik Winter novel |
by Edwardson, Ake, 1953-
*** stars I enjoy this Swedish mystery / police procedural series ( Not as much as I love Wallander and Erlunder, but I am still getting to know Winter). This is the second book in the series. Young women are being murdered and / or raped in a park in Gothenburg. One such incident is separated from the others by several years. Is it the same perpetrator? A copycat? What do the young women have in common that marks them as victims. A mystery right until the end. Recommend. Now, however, I need to follow my own advise to others and go back to read the first book in the series: Sun and Shadow. posted Apr 20, 2013 at 5:13PM
|A place in the country |
by Adler, Elizabeth
* 1/2 stars. A divorced young mother of a teenage daughter buys a barn near Oxford, England intending to open her own restaurant. Her ex-husband dies of a gun-shot wound in Singapore, their former home. Was it murder or suicide? An unknown daughter of said former husband arrives on the scene. Sounds like an intriguing scenario, but for me the book fell flat and was far too predictable in far too many ways. Cannot recommend. posted Apr 20, 2013 at 5:02PM
|Say her name [sound recording] |
by Goldman, Francisco.
** stars I became very confused while listening to this book. I thought I was reading a novel until I found out the author's young wife Aura did actually die in an accident. The book is the story of their relationship, a paean to her virtues, and a processing of grief. So I was reading a memoir?? I thought "I know who will have the answer to this dilemma - the critic for the New York Times." Wrong again sports fans. To quote Robin Romm: "A few times, the book bucks its already messy categorization as nonfiction novel or fictionalized memoir, grief book or love story, and becomes a distilled wail." Now that we have cleared that up..... This is a man who truly loved his wife. The narrative jumps back and forth to different times in their marriage and to the author's attempts to start life again after her death. It is a tragedy that she died so young, but I got to a point where I not only did not want to "say her name" but I did not want to hear it said 100 times on yet another disc. This is a eulogy that needed an editor. I lost my empathy with the poor man. It is not a bad book, but it certainly is a depressing one. I cannot recommend. posted Apr 17, 2013 at 2:57AM
|Smash cut [sound recording] |
by Brown, Sandra, 1948-
*1/2 stars. This is not a "who done it". You know who the psychopathic murderers are from the very beginning. The question is whether they will get away with their crimes and successfully frame the female protagonist. Ms. Brown certainly writes a page turner, but for my taste there is too much graphic violence and a bit too much bodice ripping. I also have a hard time with violence when the victims are not adult humans. I have read a couple of Ms. Brown's other novels and have liked them better, but this one was my least favorite. cannot recommend. posted Apr 17, 2013 at 2:16AM
by Arnaldur Indriðason, 1961-
*** 1/2 stars. I always enjoy the Erlendur mystery / police procedural series set in Iceland. In this book a handyman man who lives in the basement of a hotel a is found stabbed to death in his Santa suit just before his appearance for the children. He was once a famous choir boy with a beautiful voice. How has he fallen so low? Why does he have a poster of Shirley Temple as the Little Princess on his wall? As usual I had not figured out the murderer and motive until the very end. I like the complexity of the mysteries, but what I love best about this series is the great character development. Erlunder may be terrific at ferreting out the secrets of others, but has a difficult time understanding his drug addicted daughter and his own profound survivor's guilt. Be sure to start with book 1: Jar City and book 2: Silence of the Grave. This is book 3 Indridason is a great pleasure!! Highly recommend the series. posted Apr 17, 2013 at 1:41AM
|The orchard |
by Stepakoff, Jeffrey
* star. I should just remember that I do not like "romance" novels where you know from page 1 that the boy and the girl will get together. I read this author's book "Fireworks over Toccoa" and liked even though it too was a romance, but had a lot more to it than just how long it takes for boy to finally get together with girl. So... I tried again.... Bored to tears except for a little of the information about creating flavors. My favorite character was the protagonist's daughter. I don't mind a good love story as long as it is about 10% romance and 90% strong story line and character development. Why didn't Abby the tabby tell me, "don't read this book, mom." Sorry can't recommend this to anyone but hardcore romance lovers. posted Apr 13, 2013 at 2:26AM
|Crossing on the Paris |
by Gynther, Dana
*** stars. Marvelous premise - three women travel in 1921 on the maiden voyage of the ocean liner "Paris" from Le Havre to New York. The youngest is a French girl who has lost her 4 older brothers to WWI. She dreams of adventure and signs on to work in steerage in the great ship. The second is an American mother and wife who has unsuccessfully tried to get her younger sister to return to Massachusetts from Paris to help care for their mentally ill mother. ( That's a no-brainer for me....) After seeing her sister's carefree life, she begins to wonder about her own safe choices of husband and dutiful daughter and mother. The third is an elderly American woman who is dying. She has lived in Paris for decades, but for some reason decides to return to New York for her final days. Great characters. It is hard for me to explain exactly why I was disappointed. There are definitely some terrific scenes in the book, but two story lines were very predictable for me... If you like the premise, try this book, you may like it more than I. mildly recommend posted Apr 8, 2013 at 2:08AM
|The accident [sound recording] : a novel |
