Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thriller time

I'm still on an escapist thriller kick (get to vicariously kick butt!)

Bad Move and Bad Guys, both by Linwood Barclay -- funny thrillers featuring SF writer/newspaper reporter Zach Walker. I'm looking forward to reading the next ones in the series. Fans of funny thrillers by Carl Hiaasen, Bill Fitzhugh, James Swain, Elmore Leonard should enjoy this author.

Daddy's Girl by Lisa Scottoline. Curse you, Phyllis, for getting me hooked on Scottoline! She writes a really good, interesting thriller and both of the ones I've read so far feature strong female main characters -- terrific reads. My favorite quote from this one is when the main character, Natalie, has a revelation. "As much as she loved teaching, she was beginning to think she wasn't very good at it. Could she really suck at her passion? Women's magazines never admitted this as a possibility." Don't know why, it just struck me as hilarious.

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen. Okay, not a thriller, but at least a mystery. It was cute, but didn't really do anything special for me (could have just been my mood).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Book bonanza

I've been too busy reading lately to keep up with the reading log. Here's what I have been reading:

Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World by Mary Pipher. A wonderful, helpful, sane memoir by the author of Reviving Ophelia, which had a big impact on me when it first came out in the early '90s. What I like about Pipher's book (and also about Sylvia Boorstein's writing) is how matter-of-fact she is about the inevitability of screwing up, then picking yourself up and trying again. It's nice to be reminded that we ALL screw up, and she's very honest about that.

Thinking About Memoir by Abigail Thomas. I loved Thomas' memoir A Three Dog Night (and highly recommend it if you haven't read it). This small volume is a great way to get starting thinking about your own life and what's been important in it. I found the writing exercises that Thomas intersperses through the book to be very helpful.

Why Do I Love These People by Po Bronson. This guy's previous book What Should I Do With My Life dealt with people who were struggling to find their vocation/avocation and people who had done so. This book is about families - how they stay together, how they come apart. Bronson has a great talent for telling stories about ordinary people trying to do the best they can, and the extraordinary things that sometimes result. 

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson -- (fantasy) -- a real page turner. Didn't quite grab me as much as his "Hero of Ages" trilogy but I can see that a sequel might be in the works - and I hope so. Please God, let Sanderson not get sucked into the neverending nightmare of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Let him just write one book to wrap it up and then get off the Wheel of Time & go back to building his own worlds and creating his own kick-butt characters. Have I mentioned how well he does strong female characters? He does. Read him. You won't be sorry.

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline (thriller) -- wow. Phyllis recommended this book to me. I'd never read anything by this author (though I knew she was popular with the readers at my library). It was great - I couldn't put it down. I ignored everything around me. I refused to speak when spoken to. All I could do was read. Wow.

Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay (thriller) - I was lucky enough to score an advanced reader's copy of this book, which will not be published till August. This is the first book I've read by this author and all I can say is -- why haven't I heard of him sooner? The man is a really really good writer. Fans of Harlan Coben should get to their library RIGHT NOW and check out one of this guy's books. I've already started adding him to my repertoire of books to recommend to people as they check out at the circ desk.

Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay (thriller) - another excellent thriller. 

The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss (historical thriller) -- WOW -- I loved this book. I don't think I've ever read a historical thriller that was done so well. It's set in the United States about 10 years after the American Revolution. Terrific thriller, and wonderful historical novel - all wrapped up in one delicious literary package. Can't wait to read more of Liss' work.

Friday, June 12, 2009

And Only To Deceive by Tasha Alexander


Nice thorough review of the Kindle DX

CNET has a nice review of the recently-released Kindle DX.


The two things that I covet from this version are the ability to switch to landscape viewing mode and the increased font size (you can jack it up higher than on previous Kindles.) And of course the bigger display is nice, but that is offset by the fact that I can't carry the thing around in my purse and the fact that it's heavier than previous Kindles... and the price, of course.

I'll stick to my Kindle 1 for now -- it's working great for me, I love it -- but will continue to watch and see what Amazon does!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Recent reads

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar - interesting and powerful

Still Alice by Lisa Genova - a profoundly sad, and truthful, book about a woman descending into Alzheimer's disease

Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart (yes, Diane, I finally got around to reading this one!)