Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Book Review Tuesday

This has nothing to do with books - but I wanted to share a bit of today's snow with you...

Before we get down to it - go check out Dr. M's blog here. He's talking about his grandfather, and great-grandfather, and the one before that, and the one before that... Very interesting!

My last edition of Book Review Tuesday was a four weeks ago, and yet I've only read four books since then. I guess Christmas slowed me down...

1. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselvesby Meet the Cooke family. Our narrator is Rosemary Cooke. As a child, she never stopped talking; as a young woman, she has wrapped herself in silence: the silence of intentional forgetting, of protective cover. Something happened, something so awful she has buried it in the recesses of her mind. Now her adored older brother is a fugitive, wanted by the FBI for domestic terrorism. And her once lively mother is a shell of her former self, her clever and imperious father now a distant, brooding man. And Fern, Rosemary’s beloved sister, her accomplice in all their childhood mischief? Fern’s is a fate the family, in all their innocence, could never have imagined. 

The Bug Says: This was a book club book. What a very interesting book! I listened the audio version. The narration was pretty good, other than the fact that the narrator? Liked to put questions into the middle of many sentences. But the book! I'm not going to give away the big reveal (which comes about a third of the way into the book, & probably I'm the only person in the world who didn't already know), but I was fascinated by the whole concept. And very very very (very!) sad about it too. Wow. I gave it four stars.

2.  The Edge of Light (At Home in Beldon Grove #1)by It is the summer of 1838 in St. Lawrenceville, Missouri, and Molly McGarvie's life is about to change forever. When her beloved Samuel succumbs to cholera, Molly is heartbroken but determined to take care of herself and her children. But when Samuel's unscrupulous brother takes over the family business and leaves Molly to fend for herself, she knows she must head out on her own. It is a dangerous journey and Molly has to leave her old life behind. Somehow she must find a way to make a living, keep her family together, and fend off some over-eager suitors.

The Bug Says: This was my Kindle freebie for book club. I enjoyed this story about a woman trying to care for herself and her children on the frontier. She even comes up with a way to earn money or barter for goods. And there's a side story about her best friend who is a slave. But I gave it three stars because the writing style was choppy. There might be an unpleasant event about to happen, and the book would skip it entirely & just refer to it in the past. On the other hand it was a very quick read!  

3. White Fire (Pendergast #13)by Special Agent Pendergast arrives at an exclusive Colorado ski resort to rescue his protégée, Corrie Swanson, from serious trouble with the law. His sudden appearance coincides with the first attack of a murderous arsonist who--with brutal precision--begins burning down multimillion-dollar mansions with the families locked inside. After springing Corrie from jail, Pendergast learns she made a discovery while examining the bones of several miners who were killed 150 years earlier by a rogue grizzly bear. Her finding is so astonishing that it, even more than the arsonist, threatens the resort's very existence. Drawn deeper into the investigation, Pendergast uncovers a mysterious connection between the dead miners and a fabled, long-lost Sherlock Holmes story--one that might just offer the key to the modern day killings as well. Now, with the ski resort snowed in and under savage attack--and Corrie's life suddenly in grave danger--Pendergast must solve the enigma of the past before the town of the present goes up in flames.

The Bug Says: You know, I was about to say that I don't know why I keep reading these Pendergast novels because they've just jumped the shark too many times. But really, this whole series, from beginning to end, is just outrageous & unbelievable. And frankly I eat it up. In this one the Corrie character repeatedly did really dumb things, and that was frustrating to me because I think of her as smarter than that. But as I recall, she was equally foolhardy in all the other books, so I suppose she stayed in character. This book was interesting because of the Sherlock Holmes connection, but I just gave it 3 stars because it wasn't quite as good as other Pendergast books I've read.
Festive in Death (In Death #39)by Eve Dallas deals with a homicide—and the holiday season—in the latest from the #1 New York Times bestselling author. Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn't count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest. Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who'd been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler's enemies, she's also dealing with her Christmas shopping list—plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband's upcoming holiday bash. Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year's 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer.

The Bug Says: Oh I just love Eve Dallas and her sidekick Peabody. These books are a special treat for me. I like some of them better than others, & this is one of the good ones. I gave it four stars.

Currently, I'm reading Still Midnight, by Denise Mina (a Scottish police procedural), and A Long Way Home, by Louise Penny (an Inspector Gamache mystery). Frankly I could listen to Louise Penny's characters just talk about cheese all day - a mystery is icing on the cake!

What are you reading?

7 comments:

  1. These all sound interesting. Must make time for more reading.

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    1. Having a longish commute sure helps with getting through audio books pretty quickly.

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  2. When SWMBO and I were running our bookstore, J.D. Robb was a popular mystery writer as was her romance writing alter ego Nora Roberts.

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  3. I'm a slow reader...and the only time I have for reading is at night in bed. And lately, sleep has been more important than reading. I started on "Orphan Train" long before Christmas, and I'm still in the beginning chapters of it.

    I must find a way to read faster or find more time!

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  4. You are not the only one who didn't anticipate "the big reveal" in "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves." And what was interesting was the way the narrator revealed it -- by acting like she EXPECTED us to have figured it out by then. No one I've talked to actually saw it coming.

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  5. I'll have to get the first one and I just finished White Fire myself. I love the Pendergast books, I don't care how unreal they may be. I did think the lost Sherlock Holmes story in the middle of the book was a little weird. what I want to know is when are they going to get back to Constance?

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  6. I'm about to start...Red Mist...Patricia Cornwell....just read the family history...we love it in our McClelland family..have it back to 1600s.

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Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear what you have to say!