Sunday, November 10, 2019

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World

Fiction by C.A. Fletcher

I chose this book solely for the title. I just liked the sound of it.

Fortunately it was a really good story. It's about exactly what the title says: In the dystopian future, there are very few humans left in the world, but there is Griz, and his dog. And when someone steals Griz's dog, what can he do but chase down the thief and get that dog back?

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Safe Haven

Fiction by Patricia MacDonald.

This is the twentieth book by Patricia MacDonald I've read within the past year. I think I am at the end of the library's stock here, which is very sad for me.

In this story, a girl called Dena has recently moved back to her old hometown to start a new life with her boyfriend Brian, a boy she'd crushed on in high school and had been excited to reconnect with at the tenth class reunion. But now that she is less than two months away from having her first baby with Brian, she's starting to feel less than sure she made the right choice.

This was an exciting thriller with a surprise ending!

I also read recently by this author: Mother's Day

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Double Identity

Fiction by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This book was in the kids' section of the library, but I'd call it more like a young adult story. It was an exciting novel for me to read as an adult as well.

Bethany is almost thirteen when her usually over-protective parents inexplicably fall apart, freak out, and dump her on an aunt she's never met. Her mom and dad then disappear, and Bethany doesn't know why. Her aunt doesn't want to talk about it but everyone is treating her strangely....

The answer to the mystery in this story was very surprising! I really liked this book.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Good Riddance

Fiction by Elanor Lipman

Daphne's mother June left Daphne something strange in her will: a high school yearbook from 1968. The weird thing about the yearbook is that June was not in the graduating class of 1968; she was the yearbook adviser and a first-year teacher that year. And the yearbook is full of little notations about the students, made by June over the years as she attended every single reunion that the graduating class of 1968 held.

In a fit of annoyance at this strange legacy, Daphne decides to toss out the yearbook while "de-cluttering" one day.... but what happens if someone else finds it? What follows is a fun little story that I found really enjoyable.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Other Mrs. Miller

Fiction by Allison Dickson.

At the beginning of this story, privileged heiress Phoebe Miller is dissatisfied with her marriage and her life, but she seems unable to do anything about it. Plus there's someone watching her from a parked car outside her house every day, that she also isn't doing anything about. When she finally does something, however, it's the wrong thing.

This was a pretty good thriller; it was interesting and exciting. My only problem was how very far-fetched it got, but I guess it is supposed to be fiction...

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Everything to Lose

Fiction by Andrew Gross

I've never read anything by this author, I don't think, although I've seen his name a lot. Recently he's been co-writing with (which I think means ghost-writing for) big-name author James Patterson.

This was an exciting thriller about a single mother who is tempted to do something (maybe) illegal to dig herself out of a financial hole. Her recent job loss and deadbeat ex make her feel she has no choice but to take a chance that she may regret. The characters were believable and the action was fast-paced.

I'll definitely look for more by Andrew Gross.

Friday, November 1, 2019

The Great Alone

Fiction by Kristin Hannah

Leni is thirteen years old when her unstable father decides to uproot the family once again, this time to move to the wilds of Alaska. It's both a wonderful and a terrible thing for her, and of course it changes her life completely.

This is an amazing story and a vivid portrait of life in the Alaskan bush. Having lived in Alaska myself, albeit (thankfully) in the civilized part, I can relate to the crushing darkness of winter and the manic exuberance of summer pictured here. It's an awful place, and a beautiful place.

This was a really really good book!!

I also read recently by this author: The Nightingale

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Boy Born Dead

Nonfiction by David Ring, David Wideman, and John Driver

This was an interesting true story about David Ring, a young man with cerebral palsy who became a great speaker and evangelist. It's told in a surprising way, through the point of view of David Wideman, a boy who befriended him when the two were teenagers. The result is a very readable story that, I think, would have been less compelling told from just David Ring's viewpoint.

So the writing credit should really go solely to the "ghostwriter" John Driver, in my opinion, because he conducted the interviews of both boys, made the artistic choice to change point of view and make the story ten times stronger than a first-person account would have been and... oh yeah, DID THE ACTUAL WRITING of the book. But such is the fate of ghostwriters, I suppose.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Spell or High Water

Fiction by Scott Meyer.

This is the sequel to Off to be the Wizard, which I read recently and really enjoyed. The sequel was less fun, maybe because the novelty of the first story has worn off for me, or because I spent much of the book in the throes of "Oh-No-I-Can't-Look Syndrome,"** worrying about the characters making bad decisions that would come back to haunt them.

It was a pretty fun book, but I'm unsure about pursuing the series further.

**Oh-No-I-Can't-Look Syndrome

(see Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult)

That's when you know a main character is making a major error in judgement that's going to have huge and terrible consequences.

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Darkest Time of Night

Fiction by Jeremy Finley

As a little girl, Lynn was terrified of the woods behind her house and had been strictly forbidden by her father to enter them. This makes sense, of course, but it's less understandable that she still feels the same way at age seventy when her grandsons plan a campout near those same woods, and she goes into a full on panic. But when eight year old William disappears during that camp out it seems that Lynn may have had a real reason for her fear.

This was a strange book, but it was exciting and had a pretty good conclusion.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


Fiction by Joyce Carol Oates

This book... I just don't know. It starts with a young newly-married woman who inexplicably throws herself in front of a bus. Or maybe it's an accident.  Then it goes into her confusing backstory while she's(maybe) in a coma in the hospital. It was as creepy as I'd expect from Joyce Carol Oates, but way too convoluted and not absorbing enough.

I also read by this author Daddy Love

Sunday, October 20, 2019


Fiction by Ellsion Cooper

This is the sequel to Caged, which I read recently, part of a new series about a female FBI agent who catches serial killers. The first book was really extreme in its plot, I thought, with the creepy detail of victims being held in a cage and the surprise ending when the killer is someone you never suspected.

