Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Skipping Christmas

Fiction by John Grisham.

Skipping Christmas
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

I read this a few years ago and it is hilarious! I decided to revisit it on audiobook this holiday season.

I definitely recommend it!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Spymistress

Fiction by Jennifer Chiaverini.

The Spymistress (Signed Edition)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

An interesting story about a Richmond woman who worked against the Confederacy during the Civil War. This offended me a little bit as a Southerner, but still...

It's based on a true story.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Before I Go To Sleep

Fiction by S.J. Watson.

Before I Go to Sleep
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This was a good book about an amnesiac woman.

The moral of the story... Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean that they aren't out to get you....



Monday, December 16, 2013

The Chaperone

Fiction by Laura Moriarty.

The Chaperone
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This is a really interesting story about a woman who chaperoned silent film star Louise Brooks in 1922.



Other books I've read by this author: While I'm Falling and The Center of Everything.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Cage

Youth nonfiction by Ruth Minsky Sender.

The Cage
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

A Holocaust memoir, this is the other autobiography my daughter rejected in favor of that snoozer about Einstein.

This story was well-told without being too horrifying, probably because it was intended for young people.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Secret Daughter

Fiction by Shilpi Soamaya Gowda.

Secret Daughter: A Novel
http://www.barnesandnoble.com


A really good novel about a girl from India adopted by American parents, this book tells an authentic-feeling story.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Beautiful Ruins

Fiction by Jess Walter

Beautiful Ruins

What an awesome, AWESOME book, and it's made even better by the performance of the audio version I listened to.

This is a story about the 1962 set of Cleopatra, coastal Italy, and modern Hollywood. You have to read it.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Chinese Cinderella

Youth Nonfiction by Adeline Yen Mah.

Chinese Cinderella
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This is a memoir of the author's childhood in China during the 1940's. (Hint from the title: she was cruelly mistreated by her stepmother.)

I got this because I was looking for a biography/autobiography for my daughter to read for a book report. This is one of the books she rejected but I thought it was very good. (More about the other book she didn't want in a couple of days.)

My daughter ended up reading about Albert Einstein instead, by the way. Much less interesting.

(Although we did learn that Einstien had a long-lost illegitimate daughter. Which makes him a little more fun.)



Friday, December 6, 2013

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

Nonfiction by Jen Hatmaker.

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Okay. This was a great book, and inspirational. "An experimental mutiny against excess," she says.

Oh, that really resonates, doesn't it?

But it's also...problematic. I mean, I'm an American.

Excess is my life.

Although we (probably) all agree we SHOULD "make do with less," and that "less is more," and really "it's better to give than to receive".....

We really like having all our stuff. Or at least I do.

This book was definitely food for thought.

And, although I (ironically) finished reading about how I should be spending-consuming-wasting less today, while scarfing a fast food hamburger after Christmas shopping......

I'd definitely recommend it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Safe House: A Thriller

Fiction by Chris Ewan.

Safe House: A Thriller
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Good book with an interesting setting, although a little slow for "A Thriller."

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead

Fiction by Paul Elwork.

The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This is a story about pair of adolescent twins in 1925 who decide to pretend to contact the dead, and then deal with some unexpected consequences. Hint: People don't like you to scam them. Even back in the 20's.

I chose it because the title is cool.

It was an interesting book but not very cheerful. As one might expect from the somber title I suppose...



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Forbidden

Fiction by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee.

Forbidden
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This story was set in a dystopian future where everyone's emotions had been genetically removed.

Oh, except fear. They had to leave that one in in order to control everyone.

The book was good, but I had trouble buying the premise. I think society, and particularly families, would fall apart without any emotional bonds to hold us together. But the guy in the book has a mom and a dad and a girlfriend....(?!) It's weird. I had a problem getting into the story because I just didn't believe it.

Also it's the beginning of a series, so you have to wait for the next book to find out what happens, which is annoying.




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Need to Know

Fiction by Christine Merrill.

Need to Know
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

A lighthearted romance/suspense story. It was fun to read.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Calling Invisible Women

Fiction by Jeanne Ray.

Calling Invisible Women
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

In this story, the main character turns invisible and no one notices.

(This scared me. I'm pretty sure no one would notice if I turned invisible. Read more about that here if you're interested.)

But the story was good. It turns out there is a REASON that she is invisible, and she's not the only one who is suffering from this problem.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

It's Kind of a Funny Story

Fiction by Ned Vizzini.

It's Kind of a Funny Story
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This is a story about teenage boy in Manhattan who has a loving family and gets good grades at a challenging high school. Unfortunately he also wants to kill himself.

Obviously this kid goes to a mental hospital. That's what the story is about.

The author does a good job of really helping you see this character from the inside. I actually believed that this dude with the near-perfect life was in abject despair. It's a very interesting character study.





Tuesday, November 12, 2013

By the Light of the Moon

Fiction by Dean Koontz.

By the Light of the Moon
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

In this book, an artist who is traveling with his autistic brother is injected with an unknown substance by a crazy doctor in a desert motel.

Cool beginning, right? It's a good book and has several unexpected twists.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sanctuary



Youth fiction by Jenny Carroll/Meg Cabot.

Sanctuary (1-800-Where-R-You Series)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This is the fourth book in the 1-800-WHERE-R-U series.

Code Name CassandraAfter I read Safe House, which I thought was book two, I found out it was book three (GRRR) and had to go back and read Code Name:Cassandra.

I hate it when I read a series out of order, but these books are actually good enough to stand alone.

Anyways, this was a great series.

So now I'll go back to grown-up fiction, I guess.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Safe House

Youth Fiction by Jenny Carroll.

Safe House (1-800-Where-R-You Series #3)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This is a sequel to When Lightning Strikes, which I read last week.

It's also a good lighthearted read. Jenny Carroll/Meg Cabot is a fun writer.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Round House

Fiction by Louise Erdrich.

The Round House
http://www.barnesandnoble.com


This is the story of a Native American woman's brutal rape and its effect on her 13-year-old son.

It was sometimes hard to follow and I had trouble engaging with the story, but I did want to keep reading and find out the end. Since it won a National Book Award it may be too intellectual for me.

I was surprised to learn from the book about the legal red tape involved in crimes committed on reservations versus those in other areas. It makes a difference if the perpetrator is Indian or non-Indian as well. All these factors made it very difficult for the woman in the book to get justice. It was upsetting to know that this sort of racial injustice is still legally happening.

So I'll have to give this one mixed-thumbs. A good and well-written book, but I didn't enjoy reading it.


The Round House, by Louise Erdrich


On a lighter note, the above cover from b&n was much prettier than the library copy I read.>>>>

So...  kudos to the designer of the bright red cover.

(this image from http://www.nationalbook.org)

Monday, November 4, 2013

American Ghost

Fiction by Janis Owens.

American Ghost
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This was not a ghost story. The eponymous ghost is strictly metaphorical.

(Ooo, what a learned sentence I just typed! I'm so impressed with myself!)

Self-congratulations aside, this is a novel about the ghosts of the past, and how old sins cast long shadows, and all that jazz.

It was a good story, but a little slow.



Friday, November 1, 2013

When Lightning Strikes

Youth Fiction by Jenny Carroll.
(who is also Meg Cabot)

When Lightning Strikes
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This is a fun quick read. Exciting and enjoyable.



I also read by this author: The Queen of Babble, books 1 2 and 3.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Snow in Summer

Youth Fiction by Jane Yolen.

Snow in Summer
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Interesting retelling of the Snow White story, set in Depression-era Appalachia.



I also read recently by this author: Curse of the Thirteenth Fey