The owner of a newspaper struggling to hold onto his life's dream. A managing editor who regrets the choice of career over family. A beautiful reporte...moreThe owner of a newspaper struggling to hold onto his life's dream. A managing editor who regrets the choice of career over family. A beautiful reporter for whom the word "deadline" takes on sinister meaning. And a foreign correspondent in war-torn Afghanistan on a harrowing mission that will make headlines all over the world. Any one of these characters could have been the subject of their own novel. But we get to enjoy a literary smorgasbord and sample them all in one book. Mr. Anderson's crisp, straightforward style makes for exciting reading. I found myself holding my breath more than once waiting to see what would happen. With a serial killer and torturers on the loose, there were a lot of nerve-wracking moments! We also see the private lives behind the front page stories. It is an interesting counterpoint to all of the action. This is a gripping tale that you will have to finish before you put it to bed! (less)
You know a book is good when you talk out loud to the characters. I did a lot of that while reading Debra Purdy kong's excellent Fatal Encryption. I g...moreYou know a book is good when you talk out loud to the characters. I did a lot of that while reading Debra Purdy kong's excellent Fatal Encryption. I gave them good advice, but they just wouldn't listen, and so I had to worry about Alex and Tristan constantly.This happens, of course, because you care about the characters. And you will. Alex Bellamy is a computer systems-analyst solving security problems. This leads him into danger and he handles it like a real detective. A strong man of action, he can also dress up like Kermit the Frog for a Halloween party to please his girlfriend. I have a crush on Alex, and don't tell me he isn't real, because he is. His pal Tristan is also endearing, coping with raising his baby daughter alone while helping Alex fight crime. This was a great mystery, made greater by all these human touches. It was exciting and entertaining and I never guessed who the killer was, another sign of a deft writer. I hope we get another Alex Bellamy mystery soon. Please? Then I can once again say: "Tristan, you idiot, don't--! (less)
Sunni Morris has written a captivating debut novel. It is full of suspense that keeps you turning the pages, even, I must admit, peeking ahead because...moreSunni Morris has written a captivating debut novel. It is full of suspense that keeps you turning the pages, even, I must admit, peeking ahead because I couldn't wait to see what happened!
Amber O'Donnell buys a new house out in the country to get away from her hectic life in New York City. Right away mysterious things begin to happen. There are whispers in the village of witchcraft, but little does Amber know just how much her dream home is steeped in it. Before long a ghost is appearing that terrorizes Amber's twin daughters. And that's just the beginning.
The book is full of well-developed and likeable characters, from the spunky Amber herself to the good village witch who tries to help her family. It is also very descriptive, creating an atmosphere that pulls you in from the beginning. I really liked this book and look forward to reading the future works of Sunni Morris! (less)
My favorite Dickens novel. So rich with characterization and symbolism. And atmosphere. Some people think Dickens overdoes it and gets too mawkish or...moreMy favorite Dickens novel. So rich with characterization and symbolism. And atmosphere. Some people think Dickens overdoes it and gets too mawkish or sentimental, but I don't agree. His characters are archetypes, in a way. He wants to make sure that the reader understands the tragedy of the poor and homeless, the corruption of the legal system, the folly of throwing away one's present for a foolish dream of the future. It's a searing indictment of Victorian society, but not one without hope. And yes, it's wickedly funny in parts too! p.s. I remember a critic once saying that Esther was too idealized and sweet. Did he not catch her irony and sarcasm wrapped up in sweet?(less)
I don't know how to do justice to this book in a review. It's like trying to describe love or any other emotion--you have to experience it to really u...moreI don't know how to do justice to this book in a review. It's like trying to describe love or any other emotion--you have to experience it to really understand. And Whale Song is quite an experience! The story seems straightforward, moving along in a way that constantly keeps your attention. But underneath are layers of complex feelings and meaning, and they will stir your heart in a big way. Have Kleenex handy! I went through a whole box while reading this. And not because it was sad--although there is definitely sadness in it--but because it is so beautifully written. It makes you think. I let go of a burden of bitterness I was holding inside myself, because of the wisdom I found in Whale Song. How many books can you actually say