Sunday, July 24, 2011

Then Came You

I zipped right through this newest novel by Jennifer Weiner.  It revolves around four women, strangers to each other, who unexpectedly  come together. 

Jules is a college student who decides to sell her eggs to get money to help her father.

Annie is a married mother of two who agrees to be a surrogate to earn $50,000 to help her husband with expenses.

Bettina is the daughter of a rich entrepreneur.  She hates her father's new wife so hires an investigator to look into her past.

And India is the new wife with a closet full of secrets.

How these four women's paths intersect makes for a quick and satisfying read.

Monday, July 18, 2011


This is the other book I read about on NPR and downloaded then and there.  Boy, they were right!  Excellent YA novel!

It's some time in the future.  Lena is a senior in high school and can't wait to be cured.  The operation can't take place until she's eighteen and her birthday is three months away.  She's not sick...yet...and the operation will prevent her from contracting the disease of deliria, otherwise known as love.

Yes, they've developed an operation that quells humans from falling in love and destroying their lives.  Lena lives in Portland, Maine (ten minutes up I95 from where I live!), where all the adults live in harmony...boring, predictable harmony. 

After her operation and a few years in college, she'll be matched with a partner and they'll live happily every after.

But, in that last summer of freedom, she meets Alex who turns her world and thinking upside down.  Now, she doesn't want the operation.  But, can she find a way to stay whole?

Lauren Oliver's writing is beautiful.  Her descriptions are breath taking.  I especially loved her use of poetry (You know me and poetry!). 

Lena is spunky and brave and human and she wants to stay that way.

Two thumbs up for this book!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Now You See Her

This was a quick gulp as most Patterson books are.  But, I still enjoyed it. 

Nina Bloom is a successful lawyer and single mom to her sixteen-year-old daughter Emma.  At a Yankees game one evening, someone from her past sees her and is determined to kill her.

Twenty years earlier, she'd been Jeanine, a college student on spring break with her boyfriend.  One night, after too many drinks, she hears her boyfriend cheating on her so she steals his car and runs over a man.  The cop who shows up takes pity on her and helps her dispose of the body.  They fall in love and get married.  But, is he who he claims to be?  No, so Jeanine has to escape and begin a new life.

Now, the past has intruded into that new life and Nina must do everything she can to protect herself and her daughter.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

To Be Sung Underwater, Karma, & The Heart of Haiku

Well, I'm slowly settling into summer and retirement.  We had lots of celebrations and company the first few weeks but things are quieting down, now, and I'm getting some much needed rest and reading done.

This book seemed to take forever to read but I liked it.  It's a slow book just like the paddling lazily across a pond.  It alternates back and forth between Judith Toomey's present as a dissatisfied mom, wife, and film editor to her past when she was eighteen, starry-eyed, and in love with Willy Blunt.

Tom McNeal takes his time developing his characters and writes beautifully.  How many of us wish we could go back to our first loves?  This book does that with surprising results.

I read two other books while in the middle of To Be Sung Underwater.  I woke up in the middle of the night about four days ago and couldn't get back to sleep so I grabbed my iPad which was nearby and went to NPR to read their Arts and Literature news.  There was an article about YA fiction and  Karma was mentioned.  It caught my attention because it's written in poetry form.  So, I downloaded it right then and there and started reading.  I was hooked.

Jiva Singh is part Hindu and part Sikh and lives in Canada with her parents where she's as typical as any teenager from India can be.  After her mother's death, she and her father head back to India to take her ashes.  While they are there, Indira Gandhi is killed and Jiva and her father get caught up in the turmoil that erupts.  Somehow they get separated and Jiva is left to fend for herself.

After a horrifying incident, she is taken in by her doctor's family and their teenage son, Sandeep, helps her look for her father. 

Jiva's voice is fresh and unique and the poetry is just amazing in its simplicity.  Sometimes, it took my breath away!  At first I was a little turned off by the title and the look of the cover but I'm so glad I gave it a try, anyway.

This is one of those Kindle Singles that are really just mini books. I bought one before because it was by Jodi Picoult and I love her writing but it was just too a tease, so decided I wouldn't buy any more of them. This one caught my eye, though.  Poetry?  Of course I'm going to buy it!

And I'm glad I did.  Jane Hirshfield writes about the most famous haiku writer, Basho.  She tells the story of his life and the story of haiku and weaves them together.  By the time I was done, I wanted to grab a pencil and write one, myself.  It was definitely worth the ninety-nine cents!

Time to start a new book, now.  Decisions, decisions!

The sun is shining and we're heading out for a motorcycle ride later with some friends.  We're going to bike down the coast a ways to Flo's Hot dogs in Ogunquit, Maine for lunch.  This place sells only hot dogs but what makes them so good is their secret recipe for relish.  Mmmm, haven't had one for a couple years.  I'm due!

But, until then, I think I'll take advantage of the quiet and read for awhile.