Sunday, July 30, 2017

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I really wanted to like this book - I wanted to like the Amy especially.
image from LibraryThing

But....I didn't.

I didn't like Amazing Amy and I didn't like plain old Nick.

But - for this book that isn't really important - instead it's hooking me enough to see the story through to the very end.  And it did that very well.  There were many moments when I hoped the book would go one way - but it didn't. That kept me reading!

I did not see the movie - and I won't.

I would not want to give Amy and Nick another minute of my time - they deserve one another - but not me!!!

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

image from LibraryThing
This Neil Gaiman book was the perfect travel book - since most of this story is about traveling.  As I
flew across the country and spent time in airports I kept my eyes open for the current American gods!

This is an intriguing concept - the gods of old are being pushed aside by new gods and we creatures of earth are at all of their mercy.  It would have helped me to have a better handle of mythology - but that isn't really a requirement.

As the story unfolds - I felt 3 steps behind...and I think that is what it was supposed to be.  As Shadow is pulled and pushed along by Mr. Wednesday - the reader also is pulled and pushed along. That is an intriguing way to tell the story.  There were parts that I really didn't like - it got a bit bogged down. But - I think that also added to the overall story.

A good one for summer reading #2

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

image from LibraryThing

This was the first of my vacation reads.  This was a comfortably predictable read...grouchy and out of touch bookseller meets unlikely love interest in his small NE shop.  I really liked all the book references scattered throughout - it drew me in to other reading adventures.  There is a baby and an island and lots and lots of books. All the elements are there!!

This was a great way to start my summer reading!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

3rd Degree by James Patterson

For this third installment of the Women's Murder Club Lindsay is smack dab in the middle of the an explosion on a slow Sunday morning.  The women are drawn in to this search for the August Spies as they strike again and again.

Then the most horrible thing... August Spies becomes personal - hitting one of the team very hard.

This is another great book - enjoyed it!

The Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham

image from LibraryThing
Sebastian Rudd is one of a kind. At least I hope so!
He is the defense lawyer who takes the worst and most impossible cases - the ones that no one else will touch. And in the midst of that he knows the law deeply and clearly - better than the others. And with that knowledge he is able to seeming manipulate the outcomes.

Sebastian is not in it for the greater good or anything like that - he is in it for the $$$ and the joy of proving the big guys are wrong.

It's a fast and interesting read. The chapters loosely fit together as you walk through months of his life from case to case.

I would highly recommend this one!  I read it aloud to my husband as we traveled. It was the perfect book for that.

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

image by LibraryThing
This is one of the those books that slowly grabbed my attention and held it tightly.  Simon is a reference librarian whose days are numbered living in a house on the edge of a hill whose days are numbered.  And then he receives a book in the mail.  The book tells the story of a long ago carnival.  And at that moment the book shifts between the real life story of the carnival and the present time story of Simon and his sister Enola and their oddly cursed family.

This story is filled with Tarot cards, mermaids who can hold their breath for long minutes yet are susceptible to a curse that drowns them, and a house that is slipping into the sea.

I enjoyed Simon and his odd frozen in time life.  I liked his librarian skills - searching and seeking information and sticking with a problem.  I liked the fact that the library plays such a role in his story - even as the floodwaters threaten.  And I cared about Amos and his choked off voice - he was also frozen in a completely different way.

Enjoyed this fast and interesting read!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

2nd Chance (Women's Murder Club) By James Patterson

image from LibraryThing
Lindsay and her club are at it again. This time it all starts with the death of an 11-year old at a church shooting.  It looks racially motivated - but is it really.  This is a black church in a tough but improving neighborhood - and it looks random at first.  But the shooter killed only one person and that shot was pretty incredible...maybe not as random as it seemed.

The second death or maybe the first is the hanging of an elderly black woman in the basement of her apartment building.  And then a police officer is gunned down responding to a domestic abuse call in a derelict building.

Lindsay and her friends are digging.  Cindy becomes entangled romantically with the handsome pastor of that church.  Jill has a medical emergency and Claire is pulled in to this crime when the shooter attacks her home.

And then the chief of police is gunned down outside his home.

Lindsay's father makes an appearance and is somehow tied in to this whole thing. Is he there to cover his own back and make sure the investigation moves away from him - or is he there to keep Lindsay safe??