made you a better person and changed your life? Every single voice in the narrative is completely authentic. From the young girl who tells the story to the wise old Indian woman called Nana, the characters are living, breathing people you wish you could meet. And the sense of place is so real that you can actually see the ocean and hear the songs of the whales. There is fascinating Indian lore and legend, and a deep vein of spirituality running throughout the book. It's a tale of heartbreak and happiness, of shutting yourself in and letting yourself go free. After you dry your tears, the message you take away will be one of hope and strength. Cheryl Tardif definitely understands the human soul. And we are lucky that she has the words to tell us about it.(less)
"Saturday, June 11, 1932 Diary, German princess arrives today. Sense impending doom." But what actually ensues is another madcap adventure for the cha...more"Saturday, June 11, 1932 Diary, German princess arrives today. Sense impending doom." But what actually ensues is another madcap adventure for the charming Lady Georgiana Rannoch. Tasked by the Queen to entertain the decidedly odd princess, Georgie must do so while struggling to make a living and keep up appearances. Being a minor royal does not, alas, come with the funds necessary to do either. And Georgie also has an unfortunate habit of stumbling across dead bodies and dark plots, complicating her life even further. But she gets by with a lot of help from her friends, the man-hungry Belinda and the "unreliable rogue" Darcy O'Mara, who describes himself as her "guardian angel." Her sweet and solid ex-copper granddad and his redoubtable neighbor, Mrs. Huggins, also lend a hand as Georgie copes with the princess, a chaotic personal life, and the mysteries and murders around her. Rhys Bowen's prose positively sparkles. I found myself reading sentences over again just for the sheer pleasure of the words. The book is both fun and funny, and while it may be classified as a "cozy", it doesn't ignore the real world. Soup kitchens, ordinary people dealing with privation, and blackshirts clashing with communists are mixed in with the often frivolous lifestyles of the upper crust. It is interesting to me to see Georgie's awareness of class disparity being challenged. I would like to see this developed in the future. I also long to know more about the intriguing Mr. O'Mara-there is a tantalizing twist to his character in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Bowen's Constable Evans series, but I think I may have to take my heart out of his hands and give it to the delectable Darcy! I loved this book. After all, I met Noel Coward, the King and Queen of England, the ghastly Wallis Simpson, and a colorful array of fictional characters. I can definitely see these books as a television series. They remind me of P.G. Wodehouse but they have an element of Dorothy Sayers as well, especially Clouds of Witness and Murder Must Advertise. Anyone who can evoke those two writers is a must-read in my book! (less)
Mark Twain is one of my favorite writers and I think he's brilliant,but there are some stories I just don't like. It's very sad to know what he suffer...moreMark Twain is one of my favorite writers and I think he's brilliant,but there are some stories I just don't like. It's very sad to know what he suffered in life and how that affected his later work. He became bitter and bleak and an essential spark went out in him.(less)
What a joy it was to read this touching story. I love that the protagonist is a homeless man. It gives Tim Greaton the opportunity to show us the worl...moreWhat a joy it was to read this touching story. I love that the protagonist is a homeless man. It gives Tim Greaton the opportunity to show us the world from this character's point of view. The adjective that kept jumping out at me was "invisible." It is sadly true that this is the way "normal" people often treat the disadvantaged. It is easiest to turn away, not because we humans are inherently cruel, but, as Tim says, because we see what we fear we may become. How many of us are only a tragedy away from living life in the shadows? This is the tale of a man's pain and guilt over the death of his wife and child. It might seem strange that one so filled with these terrible emotions could, at the same time, be so practical in the way that he plans his own suicide. Yet this is often exactly what happens. In extreme misery, latching onto an idea, no matter how self-destructive, gives you a focus that enables you to carry on. Our hero (for he is most definitely a hero) is able to worry about the effect he has on others, right down to the concern over who will find his body. It is actually amusing to follow his thoughts as he prepares, while never forgetting his pain. His journey back to the light is accomplished with the help of many people, some mysterious and some just ordinary folks whose acts of kindness warm the heart. This is an absolutely beautiful story in the true Christmas spirit that inspires all year round. (less)