This story goes even further over-the-top, I thought, so I seriously wonder where the author can go from here.

It's an exciting mystery thriller with plenty of gory detail.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Quantum Coin

Fiction by E.C. Myers

This is the sequel to Fair Coin, a great sci-fi novel I read recently. It's a great conclusion and answers a lot of questions I had about the ideas behind the first story. Also I liked the characters a lot, so it's always fun to see what happens next for them.
I think I'd say you MUST read the first book first on this one.

Also I don't like the cover pictured above; my copy had a better one that matched the first book. --->

Image from

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


Fiction by Ken Follett

This was an exciting spy novel based on a true story about the Mossad in 1968. It was very good.

I also read recently by this author: Jackdaws

Sunday, October 13, 2019


Fiction by Edward Carey

This was an interesting story about a diminutive servant girl in eighteenth-century Switzerland and France with special talents. I enjoyed it a lot because I liked the characters, but it was a bit odd.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Off to be the Wizard

Fiction by Scott Meyer

I can't really explain this book, but it was really good.

It begins with a nerdy guy called Martin in modern Seattle who discovers that he can somehow manipulate reality through his computer, and then ends up having to pretend to be a wizard in medieval England.

Yeah; you just have to read it to understand. There's a sequel and I'm totally getting it.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Murder is Easy

Fiction by Agatha Christie.

This is one of Agatha Christie's stories that does not use a serial detective, such as the ubiquitous Poirot, although there is a main character (Luke Fitzwilliam) who is a retired police detective, and he does eventually solve the case. Perhaps she was thinking of trying to make him a recurring character, but I think he's supposed to be a one-off. Luke is a good character; instead of a know-it-all detective type who reveals all in the last chapter, he seems to sort of stumble into the solution just in time.

It's a good mystery.

I also read recently by this author: And Then There Were None

Wednesday, October 9, 2019


Subtitled: A Memoir of (My) Body
Nonfiction by Roxane Gay

This is definitely a memoir of the author's body, and hers alone. I think she's trying to make a statement about women in general and our love-hate relationship with our own fat-thin bodies, and I get that, but it doesn't really fly well. It's mostly a navel-gazing type of book, which is not my favorite style. Even though the navel she's gazing at does look quite a lot like my own, as a "woman of size" in a world that tells me to take up less space.

Really the only interesting thing in this book is what she says about the (annoyingly frequent) claim that inside every fat woman is a skinny woman trying to get out: "Yes; I ate that skinny woman. She was delicious but unsatisfying." HA!

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Cellar

Fiction by Minette Walters

In this disturbing story, fourteen-year-old Muna lives a terrible life in the home of the Songolis, an immigrant family who have to hide her identity from the British police in order to report their son's mysterious disappearance. Under local police scrutiny, Mr. and Mrs. Songoli have to suspend Muna's beatings and attempt to treat as if she were a daughter.

But Muna is not their daughter; she is an orphan girl whom they have treated as a slave ever since they'd stolen her seven or eight years ago in their native country, somewhere in Africa.

This was a fascinating book, but very very dark.

I also read recently by this author: The Turn of Midnight

Friday, October 4, 2019


Fiction by Ellison Cooper

A young girl's body is founded caged up in the basement of an abandoned D.C. house, and it's up to Sayer Altair, an FBI agent to find out who put her there, and how to save another girl in the same predicament who may still be alive.

This was an exciting thriller!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Last Romantics

Fiction by Tara Conklin

This story begins in the future, but it is a story of the past. Specifically, it's about the past of a poet named Fiona Skinner, and her brother and sisters growing up in the eighties after their father's untimely death.

It was a really good character novel.

I also read recently by this author: The House Girl

Sunday, September 29, 2019

An Anonymous Girl

Fiction by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Jess, a young make-up artist in New York City, decides to try to make some quick cash by participating in a psychological study that promises high compensation in exchange for revealing your deepest secrets. But as she gets more involved with the psychologist conducting the study, she find that her secret revelations may have gotten too deep for comfort.

This was a good thriller with a dual point of view, although I found the psychologist's point-of-view odd, because the passive voice is used so much.

I also read recently by these authors: The Wife Between Us

Friday, September 27, 2019

And Then There Were None

Fiction by Agatha Christie

This is definitely an Agatha Christie classic, although I wouldn't say it's my favorite of hers. I like the absence of a detective in this story, although it makes the solution even harder to work out. It's a "locked-room" kind of mystery, although the place involved is actually an island.

It's funny that I remembered almost all of this story, but I still didn't know who the murderer was until the end...

I also read recently by this author: Death on the Nile

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Mother's Day

Fiction by Patricia MacDonald

At the beginning of this story, the body of a teenage girl is found in a nature preserve, causing a flurry of media attention that eventually dies down when the girl remains unidentified. Still, some townspeople are uneasy, and Karen Newhall is quick to assume the worst when her 13-year-old daughter Jenny fails to turn up for their traditional Mother's Day lunch. But this is only the start of the trouble for Karen and Jenny...

This was an exciting and enjoyable thriller.

I also read recently by this author: Secret Admirer

Monday, September 23, 2019

Fair Coin

Fiction by E. C. Meyers

This is technically a "young adult" book, meaning it's for teenagers, but I really enjoyed it.

Ephraim comes home from high school to find that his mother has tried to kill herself because she thought he was dead. She's not crazy; there was an actual boy matching Ephraim's description and carrying his library card who had been hit by a bus that afternoon. But it wasn't Ephraim, obviously, because he arrived home in time to call 911 and save his mom's life. But the mysterious lookalike boy left behind a strange coin that might be magic...

A fast and fun read, this book was very enjoyable. Apparently there's a sequel, too!