Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Ice Princess

Fiction by Camilla Lackberg,

The Ice Princess (FjÀllbacka Series #1)
https://www.barnesandnoble.com

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
https://www.barnesandnoble.com

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)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

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

Siracusa

Fiction by Delia Ephron.

Siracusa
https://www.barnesandnoble.com

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
https://www.barnesandnoble.com

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
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

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)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

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)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

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
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

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

Afterworlds

Fiction by Scott Westerfeld.

Afterworlds
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

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)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

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
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

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

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Every Waking Moment

Fiction by Chris Fabry.

Every Waking Moment
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This was a really good novel with memorable characters. Who would believe a story about an impaired woman working in a nursing home could be so captivating? Great book!


I also read by this author:  June Bug and Almost Heaven

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Just One Look

Fiction by Harlan Coben.

Just One Look
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

At the beginning of this book, a mom picks up a roll of film developed at the local Photo-Mat and discovers a picture inside that should not be there. (Obviously this was written over ten years ago. Just go with it. Google the phrase "film developing" if you need help.)

Since I'm actually old enough to remember the pre-digital age, I've experienced the fun surprise of picking up photos. What will be in the packet? What if you found a picture there that changed everything?

This was a great thriller. I really had no idea what was going to happen at the end!



I also read recently by this author: Six Years

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Ringmaster's Wife

Fiction by Kristy Cambron.

The Ringmaster's Wife
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This a was a pretty good story, a fictionalized version of the life of Mable Ringling, wife of one of the famous Ringling Brothers. It was not as good as The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, another circus novel I read recently, but still worth reading.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Black and Blue

Fiction by Ian Rankin.

Black and Blue (Inspector John Rebus Series #8)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

I found this book on a list of "Books You Can't Put Down" and searched for it at the library. This led me to another book of the same title  that I read a few weeks ago and loved.

This one, however, I did not really like. It was too much of the Mr. Tortured Hero Detective for my taste, and the ending was unsatisfying. I did actually want to finish it though, so I'm not giving it a complete thumbs down.





Saturday, April 29, 2017

All the Missing Girls

Fiction by Megan Miranda.

All the Missing Girls
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This was the selection for my online book club this month. It was supposed to be a thriller but I had some trouble staying interested in it.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Six Years

Fiction by Harlan Coben.

Six Years
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This was a great thriller about a guy searching for his lost love. Not in a sappy way, mind you, but in a butt-kicking way that's much more exciting. I liked it a lot!


I also read recently by this author: Gone for Good

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Alaska

Fiction by James Michener.

Alaska
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This is one long book. 1152 pages, according to the webpage above. I listened to it on audiobook, however, where it's measured at a whopping 57 hours and 19 minutes. That's a lot of time. This thing took me months to get through.

It had a lot of good history in it, but I had some troubles staying interested for such a LOOONNNGGG time. I would get interested in a character, and then he'd finish with them and move on to someone else. I guess there's no way around switching characters when you're trying to cover millions (yeah, MILLIONS!!) of years in a story, but still...

I dunno if I'd recommend this one or not. It depends on how much time you have , I guess.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Black and Blue

Fiction by Anna Quindlen.

Black and Blue
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

I've loved everything I've read by Anna Quindlen. Since this was one of her early books, I was prepared to lower my expectations; however, it was not necessary.

This was both a character novel and a thriller, a story about a woman fleeing her abusive husband.


I also read by this author recently: Miller's Valley

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Talk Before Sleep

Fiction by Elizabeth Berg.

Talk Before Sleep
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

So... this book is about a woman whose best friend dies of breast cancer. This is not a spoiler, because it's obvious from page one. The sleep referred to in the title is of the dirt-nap variety. There is no hope of recovery.

Now, I don't expect a story like that to be cheerful, but it was a bit too bleak for me.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Two by Two

Fiction by Nicholas Sparks.

Two by Two
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Okay. I really like Nicholas Sparks as a writer, and I usually enjoy his books. However, I had some trouble with this one at the beginning. Here's my summary of the first half of the book:

Once upon a time there was a guy. He was completely awesome. Mind you, he wasn't perfect, but his flaws were so minor as to be almost imperceptible to the naked eye. Certainly, he was ALMOST perfect. But this awesome guy had a problem: he was married to a terrible terrible woman. But, because he was so VERY awesome, he tried very hard to love and understand this terrible terrible woman. He even tried to make excuses for this woman, so that others wouldn't see how very terrible she truly was, but it was obvious to the reader that she was a complete B. Clearly the only solution here would be to divorce this witch, but our awesome hero would never do such a thing. What is an awesome guy to do?

Clearly, I had some trouble swallowing this premise. (And yes, I admit that if had been about a saintly long-suffering WIFE married to a complete jerk I'd have had no problems. Sorry. Call me sexist.) The whole setup seemed very contrived. Why was the author trying so hard to make us see the blamelessness of his protagonist? So I looked up Nicholas Sparks, and found that he just recently divorced his OWN wife of over 25 years. AHA!! I said. NOW we understand the statement he is making.

Be that as it may, once I got past the first half of the book and the B was finally out the door, the novel got way better. So it was okay, I guess?



I also read recently by this author: See Me

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sky Raiders (Five Kingdoms #1)

Youth Fiction by Brandon Mull.

Sky Raiders (Five Kingdoms Series #1)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

I've been reading this book to the twins, who are about to turn nine.

It was unexpectedly scary at the beginning, since I picked it up at the thrift store and didn't know what it was about. It started out as a regular sixth-grade kid going to school with his regular sixth-grade friends, and then WHOA! BAD THINGS started happening. The twins were shocked. (So was I.)

And for those of you who think I should have known what was coming from the scary-looking cover --what IS that crazy black crab thing?!-- remember, I got it from the thrift store. It had a much calmer cover, I promise.

Anyways, it's pretty good so far. I might keep reading the series even if the twins lose interest.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Crazy Rich Asians

Fiction by Kevin Kwan.

Crazy Rich Asians
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This book was recommended to me by a friend. She is from Hong Kong so she probably got the jokes without reading the footnotes, but even a white-bread like me could appreciate the over-the-top fun of these crazy characters.

So I was expecting to see inside a different culture from a slightly humorous perspective, but I didn't realize the story would be so good as well! I enjoyed this book.


Monday, April 3, 2017

The Women of the Silk

Fiction by Gail Tsukiyama.

Women of the Silk
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Set in early twentieth century China, this was a good character novel. I enjoyed reading it, and was disappointed when it ended.