Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson (#15)

A complexly plotted murder mystery set in Sweden pairs a strange antisocial young woman with a journalist, united to solve the mystery. I was curious about this book, knowing how popular it has been, and was surprised to find it not so easy to get into. The first 200 pages were filled with unfamiliar Swedish names, a very complicated family situation, and not as interesting commentary in the plot. Then it began to flow and I finished it quickly. I would recommend this book, noting that it takes a bit of patience and persistence to read. I will read the next two books of the series and I will be curious if they will continue in the same way.

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult (#14)

odi Picoult is at her best in this issue oriented novel: the issue is what happens to fertilized eggs when a couple divorces, the woman remarries in a same sex marriage, and the man joins a fundamental church. As in Ms. Picoult's usual format, the story is told very convincingly from all viewpoints so that we don't know the result until almost the very end of the book. An interesting twist to this book is the accompanying CD with lovely music: the words to the songs composed by Ms Picoult. The songs tell a story and accompany the chapters of the book. Very enjoyable book!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Something's Missing by Matthew Dick (#13)

The perfect book, well written, and totally enjoyable! Martin is a unique kind of thief---he studies his "clients, visits them on a regular basis, and carefully helps himself to a few select items that would not be missed. He becomes very involved from a distance in their lives until one day he starts to take action to help them. This is so cleverly written, great character developement, and a totally perfect ending. I highly recommend this great book!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Widow's Story by Joyce Carol Oates (#12)

The famed author Joyce Carol Oates drove her husband to the emergency room with a bad cold/ pneumonia; he seemed to be improving during his few days in the hospital until she received a call in the middle of the night. She rushed to the hospital and found that he had died. This book details her experience of losing her beloved husband after a very long marriage, her shock at the quickness and finality of the death, her resulting insomnia and depression, her inability to connect with friends and the world for several months thereafter. This is a very sad book but very engrossing. I recommend it but it isn't light reading. There is just a hint at the very end of possibilities to come, and in fact Ms. Oates within the year was engaged to be married to another Princeton professor. I hope she writes a sequel to this book so we can know exactly how this came to be!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Saving Max by Antoinette van Heugten (#11)

Max is a troubled little boy with various mental problems. His mother, Danielle, a single mother and successful lawyer, is at her wit's end, not knowing how to help him. She decides to place him in a facility in Iowa that is reputed to be helpful to mentally ill young people. After arriving there, problems only become more complex until Danielle finds herself as well as Max in deep trouble.
This book was a little too wordy, a little too dragged out, a little too far fetched. It is a first book for the author, and I would like to see her progress as a writer.