Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, 295 pages

This was a charming little book.  The story is told in the voice of Dr. Don Tillman, a of professor Genetics at an Australian University.  Don knows he is wired differently than most people.  As the reader, and yes I did read and not listen to this one, it is obvious he is on the autism spectrum.

Don is 39 years old and wants to find a wife so begins The Wife Project.  He gets sidetracked on The Father Project, helping Rosie, one of The Wife Project rejects, find her biological father.  Hilarity, sweetness and growth ensues.

Much of the humor in the book comes from the perspective that Don gives on an situation or conversation he had.  There's not a lot of character development, but the story works.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Out of the Easy by Ruta Supetys 346 pages

This is a YA novel and a 2015-2016 Gateway nominee.  I would recommend it to older teens.  Set in 1950, this is the story of Josie, daughter of a prostitute, named for a famous prostitute.  She has grown up in New Orleans under the watchful and protective eye of Willie, the madam.  Josie is a smart girl, street smart and intellectual.  Her one goal in life is to get out of New Orleans and into Smith College in Massachusetts.  However, we all know how sometimes life does not go as planned.  Josie's mother takes up with a gangster and when they skip out on a debt owed the mob, the mob comes after Josie.  Will she abandon all her principles to pay the debt?  Will she have to abandon her dream of Smith College?  Oh, you do not really expect me to answer those questions for you, do you?  

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, 416 pages

Liane Moriarty's "The Husband Secret" had me hooked from the beginning.

Cecilia is one of those super women who seem to have it all together all the time.  That changes when she finds a letter from her husband, John-Paul that says it should be opened upon his death.

Rachels daughter was murdered almost 30 years ago and the unsolved murder has made the rest of her life difficult.

Tess's husband and her cousin, who is more like her sister, sit her down to tell her they are in love.

The lives of all these women intertwine in "The Husband's Secret."  If you are going to pick it up, make sure you have some good time to dedicate to it, because if you are like me you will have a hard time putting it down until the end.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

a matter of days by Amber Kizer 269 pages

I would best describe this novel as a pre-dystopian novel.  A pandemic has wiped out most of civilization.  There is no form of communication, no water, no electricity.  You must scrounge and scavenge for your needs.  This is the world of sixteen-year-old Nadia and her brother Rabbit.  But they have one advantage: their uncle, Bean, was military and they were injected with a serum.  Now they must make their way from Seattle to West Virginia and the family compound where Bean and Pappi are waiting for them. Their deceased father taught them to "be the cockroach".  After all, you kill one cockroach and 10 more appear, right?  So he taught them to adapt and never give up.  To persevere.  But there are other survivors out there.  Friend or foe?  It makes for an interesting journey.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Crash and Burn by Lisa Gardner 386 pages

This is a psychological thriller that will have you guessing to the end.  Nicky Frank has a serious car accident.  But was it an accident? How did she manage to escape and claw her way to the top of the ravine in the rain?  Why did she reek of alcohol but have a blood level way below the legal limit?  And most of all, who is Vero, the child she insisted law enforcement try to save?  The husband is always the most logical suspect, especially when this is Nicky's 3rd concussion in the past few months.  Nicky cannot remember much of her life, but she suffers the effects anyway.  Be prepared for a wild ride through this page turner!

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt 771 pages (I gave up at 603)

This book received rave reviews and I have talked to patrons who loved it.  I rarely give up on a book, but I just could take no more of this.  Too many good books were calling my name!  Theo is 13-years-old when he is a victim of a terrorist attack.  He is at the art museum with his mother when bombs go off.  His mother does not make it, but Theo manages to escape the devastation, with a painting.  Thus begins Theo descent into a world of drugs, thievery, deception and the desire to be loved again.  Everything that can go wrong in life went wrong for Theo.  Just when you think he is going to get on the right path, he chooses the wrong one.  After 603 pages I could take no more.

Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer, 272 pages

Levana is the evil Lunar Queen we love to hate.  This novella, which is being touted as Volume 3.5 in the Lunar Chronicles series, tells her story.  I listened to this book, but am putting myself on hold for the print version, because I hear it has stunning artwork.

Did this book make me sympathetic toward Levana?  Heck no, she is one evil B.  But she did grow up with parents who didn't care and a crazy and cruel older sister who maimed her.  The poor little princess only wanted to find love . . . which didn't work out too well for any involved, by the way.

If you haven't started the young adult, sci-fi series, don't begin with this one.  There are some spoilers in the book.  However, if you follow the series, don't miss out on this volume, just because it's a novella.  It did a great job with the back story and is a nice preview to "Winter" the story of Levana's stepdaughter, and the final book in the Lunar Chronicles.  Bonus: it also includes the first 3 chapters of "Winter" which is scheduled for release in November 2015.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, 369 pages

Will Traynor was a high flying corporate raider, adrenaline seeking adventurer and lover of the good life until the day two years ago when he was hit by a motorcycle and is now a quadriplegic, who can barely move one hand.

Louisa Clark just lost her job of six years as a waitress at a local eatery and needs to find another job because, at age 26, she still lives at home and helps her parents pay the bills.

Lou is hired by Will's Mom, Camilla, to be his caregiver from 8 am to 5 pm daily.  Will is not a happy man and doesn't want a babysitter, but Lou needs this job.

What starts as a very difficult working relationship turns into friendship and more.  When Lou finds out that Will doesn't want to live life as a quadriplegic she does everything she can to make Will see that his life is still worth living.  Will it be enough?  I am not telling.

Oh, this was a good book and I can't wait to discuss it in book club.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Iron Trial : Magisterium Book 1 by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare 295 pages

There are a lot of books out there that you start and say, "Ah, another Harry Potter-ish book", maybe you give it a shot, maybe you abandon it.  Either way, you probably feel a little disenfranchised by the formula being used over and over.  I thought this might be like that, but I couldn't have been more wrong.  Is there a school for magical children to attend once they come of age?  Yes.  Is our hero, Callum Hunt, excited about attending?  Not at all.  His father has warned him his whole life that magic is dangerous, that the Magisterium cares nothing for its students' safety, only their ability to train soldiers.  His father even blames the Magisterium for Call's mother's death.  Call does everything he can to flunk the entrance exam.  Unfortunately, he is still chosen to attend.
Once within the Magisterium's tunnels, Call finds his life changing in unexpected and not so terrible ways.  He has friends for the first time in his life.  He is able to do things that his peers can do, sometimes even better.  His confusion and discomfort are palpable and understandable.  The end was completely unexpected and so NOT a Harry Potter ending that my jaw actually dropped.  I highly recommend this book for fantasy lovers.  Nothing can ever sway my love for the Potter series, but I give this one full props for originality and a very good read.

Friday, February 13, 2015

YES PLEASE by Amy Poehler, 352 pages

YES PLEASE is Amy Poehler's first, and maybe last book.  I listened to the book, that she read with the help of Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Kathleen Turner, Patrick Stewart, Mike Schur, along with her parents Eileen and William Poehler.

Amy made no bones about the fact that a book is hard to write, hence it might be her last.  However, I hope it's not because it was darned good. The book is part memoir and part her philosophy of life.

If you have to choose between reading and listening on this one - I am going to recommend that you listen.  Patrick Stewart reading funny haiku poetry?  Loved it.