Monday, January 31, 2011

January 2011

2011 started off with an excellent month of reading that carried me far and wide in time and geography.  My hope is that this streak of good books continues through to the final seconds of the year.

THE RECKLESS BRIDE by Stephanie Laurens
3/5 (Romance Scale)
This was the January 2011 selection for the local Barnes & Noble romance readers group. After a start as slow as the hero & heroine's journey by river to Rotterdam, the story finally picked up; and we were given what we had been anticipating in this, the final installment in the Black Cobra Quartet: The identity of the Black Cobra and assurance that all's well that ends well.

3.5/5 (Mystery Scale)
Eve takes on a devious killer of powerful women; Roarke takes on a powerful woman. Series is set in 2058 New York, so it is interesting to note details new in the copyright date of 1995 (reading newspapers on a monitor) are now common in 2011. Following Eve and Roarke is going to be so much fun!

RESISTANCE by Anita Shreve
4.5/5 (Fiction Scale)
Resistance is one Anita Shreve book that had been lingering on MtTBR far too long. The book captured me on page one and didn't let go until the final word was read. The tense and haunting story begins in 1943 in Belgium when Claire and her husband Henri are asked to house a downed American pilot until he can travel to safety in France. As always, Anita Shreve drew me in and made me care about these characters as their fate unfolded.

4.5/5 (Fiction Scale)
Genova has a real gift to take the reader via her characters into the experiences of unfamiliar medical conditions. In Left Neglected, we journey with Sarah as she works to recover from a traumatic brain injury caused by a devastating traffic accident. I took exception to The Boston Globe reviewer who labeled the plot elements "contrivances." I would imagine that we all know of a family inexplicably hit with a series of life hurdles. Left Neglected tells the story of one such family and how these hurdles were met and overcome. Not contrivances--just real life. This was an amazing follow-up to Still Alice and already has me eagerly awaiting Lisa Genova's next novel.

3.5/5 (Mystery Scale)
This first book in the Cackleberry Club series was loaded with characters and relationships. At the mid-point, I wasn't sure how it would all be straightened out. But straighten out it did and in a way that prompted me to put the second book in the series on my library reserve list.

A FATAL GRACE by Louise Penny
4.5/5 (Mystery Scale)
A FATAL GRACE was my second trip to idyllic Three Pines, PQ, Canada, traveling along with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team to answer the question of who killed CC de Poitiers. This quiet man, Gamache--loved for his doubts as much as his convictions--does "transfix me quite." Quoting Leonard Cohen's "Anthem" and allusions to Wm. B. Yeats' "A Cradle Song" carried me beyond the printed pages of this book.

CLARA AND MR. TIFFANY by Susan Vreeland
5/5 (Fiction Scale)
Love, loyalty, and labors placed before us in the luminous Tiffany windows of our minds.

After discounting The Reckless Bride must read, selecting a favorite from the remaining choices isn't easy. Each one--for very different reasons--was sigh inducing, book stroking reading.

Friday, January 21, 2011


The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

Small New England town, years of secrets and history, garden with a hint of magic--sounds like vintage Hoffman to me!

Available Tuesday, January 25.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Outside My Window...

Monday, January 3, 2011


The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

In bookstores Tuesday, April 26