Monday, February 26, 2007

Latest reads...

Last week and this weekend I managed to get 3 books read!! Wohoo... lol Wish I had the time and could read 2-3 in a day. Wouldn't that be something. Anyway the first that I finished was A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. I was sure that I had read this before but I guess not. I fell in love with Nevil after reading On The Beach and A Town Like Alice did not disappoint. Takes place in Malaya where Jean Paget works in 1941 when america enters the war and Japan arrives north of Malay. Jean tries to escape back to England but is captured along with 79 other women and children by the Japanese. Her tale of how the japanese make these women and children march over 1200 miles to find a place for them during the occupation. During this death march Jean meets a soldier and he seems to come to a bad end. After the war Jean goes back to England and learns that she has inheritated money from an Uncle she barely knew. Long story short she learns the soldier from Malaya did not die and he is looking for her while she is looking for him. She goes to Australia where they finally meet up and Jean uses her money to build up the town of Willstown. This was a great story of courage and never giving up. How any of these women survived the death march is amazing in itself and how self reliant Jean was in her dreams and making them come true. A great read!
Up next was a cozy mystery called Death by Syrah by Michelle Scott. This is the 3rd in this series. I like them cause they talk of wine and food. Two of my favorite things! The heroine works at a vineyard in the napa valley and is bothered by too many men wanting her affections. Of course there is a murder and Jean saves the day and hopefully picks the right man at the end but one won't know till the next book comes out! A cute and cozy read.
Yesterday I managed to finish The Cotton Queen by Pamela Morsi. I had started it earlier and put it down to read Alice so decided to finish it. It was pretty good. About a mother and her daughter who live in the south. Usual story daughter doesn't want to be anything like mother but in the end we always I think end up like our mothers in one way or another. It's the usual story of love and strength, a woman finding a way back to herself and her family. Will pass this on to someone from PBS.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Double Bind

I finished this last night and all I could say at the end of the book was wow!! I wish I could have read the book in one sitting and then turned around and read it again. It's a very compelling read about Laurel Estabrook. She is a young social worker involved with the homeless and trying to get them off the streets and into housing. She is haunted by her own demons of her past from when she was biking on a mountain road and survived being attacked but two men. She meets Bobbie Crocker who is homeless and mentally ill who has a box of photographs he won't let anyone see. Bobbie dies and Laurel becomes the keeper of his pictures in order to try and tell his story. How did a man who took pictures of famous people during the 50's and 60's wind up homeless? The pictures become an obsession to Laurel to find out exactly who Bobbie Crocker was. She goes on a mission to find the truth and becomes so involved in the search that she is oblivious to everything else in her life other than finding the truth about Bobbie Crocker. I gurantee that the end of this book will just blow you away. I had to read it twice and am still not sure I understand the whole thing but don't want to give anything away.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Being a librarian in a small town of less than 1300 certainly does have it's moments. We combined with the high-school fall of 2003 so it's nice to be able to serve both the public and the young un's in the school. How I wish I could make all of them into verocious readers, but sadly I realize this is never gonna happen. I have a public patron who I swear her main goal in life is to simply drive me crazy. The rules are that you can check out 2 video's or DVD's at a time. Every single time she comes to the desk she has at least 4 and gives me this sad eyed look just this once? Please.. the other day she was in after school with her kids and had to have a heart to heart with the one daughter sitting around the fireplace. Would have been just fine had she not been at least two sheets to the wind and wanted to be sure the whole library knew she was trying to console her daughter over being bullied... jeesh.. then friday.. after waiting patiently for 5 to come she comes dragging in at 4:55 and procedes to spend 15 mins picking out her 4 dvd's.... Oh and the really bad news is the poor thing told me wednesday that she has a brain anuerysm and wanted to read a book on them.... I didn't know that one could walk around with an active brain anuerysm..... Thank god it's almost 2 on saturday afternoon and I am out of here till monday at 11!


