Monday, February 22, 2010

The Red Thread by Ann Hood

The Red Thread
The Red Thread by Ann Hood

An amazing book dealing with Chinese adoption. We meet both the adoptive parents as well as the birth mothers, and their stories are both heartbreaking and hopeful. All this revolves around Maya, the woman who runs the Red Thread agency, who is haunted by her past and terrified of becoming close to anyone again.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Relentless by Dean Koontz

I listened to the audiobook of this one - and while I thoroughly the narrator, I did not care that much for the story.

The book is a fairly generic mystery/thriller, but then all of a sudden supernatural elements are added - it's jarring.

The son is a 6 year old prodigy - but still, as a parent of a 6 year old, I just don't see it at all. The parents seem to just take it in stride that their child has this amazingly advanced scientific mind - and yet, they aren't teaching him - who is?? We assume he's self-taught... And I don't buy it.

I'm sorry - I love Dean Koontz, but this one just doesn't make sense.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stitches: A Memoir by David Small

Stitches: A Memoir

Stitches: A Memoir by David Small

This was my first graphic novel read! It's a very different experience to read a book that is more pictures than words, but I enjoyed it so much.

The book deals with David's childhood - primarily his experience of having surgery to remove a "cyst" only to wake up unable to speak. He finds out later that the cyst was cancer and that the surgery removed tumor, along with a vocal cord and thyroid. His father, a radiologist, later confirms that the frequent x-rays he subjected David to as a child most likely caused the cancer.

David's experience is tragic, and I think telling it in this format makes it much more "real" than just reading it. He's a very gifted artist, and his drawings were fantastic.

Highly recommend!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, Bk 1) :: Stieg Larsson, Reg Keeland (Translator)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, Bk 1)

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I can understand now why, when I picked up this book, I didn't really know what it was going to be about. This novel defies description - it's a murder mystery, a thriller about financial espionage, a story of a young girl trying to find her way in the world, a man whose principles lead him into a lot of trouble and hurt, and a story of a family who has long buried secrets that finally explode around them.

So not knowing anything about it, I started reading, and couldn't put it down! I loved the story of the Vargar family - the missing 16 year old and how Mikael is hired to try his hand at solving the 40 year old mystery. Also, I loved meeting Lisbeth who is one of the best characters I've read in a long time - she's smart and strong, but also weak and naive in some areas. Mikael is strongly principled, but at the same time, understands that "the right thing" isn't always the right thing.

Highly recommend this fantastic book!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

The School of Essential Ingredients The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister.

Finally! I have heard so many wonderful things about this book, and I just never took the time to pick it up and read it. Had I known this beautiful gem of a book was on my shelf, I would have read it long ago.

The book takes us to Lillian's restaurant, where on Monday nights, she gives cooking classes. We meet her and her students, and learn about them, why they are there, what they take from the class.

The writing is absolutely wonderful, simple and elegant, and so descriptive that you can almost feel, smell, and taste the food.

Books this lovely are rare, and well worth the read.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Classic Stephen King!! I had forgotten how much I love his writing - but sitting down with this one brought it all back and now I want more more more!

It's a rare writer that can fill up 1000+ pages to cover a time period of less than a week in the lives of the people of Chester Mills without boring their readers to death!

The book on its surface is about a small town that is suddenly encased in an indestructible dome. Obviously, the questions of where the dome came from, why it happened, how to get rid of it, are considered. But there's also the reality of the fact that they are on their own completely - there's no one getting out and no one getting in either. Who is in charge? And why? Are they still part of the U.S.? Or have they seceded? Who can be trusted?

Stephen King is sometimes at his best when he deals with the monsters that really do exist - the evil that lives inside all of us - and that's what this book is ultimately about.

Take a few days (or more) and find a comfortable chair and read this book!