Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Black Notice

Black Notice by Patricia Cornwell

I was unaware that this is one of several of Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta novels. Kay Scarpetta being a Chief Medical Examiner. This book is a mixture of action sequences and forensic sequences. I much prefer the action to the forensics. The story begins with finding the remains of a stowaway in a cargo ship and takes the reader on an adventure filled with intrigue as Kay Scarpetta works with her cohort to solve the mystery.

While I Was Gone

While I Was Gone by Sue Miller

There was much in this novel that I could relate to, a characteristic of good fiction. After a rocky young adulthood in the 70's Jo Becker becomes a respected veterinarian, wife of a minister and mother of 3 daughters. Then someone from her past reenters her life and things change dramatically. This is about relationships and emotions with an unexpected twist. There is one graphic description of a sexual encounter between Jo and her husband that seemed somewhat out of place and unnecessary. I will look for other books by this author.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

This is the memorable story of Jeanette Walls as she grows up in a incredibly dysfunctional family. Moving from place to place, she and her siblings learn to take care of themselves under extremely dire conditions. Growing up in Western Pennsylvania there were many things that I could relate to, and many more that I couldn't even imagine. It is an inspiring story of resilience and success.

Running With Scissors

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
This is an amazing recounting of the author's teenage years. It is funny, shocking, bizarre, sad, strange, unreal, and unbelievable. I can't sum it any better than some of the reviews.

"Written with humor and clear affection for its oddball characters, Running With Scissors is a story of shocking discovery and unlikely survival." - The Onion

"Screamingly funny ... In the end, the book celebrates Burrough's resilient, upbeat spirit, which helps him surmount one of the weirder childhoods on record." -Deirdre Donahue, USA Today

It is one of my favorite books and I recommend it, with caution.

Wild Mountain Thyme

Wild Mountain Thyme by Rosamunde Pilcher

This was a love story with rich description of the characters and settings, taking place in London and the Scottish Highlands. Although it was somewhat predictable, there were a few unexpected though not surprising turns of events. Victoria Bradshaw is in love with playwright Oliver Dobbs.
Years after he left her, he turns up on her doorstep, a widower, with his 2 year old son whom he has just kidnapped from his his maternal grandparents. They travel to Scotland to stay with an acquaintance of Oliver and the story unfolds from there. Enjoyable.