Wednesday, September 16, 2020

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

 Fiction by Hank Green

April is walking home at two in the morning in New York City when she sees... an absolutely remarkable thing. It's like a giant statue, but it seems to have appeared out of nowhere. Since April is a student of art, she decides to document this interesting find with --what else?-- a YouTube video!

What follows is the really remarkable thing. The mysterious statue was not just in New York; there are sixty-odd of them around the world in prominent places, all appearing at the same time. Since April was the first to name and explain this strange statue to the world in her video, she becomes an overnight celebrity. And then...

Well, you have to read it and see!

This story kind of defies explanation, but it was very interesting to read. I enjoyed it a lot.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Taken at the Flood

 Fiction by Agatha Christie

In this story, a man called Gordon Cloade is killed in a London air-raid, leaving over a million pounds to Rosaleen, his young wife of only a few weeks. Also left behind are a lot of disgruntled Cloade relatives, who had always expected good old Uncle Gordon to leave his money to them. But there is a small ray of hope for the Cloades when they learn that there is a rumor about Rosaleen's first husband, who had reportedly been killed by fever in Africa. Some people said he hadn't really died, however.

Of course, someone is going to get murdered in this story, and the reader will be surprised to find out who. And who was the murderer? The reader won't be able to guess, but Hercule Poirot will know!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

The Second Wife

Fiction by Rebecca Fleet

Alex's first wife had died years ago, leaving him alone with their daughter Jade. When Alex met Natalie, he felt he'd found true love again, and after they married the little family was really coming together. But then a fire destroys their home and Alex begins to suspect that Natalie isn't who she seems...

This was a pretty good thriller, although it had some parts that seemed contrived. Also I really didn't like Alex for some reason. Still, it had a surprising ending. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Cruel Prince

 Fiction by Holly Black.

The strange and beautiful world of the Faeries exists right alongside our own mortal world in this fantasy story. At the beginning, young twin sisters Jude and Taryn find out what it's like to be spirited away into Faerie land. It's both wonderful and terrible.

This was an exciting book with a lot of surprises.

Monday, September 7, 2020

The Hunting Party

 Fiction by Lucy Foley.

A group of friends who knew one another at Oxford still get together every year to ring in the New Year's together with their significant others, even though it's been over  a decade since college. This year it's a romantic hunting-lodge getaway into the wilds of Scotland, and the friends are looking forward to catching up and binding together the relationships that have been slightly fractured by time.

But once they are all together at the lodge, one of them is killed. Which one is dead, and who killed him or her? The author takes her time in revealing these things. It's a classic locked-room mystery in which the murderer could have been any one of the group.

This seemed like a perfect set-up; however, I didn't like this story as much as I should have. Maybe it's just because most of the characters were rather awful. Maybe it's because it seemed too contrived. Anyways, the story was all right but not great.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

What If It's Us?

 Fiction by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

This was a straight romance about a gay couple.

You might be thinking: Wait, what? Remember, I define a "straight romance" as a book where the entire plot is the romance and nothing else happens.

Unfortunately, in this story, REALLY nothing else happens. I liked the characters, but not enough top sustain hours of will-they-or-won't-they when you KNOW that obviously, THEY WILL.

I have read other books by these authors separately that are better, so I think maybe collaboration is not the best idea for them.

I also read by Adam Silvera : They Both Die at the End
I also read by Becky Albertalli: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Friday, September 4, 2020


 Fiction by Ann Patchett

At the beginning of this story, Bernadette Doyle dies, leaving behind her husband, three sons, and a beautiful statue of the Virgin Mary that looks amazingly like a statue of herself wearing a blue robe and golden halo. The statue is an heirloom from her family, passed from mother to daughter in an unbroken line, and none of Bernadette’s sisters like the idea of leaving it in that household of men after her death. But the boys feel that the statue is their mother herself, watching them from heaven, and in the Doyle house it stays.

This was a good character story that really made me think about the people in it. The only thing I didn't like was the title; although there is someone who runs in the book, it is not about running at all. I think I'd call it something to with the statue that represents the boys' lost mother.

Still, this was a good book, and I will read more by this author.

I also read recently by this author: The Dutch House