Monday, June 28, 2010

Book #57 of 2010

Book #57 of 2010 was ... "Eye Contact" by Cammie McGovern.

("Eye Contact") centers on a nine-year-old autistic boy, Adam, who witnesses the murder of a classmate. Disturbed by what he saw, Adam retreats into himself, frustrating the police and worrying his mother, Cara, who has watched Adam's development with a nervous eye since he was diagnosed with autism. Cara is fearful of the effect the murder will have on her son, but she's also surprised to find the investigation dredging up her own past: the officer assigned to the case is the younger brother of her former best friend, whom she hasn't spoken to in almost a decade. And another old friend, who might just be Adam's father, has come back into her life.

McGovern does a good job of presenting an authentic autistic character in her book which makes sense given that her own son is autistic. However, it does not make up for the fact that the rest of the story is confusing with various characters and plot lines that never really seem to make sense.

Up next is "Ten Minutes from Home" by Beth Greenfield.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Book #56 of 2010

Book #56 of 2010 was "Thinking of You" by Jill Mansell.

Ginny Holland’s daughter Jem has headed off to university, leaving single mum Ginny with a severe case of empty nest syndrome. To make matters worse, the first gorgeous man she's clapped eyes on in years has just accused Ginny of shoplifting. So Ginny decides to advertise for a lodger but what she gets is lovelorn Laurel, who can only talk about her ex-boyfriend. However Laurel has a dangerously charming brother, Perry, and add to that the offer of a great new job, and things are looking up … until Ginny realizes that her potential boss is all too familiar.

Is it too late for Ginny to set right the first impression she made when Finn Penhaligon got quite the wrong end of the stick? And is either Finn or Perry quite what they seem?

Broken record here: light and fun summer read!

Up next is "Eye Contact" by Cammie McGovern.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Books #54 and #55

Book #54 was "Rumor Has It" by Jill Mansell

Newly single, Tilly Cole impulsively accepts a job offer in a small town as a "Girl Friday." Fun job, country house, fresh start, why not? But soon she finds herself in a hotbed of gossip, intrigue, and rampant rivalry for the town's most desirable bachelor-Jack Lucas.

Rumors of Jack's "love 'em and leave 'em" escapes abound, and Tilly decides to do the mature, sensible thing... avoid Jack at all cost. But the more time Tilly spends with Jack, the more the rumors just don't make sense. Tilly doesn't know what to believe... and Jack's not telling.

Just your classic easy-to-read chick lit from one of my favorite British chick lit authors. Perfect to take to the beach this summer.

And Book #55 was "Three Little Words" by Ashley Rhodes-Courter.

"Sunshine, you're my baby and I'm your only mother. You must mind the one taking care of you, but she's not your mama." Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes, living by those words. As her mother spirals out of control, Ashley is left clinging to an unpredictable, dissolving relationship, all the while getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system.

Painful memories of being taken away from her home quickly become consumed by real-life horrors, where Ashley is juggled between caseworkers, shuffled from school to school, and forced to endure manipulative,humiliating treatment from a very abusive foster family. In this inspiring, unforgettable memoir, Ashley finds the courage to succeed - and in doing so, discovers the power of her own voice.

This is a memoir written by a teen writer about her time in the extremely flawed foster care system. At times her youth is evident in her writing, but it doesn't detract from the overall impact of the book.

Up next is another perfect-for-summer chick lit book by Jill Mansell, "Thinking of You".

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Book #53 of 2010

Book #53 of 2010 was ... "Kinky Gazpacho" by Lori Tharps.

Magazine writer and editor Lori Tharps was born and raised in the comfortable but mostly White suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she was often the only person of color in her school and neighborhood. At an early age, Lori decided that her destiny would be discovered in Spain. She didn't know anyone from Spain, had never visited the country, and hardly spoke the language. Still, she never faltered in her plans to escape to the Iberian Peninsula.

Arriving in the country as an optimistic college student, however, Lori soon discovers Spain's particular attitude toward Blackness. She is chased down the street by the local schoolchildren and pointed at incessantly in public, and her innocent dreams of a place where race doesn't matter are shattered. The story would end there, except Lori meets and marries a Spaniard, and that's when her true Spanish adventure really begins.

