Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, 196 pages

The Alchemist is a little fable of a book, originally published in Brazil.  Santiago is a young man in Spain who became a shepherd because he wanted to travel.  He meets a gypsy who tells him she wants a tenth of treasure he finds at the pyramids.  He's not looking for treasure and had no plans to go to Egypt.

He meets an old man who tells him to follow his personal legacy and he will find his treasure.  So, Santiago, referred to as "the boy" leaves Spain to find his personal legacy.

Lovely little book.

The Scam by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg, 304 pages

This is book #4 in the Fox & O'Hare Series by Evanovich and Goldberg.  Kate O'Hare is an FBI agent who is publicly trying to bring down con man Nicolas Fox.  The reality is that she has been ordered to work with him conning and bringing down other bad guys.

In typical Evanovich fashion, there is a zany cast of supporting characters who appear in all the Fox & O'Hare books.  These are fun mind candy and I was not disappointed.  The book ended with a cliff hanger so I'm looking forward to book #5.

Kinsey & Me: Stories by Sue Grafton, 268 pages

I have read Sue Grafton since "A is for Alibi" and am waiting my turn for "X."  I've had this book ready to listen to for several months and decided now was the time.  The book is in two parts, the first and majority of the book, features short stories with Kinsey Millhone, the female detective Grafton is famous for.  The second half is "Me" (Grafton) written as Kit Blue, dealing with her alcoholic mother's death.

I am not a usual reader of short stories and the Kinsey stories were not as good as a full-length novel because she just kept figuring stuff out lickety split.  Boom! Solved.  I think the Kit Blue stories must have been very cathartic for Ms. Grafton, but they were dark and difficult to listen to.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, 504 pages

Elizabeth Gilbert is known for her memoir "Eat, Pray, Love."  This is is a very readable and enjoyable, epic novel about the life of character, Alma Whittaker, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1800.

Her father, Henry Whittaker, was a self-made millionaire who was born to a poor family in England.  The novel goes from Pennsylvania to England to Peru, to Tahiti to Holland and spans the lifetimes of Alma and Henry.

I wouldn't call it a fast paced novel, but it was engrossing and intelligent and I'm happy I read it.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Tell It Like Tupper by J. Mark Powell, 272 pages

"Tell It Like Tupper" is a fun political novel - oh if it could only really be this way in politics.  The mean guy gets his.

J. Mark Powell was born in St. Joseph and moved to Trenton when he was five years old.  He's been a journalist and is now director of communications for the South Carolina attorney general.  He also writes a good story!

Powell knows his way around a political campaign and it shows. This story is set mostly in Iowa, during a presidential primary campaign.  Glenn Tupper is a small business owner and family man who happens to meet a presidential candidate because of a broken down car.  That chance meeting changes both of their lives - and the presidential race.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty, 388 pages

Liane Moriarty is one of my favorite chick lit authors.  This is, I believe, the second book she wrote.  It was good, but not as good as her other books.  However, I learned a handy new phrase that I hope to remember "Stuffed it up, Buttercup." 

The book is set on Scribbly Gum Island, a suburb of Sydney, Australia.  Over 70 years ago a two-week old baby was found in a deserted house by two teenage sisters.  The parents, Alice and Jack Munro, had simply disappeared.  Those two sisters turned the Munro Baby Mystery into a lucrative tourist business.  The baby, they named Enigma, is now a grandmother and they all still live on the island, along with extended family. 

There are many things happening in the book.  We have aging, postpartum depression, biological clocks, nut allergies, body image issues, discovering oneself. . . . The characters weren't as dynamic as in some of Ms. Moriarty's other books but as I said, all worth it because of the fun new phrase I learned.