Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hume's Fork by Ron Cooper

This novel started with a comic moment when philosophy professor Legare Hume was "plated" by his wife Tally as he announced his decision to attend the American Philosophical Association conference in Charleston, S. Carolina with his colleague Saul Grossman instead of her. The reason for Tally's lashing anger wasn't reveal until toward the end. The story revolved around the APA conference, the friendship between Hume and Grossman, and how ironically after years of avoiding his family in Carolina, Hume ended up staying and reconnecting with them and a menagerie of quirky and shady characters. The subplot brought out the tender side of Saul who fell head over heels for Hume's sister Willie.
Hume's Fork is an unexpected, entertaining and comical combination of philosophy professors, professional wrestlers and the meaning we attached to everyday life.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

First Family by David Baldacci

Private investigators Sean King and Michelle Maxwell take on the job of finding a kidnapped girl. Since the girl is the niece of the President and First Lady, the pressure is on. First Family is a pretty good thriller. Although I like the King/Maxwell team, I don't find this series as riveting as the Camel Club books.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Mystery of Grace by Charles de Lint

Our heroine is Grace Quintero, a female auto mechanic who specializes in custom hot rods. When her local grocery store is robbed, she is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Killed by the robber, she finds herself in an odd afterlife. This book is a little difficult to categorize. It has elements of urban fantasy, magical realism, romance and mystery. It's a tender book, full of love, hope and Grace.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

Look Again is a solid thriller from Lisa Scottoline. Journalist Ellen Gleeson catches a chance glimpse of a "missing child" postcard that looks startling like her adopted son, Will. Unable to dismiss the coincidence, Ellen risks her career and her family to dig up the truth. Scottoline's books are always very readable, and this one is no exception. It's got a mystery, a fast-paced plot, engaging characters, a moral dilemma, and even a little romance. Yes, things are tied up a little too neatly in the end, but this is popular fiction, not great literature. I finished it in a single sitting.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Food Matters by Mark Bittman

Bittman's book is about choosing food consciously, with both your own health and the health of our planet in mind. The themes and tone are similar to The Omnivore's Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, but this is a much shorter book. The last half is all recipes, to demonstrate that this way of eating is not about sacrificing taste. If you're interested in a brief overview of the advantages of eating minimally processed, locally grown food, this book is a good starting point. And the recipes look pretty yummy.

The Little Sleep by Paul Tremblay

Private Investigator Mark Genevich knows he has a mystery to solve, but the problem is, he's not sure which clues are real. Genevich is narcoleptic and suffers from the most severe symptoms, including realistic dreams and hallucinations. He's not even sure who his client is. Or if he actually has one.

The Little Sleep is clever, original, and a great read. It's hard-boiled, funny, smart, and hard to put down. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dear Mom by Melody Carlson

The subtitle pretty much sums it up: "Everything Your Teenage Daughter Wants You to Know but Will Never Tell You." This book is full of tips for the mother of a teen daughter, as if told from the teen's point of view. Most of it is common sense (or as a daughter would say, "Duh!"), but it's told in a gentle, humorous way. Although it is sometimes repetitious, much of the advice bears repeating for those who are challenged with parenting a teenage girl! I enjoyed it.