Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Recommended Reads: La's Orchestra Saves the World

Recommended Reads: La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith (FIC MCC)

La (short for Lavender) Stone tells us her story from the World War II while she is in England. La settles in a small town. She seeks diversions from the war and she decides to start an orchestra. She draws musicians from the town and a local RAF base. Feliks, a Polish refugee, becomes her prized recruit. Will La's orchestra save the world? Read it and find out for yourself.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Recommended Reads: The Slippery Year

Recommended Reads: The Slippery Year by Melanie Gideon (BIO GID)

This is an enjoyable reflection written by a 44-year old mother and wife trying to determine what is important in life, and what it means to be happy with the life you find yourself in. It’s her uplifting and funny story of how she deals with her husband’s midlife crisis when he buys an atrocious-looking camper RV that he insists on parking in the driveway of their affluent suburb, or tries to recapture her passionate feelings for this otherwise-practical husband who insists on wearing a safety helmet while surfing, or missing her nine-year old son when he goes off to camp for the first time. As she says in the introduction, “The Slippery Year is the story of how I come to terms with my happily ever after. It’s a conversation – personal and universal, funny and heartrending – about all the things that matter: children, the Sunday paper, sisters, good-hair days, dogs, love, loss, the passage of time, and all the reasons to go on living even when the only thing we can be sure of is that one day it will all end."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Recommended Reads: When Everything Changed

Recommended Reads: When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women From 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins (305.4 COL)

This fascinating history of American women in the late 20th Century opens with a 28 year old secretary being lectured by a male judge for wearing slacks to traffic court. The year was 1960. Through a combination of interviews with women and contemporary magazine and newspaper accounts, the author shows how the status of women in society has changed over the past 50 years. From stories of flight attendants who were fired for marrying to Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign for President, Gail Collins sympathetically details the challenges women have faced. The interesting women from the Mad Men era through the Internet era described in this book makes history truly come alive.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Recommend Reads: A Friend of the Family

Recommended Reads: A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein

A Friend of the Family traces the disintegration of a wealthy New Jersey suburban family. This suspenseful novel is narrated by Pete Dizinoff, a successful family doctor with a wife, a son, and close friends. Jumping back and forth in time between the idyllic past, where Pete and his wife built a life with their beloved son Alec, and the present day, where Pete is estranged from his family and being sued for malpractice, this dark family story traces how a perfect suburban life can so easily shatter. Pete is incensed to learn that his treasured only child is dating Laura, the daughter of his best friends Joe and Iris, who is not only older than Alec but has a criminal past. Pete's efforts to end Alec and Laura's relationship will turn out to have tragic consequences. Grodstein does a brilliant job of getting inside the mind of a middle-aged Jewish doctor and evoking the suburban New Jersey milieu. A sense of dread consumes the story and you'll read on wanting to find out what horrible incident occurs to estrange Pete from his family and friends.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

New December Books

December Fiction

The Honor of Spies by W.E.B. Griffin

General Fiction
Heavenstone Secrets by V.C. Andrews
The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark
Leaving Yesterday by Kathryn Cushman
Too Much Money by Dominick Dunne
Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford
A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein
A Natural Woman by Lori Johnson
Family Album by Penelope Lively
La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin
The Girl Next Door by Elizabeth Noble
Saving Cicadas by Nicole Seitz
The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate
True Confections by Katharine Weber

The Bone Chamber by Robin Burcell
U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
Crawlspace: A Home Repair is Homicide Mystery by Sarah Graves
Maitland's Reply by James Patrick Hunt
Dial H for Hitchcock by Susan Kandel
Too Many Murders by Colleen McCullough
Through the Heart by Kate Morgenroth
The Stranger in the Opera House by Helen Osterman

Days of Gold by Jude Deveraux
Divine Misdemeanors by Laurell K. Hamilton
Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz
Fairy Tale Weddings by Debbie Macomber
The Bargain Bride by Barbara Metzger
Deadly Deals: Sisterhood Series #16 by Fern Michaels
Noelle by Diana Palmer
Deception by Amanda Quick
Total Eclipse of the Heart by Zane

Science Fiction/Fantasy
Hidden Empire by Orson Scott Card
Muse and Reverie by Charles de Lint
Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil by Drew Karpyshyn
Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill
Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson
Liberating Atlantis by Harry Turtledove

The Paris Vendetta by Steve Berry
The Disciple by Stephen Coonts
Foolproof by Barbara D'Amato
The 13th Hour by Richard Doetsch
Sizzle by Julie Garwood
Deeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag
I, Sniper by Stephen Hunter
Trial by Fire by J.A. Jance