Sunday, June 28, 2015

Connections in "All the World We Cannot See"

I loved how Anthony Doerr took this history of the burning of Saint Malo during World War 11 and turned it into a precious story of hide and seek with the theme of connection. In All the World We Cannot See, a father and his blind daughter have a special connection in this story. Every birthday he gave her a gift hidden away in a box and she always met the challenge of opening the box and finding the gift.  A young boy being trained to be a Nazi  discovers his unique connection with this blind French girl. I was a little disappointed in the end but this is my I would give it 4.5 stars. So glad I read this book.

Friday, May 01, 2015

The Oath by John Lescroart

Our book this month at the bookclub is The Oath by John Lescroart. It is the eighth book in the Dismas Hardy series. This is my first time reading a book by Lescroart.

Is it just me or are there too many characters in this book? I am on page 136. Chief of San Francisco police, Lt. Abe Glitsky and his acolytes, Bracco and Fisk, are interviewing (and videotaping) Dr. Kensing about the death of Tim Markham, CEO of an HMO called Parnassus Health.  What started off as a case of hit and run, is now a murder case. Dr. Kensing was hit and badly injured by a green car driven by some unknown person. Markham was admitted to Parnassus' flagship hospital, Portola Hospital, under the care of Dr. Kensing and now Markham is dead.  Turns out that the injuries were not the cause of death. Jackman, the DA, is happy that this is now a murder case because it allows his department to legitimately look into the shady business affairs of Parnassus.

Here is the dilemma for Dr. Kensing. He did not have a good working relationship or personal relationship with Markham.  Markham was Dr. Kensing's boss.  Their work conflict had to do with Dr. Kensing wanting to save the lives of his patients. and Parnassus wanting to save money. In their personal relationship, Markham was the lover of Dr. Kensing's wife and the reason the marriage of the Kensings ended. This leaves Dr. Kensing with motive and opportunity to murder Markham.

Adding to the drama, Glitsky's best friend is Dismas Hardy. Hardy is Dr. Kensing's lawyer. The interview is being conducted in the absence of the lawyer.

This book is holding my interest. So far I am thinking this book would make a good movie. I am anxious to see how this drama is resolved. Who did it? I am betting it is not the obvious choice, Dr Kensing.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Jamaican Writer, Jamaican Setting: Jacks Hill

A new book by Jamaican writer, Jennifer Grahame, with Jamaican setting and some Jamaican patois, Jacks Hill, is on amazon. I heard about this book via a blog posted on Facebook. I skimmed the first few pages online and it seems interesting. What caught my attention was the amazon reader/reviewer who posted that this book is a "must read" for those of us who grew up in Kingston in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Friday, March 20, 2015

This is What I'm Reading on Freaky Friday

It's Freaky Friday astronomically speaking; it's the day when all sorts of things are happening in the sky - solar eclipse, super Moon, spring equinox  (first day of Spring).  I am reading The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas.

Will, a minor character in the story says, "... Parliament accuses the King of tyranny, the King calls Parliament rebels. Wives are murdering their husbands, and mothers discarding their infants into privies - the world is on its head." I have entered into Will's world and I am finding this historical novel very interesting.

The setting is York in 1644 during the reign of King Charles 1. The dialogue is realistic.  The story-line is fascinating. The protagonist is Lady Bridget Hodgson, a very bold and independent widow, who is also the midwife. The story is told from her point of view. After reading this book, readers will get a clear picture of how women, servants and those with physical disabilities were treated during this period. The midwife is quietly investigating whether or not her friend Esther Cooper murdered her husband Stephen Cooper.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Our Book Club Selections 2015

It's been a while. Let me share a list of the books we have read and discussed this year and of those we intend to read:

February 20
The King’s Deception by Steve Berry
Interesting premise in this story, what if Queen Elizabeth 1 were really a male in disguise? Was this why she never married? Reference is made to Bram Stoker's book, The Imposters, which is all about this royal conspiracy. 

March 20
The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman 
This was a sad story but I could not put this book down.  Two people meet as their grandchildren get married.  The grandfather of the groom recognizes the grandmother of the bride.  They have a history together in Prague and were separated because of Nazi occupation.   This story is based on the real life situation of couple, the writer heard about, who were married before World War 11, separated and reunited at a wedding. 

April 17
MidWife's Tale (Midwife's Mysteries #1) by Sam Thomas.  
Oh boy, sounds like I am about to embark on another mystery series. Harlot's Tale is the second in the series followed by Witch Hunter's Tale . Amazon says this series is similar to the historical fiction by  C. J. Sansom; the  Matthew Shardlake series.

May 15
The Oath by John Lescroart 

Have you read any of these? Please share.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Louise Penny's Book #10: Cosmic Speculation, Cosmic Fact

I am on book #10 in the Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny titled The Long Way Home . Would you believe I started the first book, Still Life, in 2011 with Okefenokee Book Club? By the way,  I just watched the movie, Still Life, available on Netflix.

For me, Penny's books got better and better. I have been following Armand Gamache and the folks in Three Pines for three years so you know I am hooked.

This book is holding my interest. I still love the quirky characters in Three Pines, Canada. I love Penny's humor. I love how Penny weaves poetry and art in the story but I have to say the story is lacking something, je ne sais quoi. Perhaps I feel something is lacking because so far no murder has occurred. I am on page 197.

The focus in this book is on Peter Morrow, the artist who became jealous of his own wife's success as an artist. Peter is missing. There are hints that he may be dead. (Book 7, A Trick of the Light, is the one that featured Clara Morrow as a successful artist.) In this book, Armand Gamache is no longer Chief Inspector of the Surete, he retired and resides in Three Pines. He and Jean Guy are using their skills and resources to assist Clara in the search for Peter.

In the search for Peter, Louise Penny has taken readers on a journey that includes The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, created by Charles and Maggie Jencks in Dumfries, Scotland. The journey also takes us to a crater formed by a meteor 350 million years ago that has been transformed into Charlevoix in Quebec, Canada. On page 196, Peter's travel from Scotland to Quebec is represented as Peter's travel from cosmic speculation to cosmic fact.

Cosmic and magic are two words mentioned repeatedly.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Our November Book Club Selection: the Eccentric King Ludwig

Our November book, Ludwig Conspiracy by Oliver Potzsch, (last name pronounced "perch"), is not from the Hangman's Daughter series; one of my favorite series. I have not started reading it yet but I know it is supposed to be of the Dan Brown type of historical fiction/mystery.  Potzsch apparently focuses on the mysterious death of an eccentric King of Bavaria, a man widely considered to have been insane. I am eager to get started on this book.

By the way, there is a castle used by Disney which is modeled after one of King Ludwig's castles.

Here is another book I intend to read and suggest for the book club for 2015, have you read it? It's the All the Light We Cannot See  by Anthony Doerr set in Germany and France before and during World War 11. Please give me feedback if you have read it.