Some of My Favorite Books

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Rescue by Anita Shreve

The night before last, I couldn't sleep. I was up till almost 3 a.m. I started reading Rescue and made it halfway through. Last night, I finished it. I don't know when I've read a book that fast. And it was good!

Like I said, this book was good, but it certainly wasn't Anita Shreve's best book. The storyline was good but it seemed sort of simple, at one point near the end, way too convenient.

Something I really did enjoy was the setting. Anita Shreve lives in Massachusetts and  most of her books are set in New England, this one in Vermont for the most part. I think that's one reason I also really like reading Chris Bohjalian and Jodi Picoult's novels.

Do you have a favorite setting for stories that  you enjoy reading?

Book read:  Rescue
Author:  Anita Shreve
ISBN:  978-0-316-02072-5

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Niagara Falls All Over Again by Elizabeth McCracken

Elizabeth McCracken is a wonderful writer. I'd read The Giant's House and Here's Your Hat, What's Your Hurry. Loved them both. I've been saving Niagara Falls All Over Again for a few years. I knew I'd love it, and I guess I wanted a good book to look forward to. She did not disappoint.

Writers like Elizabeth McCracken are the reason I don't write fiction. I'd want to do it just like this, and I don't think I can. I so admire her use of language, her wit, and her subtle way of telling a story.

Cases in point, from Niagara Falls All Over Again:

"Maybe that's all jealousy is, the ability to look into someone's future or past and see your own absence."

And "Her eyebrows matched the rest of her, instead of looking like a proofreader's fat-headed correction:  insert eyebrow here."

This novel has an old-time feel to go along with the old-time story of a pair of vaudeville performers who grow together and apart through the years. Highly highly highly recommended. Go get it and read it.

What are you reading?

Book Read:  Niagara Falls All Over Again
Author:  Elizabeth McCracken
ISBN:  0-385-33648-9

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Damaged by Alex Kava

I don't usually pick up mystery books by authors I know nothing about, but I saw Damaged at the library last week and it looked good. And turns out, it was good.

I guess this is the latest Maggie O'Dell book, which means this character has appeared in several other books in a series by Alex Kava. Even though I've never read any of the other Maggie O'Dell books, it was no problem getting the gist of the character, an FBI profiler, and enjoying it.

I'd recommend this book as a light summer read because the number of characters are kept to a manageable number, there are no huge plot twists, and it was very well written. It is pretty gruesome in places though so if you have a weak stomach, you may not care for "parts" of it.

Book Read:  Damaged
Author:  Alex Kava
ISBN:  978-0-385-53199-3

Friday, June 10, 2011

Healer by Carol Cassella

A little more than a week ago I just finished reading Oxygen by Carol Cassella and checked online to see if she had written anything else. She had. So, I got her second novel, Healer, at the library. It was just as good. This author (a medical doctor) writes about, yep, medicine, but also society and the big picture. In this book, the big picture covered immigration, America's healthcare system, medical testing, losing it all when you've had it all plus some, but does it in a way that is woven into the story so well.

Again, this author hit it out of the park. Her characters are believable, optimistic without being sappy, and realistic enough to make you care about them. And not want the book to end.

Have you read any good books lately? I'm always open for recommendations! This is after all Phoenix's winter (too hot as opposed to too cold) to go outside. But summer reading is summer reading. Share which book you've read recently that you would recommend.

Book Read:  Healer
Author:  Carol Cassella
ISBN:  978-1-4165-5612-1

Friday, June 3, 2011

Save as Draft by Cavanaugh Lee

Save as Draft is a perfect summer read. I breezed through this lightweight of a book in a few days, and I have to say it was surprisingly good. I thought it would be a fluffy, girly book, but it ended up having more substance than I bargained for. Not that this book was rocket science, but it had a good story, was original, and was well written.

The entire book is written in emails or as a Twitterfeed or Facebook updates, which makes it a quick read. Many of the emails are saved as draft, thus the name of the book. Most of these email drafts never end up getting sent and I wanted to scream at the person writing it "Send it all ready!"

Book Read:  Save as Draft
Author:  Cavanaugh Lee
ISBN:  978-1-4391-9069-2


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