I read The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig this week. I must confess that I mostly skimmed it. I so wanted to like it ,but this being the third time that I have tried to read it I gave up and just sped thru it. With two more in the series am not sure I will ever read the next two. This really surprises me as I am a total historical fiction fan , but for some reason this one just did not hit the mark.
I started The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian yesterday and so far it is very good. Can't wait to get back to it tonight.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Almost Paradise

Almost Paradise by Susan Isaacs. Started and finished this one in record time. At 499 pages will be my second chunkster for the month of February. It's the story of a beautiful man and a beautiful woman and of the generations before that came together to eventually bring this couple together. All the characters seem to come alive in their stories. It's the Cableigh's story from the cold water flat in Hell's Kitchen to the rolling verdant Connecticut farm to the 5th Avenue duplex, from their vastly different backgrounds to a life together that transcends what either alone could acheive. It tells of the ties that bind us all together, and of the missed opportunities that tear us apart. I was actually not that disappointed that there was no happy ending. It ended the way it should have.

When Darkness Falls

I finished this sunday and it was a great read. Very suspenseful and kept me on the edge of my seat. I have only read one other Grippando and want to get to all of them sooner or later. This one takes place in Miami and Jack Swyteck is asked to defend a homeless man who manages to make his $10,000 bail. This is only the beginning of the story and what happens between Jack and the homeless man who prefers to be called Falcon. This story delves into the mystery of The Disappeared, the 30,000 plus Argenineans who because of their opposistion to the military regime vanished between 1975 and 1983. The book is very suspenseful and a thrill ride from beginning to end.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Crimson Portrait

I finished The Crimson Portrait by Jody Shields last night. I had a really hard time getting into her book The Fig Eater and was hoping this one would be so much better. I was wrong. It had great promise. It's about a woman in London in 1915 who's husband is killed in the war. For some promise she opens her house as a military hospital for the most irreparably injured in the war. The widow finds solace in a wounded soldier whose face, concealed by bandages, she cannot see. She wants to remake her lover into her dead husband. Sounds good but the book just never really goes anywhere. There is just not for me enough depth to the story and not enough build up of the characters. I didn't particularly care for any of them and the story was just down right confusing. Reminded me a lot of The English Patient.
Tonight I am gonna give When Darkness Falls by James Grippando a try.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

I started this yesterday and stayed up till 1 to finish it. I really didn't feel it was worth more than a day's read. I am a big historical fiction fan but have rarely been able to get into a combined mystery-historical fiction read. This one was no different. It seemed to take forever to get to the mystery part of the book. The hero finds his wife in bed with another and takes off for the west to look for his lost love and to try and to do something about the way the Indians are being treated during the relocation. Another pitiful act by man against man in the way the Indians were treated. I really need to find a dysfunctional family book to read... The hero finds his lost love and when she is accused of murdering her first husband he takes the blame and she is off to find the real killer. An ok read for one night but I will not be racing off to find the second in the series.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


I finished Black Cross last night. Stayed up till 2 to get it done. I liked it ok, but just ok. I don't think I am really a fan of espionage. It didn't draw me in totally. Some of the book I have to confess that I just sped over. It was good and exciting and was glad about the way it ended. All tied up into a nice ending. Everyone keeps raving about his latest True Evil , but am not sure I will ever get around to it.
I have my chunkster challenge out of the way for the month, but still need to get my TBR book off my shelf at home. Need to pick one and get it started. Enough procrastinating with these books.
I am in the mood for a mystery today so will try Solomon Spring by Michelle Black which will count towards another group that I am supposed to read a book with the last name of the author being B. However it was supposed to be done last month for this group. Sadly all I managed was the A author. I have some catching up to do.

Monday, February 5, 2007


I have decided to join the masses who have blogs. Why I have no idea other then maybe it will help me to post some simple thoughts and feelings I have on the many books I read. I am reading Black Cross right now by Greg Iles. It takes place during the end of WWII and even tho I have read many books on the holocaust I am finding this one hard to read when the chapters go to a concentration camp and one has to read of all the inhumanity to man that went on at this time. It says in the book that the US was not allowed to bomb any concentration camps or the germans would not honor the Geneva Convention in regards to any prisoners of war. To me this is just simply ludicrus. I had no idea that one could decide how they were going to honor the Geneva Convention. So many lives lost for no good reason other then one man's idea of how he felt it should be. And that he was allowed to get away with his madness for so long. I hope to finish this one up in the next day or two as I have several books that I want to get read this month.