Friday, August 10, 2012

GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn

                                                                    FIVE STARS


WARNING: Be prepared to pull an all-nighter when you start this book.

I suppose this would come under the heading of psychological thriller, but I didn't know it when
I began to read. It took a couple of weird twists and I found myself in a clusterf**k that had me
biting my nails and talking out loud to myself.  "OH, NO!" "I DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING!"

The story involves a young couple who have been married for five years. They seemed like a golden
pair and have everything going for them. On their fifth anniversary, he came home to find the tea kettle dry and ready to catch fire on the stove, the iron was hot on the ironing board, the ottoman in the living room was upside down and his wife was missing.

That's all I can tell without a spoiler.

I heard that Ms Flynn was on The View on Thursday. I hate that I missed it. And the buzz is that
Reese Witherspoon has purchased the movie rights.

Read this book; you won't be sorry!


Friday, August 3, 2012



 Several weeks ago I read THE FOREVER MARRIAGE by Ann Bauer, shown here with her daughter when they were in Ames earlier in the summer.

This is a powerful book and should be a must read for anyone whose marriage seems to have gone stale, or never had quite the zip one expected.

I  had trouble deciding what to tell without giving away spoilers, so I cut and pasted a few sentences from Ann's blog. She can tell you in her own words:

The Forever Marriage is about the union of two mismatched people: a quiet, thoughtful, self-effacing man and a brash, sexually-charged woman who wants more—no matter how much she has. They stumble into a lifetime commitment, and then parenthood, despite constant awkwardness and muddled communication. Their intimacy is marred from the beginning. Neither is satisfied. But for 20 years, they keep bumbling along.
It is not until the husband has died that the wife in my story can find and love and feel one with the man that he was.

Ann's style has been compared to that of Anne Tyler, Sue Miller and Elizabeth Berg.

It's not too late for another good book for the summer. Choose a day in which there are no obligations. You won't be able to put it down. An easy five stars!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Education Through Insomnia

What do you do when sleep is elusive? It seems the harder I try to get back to sleep after a middle of the night break, the more difficult it is. For instance, I woke about 3 a.m. today suffering a night sweat and excessive thirst. I drank from my always present water supply and opened a window to let in the night air. I would almost doze off but all of a sudden, I'd be wide awake again. I did a load of laundry, ate a bowl of ice cream, read a chapter in a book. After each task I'd lie down and wait a while to allow sleep to come back to me. About 4 a.m. I gave up and turned to my MAC and Google.

I have no idea what prompted the phrase that came to mind, but I didn't question it; I just googled it. Here's the result in the Number One position: 5 Body Mysteries Explained by Science. As I read, I could imagine my grandchildren saying, "Oh, gross, Granny."

That article lead to another of equal interest: 5 Douchebag Behaviors Explained by Science

By 6 a.m., a respectable time to start the day, I knew all about piss shivers, black hairy tongues, men who can talk of nothing but their weightlifting, aging old assholes, and other similar areas of interest.

I didn't have a good night's sleep, but I have a plethora of interesting topics for conversation starters. Now, if I can only find someone else who might be interested in such things.

I hope you had a good night.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY by Joshilyn Jackson

This book is pure delight. It's nothing fancy but is a really good read.

Ginny, known as Big to her daughter and granddaughter, gave birth to Liza when Ginny was fifteen years old.
Then when Liza, now called Little by her mother, was fifteen she gave birth and refused to tell anyone who the father of her child was. With Mosey approaching fifteen, this household of females is feeling the pressure of the fifteen-year evil that seems to come their way.

I laughed: Mosey hasn't even been out with a boy but she steals pregnancy kits to test herself at home since she's so sure that by some hook or crook she'll be pregnant at fifteen.

Liza, now thirty, has a stroke and is stuck inside herself with little means of communication.

While removing a tree and its stump from Ginny's yard, the handyman uncovers a box containing the bones of a baby.
The search for the identity of the child brings out revelations about all three of the women. Also involved is Mosey's best friend, a teenaged boy who is a nerd. Mosey and Roger befriend a classmate of Mosey's who is from a large family of ne'er-do-wells. This child played on my empathy and I rooted for her.

Throw in a little romance, a family of snobs, rescuing dogs ... or people ... who need fixing and you have a recipe for a page-turner.

You won't go wrong with this one. I give it four stars.

Friday, May 4, 2012

GLOW by Jessica Maria Tuccelli

If I could, I would give this book ten stars. I don't know what the criteria is for a masterpiece, but in my opinion, this meets any requirements for that honor.

What beautiful, beautiful language. The characters are magnificently presented so you feel as if you truly know these people. The smells, the sights, the sounds are all there to make this a unique experience.

It travels from the 1800s up to WWII. Here is an interview with the author:
If you'll listen to this, it will give you a much better feel for this book than I can.

I had an epiphany shortly after I finished reading and I'm curious to see if anyone else sees it the same way as I.
So, if you read this book, please message me on Facebook so I can discuss my opinion with you.

It's difficult to grasp that this is Tuccelli's first novel. I feel sure it won't be her last. I'm not one to read a book more than once, but I will probably make an exception in this case.

Please don't miss the chance to experience the ultimate in writing fiction.

WHITE HORSE by Alex Adams

I love apocalyptic or dystopia novels. All I've read previously tend to be for younger readers. At last here is one for adults. The first in what will be a trilogy, and with movie rights already in the works, WHITE HORSE is a winner. The language seems almost poetic and I would have kept reading for that reason alone. But, along with the excellent writing comes a terrific story about Zoe,a thirty-year-old woman who cleans cages in a medical laboratory where strange things begin to happen. Something has gone amok and people are dying everywhere. Those who don't die from the illness become mutations that are less than human. For some reason Zoe seems to be immune to the disease and as she fights to stay alive, she tries to hang on to her humanity and not give in to basic instincts that would involve killing to stay safe. It's not always possible. At first I had a small problem with the jumping back and forth from "then" and "now", but once I found my groove, I sailed along. Each book in the series can stand alone, though each is a part of the big picture, which you realize with the last sentence in this one. It creates high tension and keeps you turning the pages. I can hardly wait for the second part. I gave this book four stars.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

STAY CLOSE by Harlan Coben
This is an exciting whodunnit by a master of the genre. Harlan Coben has over twenty mysteries to his credit and the last four or five made it to the top of the NY TIMES best-seller list. Our detective Broome is on a case that dates back seventeen years. Each year a man disappears; nobody hears from him again and no bodies are found. As Broome works through the evidence, he begins to suspect the same person has something to do with all the disappearances. His partner is also his ex-wife for whom he still has romantic feelings, though she is now happily married and has children. Mixed up in the fast-paced book are dancers from a seedy Gentleman's Club, Mardi Gras, a man in prison who may be there unjustly, and from the same club a barmaid who is dying with cancer. No spoilers here, but if you want to read a good book with plenty of twists and turns to keep you turning the pages, this is it. I'm ashamed to say this is the first I'd heard of Coben. I'll be attacking his list vigorously now that I've found him. I give this STAY CLOSE four bright stars.