Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

Fiction by Stephen King.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

This is probably a novella by Stephen King's standards, clocking in at only 262 pages. It is the story of a little girl lost in the woods, but it is not a fairytale. It's a survival story, and a harsh one.

Hatchet (Brian's Saga Series #1)It reminded me of an extremely dark version of Hatchet, the Gary Paulson classic, except it of course is not for children.

I also read recently by this author: The Gunslinger

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Somebody Else's Kids

Nonfiction by Torey Hayden.

Somebody Else's Kids: The True Story of Four Problem Children and One Extraordinary Teacher

I read several books by Torey Hayden, a child psychologist/teacher who worked with disturbed or disabled kids and wrote about it, a couple of years ago in kind of a streak. Recently I was thinking about her stories again because I have several friends who are teachers, one specifically in special education, and we had been talking about the difference a teacher can make in a child's life. In the day to day work, it often seems as if nothing is changing with the troubled child, but when you look back over the year's work, you can see that progress has been made. I encouraged my friends to persevere with their "problem kids," and possibly document the process just for their own encouragement.

But I digress.

I found this when looking for books by Torey Hayden that I hadn't already read. It was as engrossing as the others, and also as realistic. Torey herself mentions her own occasional feelings of discouragement, and even has another educator tell her that she is "wasting herself" on these hopeless children. What a bummer! But the amazing thing is that she never gives up. At the end of the story there are no miracle cures or storybook perfect endings, but the children in her class are better off than they were before.

I also read by this author: Just Another Kid, One Child

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Fiction by Dean Koontz.


I read this book years ago but had forgotten about it, so I picked it up again. It's still good.

I also read recently by this author: the Frankenstein series

Friday, August 4, 2017

Their Lost Daughters

Fiction by Joy Ellis.

Since this book was billed as:
a gripping crime thriller with a huge twist!
I kind of expected it to be more exciting.

It was a good enough crime store, but not exactly a thriller.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Play Dead

Fiction by Harlan Coben.

Play Dead

This is one of Harlan Coben's earlier novels that had been re-released. It was a pretty good thriller, but less surprising than I prefer. The title itself kind of gives the plot away and you can tell the whole time that the main character is faking his own death. I guess the only mystery is WHY he did it.... That was kind of surprising!

I also read recently by this author: Miracle Cure

Monday, July 31, 2017


Fiction by Chris Fabry.


This was a really good story about a woman haunted by lingering love fro an ex-boyfriend who is about to get out of prison.

It had a great surprise at the end!

I also read recently by this author: Every Waking Moment

Monday, July 24, 2017

I'd Know You Anywhere

Fiction by Laura Lippman.

I'd Know You Anywhere: A Novel

In this story, a woman receives an unexpected letter from a man who has been on death row for over ten years. He was a kidnapper and serial killer, and she was the only one of his victims who lived. What does he want?

Really good book!!

I also read recently by this author: The Power of Three

Monday, July 17, 2017

Camino Island

Fiction by John Grisham.

Camino Island

I'd call this a classic "heist story," the kind where you want the bad guys to get away with the huge theft, and at the same time you also want them to get caught. This was a good story and I enjoyed it more than I have John Grisham's other recent books.

I also read recently by this author: The Whistler

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Thanh Ho Delivers

Fiction by Fred Bonnie.

Thanh Ho Delivers

I found this in the book exchange at the library in Shelby County, Alabama. It's by a local author, and I'm always interested in things like that.

The story was pretty good, but unexpected. It's about a Vietnamese girl who flees the fall of Saigon in the mid-seventies and ends up in Birmingham, Alabama, of all places. I liked the book but I wasn't sure about the ending.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Fiction by Mary Anna Evans.

Relics (Faye Longchamp Series #2)

This was an archeological mystery, which is not a genre I've encountered before. It centered around a fictional ethnic group in Alabama,(which shared some traits with existing ones) and was pretty interesting.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A House Divided

Fiction by Robert Whitlow.

A House Divided

This was a good legal thriller with some believeable characters.

I also read recently by this author: The Witness

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Miracle Cure

Fiction by Harlan Coben.

Miracle Cure

This, apparently, was one of Harlan Coben's very early novels that has been re-released. It was pretty good.

It's a medical thriller from the very early 90's about AIDS, so if you are old enough to remember that era and the attitudes that existed --which I am-- you'll find it interesting.

I also read recently by this author: Promise Me

Monday, June 19, 2017

Dean Koontz Frankenstein Series

Fiction by Dean Koontz

The Frankenstein Series 5-Book Bundle: Frankenstein: Prodigal Son, City of Night, Dead and Alive, Lost Souls, The Dead Town

I started reading this series a long time ago and just recently found out that the last two books had been published. I had enjoyed the first books a lot but had forgotten quite a bit about them. So, of course, I had to go back and re read the first three books.

This is an interesting take on the "Frankenstein" theme and an exciting read. I liked the conclusion.

I also read recently by this author: Ashley Bell

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Ice Princess

Fiction by Camilla Lackberg,

The Ice Princess (FjÀllbacka Series #1)

I had some trouble getting interested in this book. I'm not sure what the problem was, but I didn't care as much as I should about who murdered this girl.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Girls in the Garden

Fiction by Lisa Jewell.

The Girls in the Garden

In this story, a woman with two adolescent daughters moves into a house with a communal park in the backyard, and something terrible happens to one of the girls in that park.

It was an interesting story with good characters. I wasn't completely satisfied with the ending, though.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Think Twice

Fiction by Lisa Scottoline.

