Sunday, August 31, 2014


Fiction by Alix Ohlin.


This novel was populated with believable and well-drawn characters  that interested me. The only problem was they didn't really end up doing anything.

Call me picky, but I like a novel to have more of a story than this.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Who Killed My Daughter?

Nonfiction by Lois Duncan.

Who Killed My Daughter?: The True Story of a Mother's Search for Her Daughter's Murderer

This a true story about novelist Lois Duncan's (Locked in Time) daughter Kaitlyn who was shot in 1989. Kaitlyn had just graduated from high school, and this interested me because that was my graduation year, making this lost daughter just my age. (Or else, she should be my age, if she hadn't been killed at 18.)

The only problem with the book is --SPOILER ALERT!-- that the title question is never answered.  We don't ever find out who killed Kaitlyn. And of course that's the trouble with real life: It's messy. Situations lie unresolved, things happen for no apparent reason, and nothing is ever completely figured out.

This is why I prefer fiction.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Fiction by Terri Blackstock


This is the sequel to Truth-Stained Lies,  which I just finished reading. Both were very good; they are fast-paced mystery thrillers.

There will be a third book, but I'll just have to wait on that....

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Truth Stained Lies

Fiction by Terri Blackstock.

Truth Stained Lies

This is a cool mystery thriller by Christian author Terri Blackstock. I have read several of her books and enjoyed them all.

I also read by this author: Downfall.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Vanishing

Fiction by Wendy Webb.

The Vanishing

This is a modern Gothic horror story. It was all right, but I had a lot of trouble getting interested in it.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Youth Fiction by Cynthia Kadohata.


This is another book my daughter rejected for her book report. It is historical fiction about a Japanese-American girl in California who is sent to an internment camp during World War Two. Since learning about the internment camps I have been interested in this subject. (I had never heard of the idea until I was an adult; this was not in my history curriculum back in Alabama. We spent much time vilifying the German concentration camps, but neglected to mention the American ones. All I can say is, I guess ours weren't as bad.)

This was a good book for older kids. For grown-ups I highly recommend When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Frog Music

Fiction by Emma Donoghue.

Frog Music

This story is set in late 19th-century San Francisco and involves the murder of a woman called Jenny Bonnet, who was apparently a real person.

It's a character story, rather than a mystery/thriller type, but it was an interesting book.

I also read by this author: Room

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Night of the Howling Dogs

Youth Fiction by Graham Salisbury.

Night of the Howling Dogs

This is a great adventure story for kids, probably 5th grade and up. It's set on the big island of Hawaii.

I got it because I was looking for something for my daughter to do a book report on. She wasn't interested, but I was. Good book!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Thirty Girls

Fiction by Susan Minot.

Thirty Girls

This book was about a group of Catholic boarding-school girls who were kidnapped by rebels in Uganda, and a journalist who comes to Africa to write their story. It's set sometime in the early 1990's.

It was well-written but difficult to read.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Circle of Wives

Fiction by Alice LaPlante.

A Circle of Wives

This is a murder mystery told from the perspectives of the four women involved (one police detective and three wives). It's a really good mystery and a character story.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Locked in Time

Fiction by Lois Duncan.

Locked in Time

This was an exciting story written for teens. I read several of Lois Duncan's books when I was younger, most notably I Know What you Did Last Summer, which was way better than the movie adaptation.

Thanks to my friend Dusti for the recommendation.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Clever Girl

Fiction by Tessa Hadley.

Clever Girl: A Novel

An interesting character novel, this is a story about a girl growing up in England.

I enjoyed it, although it ended kind of abruptly.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Divorce Papers

Fiction by Susan Rieger.

The Divorce Papers

This book told the story of an affluent couple getting a divorce and of their young lawyer, using only the letters and memos that were in their file in the lawyer's office.

It's a cool idea and the story was well-crafted. It wasn't an easy read though, because the legal document-format made it seem a little dry. So I'm kind of not sure about rating this one.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Fiction Audiobook by Dean Koontz.


This is an old Dean Koontz book (from 1972!) that he'd published under a pseudonym. It's been given a new intro and recorded as an audiobook.

It was really good; the kind of troubled-hero-based thriller I like.