Between the Covers: More Reviews from the Central Library
by Antoyna Nelson
Each story is interesting and humorous. Nelson has an innate knack for writing devastated characters/situations with humor slyly woven in. The only issue I have is how the plot seems to repeat itself over and over. An affair, or the desire to have an affair, is present in every single story with the exception of one. The stories are great, however, so it doesn't bother me too greatly.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
This book came recommended, but is probably one of the worst I have read. It feels like the author is trying to beat you over the head with her humor -- which at best got one chuckle out of me every 100 pages. I think her style works well as a blog (which is what she is, a blogger) but don't think it translates well to a book. Hopefully the next summer read will be better!
A Long Walk Up the Water Slide
by Don Winslow
This fourth book in the series, but it takes place in Nevada, as did the third. That's cheating! The thing about this series was, every book was in a new location, and even though the main character was the same-- kind of a super chameleon at undercover work-- the effect-- and I mean this in a good way-- was that of a romance novel: a new location, a new story. New York City, China, Nevada: the multitude of locations should have strained credibility but somehow it didn't, not while you were reading. What we do get here is the "family" being played, and I'm wondering about the family's real nature. The book shows the underpinning of a tabloid story, the male half of a golden tv couple is shown perhaps to be a cheating rapist. But since everyone has been trying to get the goods on this guy, all stories are suspect.
--LaurieDinner at the Homesick Restaurant
by Anne Tyler
Looking for a good book set in Baltimore? Anne Tyler weaves the story of Pearl Tull and her three children. The narrative shifts perspective, describing each character's grief and sense of loss in life.
Death and the Penguin
by Andrey Kurkov
Didn't stay up all night, but it wasn't a Zzzzz book either. This is a quirky novel set in Ukraine, where an innocent obituary writer and his pet penguin (!) get involved with dangerous underworld types. Translated from Russian, I think it may have lost something in English!
The Chalk Circle Man
by Fred Vargas
An interesting book with a spin on the psychological profile of the investigator Commissaire Adamsberg, rather than the killer. A great set up introduction for sequel mysteries. Vargas does a great job showing the vulnerabilities of an inspector with troubles like the rest of us but still rising above with wit and hard police work to solve the mystery. The inspector's side kick Danglard increases the excitement and enriches the book.
Are You My Mother?
By Alison Bechdel
I didn't stay up all night, but I did enjoy this sequel to Fun Home
. Both are "graphic novels," meaning the story is told through drawings, like a comic strip, including dialogue in "balloons." And there's also a bit of narrative. For me, this was a new way to read a novel - lots of significant details show up only in the drawings, so you have to pay close attention to both the pictures and the words. I recommend reading "Fun Home" first. It tells the gripping story of the author's difficult childhood. Are You My Mother?
, recently published, describes the author's rocky relationship with her mother, with much reliance on scenes from her therapy and excerpts from psychoanalytical literature. Not quite as gripping but an interesting read.
by Natsuo Kirino
The author of the award-winning Japanese novel Out
also writes this novel about two women who are murdered while working as prostitutes. The lives of the two women are told through their diaries as well as through the protagonist (who is a sister to one woman and the schoolmate of the other). It's a dark novel that reflects the value of single women oppressed by the demands of family and society. I give the author credit for being thoughtful and provocative. However, the novel is unsatisfying and cold. In the end, it lacks the emotional intensity of Out
and didn't give me a character whose life story was one I cared about.
--Kathy P.The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients
by Irvin D. Yalom
was somewhere between "Stayed Up All Night" and "Zzzzz..." As someone
studying to become a counselor, I appreciated the vignettes Yalom
described. I didn't always agree with what he stated or thought, but it
was a pleasure to see the condensed thoughts of a
-StephanieNo Mark Upon Her
by Deborah Crombie
This family of detectives in London and countryside solve the mystery of the murdered rower and the fire set in the rescue provider's house, despite family caretaker obligations and the distractions of the most likely suspects.
The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters
by Elisabeth Robinson
Almost put this in my giveaway pile because I thought I wouldn't like the epistolary genre -- told completely in letter, emails, faxes, etc. Thank goodness I didn't becauseI was really rooting for this characters 25% in!
by Amanda Cabot
This is the first in the Texas Dreams Trilogy and it's got a captivating storyline with the underlying need for God theme. It is a great read.
The Pirate's Son
by Geraldine McCaughrean
Picked this up from the "free things" shelf in my apartment building. Fun to travel back to Madagascar (a place I visited in 2006 to see a friend in the Peace Corps), just in the early 1700s this time. A children's book, yes, though still delightful.
Fifty Shades of Grey
by E.L. James
The writing was terrible, but all I could do was read it. There you go!
Me and You
by Niccolò Ammaniti
Lorenzo feigns a school break skiing trip with friends to evade his parents' questions about his social life. His plan is to retreat to the abandoned cellar in his family's apartment building, where he will live in perfect isolation for one week, keeping the adult world at bay. Unfortunately, his plan is foiled when his estranged half-sister, Olivia, shows up in the cellar unexpectedly, and the two become locked in a battle of wills.