Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg (32)

I'm always happy to see a new book by a favorite author, and Elizabeth Berg is a favorite. The main character,Helen, is a widow with an adult daughter, who discovers a secret a year after her husband's death. I would say Elizabeth Berg's previous books were better and more logically plotted than this one, but it is enjoyable and would receive my recommendation regardless.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Resilience by Elizabeth Edwards (31)

This is a very good book and well written but painful to read because the author has gone through so much: the death of her teenage son, cancer, and her husband's indiscretions. Every life has pain, but how hard to live this out in the public eye. My sympathies go out to her.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (30)

This was an interesting and enjoyable book. It begins in a small Wisconsin town at the turn of the century when Catherine arrives on a train having agreed to marry a man she had never met after answering his ad in a newspaper. Both Catherine and her prospective husband have hidden agendas, and as the book proceeds, the mysteries are revealed.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan (29)

Such a great book, the best I've read this year. Told in the first person, this is the story of a young woman's diagnosis of breast cancer while at the same time on the other side of the country, her beloved father also has a cancer diagnosis. There is lots of humor, making you laugh while realizing the fear that is involved with her treatment. Every other chapter is a reflection on her earlier life before marriage and children, with her parents and brothers; her father comes across as a unique character, so full of love and charisma for everyone. I loved it!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Monk Upstairs by Tim Farrington (28)

This is the sequel of The Monk Downstairs, a book I recently read and enjoyed. It continues the story of two imperfect people who have found each other after experiencing life: Rebecca, a woman in her 30's with a daughter and Mike, the man who lived downstairs in her house after twenty years as a monk. Beginning with the couple's wedding, it continues on during the first months of their marriage and all the complicating events. This was a good book.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy (27)

Maeve Binchy is one of my favorite authors so I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The setting is a heart clinic in Ireland and involves the people who spend time there including the doctors, nurses, patients, and others. Everyone has a story and nobody can tell a warmer more personal story than this author. The complications, jobs, and problems of the characters are explored in a sympathetic tone. I loved it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (26)

I last read this book many years ago while in high school, so I was curious to see how I would find it now, and I was not disappointed. It's a timeless story about the poor and downtrodden vs. the rich and privileged, very timely in this economically challenging era. The Joad family lose the family farm because of greed from banks and corporate farms, so they hit the road in a ramshackle home built truck headed for California in the dust bowl of the 1930's. The family suffers greatly, death, starvation, and uncertainty, but heroically. It's no wonder this book caused an outcry when it was published.

(Note: I just watched the movie on DVD and enjoyed it very much. It was filmed in 1940 starring Henry Fonda and won several Academy Awards. After all these years, the movie held up very well. Filmed in black and white, the movie apparently caused a controversy when it came out due to the stark depiction of this era of American life. Of course the film left out a lot of the details of the book. The book and movie have made me curious to learn more about this time in American history.)