Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Full Disclosure By Dee Henderson

Ann Silver is a Midwest Homicide Investigator. She is called to help local law enforcement on the worst cases. Paul Falcon is a top FBI agent. Their lives intersect when Ann passes a case off to Paul. As the case heats up-so does Paul's interest in Ann, but she is guarding a dark secret. It takes all of Paul's skills to solve the case and peel back the layers of protection Ann has placed around her heart. If you are a fan of Dee Henderson you will be familiar with many of this book's characters. This is Dee Henderson at her finest.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

Kimberly and her mother immigrate to NewYork after Kimberly's father dies in Hong Kong.  They are indebted to Kimberly's Aunt Paula who arranged for green cards and has paid bills for them.  Working long hard hours in a sweat shop and living in a condemned unheated apartment with vermin and roaches, life is difficult.  In Hong Kong, Kimberly was an excellent student who struggles now with the English language and such a different culture.  Eventually, her intelligence is recognized and she is accepted into a private school.  Life is demanding but Kimberly is clever and excels.  Her relationships with boys lead to unexpected choices.  Her relationship with her mother and the Chinese culture portrayed throughout this book are interesting and keep you wondering what will happen next.  I listened to this as an audio book and enjoyed the narrator.  This is a young people's book but I feel it will interest adults as well.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

When Barry Fairbrother dies suddenly, his vacated seat on the town council becomes an issue in the small town of Pagford. Rowling’s first adult book is very adult in language, themes and situations. The story deals not only with petty politics, but also troubled relationships, class struggles, drug addiction, prejudice, teen pregnancy, and a number of other difficult themes. There are many characters to follow and some are not particularly likable, but Rowling manages to make us care what happens to them. It’s a dark book, but well written and thought-provoking and certainly worth reading.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond

This charming cookbook is such a lovely piece of work. It reads a little bit like a novel—telling the author’s story of a city girl falling in love with a cowboy, marrying, and moving to a ranch.
     While basically full of recipes, the book is interspersed with lovely pictures of nature and animals on the ranch. There are also really sweet anecdotes of family members, ranch hands, and acquaintances. The recipes are well organized and contain ingredients that are familiar to people in our region. There are lots of delicious cuts of meat, also pasta, Mexican, and sweets.
      Ree has honed her cooking skills to feed hungry men and children alike, These foods are not low in calories, but are delicious. The recipes are beautifully pictured and clearly explained step by step. It is easy to see why this book has been a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood

I enjoyed this book but not as much as the other Julie Garwood books.  I liked both of the main characters  and I loved Olivia’s dedication to children since her childhood was filled with parents that didn’t show much concern for her or her illness.  The back story of the childhood cancer helped explain some of Olivia’s motivations towards she sideline job and her job with the IRS and trying to find something to prosecute her father with.   I am not sure if I didn’t enjoy the book as much because of the story line or if it was because of the dreadful reader. 


Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Plain Death by Amanda Flower

Chloe Humphrey has just moved with some uncertainty to Appleseed Creek to direct technology services at the nearby college.    Her first acquaintance is Becky, an ex-Amish teenager looking for a new home.  While driving Chloe's car, Becky collides with a buggy, killing an Amish bishop.  But what looks like an accident is soon labeled murder.  Now Chloe must take on the role of amateur sleuth to discover who the real intended victim was before the murderer makes a second attempt.  This was a very good book.  It was hard to put down once I started reading it. 

Alys, Always by Harriet Lane

Driving at the edge of London on an icy night, Frances Thorpe, a book editor, stops for a car in the ditch.  Inside the car is the dying wife (Alys) of a famous novelist Laurence Kyte.  Frances calls for help and stays with Alys until the police arrives.  Since Frances is the last person who sees Alys alive, Alys' family is eager to meet her in order to hear Alys' final words.
It is disturbing to learn how connivingly Frances schemes her way into the Kyte family, especially the heart of the widower.  This is a gripping short novel that alludes to the complexities of the human psyche.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth

The title of this book intrigued me, at times I find myself craving the simplicity of the Amish life style. The author had the American dream, a husband who was a successful Doctor, 2 children and a big house in the suburbs. As Christians they felt that they had become slaves to technology and to the American dream. Using principles from the Amish the Sleeth family simplified their lives to make faith and family the cornerstone. I found this to be a very interesting book with many principles I could use and also a lot of "food for thought". If you ever feel like your life is busy and spinning out of control, I recoomend this book to you.