Friday, April 24, 2015
Sunday, April 19, 2015
The book is told from the perspective of Paul Lohman, who is meeting his brother, Serge, for dinner along with both their wives. At first we only know that Paul is dreading the dinner, we don't know why but we later learn that there was an incident involving the sons of both couples and they are meeting to discuss how to handle the situation.
This book is a thriller with an unreliable narrator. Look at the cover of the book, the scorched tablecloth does a nice job of portraying the feel of the book. We will be discussing this at the Downtown Library's book club in April. I can't wait for the discussion.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
If you enjoy humor, irony, are not easily offended and don't mind the f-bomb being dropped pretty frequently, then I'm pretty confident you will enjoy this tale. And if you are a fan of audiobooks, all the better, my friend. It is a HI-larious listen. One thing I particularly got a kick out of is that the "chorus" is a character in this book and the other characters get pretty ticked off with it by the end.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
“Night” is an autobiographical account of a teenage Elie Wiesel growing up during Nazi Germany. It is a terrifying story, in which, he struggles to survive alongside his father in a Nazi death camp. His fight for survival and sanity is a singular story, and the reader can empathize with his struggles to give a voice to those who did not survive.
The story begins with Wiesel, not unlike many teenage boys, dreaming of a future he imagines will soon be his. Unfortunately, his parents and siblings are living in a false belief of security while the world around them is drowning in chaos. As he retells his story, we learn what happens to him and his family on this unthinkable journey, and how he has spent a lifetime trying to make sense of the Nazi’s atrocities. He even questions the choices he had to make in order to survive.
This personal account is horrifying, unimaginable, and immensely sad. I read his story in one evening, and although I knew he had survived, there was so many of those he loved that did not.
“Night” is recommended by the Oprah Book Club as a must read. I recommend this book for anyone who loves to read the words of a truly remarkable author who bares his tortured soul with his readers.
Monday, April 6, 2015
Wow! This was a great thriller and I predict a crossover YA novel adults will enjoy as well. Boy Nobody is a well-trained killer. He receives his instructions, becomes the new kid in school, befriends another student, and within weeks, there is a tragic death in that student's life and their new best-friend had disappeared. But this time things are different. The target is New York's well-loved Mayor and Boy Nobody is sent to befriend his beautiful daughter. This is a tough assignment. "Sam" is not only beautiful, she is smart and Boy Nobody begins to have feelings, not just for Sam, but normal feelings. Like he is a normal teenage boy again. Like maybe he wants to change his life. But "The Program" has control over him...and they are watching.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
The memoir alternates between "Then" which is Cumming's childhood and "Now" which was 2010, when he appeared on the BBC genealogy show "Who Do You Think You Are." The show focused on the mystery of Cumming's maternal grandfather, Tom Darling, who was a decorated WWII veteran, who never returned to his family after the war.
At the same time the BBC show was in production, Alan was dealing with a more recent family secret regarding his abusive father. This is a book of pain and more importantly recovery. I highly recommend this book.
My only regret with this book is that I am waiting for Spring thaw as I'm listening to "First Frost." It would have probably been a little more magical to listen in the Fall.
"First Frost" is a sequel to "Garden Spells." It picks up 10 years after "Garden Spells" returning us to Bascom, North Carolina and the Waverley sisters Claire and Sydney. Ahh, it's good to catch up with them again.
Friday, March 27, 2015
The author of this book, Lisa Genova is a Dr. of Neuroscience from Harvard University. This is her first novel. The story may be familiar to some of you because it was made into a movie that has won several awards. In fact Julianne Moore won an Academy Award for best actress. The story may also be familiar to you because you know someone suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's.
Alice is a 51-year-old cognitive psychology professor at Harvard. She is world renown for her knowledge in this field. She is married and has 3 grown children. She is a runner, She has everything going for her. When she starts forgetting things, it is easy to attribute it to the fact that she is too stressed or too busy. But one day, after a run, she is blocks from her home but cannot remember where she is or how to get home. She begins to search for words she should know. They are on the tip of her tongue but she cannot remember them. She cannot remember how to cook, and cannot hold a thought long enough to read, she wants to sleep all the time. But she is still Alice. And she knows all too well what is happening to her. This novel is great for book clubs and has discussion questions in the back. It also offers links to anyone wanting to know more about this disease with no cure.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
“A Casual Vacancy” is J.K. Rowling’s first adult fiction novel. The story is set in the small town of Pagford. It is a beautiful town where many of its residents feel it is their ordained birthright to control and preserve its heavenly beauty. Unfortunately, if you happen to be the less than blessed in this small town, beware, because it is the poor that has the local parish council in an uproar.
The story begins with Barry Fairbrother dying. Barry had held a seat on the parish council and was a champion for the less fortunate. With his death, there is a fear that the council will have the power to pass a vote to separate the town of Pagford from what is known as the Fields. The Fields would be similar to what we would call public assistance housing. Get rid of the responsibility of the residents of the Fields, and the town will be saved from the savages that many on the council believe live there.
But the fighting in this small town doesn’t just revolve around the parish council, no, in this story you become a fly on the wall of all of the varied residents of Pagford. You will find a battle for power festering behind every door, be you rich or poor.
Although the story did start out slow, I was glad I stuck with it to the end. Rowling’s does a beautiful job with character and setting detail. The ending was not what I had expected, which I always enjoy. And Krystal, a teenager who lives in the Fields, will always be one of those characters I will never forget. I felt Rowling’s challenges the reader to question their views on what makes a town beautiful. Is a town beautiful because of its buildings and natural splendor, or is the true beauty found among the diverse residences that live on both sides of the track?
Friday, March 20, 2015
Robert somehow escapes from the inescapable prison and John Puller is called in to help capture him. But . . . was Robert actually guilty?
This is typical Baldacci. Thrill a minute, men's men and tough women. Oorah.