Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Stay Close

Fiction by Harlan Coben.

Stay Close

An exciting thriller about a suburban mom who used to be a stripper. (Sounds pretty thrilling, right?)

I also read recently by this author: Home

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Shiloh Autumn

Fiction by Bodie Thoene and Brock Thoene.

image from

Set in the Depression era, this was an interesting story based on the author's own family history. The characters were good and I enjoyed it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Fiction by Harlan Coben.

Home (Myron Bolitar Series #11)

Now THIS was a great thriller.

Premise: Two six-year-old boys are kidnapped. Then one of the boys is suddenly found alive after ten years. Where is the other boy? And is the rescued boy really the missing boy he appears to be; can one really tell after ten years?

I had no idea how they were going to resolve this thing. The ending was a true surprise.

And then, after reading this whole book, I discover it is actually number ELEVEN in a series?! Whoa.

I have mentioned previously how I don't like jumping into a series late in the game, because you get a feeling throughout the story that you are missing something. I never got that feeling in this book. That's some masterful writing right there.

Well played, Mr. Coben.

I also read recently by this author: The Stranger.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Woman in Cabin 10

Fiction by Ruth Ware.

The Woman in Cabin 10

In this story, a woman goes on an ocean cruise and may or may not hear a body being thrown overboard in the middle of the night.

It's a good thriller; it's got a great beginning and a great end but it drags just a bit in the middle. (I say that to clarify the difference between a good thriller and a great thriller.)

I'd recommend it for the plot surprises.

I also read by this author: In a Dark Dark Wood

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Script by J. K. Rowling and Jack Thorne.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I & II

TAGLINE: The Eighth Story. Nine Years Later.

Excuse me, y'all, while I go SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Oh. My. Gosh. I LOVE Harry Potter!!! This is so fabulous!!! I can't believe it!!!

All right, I will calm down now and stop acting like a tween at a One Direction concert. (Wait. Do tweens still like One Direction? I don't know. But you get the idea.)

First of all, if you haven't read ALL SEVEN Harry Potter books, stop what you're doing NOW and go read them. I'm not kidding. GO!!

I say this because this script will only be interesting (or even possibly comprehensible) to you if you already understand what happened before.

Also because the first seven Harry Potter books are all TWO THUMBS UP.

Anyways, I love this script and the further plot twists it had in store for grown-up Harry and his family. My only gripe is, well... It's a script. It's not a novel. It is just bare bones compared with the masterful writing of the first seven novels.

And I get it; that's the way it was meant. J.K. Rowling is tired of intricately drawing us into the Harry Potter world; she just tossed out a (wonderful) plot and threw it at a (very good) scriptwriter. And don't get me wrong! It's a great script.

But still... I wish it were a novel....

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Juliet Naked

Fiction by Nick Hornby.

Juliet, Naked

The title of this book is a real attention-grabber, as I'm sure the author intended. And may I suggest that you do NOT Google it, because I got some very disturbing results along with the actual book when I did. Just follow my link above to b&n if you want more information.

First of all, the book is not about anyone literally naked.

Sorry, But it's not.

Specifically, the title refers to a record album in an "unplugged" version, with a song called "Juliet" that is stripped, if you will, of all its musical trappings and released as just guitar and vocals.

But the book is about a girl called Annie and her relationships, and she is an interesting character to read about.

Image result for juliet naked by nick hornbyI've read several of Nick Hornby's books and I really love the engaging characters and their unique voices, but he often has a little problem with plot resolution and tends to dispense singularly unsatisfying endings. So this book, like some others of his, is good but not as good as it really should be.

Also, I don't like that yellow cover either, The version I read had the black cover you see here, which is better, I think.

(Additional image from

I also read by this author recently: Funny Girl, How to be Good

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Boys in the Boat

Nonfiction by Daniel James Brown.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

I feel really bad about this, because everyone told me what a great book this is, but I just couldn't finish reading it.

I mean, seriously. This nice lady at my church lent it to me, and told me she loved it, and I'm embarrassed to give it back. Strangers saw me reading it at the dentist's office and told me how fabulous it was. I felt mentally deficient because my eyes were crossing with boredom even as they spoke.

Obviously there is something terribly wrong with me that I'm more than halfway through this thing and it still feels like I'm slogging through molasses here.

I think my problem is that there is too much BOAT and not enough BOYS in this book. I like stories about people, remember? And this book just spent way too much time on the mechanics of the sport for me.

I'm sorry, Boys in the Boat. It's not you. It's me.

Friday, November 4, 2016

One Light Still Shines

Nonfiction by Marie Monville.

One Light Still Shines: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting

This is the true story of the woman whose husband shot those Amish schoolgirls and then killed himself back in 2006. Of course, I remember this terrible incident and the way the Amish people chose to forgive and not retaliate in any way.

But to hear the story from the widow herself is amazing. It's worth reading.