Think Twice (Rosato & Associates Series #11)

This was an exciting thriller about a woman whose identical twin tries to impersonate her. It seemed way too easy for this chick to fool everyone into thinking she was her sister, which concerned me.

It led me to this conversation with my husband:

ME: Do you think you would know if someone was impersonating me?
HIM: What?
ME: I mean, like if someone was pretending to be me, would you know it wasn't me?
HIM: What?
ME: Well, I was reading this book where the lady had an identical twin who impersonated her.
HIM: You don't have an identical twin.
ME: I mean if I did. Would you know?
HIM: Yeah. If you had a twin I would know.
ME: No. I mean, would you know it wasn't me?
HIM: What?

This conversation was not reassuring.

The book was really good, though.

I also recently read by this author: Every Fifteen Minutes

Monday, May 29, 2017


Fiction by Delia Ephron.


When I typed the author's name above, I accidentally put "Nora Ephron" first, instead of the correct sister's first name. I'll bet poor Delia gets that a lot. And, interestingly enough, it looks like Delia is the more prolific writer, although Nora seems to be more well-known. But I digress.

This was another strange book, more of a character story than a plot-driven novel, although some things do happen. It is about two couples (one with a child) who go on vacation together, with the odd complication that none of them actually seem to like each other that much, except the ones who used to date but are now married to other people.

Yes, we actually have a woman here who says to herself, "I think it would be nice to take a vacation abroad with my husband and child, and I believe we should take along my husband's ex-girlfriend and her husband! Just for fun!" Not surprisingly, trouble arises on this trip...

Friday, May 26, 2017

Paradise Lodge

Fiction by Nina Stibbe.

Paradise Lodge

In 1977, a fifteen-year-old girl called Lizzie gets a job as a nurse's assistant in a private old-folk's home. I suppose the licensing requirements for such things were a bit looser then, which is good because Lizzie really doesn't seem to know what she is doing, and neither do some of the real nurses in the book. I, for one, was glad when an efficient nurse showed up to fix things properly for the nice elderly people in this home.

This was an interesting character story, but also a bit strange. I'm not sure where it was going, plot-wise, or if it arrived. It held my attention, though, and I liked the people in the book.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Here's to Us

Fiction by Elin Hildebrand.

Here's to Us

From the cover of the book, I was expecting a best-girl-friends-at-the-beach kind of story. And it was about three women who gathered at a beach house in Nantucket, but they were not on a girls' getaway.

The three women were ex(or almost-ex)-wives of a celebrity chef who had died unexpectedly, gathered with their respective children to scatter the man's ashes. This made for an interesting novel!

I also read recently by this author: The Rumor

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Gunslinger

(The Dark Tower Series, Book #1)
Fiction by Stephen King

The Gunslinger (Dark Tower Series #1)

The Dark Tower series is supposed to be one of Stephen King's best, and there is apparently a movie version coming out soon, so I thought I'd start reading with book one.

It was interesting and held my attention, but oh! It was so BLEAK. I don't know if I can handle another book.

Yes, I realize that perhaps I should expect such from Stephen King, but not all of his books are about terrible things and terrible people. I have loved some of his books and hated others. He writes so very many! This one, I'm not sure how to categorize,

I also read recently by this author: 11/22/63, From a Buick 8, The Wind Through The Keyhole

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Promise Me

Fiction by Harlan Coben.

Promise Me (Myron Bolitar Series #8)

This was an exciting thriller. Although it's listed as "Myron Bolitar #8," I feel you could read it without having read the previous seven Myron books. (I've only read #1 and #2 myself, and they were not as good as this one, or #11 Home.)

This book focuses on a pair of missing girls who just turned eighteen and had attended the same high school. They may or may not be runaways, and their disappearances may or may not be related.

I also read recently by this author: Just One Look

Thursday, May 18, 2017

China Rich Girlfriend

Fiction by Kevin Kwan

China Rich Girlfriend

This was a super fun book with a good plot and amusing characters. It's about the super-rich of Singapore, Hong Kong, and China. (Think Jackie Collins, but with Asians.)

It's a sequel to Crazy Rich Asians (see below), so read that one first for best enjoyment.

I also read by this author: Crazy Rich Asians

Sunday, May 14, 2017


Fiction by Scott Westerfeld.


Afterworlds is a story-within-a-story, a young adult novel imagined as if it were written by an actual eighteen-year-old. So the story is also about the writing process as well, which makes this novel unique and interesting.

I really like Scott Westerfeld; I recommend the "Uglies" series, all four books, if you haven't yet read them.

I also read recently by this author: Leviathan, Behemoth, and Goliath

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Wee Free Men

Fiction by Terry Pratchett.

The Wee Free Men: The First Tiffany Aching Adventure (Discworld Series #30)

I enjoyed this bit of lighthearted fantasy; it's a story about a world where fairy-tale creatures, good and bad, are real if you know how to see them. There is a whole series vailable here, so I'm going to check out the next book.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Love and Other Near-Death Experiences

Fiction by Mil Millington.

Love and Other Near Death Experiences

This was a funny novel about a radio presenter with serious mental-health issues. He has a "near-death experience" that leaves him terrified to make even the smallest decision in his life.

Yeah, I know that doesn't sound funny on the surface, so maybe you need a kind of warped sense of humor (which I have) to enjoy it (which I did). Also you need the ability to not be offended by British cussing.

I also read by this author: A Certain Chemistry