Friday, May 28, 2010

Recommended Reads: The Lock Artist

Recommended Reads: The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton MYS/HAM

When Michael was 8 years old, he suffered a tragedy that the author only alludes to throughout most of the story. Because of that horrific incident, he no longer speaks. As a troubled and isolated loner growing up, he develops a hobby of picking locks, and later, the ability to open safes by touch. While in high school, he falls in love with a fellow artist and for the first time ever, he feels that he has found the person with whom he wants to share his dark story. However, the girl's father, in debt to some shady people and fearing for his life, traps him into using his boxman skills for his own gain and leads him into a life on the run. The details of how he picks locks and breaks into safes is interesting, but becomes a little repetitive towards the end.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Recommended Reads: Every Last One by Anna Quindlen

Recommended Reads: Every Last One by Anna Quindlen (FIC QUI)

Note: This review contains spoilers.

Throughout the first half of the book, we are intimately acquainted with the Latham family - a wholesome family with three young teenagers living in a peaceful and friendly neighborhood. There’s confident, popular and artsy Ruby; outgoing and athletic Alex who lives for sports; and his broody and intense twin, Max. The author weaves a disturbing undercurrent into this family dynamic with Ruby’s high school sweetheart Kieran, who refuses to acknowledge the reality that Ruby has broken up with him. A violent climax destroys the family, and Anna Quindlen leaves the reader picking up the pieces along with the survivors.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Recommended Reads: When Will There Be Good News?

Recommended Reads: When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (FIC ATK)

When Will There Be Good News? is a perfect blend of character study and suspense novel. The novel opens with the brutal murder of a mother and two of her three children. The action quickly shifts to the present day as the lives of four characters soon become the focus: Dr. Joanna Hunter (who survived the murder of her mother and siblings), 16 year old Reggie Chase (who works as a nanny for Dr. Hunter), private investigator Jackson Brodie, and Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe of the Edinburgh police. Dr. Hunter mysteriously disappears and the lives of the characters swiftly begin to intersect. More than just a thriller, this novel offers penetrating insights into loneliness and the struggle to do the right thing in a confusing world.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Recommended Reads: House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Recommended Reads: House Rules by Jodi Picoult (FIC PIC)

This is the story of a family of two brothers and a single mother, and the daily challenges they face due to the older brother’s Aspergers (an Autism Spectrum Disorder). We get a glimpse of what it is like to live with someone who has Aspergers - the highly rigid schedules, the lack of social interaction, the strict adherence to "food color days" such as all-blue Tuesday, etc. This challenge becomes exacerbated when Jacob, a high-schooler, is accused of murdering his social skills tutor. The chapters alternate between the point of view of the various characters, and Jodi Picoult is a master at leaving the reader wondering until the very end about whether Jacob is innocent or guilty.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Recommended Reads: Balancing Acts

Recommended Reads: Balancing Acts by Zoe Fishman (FIC FIS)

Four friends (Charlie, Bess, Naomi, and Sabine) run into each other at a college reunion and agree to join a six-week yoga class. Each of the women have changed since college and through this class they come together. This is a light read and a wonderful story about female friendships.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Recommended Reads: Shattered

Recommended Reads: Shattered by Karen Robards (FIC ROB)

Lisa Grant returns to her home in Lexington, Kentucky to care for her mother who is dying from ALS. She takes a job as a research assistant for Scott Buchanan, the Lexington County District Attorney. While researching a cold case involving the disappearance of a family, Lisa discovers a photo and finds that the daughter looks just like she did as a child. Soon Lisa's life begins to shatter and she confides in Scott. Lisa and Scott unravel the mystery in this thrilling tale of romantic suspense.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

April DVDs

12 Angry Men
Almost Famous
Bad Lieutenant - Port of Call New Orleans
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Crazy Heart
Funny Girl
Ghost Hunters, Season Five, Part 2
Girl, Interrupted
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
It's Complicated
The Lovely Bones
The Maltese Falcon
An Officer and a Gentleman
The Outsiders
Pirate Radio
Pretty Woman
Young Frankenstein
The Young Victoria

New April Fiction

The Barbary Pirates by William Dietrich

Christian Fiction
A Promise of Hope by Amy Clipston
Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs
The Inn at Angel Island by Thomas Kinkade
The Telling by Beverly Lewis
Small Change by Sheila Roberts

General Fiction
The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg
Get Lucky by Katherine Center
The Aloha Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
Whiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas
Uptown by Virginia DeBerry
The Walk by Richard Paul Evans
Second Time Around by Beth Kendrick
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
The Swimming Pool by Holly Lecraw
Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
Exclusive by Fern Michaels
The Lake Shore Limited by Sue Miller
Bite Me: a Love Story by Christopher Moore
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
Miss Julia Renews Her Vows by Ann B. Ross
Happy Now? by Katherine Shonk
The Other Family by Joanna Trollope
Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright

Graphic Novels
Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn by Grant Morrison

Historical Fiction
Wildflowers of Terezin by Robert Elmer
A Murderous Procession by Ariana Franklin
31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan
Pearl of China by Anchee Min
Matterhorn: a novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes
Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff

Holly Blues by Susan Wittig Albert
Elegy for April by Benjamin Black
Cat of the Century by Rita Mae Brown
Haunt Me Still by Jennifer Lee Carrell
Wrecked by Carol Higgins Clark
Nashville Noir by Jessica Fletcher
This Body of Death by Elizabeth George
The Black Cat by Martha Grimes
Crimes by Moonlight by Charlaine Harris
Dead Head: a Dirty Business Mystery by Rosemary Harris
Laughed 'Til He Died by Carolyn Hart
The Third Rail by Michael Harvey
City of Lost Girls by Declan Hughes
The God of the Hive by Laurie R. King
Super by Jim Lehrer
The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith
A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters
Mint Juleps, Mayhem, and Murder by Sara Rosett
Shoot to Thrill by P.J. Tracy
Memory by Donald E. Westlake
Hand of Fate by Lis Wiehl
The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear

A Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare
Stay a Little Longer by Dorothy Garlock
A Father for Zach by Irene Hannon
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber
Burning Lamp by Amanda Quick
Shameless by Karen Robards
Night Tales: Night Shield & Night Moves by Nora Roberts
Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts
The Vampire and the Virgin by Kerrelyn Sparks
Home in Carolina by Sherryl Woods
Sweet Tea at Sunrise by Sherryl Woods

Science Fiction/Fantasy
Changes: a novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
At the Gates of Darkness by Raymond E. Feist
A Mighty Fortress by David Weber

Deliver Us From Evil by David Baldacci
The Bone Thief by Jefferson Bass
Nowhere to Run by C.J. Box
212 by Alafair Burke
The Shadow of Your Smile by Mary Higgins Clark
The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
The Burying Place by Brian Freeman
The Killing Edge by Heather Graham
Without Mercy by Lisa Jackson
Eight Days to Live by Iris Johansen
The Executor by Jesse Kellerman
The Book of Spies by Gayle Lynds
The 9th Judgment by James Patterson
The Moonlit Earth by Christopher Rice
Lucid Intervals by Stuart Woods

The Book of Murdock by Loren D. Estleman