by Barclay, Linwood
** stars. The accident refers to the puzzling death of the protagonist's wife when she was supposedly driving while intoxicated. To this is added the selling of fake purses, prescriptions drugs, construction supplies and more. It ends up with too many people killing too many other people for too many reasons for me. I admit the end was a surprise, but the middle was way to busy for my preference... new author for me - can't recommend. posted Apr 8, 2013 at 1:54AM
|22 Britannia Road [sound recording] : [a novel] |
by Hodgkinson, Amanda
**** 1/2 stars. Marvelous! A Polish family desperately tries to put itself back together after WWII. Silvana and their infant son, Aurek, leave Poland and disappear into the forests of Eastern Europe, where they bear witness to German atrocities. Meanwhile Janusz, the sole survivor of his slaughtered military unit, flees to France. He eventually ends up in England where after the war he begins searching for a family that may not even be alive. They are found and Janusz brings his wife and the child to Ipswich, to the small house and garden that give the novel its title. Having been separated for more than 5 years of war, each has secrets and lies. Is there hope for 3 people who need each other desperately? Great first novel!! Highly recommend!! posted Mar 30, 2013 at 7:06PM
|The ice princess [sound recording] |
by Lackberg, Camilla, 1974-
**** stars. This is the 1st book in the Swedish Patrik Hedstrom series. A young woman is found frozen in her bathtub with her wrists cut - a murder made to look like a suicide. You meet the main continuing characters which is always a huge plus when the mystery is intriguing and the people are well developed. If you are looking for the first book in any author's series I love Fantistic Fiction a British website. Recommend the book and author. posted Mar 30, 2013 at 4:49PM
|The stonecutter [sound recording] : a novel |
by Lackberg, Camilla, 1974-
**** stars. This is the 3rd book in the Swedish Patrik Hedstrom series. I find the stories well written - great character development - intriguing mysteries. This particular book involves the murder of a child and abuse of children + a series of murders stretching back to the 1920's. I highly recommend the book and the series with the caveat about child murder. As always I advise starting with the first book in the set, as the characters and relationships develop over time. A good source to find the first in almost any author's series is " Fantastic Fiction" a GREAT website!!!! posted Mar 21, 2013 at 6:32PM
|Signs of life = Lebenszeichen : the correspondence of German POWs at Camp Algona
*** 1/2 stars I grew up on a farm near Algona and remember going to there one Christmas to see the almost life-size creche made by German POW's during their incarceration. I stumbled across this title while looking for something else and thought this was a point of view of WWII that I had never explored. The book provides information about camps scattered throughout Iowa and Minnesota. There are many B&W photos of the men in the camp, working for local farmers, and at home in Germany. The letters in the book are called " lebenzeichen " or signs of life, as often they were the first proof provided to families in Germany that their sons / brothers / husbands were indeed alive and well. There are a couple of letters included from commanding officers to families stating that a soldier had been taken prisoner, but in the confusion of battle and its aftermath, the true status of the man was often unknown. The out-going letters are a little boring, largely because they had to pass thru censors in the U.S. and possibly also in Germany. The second part of the book provides letters involving the same POW's which were written after the war. They are much more revealing about the devastation and hardship in Germany, feelings about their good treatment in the camps and their opinions about the Nazis. One POW was about to be murdered in the camp by Nazi hard-liners, but escaped. Needless to say, the Nazi party members who still believed in a triumphant Hitler, did not participate in the book, with one or two exceptions. A unique perspective for those of us who are WWII "nuts". posted Mar 20, 2013 at 5:14AM
*** stars. This is a review of "In the Hands of my Enemy; A Woman's Personal Story of World War II" by Sigrid Heidi. Early in 1943, Heide, in her mid-30s, was arrested in Oslo by the Gestapo for resistance activities. She remained incarcerated for much of the war, first in Norway, in a prisoner's camp and Gestapo prison, then in Germany and Austria, in concentration camps. The author tells of her questioning and months of isolation. Her personal faith helped her not only endure torture, but find a way to not hate her captors. She was able to find moments of joy through such simple things as a spider weaving its web, a tiny taste of butter, or a small flower. A unique view of WWII. Hennepin County does not carry the book, but it is available through interlibrary loan. posted Mar 20, 2013 at 5:00AM
|Breaking silence [sound recording] |
by Castillo, Linda.