This is another page turner and a fast read.  My only complaint is the epilogue again...is this a pattern?  But that won't keep me from reading the 3rd one and then moving on to the 4th!!
I love a good series!!

Costa Rica book #4!

1st To Die (Women's Murder Club) By James Patterson

image from LibraryThing
Brides and Grooms are being murdered on their wedding day!  What a horrible way for a book to begin - but I was caught as soon as Lindsay Boxer began investigating.

Lindsay has a new partner and isn't too happy about Chris Raleigh and his PR roots.  His polish is the opposite of her gritty, tough woman persona. And then the pesky reporter, Cindy Thomas gets in the way. She is trying to make a name for herself in order to move from the Metro section to crime. And she has a way of figuring out what is going on.

So, Lindsay takes a chance.  She invites Cindy to accompany her to drinks with her biggest support network - Claire Washburn, the coroner.  And that is the beginning of the Women's Murder Club. Three ladies who are tough and smart and on top of their careers and putting their heads together helps the investigation.That would be enough for the club - but they need legal help. Bring in the assistant District Attorney, Jill Bernhardt.  And the club is complete.

The club is only one side of the story though.

This story is also told in first person by the killer - which is creepy!  And as you find in all crime shows and novels - there are missteps on who this suspect is.  All eyes focus on the author of a book about bride and groom crimes.  Is it really him though??

Then there is a final confrontation between Lindsay and the killer.
There is also a sad love story and a bunch of female bonding.

This was the perfect book to read on the beach!  Quick page turner without having to put tons of energy into figuring out the story.  I loved it!!
Costa Rica book #3

Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman

image from LibraryThing
Maggie and Edith are an unlikely pair.  Maggie is the cleaning lady and Edith has not been particularly close to any of her 'help.' Liza was Maggie's friend and Edith's daughter and she left a gorgeous house in Sag Harbor and Edith to Maggie in her will.  How can you inherit an elderly woman?  Well that was just a part of the package - the house and Edith.  You see, Edith was aging and had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Maggie had a decision to make.

It was actually an easy decision - carrying out the decision was not quite so easy.  Edith did not believe she needed to be taken care of by a gold-digger cleaning lady!

That is the simple premise of this story.  From the beginning you know that they will figure it out. That's a given - and actually a comfort.  You want Maggie and Edith to create a family.

The unexpected part is Edith's own story. As her short term memory fades her past becomes more and more real.  And in a brilliant moment she decides to ask Maggie to write down those memories. Stories of a dancer's life in NYC and the beauty and difficulties she hid to achieve.

This is a story of mothers and daughters and the secrets that keep them apart and draw them together. It's a story of the horror of Alzheimer's and the depth of friendship.  It's about making a new family from the friends you surround yourself with.

I enjoyed this one!  It was a great beach read - Costa Rica book #2

We Are Called To Rise by Laura McBride

image from LibraryThing
This is not the easiest story to read. It's full of heartache and hope and reality.  Reality means it's not all rainbows and unicorns. Instead, it's a hard and then it's harder and then it's wonderful!

Las Vegas is the backdrop for this story of Bashkin, 8 year old Albanian son of an ice cream truck driver.  And Bashkin's exuberant Aussie teacher decides it would be a good idea to write a letter to a soldier deployed from the nearby base.  That simple act sets in motion unexpected actions that impact all!

Bashkin's letter is filled with innocent questions of a curious and scared boy.  The letter he receives from Specialist Luis is not innocent - instead he describes how he shot a boy in Afghanistan. And Bashkin, poor Bashkin, gets terribly sick with anxiety when he reads it.

This book is not only Bashkin's story though.  It also follows Specialist Luis, recovering from a head injury that seemed to occur right after he sent off that fateful letter.  And we hear from the mother of a newly instated police officer, with her fears for her recently  returned soldier son.  And another woman who seems to be connected with the court system someway.

Each of these characters brings a piece of the story to a final culmination when their separate stories coalesce.  This is a hard story to read if you are connected to the military.  There are scars from war that affect each soldier in a different way.  The families sometimes bear those scars in hidden ways. This is not only the story of American war families - but also those scattered across the world wherever there is violence.

And at the heart of it all is a boy who only wants to fit in and do what is right for his family and himself.

This was a little deep for a beach read - hard to cry with the sun shining down on me!!
Costa Rica book #1