Some of My Favorite Books

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

Well, I finished reading The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout late last night, and unexpectedly was sad to see it end. When I first started reading this novel, I considered setting it aside and not reading it at all.

I'm glad I stuck with it. 

The Burgess boys are Jim Burgess, a famous, successful corporate lawyer, and his younger brother Bob, also a lawyer but a Legal Aid attorney. They have a sister Susan, whose son gets into some trouble, in the town in Maine where the Burgess family grew up. The story unfolds with enough conflict centering around immigration, racial tension, marriage, guilt, and so on to keep it interesting. 

And unfold, it does. I liked the book more and more as I read it. Secrets are revealed that change people and it was very well written with realistic story elements that make a good book great for me.

Have you read The Burgess Boys or any of Strout's other books? She also wrote Olive Kitteridge, which she won the Pulitzer Prize for.

Book Read:  The Burgess Boys
Author:  Elizabeth Strout

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Line of Fire by Stephen White

I finished Line of Fire by Stephen White this morning while waiting at an appointment. I was glad to finish it because frankly I was ready to be done with it. I did want to know how it ended and the end of the book moved along at a good clip, making it more pleasurable to read then the bulk of the tome.

This book is billed as a psychological thriller but to me it was a tad tedious in places. White is a psychologist and it shows. He used ten dollar words when a nickel word would do. It's reads like he's showing off, to me.

I hadn't read any of the previous Dr. Alan Gregory books that White's written and I'm glad. From other reviews on Amazon, it sounds like this book was a stinker. The characters of Alan and Sam Purdy acted out of character and the storyline faltered. I agree that the two did some dumb things and the circumstances were sort of ridiculous. I do believe this will be the last White novel I read. I may have read another one years ago but obviously since I don't really remember, it wasn't memorable.

Do you like Stephen White's books?

Book Read:  Line of Fire
Author:  Stephen White

Monday, August 12, 2013

The View From Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman

I love Elinor Lipman's books, and this just might be her best! I finished reading The View from Penthouse B last night and was so sad to see it end. 

The premise follows:  Gwen-Laura is the middle sister of three girls. She moves in to Penthouse B after her husband dies suddenly. Her older sister Margot owns the penthouse but nothing else, having lost her money in Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. 

Margot's ex-husband is a doctor who took liberties with his OB/GYN patients in a way that I don't want to spoil for you. Their younger sister Betsy is married with children. A roommate, a young man named Anthony, moves in to help with expenses and the story just keeps getting better.

Read it! I loved this book so much and can't imagine anyone not loving it, too.

Book Read:  The View from Penthouse B
Author:  Elinor Lipman

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

NYPD Red by James Patterson and Marshall Karp

Last night I stayed up way too late to finish reading NYPD Red, but if you've read his books you know how short 50 pages or so of his novels are.

It seems like this was just one of James Patterson's many books of the week. Not really, of course, but doesn't it seem like he churns them out awfully fast? I know he had help with this one as he does with many of his later books. And I wonder what exactly each writer does. 

I mean, to put Patterson's name on the book has to guarantee mega sales. So does he think up an idea and the other writer actually write it? Does anyone know?

No matter, I liked NYPD Red. It had the right mix of characters. Sometimes there are so many I just can't keep them straight. The story was somewhat believable even!

Do you like to read James Patterson's books? 

Book Read:  NYPD Red

Author:  James Patterson and Marshall Karp

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

Have you read The Little Giant of Aberdeen County? If not, oh yeah, it's a good read!

Truly Plaice is a not really a giant, but a large, sturdy girl then an even larger, sturdier woman. Her life is made more difficult by having a mother who died in childbirth (giving birth to the giant baby, herself) and having an older sister who is petite and beautiful. 

The circumstances Truly finds herself in seem to be taken with a grain of salt, all through her life till she finally seems to come alive and makes some radical decisions. And she follows through on them.

I've read other books about giants (The Giant's House: A Romance and The Girl Giant: A Novel) and they're just as good as The Little Giant of Aberdeen County. I'd recommend them all.

Book Read:  The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
Author:  Tiffany Baker


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