*** stars. This is the third in the Kate Burkholder series set in Amish country in Ohio. Kate, the police chief, was raised in the faith, but was excommunicated. She still has conflicts about her loyalty to the Amish community versus the "English" as they call the outsiders. The mysteries usually involve the Amish people as victims and / or perpetrators of crimes. The books are nice, solid mystery / police procedural reads. As with all series I always recommend starting with the first in the set, as the history of the main character explains her subsequent behaviors / conflicts. If you are wondering.... a good source to find the first in almost any author's series is " Fantastic Fiction" a GREAT website!!!! posted Mar 20, 2013 at 4:45AM
|Wolf Hall [sound recording] : [a novel] |
by Mantel, Hilary, 1952-
**** stars. Wow! This is an amazing retelling of the saga of Henry VIII and his efforts to marry Anne Boleyn. Told from the point of view of Oliver Cromwell who becomes the second most powerful man in England because he has the ear of the king and enables his marriage. In his fight against Henry and the heretics of the new Protestant faiths, Thomas More does not come off a quite the hero that he has been portrayed in previous depictions. The dialogue and descriptions of the period are so adept, that you sometimes wonder if Ms. Mantel is the reincarnation of a person who was actually a "fly on the wall" during all the conversations. Highly recommend posted Mar 11, 2013 at 7:32PM
|The sense of an ending [sound recording] |
by Barnes, Julian.
** stars. A philosophical analysis of suicide, the ablility of people to gain insight, and the effects of thoughtless anger. A bit too much navel gazing, but the end redeems the book and really leaves you thinking. posted Mar 11, 2013 at 7:20PM
|The Provence cure for the brokenhearted [sound recording] : [a novel] |
by Asher, Bridget.
*** 1/2 stars. Still mourning the loss of her husband, a young woman travels with her obsessive-compulsive seven-year-old son, and a jaded sixteen-year-old niece, to a small village in the south of France, where a crumbling stone house may be responsible for mending hearts since before World War II. This is a charming book about grief, loneliness, and the risks of opening one's heart. Three generations of characters are well defined and engaging. Recommend. posted Mar 9, 2013 at 8:51PM
**** stars. This is actually a review of the book: *** BERLIN POPLARS by Anne Ragde ***. The setting is modern day Trondheim, Norway. An 80-year-old woman suffers a stroke and sets in play an amazing interaction among her 3 alienated sons and a couple of surprise additions to the family. Tor tends the family farm and dotes on his mother and his pigs; Margido is a devout Christian funeral director; Erland is homosexual and lives in Copenhagen with his partner. The three have not been in the same room together for many years. To this group we add a distant and compliant husband, a granddaughter who has never met her father, and Erland's partner. Having grown up on a farm with parents of Norwegian heritage, I found this book to be a poignant and funny reminder of what that meant concerning meals, farm chores, long-standing family quarrels and especially the "ease" with which older traditional Norwegian men express profound emotions. Why is a book set in Norway titled "Berlin Poplars"? Can there be any reconciliation? If you anticipate the ending you are a smarter cookie than I. Highly recommend this book, especially to those of us who are older Norskies. The book is not carried by the Hennepin County system, but is available through interlibrary loan and of course on line and in book stores. posted Mar 9, 2013 at 8:21PM
|The land of mango sunsets [sound recording] |
by Frank, Dorothea Benton
*** stars Nice story - engaging characters. I always enjoy Ms. Frank for a pleasant read. posted Mar 8, 2013 at 5:47PM
|Too much happiness : stories |
by Munro, Alice, 1931-
** stars. Again I am not a fan of unrelated short story collections. Often a better title for this book might be Too Much Despair. posted Mar 3, 2013 at 4:01PM
|A possible life : a novel in five parts |
by Faulks, Sebastian.
