Sunday, August 30, 2009

Random Walk by Lawrence Block (44)

I am a fan of Lawrence Block's mystery novels; since reading his recent memoir "Step by Step" I became aware of this book, subtitled "A Novel for a New Age". In Oregon a man begins a walk across the country by putting one foot in front of the other. He starts to gather other folks who also decide to walk with him. The walk is being done without forethought but purposefully, gathering people as they go, sleeping and eating wherever they find themselves, not exactly knowing where they will finish. At the same time a serial killer is on the loose, killing women wherever he finds them, not understanding why he is killing but getting some sort of satisfaction out of the act. The paths of all these people intersect somewhere in the story with a surprising and promising result. This book was quite unlike other books by the same author and I enjoyed it (though the chapters about the killer were a little hard to read!)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

With the Light by Keiko Tobe (43)

"Raising an Autistic Child" Volume 1
This book was a new experience for me because it is a Manga, a Japanese comic. I enjoyed comic books as a child and Manga reminds me of that time.
"With the Light" is translated from the Japanese, set in Japan, and focuses on a young family having a child afflicted with autism. The young parents flounder, looking for why this has happened to them and dealing with many misunderstandings. For example, many people are thinking the mother is at fault, spoiling her child or not teaching him correctly when actually she's doing her very best without much support from anyone. Even her husband and mother-in-law at times think she is the reason her child is different.
I was surprised to see this Manga on the fiction shelves of my public library. I see that volume 2 of the same series is also there and I will be looking for it soon to continue this saga about the autistic child.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand (42)

Very enjoyable book! The Castaways is about 8 people, 4 married couples, living on the island of Nantucket. As the story opens, one of the couples is found drowned while on a boating excursion to celebrate an anniversary. Each of the remaining six in the Castaway group is affected in a profound and different way by the deaths. A mystery regarding why this couple drowned is more or less resolved as the book nears its final pages, so that I found myself hardly able to put it down.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Step by Step by Lawrence Block (41)

A favorite mystery writer is Lawrence Block and a favorite pastimes is walking. "Step by Step" is a combination of these two: an autobiography detailing his history in the sport of race walking. The subtitle is "A Pedestrian Memoir". Mr. Block, who is now in his seventies, participated in long distance race walking, sometimes taking part in marathons and ultra marathons. I found it interesting because because I've always enjoyed this author plus I enjoy walking, but I don't know if it would be of high interest to others.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Recently I purchased an Apple Touch 16 GB with a goal to read ebooks on it. The App store has the ebook version of this story available free so I downloaded it, founding it comfortable and interesting to read the ebook version of fiction for the first time in my life. Of course the story is very intriguing and curious; I was able to set the font and background for good reading. Next I want to rent the DVD movie of this story and see how it compares with the original story. I have lived long enough to see major changes in so many areas of our lives, and the ebook is just one of them. I'm not ready to give up the library and holding an actual paper book in my hands, but I can see the merits of the ebook world.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin (40)

Loved it! Eilis is a young Irish girl who decides to try her luck in post WWII America. She makes the difficult passage across the ocean to Brooklyn, gets a job, meets people and begins to make her way. In the meantime family ties are pulling her back to the old country. This book expresses the two forces that often pull at immigrants everywhere: adventure and desire for a better life and the emotional pull and comfort of the familiar. This is a great book, leaving me wondering until the last page what direction she would choose.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Summer on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber (39)

Debbie Macomber's books are always warm and comfortable reading. The setting is a small town in Washington where the people are kind and helpful to each other. The characters include people searching for love, children searching for parents, everyday kinds of problems approached in a light lovely way. Her books are an escape from the problems of the real world. "Summer" follows this same prescription: a knitting group is formed to enable people to kick their problems. The members of the group include a young woman hoping to stop smoking and have a baby, a lonely man who is very successful but involved in a lawsuit that could destroy his company, a young woman who hopes to adopt and a single mother who hopes to protect her adopted daughter. This is a very pleasant book.