Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins. A hoot! I want my grandchildren to call me “Maestra!” Very, very good.
Martyrs by Edo Van Belkom. Very, very strange. I never finished it. There are some people who finish every book they start. Not me. If a book is so boring that it makes me want to read the last chapter right away, it’s not worth wasting my time. This one was definitely a time-waster.
These is My Words by Nancy Turner. Heartbreaking. Reminded me of Out of the Dust a little bit. This is supposed to be the journal of a pioneer woman — still not sure if it’s based on a true story or not, but it doesn’t matter. The characters are fabulous and the story is a page-turner. The main character actually reminded me of the grandmother in Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. If you like stories about strong women and have a taste for the Old West, give this one a try.
The Blues Ain’t Nothing: Tales of the Lonesome Blues Pub by Tina Jens. Funny and irreverent so far. Stayed that way all the way to the end. What’s better than a haunted blues bar? A haunted blues bar with a skinny little girl who plays a mean riff and doesn’t take any crap from anyone.
Uncharted Journey by Donatella Young – I plan to write a review of this one when I have time. The author is local (lives in Penfield) and came to the library book group when we discussed this. A gem of a book.
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser – read this one way back when at Nazareth Academy and thought it was awful. Read it again for my book group and decided I kind of like it. I’m still not a big fan of the tendency of early 20th century American authors to over-describe everything, and I now that I’m older and (maybe) a little wiser, I really question the literary discussion methods used by so many of my high school and college teachers. I’m thinking maybe all these authors never really intended for every single sentence in their books to have a hidden meaning.
Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman – also reading this for book club. A fabulous book. A good mystery that takes place at a girls prep school in eastern NY. Some of the characters reminded me of girls I knew at St. Lawrence University. Will write a review when I have time, but it’s enough to say read this book…it’s great!
Dark End of Street by Ace Atkins – another terrific mystery from Atkins. His blues historian detective, Nick Travers, is back and meaner than ever. He is quickly becoming one of my very favorite characters.
The Sinister Pig by Tony Hillerman – the latest in the Jim Chee series by Hillerman. I think the name would be an excellent one for a bar. However, despite the cool title, this one was kind of unremarkable. I think Hillerman may have entered the Danielle Steel-Stephen King Level of Hell where he is now destined to re-write all the stories he’s already written, but with new characters.
Paula by Isabel Allende – read, or tried to read, for my book discussion group at the library. The author is very self-absorbed, although the writing was very eloquent.
Spilling Clarence – read for book group – a small town is victim to a chemical spill, but the chemical has an odd effect. Everyone who is contaminated suddenly can remember everything they’ve ever experienced. I had to stop reading it because two of the characters have lost their mothers and it made me think of my own mother who passed away in 1984, and how much I miss her. I don’t know how I’m going to talk about this one.
The Gospel of Judas by Simon Mawer – I’ve tried to get through this dog. I really have. It’s better than a Tylenol PM.
The Last Detective by Robert Crais – I promised myself I wouldn’t start this one until I finished the two above, but I had to get a little taste of it. Crais is one of my current favorite writers. Note to H. David — you would like this author.
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind. Very weird book, and a little too graphic for my taste. All about a strange boy born with no sense of smell and his search for the perfect fragrance. Doesn’t sound like it would be a dark-edged murder story, but it is, and believe me, it is extremely creepy. So, I gave it to Anne Marie when I finished.