1/2 * half a star - This Title is misleading - this is a book of unconnected stories and in no way a novel. It was probably called a "novel" by the publisher for more sales, as short story collections often do not sell as well. The first is about a British man and the horrors of the holocaust - it is the best of the 5 stories, but seems to end without insight and with a whimper. The second (set around 1859) is about a boy placed in the work house in England so that his family will not starve. It reads like the outline for a possibly good novel unrealized. The third, set in 2029 Italy, seems to be about proving the neurological basis of "human self awareness" and therefore the impossibility off existence after death. ???? I have not finished the book yet, but feel angry and tricked into reading this book. I liked "Birdsong" and "Charlotte Gray" so was excited to see a new title by Faulks. I am not finished yet, but my advise so far: DO NOT BOTHER TO READ THIS BOOK. posted Feb 27, 2013 at 1:56AM
|Vulture peak |
by Burdett, John.
** Stars. I have enjoyed this series for years because the protagonist is a Bangkok policeman and I lived and studied in Thailand. Yes, I was a farang. It's fun to understand the "inside" humor. This particular edition was my least favorite of the series. It deals with an international human organ selling conspiracy. Still enjoy the main characters and recommend the series, if not this particular book. Again if you are interested in the adventures of Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep start with "Bangkok 8". posted Feb 24, 2013 at 7:26PM
|Off the grid [sound recording] |
by Tracy, P. J.
*** This is the 6th in the Monkeewrench series based in Minneapolis and written by a mother-daughter team. I always enjoy the characters in these books, especially the humorous interactions. Ostensibly a game software company, the odd group becomes involved in crimes and works with the police. This episode has everything from Somali sex trade dealers who kidnap Native American girls to terrorists planning an attack on the U.S. This was my least favorite of the series - I am not a fan of books about terrorism. I recommend the series completely, however, more due to the wonderful characters than this story. Earlier plots were more engaging for me. If you are a newcomer to the series, I strongly suggest beginning with book 1. If you are wondering.... a good source to find the first in almost any author's series is " Fantastic Fiction" a GREAT website!!!! posted Feb 24, 2013 at 4:21PM
|The widow of the south [compact disc] |
by Hicks, Robert, 1951-
*** 1/2 stars. This novel is based on true events surrounding the Civil War Battle of Franklin, Tennessee in 1864. Colonel John and Carrie McGavock's plantation home, Carnton, was opened as a field hospital. Later when the hastily buried local Confederate graves deteriorated the McGavocks donated land and had 1,500 soldiers dug up and reburied. The story is told from multiple perspectives, but it is largely the story of Carrie and her efforts to honor the dead and deal with her own personal loss. Recommend, especially if you enjoy novels set during the American Civil War. posted Feb 24, 2013 at 4:05PM
|Outrage : an Inspector Erlendur novel |
by Arnaldur Indriðason, 1961-
**** stars Actually Erlendur is MIA in this book from the series, but it was nice to get to know Elinborg better. A young man is found murdered. One of the few clues is a scarf that emits a very distinct odor. Ms. Elinborg, who doubles as police detective and writer of cookbooks, is probably the only person on the force who can identify the scent and use it to solve the murder. I always enjoy this Icelandic author - good mysteries without lots of graphic violence. Highly recommend, but I suggest that a new reader start from the beginning of the series. posted Feb 24, 2013 at 2:19AM
|Still missing [sound recording] : a novel |
by Stevens, Chevy
* 1/2 stars. Through sessions with her therapist a young woman reveals her ordeal when she was kidnapped, held captive, raped and tortured by a man she meets as a real estate agent showing a house. Painful to read, but I had to find out how she survived and if she was able to restore some quality to her life. ...or was she still missing? cannot recommend because it is so hard to read about her experiences, not because it is a poorly written book. posted Feb 17, 2013 at 11:21PM
|The almost moon [sound recording] : a novel |
by Sebold, Alice.
