Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Pretty Baby

Fiction by Mary Kubica.

Pretty Baby

The author says she started this book with an image: A teenage girl is standing in the rain holding a baby. She is in the middle of the city and appears homeless. A nice middle-class lady who works at a charity sees her. What will she do?

This was a really good thriller that  had interesting characters and held a few plot surprises.

I also read by this author: The Good Girl

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Vinegar Girl

Fiction by Anne Tyler.

Vinegar Girl: A Novel

This is a retelling of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, or "Kiss Me Kate," if you prefer the musical version. It's really fun to read, and much more lighthearted than Anne Tyler's usual style.

Image result for vinegar girl(Although her usual style is fabulous, of course.)

Also, this cover is terrible. The copy I read had a slightly better one. (Image from

I also read recently by this author: A Spool of Blue Thread

Friday, January 26, 2018

Remember When

Fiction by Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb

Remember When (In Death Series)

Guess what? Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb are the same person! Nora Roberts is a romance writer who also pens futuristic crime novels under the pen name J.D. Robb.

How can you co-author a book with your own pseudonym? Well, she did it! Boggles the mind, doesn't it?

This book was actually pretty clever. The idea is: Part One is a straight contemporary romance, with a mystery involving a jewel heist thrown in. Then Part Two is set over fifty years in the future, with J.D. Robb's recurring detective Eve Dallas, and concerning some of the same (still missing) jewels.

It was a fun read.

I also read recently by this author: Year One

Monday, January 22, 2018

Rabbit Cake

Fiction by Annie Hartnett.

Rabbit Cake

Here's another book I chose because I liked the title, AND the cover. I'm so shallow sometimes!

It's an interesting character story about a girl coping with her mother's unexpected death. It was set in Alabama but managed not to be all super-Southern about it, which I liked.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The People We Hate at the Wedding

Fiction by Grant Grinder.

The People We Hate at the Wedding

I'll admit it: This is one of those books I chose just because of the title. Isn't that title fabulous? (To see other books I chose for this ridiculously shallow reason, click here.)

It's about an American brother and sister who travel to England to attend their fabulously wealthy half-sister's wedding. (Obviously the half they share with her is the non-wealthy one.) It was a good premise and I initially liked the repartee between the gay brother and the clever sister.

Unfortunately, I grew to hate the characters more and more as it went on. They stopped being witty and started being petty. I don't know. It just wasn't any fun to read.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Attachments

Fiction by Rainbow Rowell.


This was a nice romance, set at the turn of the century. The twenty-first century, I mean. Who around here is old enough to remember Y2K? Anyone?

Well, the main character here is a tech support guy at the end of 1999, which was a tough time to be the tech support guy. Fortunately, our hero is completely adorable and finds love with the girl of his dreams.

Whoops! Is that a spoiler? I don't think so. It's a ROMANCE. They ALWAYS find love at the end. You read it for the journey to the true love. And this book has a charming journey.

I seriously love Rainbow Rowell!

I also read recently by this author: Landline

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Whispering Room

Fiction by Dean Koontz

The Whispering Room (Jane Hawk Series #2)

This is the sequel to The Silent Cornerwhich I read recently. It's just as good as the first one, and I'm dying to read the third installment... but it has not yet been released, unfortunately.

I've mentioned before about planned series books in which you can tell the author is stretching out the action to fit more than one book. This is NOT one of those. Mr. Koontz NEEDS at least three books to tell this story.

By the way, it's kind of scary. Evil forces threatening the  entire world and all that jazz... but I'm sure it will be all right in the end. Probably.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Rooster Bar

Fiction by John Grisham

The Rooster Bar

Have you ever read a legal thriller, such as one of the many written by the revered Mr. Grisham here, and said to yourself, "Boy I wish I were a lawyer! I should go to law school and then get an exciting an high -paying job after graduation!"

Well, according to this book: John Grisham says DON'T DO IT!!

At the beginning of this story, we are introduced to a group of law students who bought into that very fantasy. They applied to an easy-to-get-into law school, borrowed the exorbitant tuition from the government, and then studied through almost three years of instruction, only to find themselves staring at graduation with a mountain of debt and no job prospects whatsoever. So they decide to try to beat the system somehow and figure out a way out from under this problem.

I enjoyed this book; the characters were engaging and believable and the plot kept me interested. 

I also read recently by this author: Camino Island

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Year One

Fiction by Nora Roberts

Year One (Chronicles of the One Series #1)

This book is called Year One: Chronicles of The One, Book One. So my initial reaction is: Wait, what number is this?

I'm joking, of course.

This story is a bit of a departure for Nora Roberts, who is known mostly for romance novels. She also writes futuristic crime under a different name, but this one is not of that genre either. I'd call it an Armageddon Book, I suppose.

At the start of this novel, a plague begins that will wipe out a good 80% of the world's population. Bummer, huh? But this is one of the interesting type of post-apocalyptic stories, the kind with hope for the human race left behind.

The story is really exciting, but it gets weird rather quickly as well, so it may not be for everyone. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, though. (Which should be number TWO, I think...)

Saturday, January 6, 2018


Fiction by R.J. Palacio.

Wonder (Movie Tie-In Edition)

I think this book is intended for kids, since the hero is a ten-year-old, but I'd say it's really for teens to adults, because it really deals with a troubling set of emotions. But maybe kids can understand it on their own level.

The boy in the story (August) has a facial disfigurement, and his parents decide to send him to school for the first time starting in fifth grade, which is Middle School. Obviously, this is a difficult transition.

I really liked this book because it did not go for the formulaic ideas one might expect from this kind of story:
Handicapped Boy =Saint
His family= Perfect and Ever Loving
His friends = Loyal and True
His enemies = Bad Bad Kids
The Ending = Everyone Happy Happy + Bad Kids Punished

This is a good story about realistic people. I haven't seen the movie, but this book is definitely worth reading.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

One False Move

Fiction by Harlan Coben.

One False Move (Myron Bolitar Series #5)

This book is number five in the Myron Bolitar series. (I had to skip number four, if you are counting, because they didn't have it at the library.)

It was pretty good and had a surprising ending. Still, it's not Mr. Coben's best.

I also read recently by this author: Fade Away

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Secret of Chimneys

Fiction by Agatha Christie.

The Secret of Chimneys

As I mentioned before, (see The Man in the Brown Suit) I'm revisiting the novels of Agatha Christie in the order that they were written by listening to the audiobooks. (I just skipped over a short story collection, by the way, because I'm unfairly [?] prejudiced against short stories. I'm only reading the full novels right now. Sorry.)

So this is the next novel on my list; it is her fourth. This is one of the Spies Plus Murder types; in this sort of story there is a problem that involves some kind of political intrigue along with a murder that must be unraveled by our unlikely hero.

This is a good story with a surprise at the end.