Friday, October 30, 2009

The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil McNeil (55)

Loved it! Jo is a young widow in England with two young sons. She decides to move to the seaside and take over her Gran's knit shop. She quickly meets all the various characters of the town as she gets her business up and running. She even develops a friendship with a megastar and finds a little romance. I was reminded of "Bridget Jones" and the "Shopaholic" books. Written with warmth and humor---a very excellent book.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

True Evil by Greg Iles (a)

This is the first time I've listened to an audio book on my ipod. I became aware that my library has quite a number of books on MP3 format available for checkout, so I decided to try it out. Listening to a book is quite a different experience from reading a book.
I think I'm more of a visual person, so I needed to concentrate a little more attentively to follow the book. This book has a lot of action and the reader did a good job, some really horrifying details, so listening to it was a little like watching an action movie.
Alex, an FBI agent, hears a request from her dying sister; the sister says her husband is responsible for her death and that Alex should pursue him and protect their son Jamie. What unfolds is an evil cancer causing doctor and a divorce attorney whose clients' spouses conveniently become sick and die.

Murder in Little Italy by Victoria Thompson (54

Set in early 1900's New York City, the main character, Sarah, is a midwife whose young Irish patient is murdered after delivering a baby in Little Italy. Tensions between the Irish and Italians are part of the plot. This book started out to be very interesting, but I didn't find that interest sustained throughout the book.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch (53)

An interesting and different book! Jillian is a young housewife and mother who is stuck and bored with her life, seeing many aspects of her life that she would like to change. She goes to a masseuse and during a massage suddenly finds herself sent back 7 years in time before all the major decisions of her life have been made. Suddenly she is single, childless, seriously involved with a different man, and strongly set on an upward career path. This apparently gives her a second chance to make better decisions. But what are the decisions that she really wants to change? A very interesting premise.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson (52)

An English mystery, for the first half of the book I was scrambling to figure out the characters and how they worked together; then it all began to make sense and became quite a good story. The people in the story are memorable and troubled; Reggie, a teenager old before her time; Joanna who began her life experiencing horror; Jackson, an ex military man and policeman with tragedy behind him; and Louise, a woman scrambling for love but having suffered much. How this cast of characters comes together with their flaws and heartbreaks becomes a thoughtful and absorbing read. I enjoyed it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Short Girls by Bich Minh Nguyen (51)

Van and Linny are first generation Vietnamese-American girls growing up in Michigan. Their lives are very complex, dealing with two cultures, their parents having their own issues. Their mother dies early, so their father works odd jobs while dreaming of inventing gadgets to assist "short people" like his daughters. Van studies hard, becomes a lawyer, gets married, but isn't able to fully find herself while living with her husband in Ann Arbor. Vinny, more beautiful and social than her sister, drops out of college, moves to Chicago, is in and out of relationships and jobs, seems to be drifting. This book reminds me of the Vietnamese students in my English classes during the '70's. I've always thought of them and wondered what became of them. "Short Girls" is an enjoyable read.