** stars This amazing book begins with a woman murdering her aged mother who suffers from advanced dementia. Over the next 24 hours, Helen confronts her life and relationships. What a premise! I had to find out how the story ended. It has some macabre humor. I cannot really recommend the book, but if you are fascinated with the vagaries of the mother - daughter dance, you may really like this book. posted Feb 17, 2013 at 11:09PM
|The book of lost fragrances |
by Rose, M. J., 1953-
*** stars. Intrigue involving a secret perfume dating from Cleopatra's Egypt which enables people who smell it to remember past lives and to recognize a true love. Centers on modern day Paris siblings whose family has been creating perfumes for hundred of years and who may have the secret formula. Of course evil people are trying to steal the secret... Even involves the Dalai Lama. A bit too far fetched for me, yet it held my interest. medium recommendation. posted Feb 17, 2013 at 10:59PM
|Flash and bones [sound recording] |
by Reichs, Kathy.
** stars. A Temperance Brennan, forensic medical examiner mystery involving race cars and hate groups. Readable, but did not stand out in any way. posted Feb 17, 2013 at 10:52PM
|The monster of Florence [sound recording] : a true story |
by Preston, Douglas J.
* 1/2 stars A true crime book by American writer Douglas Preston and Italian journalist Mario Spezi who investigate a series of murders that occurred between 1968 and 1985 and involved couples who were killed in the Italian province of Tuscany. Sounded intriguing, but often the story was more about the authors than the serial killer. Cannot recommend. posted Feb 17, 2013 at 10:46PM
|Tigers in red weather [sound recording] : a novel |
by Klaussmann, Liza
*** stars This novel concerns the lives and families of two female cousins who spend summers at Tiger House on Martha's Vineyard. The story begins just after WWII and is told from the perspective of 5 family members. The facade of normality is broken by a murder. The cover suggests a light story, but the interactions and secrets of the families are much darker. recommend. posted Feb 17, 2013 at 10:39PM
|The life of objects |
by Moore, Susanna.
**** In 1938, Beatrice, a young Irish lace-maker finds herself transported into the world of a family of wealthy Berlin art collectors. She is caught in the middle of World War II with the horrors of deportations, Nazi persecution, refugees and the Red army. Highly recommend, especially if you are are as interested in the WWII era as I am. posted Feb 17, 2013 at 10:32PM
|White truffles in winter [sound recording] : [a novel] |
by Kelby, N. M.
** 1/2 stars This book creates the world of the remarkable French chef Auguste Escoffier. Interweaves his long term affair with Sarah Bernhardt and his wife and family. I did not bond with the character as I would have wished. Enjoyed the stories and gourmet creations. If you enjoy the idea of the culinary history of the Ritz and Savoy via this famous chef, i think you will like the book. posted Feb 17, 2013 at 10:23PM
|Blackberry winter |
by Jio, Sarah
*** 1/2 stars heartwarming / heartbreaking story that alternates between 1933 and the present - two women each lose a child 70 years apart in time - a blackberry winter in Seattle leads the modern day newspaper writer to research a similar storm in 1933 - amazingly the women are connected, but how?? very readable!! posted Feb 17, 2013 at 10:17PM
|Red mist [sound recording] |
by Cornwell, Patricia Daniels.
*** Cornwell is dependable for a good read. I enjoyed her earlier books more when there was less political / CIA intrigue and more good old fashioned murders to be solved. posted Feb 17, 2013 at 8:48PM
|Midnight in Peking : how the murder of a young Englishwoman haunted the last day|
by French, Paul, 1966-
*** 1/2 Examines the murder of a young woman in 1937. Interesting period of time - British colonialism - Chinese revolution - Japanese invasion. British and Chinese police detectives attempt to solve the murder amid growing chaos. I enjoyed the history as much as the investigation posted Feb 17, 2013 at 8:44PM
|Alice I have been [sound recording] : a novel |
by Benjamin, Melanie
*** 1/2 stars - the evolution of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll told from the point of view of Alice Liddell, perhaps the Alice of the books. Speculates about Dodgdon's relationships with and photography of children. Recommend! posted Feb 17, 2013 at 8:35PM
|The plum tree |
by Wiseman, Ellen Marie
**** World War II / Holocaust novel told from the point of view of a German family / town. Interesting perspective. I did not find it as well written as "Sarah's Key". This story, however, does not break your heart as Tatiana De Rosnay's book did. That fact could be a plus or a minus depending on your preference. This is engrossing and well told. See what you think of the ending. Highly recommend. posted Feb 13, 2013 at 10:39PM
|Laura Lamont's life in pictures |
by Straub, Emma
** 1/2 Nice novel. I did not bond well with Laura. A young girl from Wisconsin finds fame in Hollywood. Not unhappy that I read it, but she often seemed to be waiting for her life to happen instead of being present in the lives of her friends and family. recommendation is neutral posted Feb 13, 2013 at 10:27PM
|Garment of shadows : a novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Hol|
by King, Laurie R.
