Monday, July 15, 2013

Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg

After Cecilia Ross' best friend Penny died of cancer, she reevaluates her life and decides to take a break form her career as a motivational speaker.  After downsizing, Cecilia  moves into a gorgeous house in St. Paul, Minnesota with three other interesting women who are experiencing breakthrough in their lives .  The four women, along with a dog, take a road trip to rekindle their pasts and yearnings.
Although Berg celebrates women friendships and the notion that our departed loved ones are watching over us, I found this novel a bit too clich├ęd and missed the depths of the author's earlier works.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

   In a small beautiful seaside village in the west of Ireland an old decaying mansion is turned into a hotel by Chicky Starr.  Chicky has returned from America with secrets of her life there.  Her guests are visiting with pasts full of successes or miseries needing a break from their circumstances.  Maeve Binchy delves into these character's personalities and makes them more real and understandable, an ability this author is known for. This book is full of warmth and humor. The diverse character's stories are interesting and enjoyable, including doctors shaken by their experiences, a critical schoolteacher, a businessman who feels obligated to his father, a librarian etc. Maeve Binchy died last year.  I will miss her storytelling.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Top of the Morning by Brian Stelter

To paraphrase the New York Times Review of Top of the Morning by Brian Stelter, it’s not the best writing in the world.  However, what this book does have going for it is an insider’s view of the war behind morning television shows.  If you ever thought the big three networks were “dead” in favor of cable channels, Stelter reigns the reader in by divulging a strategic plan to oust Ann Curry from NBC’s Today Show, and the long, slow slide that made ABC’s Good Morning America number one again in the ratings after more than 800 weeks of dominance by Today.  Stelter also outlines, for example, the ridiculous lengths producers will go to in order to ensure that other networks don’t steal the prime guest for tomorrow’s show from one another, literally sleeping in hotel hallways to guard the guests from poaching.  It’s not exactly a beach read, but if you like a tabloid shocker about media itself, Top of the Morning may be just your cup of coffee.