Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What Alice Forgot

Fiction by Liane Moriarty.

What Alice Forgot

This is a story about a woman (named Alice, of course) who forgets the last ten years of her life. She hits her head in 2008 and wakes up thinking it's 1998. This creates a problem, of course. 29-year-old Alice was pregnant with her first baby and madly in love with her husband; 39-year-old Alice has three kids, and is getting a divorce.

I'm not sure how medically possible amnesia this specific is, but I was willing to suspend disbelief. It's an interesting idea to explore: How much does life change over a long period of years? Are you still the same person you were when you were younger? Would the younger version of yourself even understand the way that you are now?

It's a good book.

I also read by this author: The Last Anniversary, The Husband's Secret

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Girl You Left Behind

Fiction by Jo Jo Moyes.

The Girl You Left Behind

Great book.

The story begins in German-occupied France during World War One (Yes I mean WWI. I thought it would be WWII as well, but it wasn't. I guess France just kept on getting occupied.) and jumps ahead to present-day Britain.

The two times are linked by one compelling piece of artwork, a portrait called "The Girl You Left Behind," and the two women who have the painting hanging in their homes.

It's awesome. Read it.

Also by this author: Me Before You

Monday, April 21, 2014

Life After Life

Fiction by Kate Atkinson.

Life After Life

This book had a cool premise: Ursula Todd, the protagonist, was born in Britain in 1910, and she died at birth. Except that she didn't.

Ursula got another chance. And another. And another. And another.

She kept getting born all over again and the same events would appear in her early life, except for the fact that some tiny change would happen and everything would be altered.

She was not exactly being reincarnated, because she was still herself each time. And she did not have the memories of the other life, save some premonition-like flashes that would keep her from going out to far into the ocean this time, or falling off the roof, et cetera. And each life would come out differently, just because of the seemingly minor changes in the events of her childhood.

(This is the difference between this novel and Replay which dealt with the same idea. In that book, the protagonist would go back to an earlier point in his life, but he would retain all the memories he'd had before. And in that book he was fated to die --and return to life-- on the same day no matter what changes he'd made in the interim.)

This concept interests me immensely, and I enjoyed this book. The only problem I had was with the ending.

Which I cannot, of course, give away.

Although I am dying to discuss it. So please read this book and message me, so we can talk about the ending!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sharp Objects

Fiction by Gillian Flynn.

Sharp Objects

This was an interesting mystery thriller. It was not as good as Gone Girl, also by this author, but it sure was creepier.

Also by this author: Dark Places

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Looking for Alaska

Fiction by John Green.

Looking for Alaska

Good book, intended for teens but very readable for adults. This is about a teenage boy from Florida who decides to go away to a boarding school in Alabama.

Other books I've read by this author: Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines, The Fault in Our Stars

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Strangler

Fiction by William Landay.

The Strangler

This is a novel about a cop family in Boston at the time of the "Boston Strangler" killings. I am sorry to say I didn't finish it before it was due at the library. After a renewal.
Defending Jacob

I read Defending Jacob by this same author and really loved it, but I had trouble getting interested in this one.

It may be that I didn't give it enough of a chance.

But... you should read Defending Jacob instead.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Signature of All Things

Fiction by Elizabeth Gilbert.

The Signature of All Things

Really good book. It's not at all like Eat, Pray,Love, which is a positive thing.

(I wrote my opinion of that memoir earlier.)

This is a straight character novel, which is a type of book I like. (One character is followed throughout her entire life and explored in-depth; other characters are explained fully but the story is not about them.) It is about a serious woman botanist in the early 19th century.

It's over 500 pages but worth the time.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Prayers and Lies

Fiction by Sherri Wood Emmons.

Prayers and Lies

Great book about a girl growing up in the late 60's/early 70's along with her sisters and cousins.

I really recommend it.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dead Mountain

Subtitled: the Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident
Nonfiction by Donnie Eichar

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident

I had not heard of the Dyatlov Pass Incident before reading this book. Here's an overview:

In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened. 

This book is by a documentary filmmaker who researched the incident, and it is written in an interesting past-and-present format. And he actually comes up with an explanation at the end that makes sense.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Last Anniversary

Fiction by Liane Moriarty.

The Last Anniversary

This book is full of fun characters and I quite enjoyed it. Here's the premise:

Sophie is a girl who is nearing forty and still unmarried. She is wondering if she should have broken up with that last serious boyfriend (nice respectable boring Thomas), especially since she got along so well with his family. In fact, she got along so very well with his family that his aunt willed her a house, although she and Thomas broke up years ago and he has since married and produced a baby.

Really great book!

I also enjoyed The Husband's Secret by this author.