*** I enjoy Laurie King's series with Mary Russell, but wish she would set the series in Britain more often. This one takes place in Morocco and involves political intrigue that does not particularly appeal to me. Recommend if you like the characters regardless of setting. posted Feb 13, 2013 at 10:24PM
|Heartsick [compact disc] |
by Cain, Chelsea.
*** Story holds your attention, you want the police detective to catch the serial killer - I just wish Ms. Cain were not quite so creative and graphic in her ideas of torture. Recommend with caveat concerning violence. posted Feb 13, 2013 at 10:21PM
|Where the god of love hangs out [sound recording] |
by Bloom, Amy, 1953-
*** I enjoyed the book, but I am not a huge fan of short story collections - I become invested in the characters and then they are gone. I enjoyed these stories, however, and recommend the book posted Feb 10, 2013 at 1:31PM
|The art of fielding [sound recording] : [a novel] |
by Harbach, Chad
**** stars "If it seems a stretch for a baseball novel to hold truth and beauty and the entire human condition in its mitt, well, “The Art of Fielding” isn’t really a baseball novel at all, or not only. It’s also a campus novel and a bromance (and for that matter a full-fledged gay romance), a comedy of manners and a tragicomedy of errors — the baseball kind as well as the other kind, which as Alexander Pope pointed out also has something to do with the human condition." Gregory Cowles, New York Times book review. Almost did not read this book because of the baseball theme - So glad I read it - Great character development - Very nice interweaving of individual stories - highly recommend posted Feb 10, 2013 at 1:27PM
|The winner stands alone [sound recording] |
by Coelho, Paulo
* Vehicle for Coelho's diatribe about the sources of power and superficiality in modern world - serial killer - hated ending posted Feb 10, 2013 at 1:25PM
|Dream when you're feeling blue [compact disc] |
by Berg, Elizabeth.
**** Stars Very nice World War II era novel - Berg is always excellent at character development - deals with the loves and losses of 3 Irish sisters in Chicago - recommend posted Feb 10, 2013 at 1:22PM
|The last nude [sound recording] |
by Avery, Ellis.
*** 3 stars - took a little while to engage - liked it by the end - involves a female artist and model who become romantically involved - or do they? does everyone have their secret agenda? who is using whom. loved the setting of Paris between the wars. mild recommendation posted Feb 10, 2013 at 1:20PM
|Gourmet rhapsody [sound recording] |
by Barbery, Muriel, 1969-
* One Star - Pierre Athens, the greatest food critic in the world, is dying. He has been judging world’s greatest chefs for years, deciding their fates with a stroke of his pen, destroying and building reputations on a whim. During his final hours he is searching for the forgotten source of the best food he ever tasted. This self-absorbed man desires only one thing before he dies: one last taste. I thought, France and food, what would there be not to enjoy. I could not bond with character nor empathize with his search. Cannot recommend. posted Feb 10, 2013 at 1:17PM
|BOOKWOMAN_CAT's Book Lists|
|Kristi's 2013 Book List in memory of Maggie, the cat (70 titles)
Happy to say my new reading companion is Abby the tabby, the funniest cat who has ever owned me.
|Kristi & Maggie the cat read together in 2012 (145 titles)
eclectic - modern literature, mystery, non-fiction...
|kristi & Maggie's Literature Wish List (679 titles)
modern fiction - women's literature - historical fiction....
|kristi & Maggie's Non-fiction Wish List (219 titles)
history, biography, autobiography, religion, psychology, medicine
|Kristi and Maggie the cat - 2011 list (125 titles)
mystery, modern literature, history, biography
|Kristi and Maggie - books read in 2010 (161 titles)
|Kristi and Maggie's Mystery Wish List (723 titles)
mysteries / thrillers
|Kristi & Maggie the Cat - Books We Have Read Together (1279 titles)
Mysteries, contemporary literature and historical novels, biographies, history, finding a personal world view. maggie is the tabby cat who sits on my books.