I enjoyed the book. Her writing made my me feel like I could sit down with Tharps and have many laughs over coffee. Having grown up the minority white kid in a majority Black school system, I could relate to her need to fit in and also find her own identity. There were times where her writing seemed a little scattered but I thought of it more as train of thought writing. She had so much to say and reflect on that it couldn't always be contained neatly. I am looking forward to her new book in August.

You might notice I didn't actually read the book I said I was going to read next. It was due and I had no more renewals. That's the hazard of taking out so many books at a time. So now I have to re-check it out and finish it. Until then I am reading "Rumor Has It" by Jill Mansell.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book #52 of 2010

Book #52 of 2010 was ... "Expecting Adam" by Martha Beck.

Expecting Adam is an autobiographical tale of an academically oriented Harvard couple who conceive a baby with Down's syndrome and decide to carry him to term. Despite everything Martha Beck and her husband John know about themselves and their belief system, when Martha gets accidentally pregnant and the fetus is discovered to have Down's syndrome, the Becks find they cannot even consider abortion. The presence of the fetus that they each, privately, believe is a familiar being named Adam is too strong. As Martha's terribly difficult pregnancy progresses, odd coincidences and paranormal experiences begin to occur for both Martha and John, though for months they don't share them with each other. Martha's pregnancy and Adam (once born) become the catalyst for tremendous life changes for the Becks.

I don't know if it was my own mind set these days or what but I found this book completely bizarre. Beck goes off on some New Age psycho babble about paranormal experiences during her pregnancy in between talking about how she is so darn smart. Her husband is so darn smart. Their families are smart (but dysfunctional). And Harvard is a emotionless void. I don't know what I expected but it certainly wasn't this verbal diarrhea. (Yes, I did just call it verbal diarrhea. I apologize to my more sensitive readers.)

So onward and upward to the next book on the list "The Almond Picker" by Simonetta Agnello Hornby.

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Monday, June 07, 2010

Book #51 of 2010

Instead of reading with the force of Niagara Falls, I am more dripping like a faucet. I promise to get my reading mojo back soon.

(Like once the pink elephants stop dancing around the room and my head doesn't feel plugged with cotton fluff.)

Book #51 of 2010 was ... "False Mermaid" by Erin Hart.

American pathologist Nora Gavin fled to Ireland three years ago, hoping that distance from home would bring her peace. Though she threw herself into the study of bog bodies and the mysteries of their circumstances, she was ultimately led back to the one mystery she was unable to solve: the murder of her sister, Tríona. Nora can’t move forward until she goes back—back to her home, to the scene of the crime, to the source of her nightmares and her deepest regrets.

Determined to put her sister’s case to rest and anxious about her eleven-year-old niece, Elizabeth, Nora returns to Saint Paul, Minnesota, to find that her brother-in-law, Peter Hallett, is about to remarry and has plans to leave the country with his new bride. Nora has long suspected Hallett in Tríona’s murder, though there has never been any proof of his involvement, and now she believes that his new wife and Elizabeth may both be in danger. Time is short, and as Nora begins reinvestigating her sister’s death, missed clues and ever-more disturbing details come to light. What is the significance of the "false mermaid" seeds found on Tríona’s body? Why was her behavior so erratic in the days before her murder?

Is there a link between Tríona’s death and that of another young woman?

Nora’s search for answers takes her from the banks of the Mississippi to the cliffs of Ireland, where the eerie story of a fisherman’s wife who vanished more than a century ago offers up uncanny parallels. As painful secrets come to light, Nora is drawn deeper into a past that still threatens to engulf her and must determine how much she is prepared to sacrifice to put one tragedy to rest . . . and to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself.

Interesting how it all played out in the end. I like how Hart weaves historical information into a modern story. I hope there are more in the series with Nora Gavin in the future.

Up next is "Expecting Adam" by Martha Beck.

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

I'm going quackers! Quack! Quack! Quack!

It's been a long week that involved urgent care and ER visits for me. Suffice it to say, my reading speed has slowed to a trickle at best.

So in the meantime, enjoy my theme song:

Share Goin' Quackers by Donald Duck

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The winner is ...

The winner of the Amazon gift card is ...


Random numbers generated Jun 1 2010 at 9:10:30 by

Rachel! You are the winner! I will contact you regarding your prize.

Thanks to everyone who participated. I will be giving away another gift certificate when I get to Book #100 of 2010.

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