When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told that it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is lau...moreWhen Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told that it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families immortalized in Shakespeare’s unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems that the only one who can save Julie from her fate is Romeo—but where is he?05.06.2012:==========This book is a somewhat entertaining modern day re-telling of the story of Romeo and Juliet, complete with warring families, a look at Italian history, and, of course, love. The story alternates between long passages telling the ancient story, and Julie's passionate relationship with Allesandro--Romeo. Her sister Janice joins her and the danger ramps up as the sisters close in on the prize. They can't depend on any friend or foe being who he seems to be. Harrowing scenes play out in the bone-filled crypts and ancient waterways far beneath the city of Siena, and in the Piazza del Campo where the historic Palio (horserace) is run.I found the fictional old story fascinating, and I loved the romantic setting in Tuscany where memories are long and the events of six hundred years ago are still so alive in the buildings, the art, and the hearts of the people. This novel also has an intriguing mystery and adventure component that pulls you into that beautiful and ancient world Siena, Italy. It leaves you wondering and questioning and hanging on every written word up until the very end.(less)
This novel is set in Sweden and you jump in to an immediately fast paced plot, with lots of twists and surprises. It's a mainstream novel now, but is...moreThis novel is set in Sweden and you jump in to an immediately fast paced plot, with lots of twists and surprises. It's a mainstream novel now, but is surprisingly deep. It touches on journalism and ethics, business and economic theories, and then builds in an in-depth family mystery with a huge cast of characters. You can trust no one, and you can't even pretend to know what happens next. My suggestion to any reader of it would be to turn the pages slowly and savor it, because you'll be so sorry to see it end. You'll also want to be sure to install heavy duty encryption on your computer as soon as possible, and you'll never read another article in The Economist in the same way again. I also have to mention that the author wrote at a high caliber of skill, there was no dumbing down of the literary aspect as some bestsellers often seem to do. This is the best novel I've read this year. The slow beginning puzzled me as to how this was going to be a mystery novel. The transition from a journalist's fall in the world of magazine publishing and economics into the the mystery and its eventual difficult outcome was so good, and so enhanced by the quirky and misfit character of Lisbeth Salander that I didn't want to leave the story, the area of Sweden, or the characters behind. I thought I had it all solved about halfway through, but I was nowhere near being right about what happened to a missing girl nearly 40 years ago. If you like cold case mysteries that are well-written with fascinating characters and a look into the world of hackers, you'll love this book. I'm glad that a few pages of the next book were included at the end of this one. I could have read on forever in this book, because the continuity of the story flowed along so well, and I hated to see it end. I'm just very sorry that the author's works are being published posthumously. Stieg Larsson didn't get to see his books published and the book world lost a wonderful writer.
Some have heard of the infamous Pope Joan, the woman who disguised herself as a man, and achieved the highest status of the time...The Pope, but many...moreSome have heard of the infamous Pope Joan, the woman who disguised herself as a man, and achieved the highest status of the time...The Pope, but many have not. Donna Woolfolk Cross has brought the legend of Pope Joan to life. The novel is written in a fictional sense, but weaves many of the little known facts into the tale. The characters have been created with amazing detail and are a very good representation of the time. One can create a visual image of the atire; the struggle to meet basic needs; and mostly the status and order that prevailed among the classes. The writing style of Donna Woolfolk Cross sets a marvelous stage for the heroine of this wonderful novel. The authenticity of the historical times surrounding the life of Joan, gives us insight into not only the atmosphere of the church doctrine, but of the disruptive period in history encompassing the Viking Wars; the class structure and the fight for absolute power. Add to all of that, a young girl with a dream that can only be achieved through the use of deception; a forbidden love story fraught with a gamut of emotions and the coveted title of Pope. Then take the girl, take the title; put them together and you have POPE JOAN!(less)
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The book unveils the story of the Guernsey Islands during and recently after WWII and how the war changed the lives of...moreI thoroughly enjoyed the book. The book unveils the story of the Guernsey Islands during and recently after WWII and how the war changed the lives of the inhabitants. The form of the book suits is subject and adds to the suspense and drama, allowing for changes in voice and perspecitves that may have been more difficult in a different form. The way the authors weave together the various characters' stories is engaging, basically, each character letting you see what they want you to see, while at the same time giving insight to the other characters that they didn't. I'm happy to have read this story. The residents' tales of wartime in the village, told in letters, were compelling. I was enjoying the more light-hearted present-day (right after the end of the war, that is) story as well, until I felt jarred by the ending. Even though I realize Ms. Barrows had to finish the story alone, I wish she had given more time to the ending so I could have believed in it. (less)
A delight! This book is redolent, full of sensory experiences, and yet it's as ethereal as spirit, too. What I love about this book, absolute love abo...moreA delight! This book is redolent, full of sensory experiences, and yet it's as ethereal as spirit, too. What I love about this book, absolute love about it, is that it's sensory descriptions are so soulful, and it's spiritual elements are so earthy!!While at times the prose is a bit flowery, I was pleasantly surprised! the author giving the foods magical qualities. The Iranian history was nicely woven into the story with a bit of drama, but no self-pity. I found the descriptions of the food, spices, and relishes to be perfectly accurate (I've been cooking Persian food for years.) Pomegranate Soup was a pleasure to read! I'm happy to see more and more Persian authors publishing their post-revolution experiences with humor, grace and quite good storytelling. (less)
This novel is a decent thriller. Patterson writes in such a way to keep the pages turning with his short sentences and action packed storyline. The pe...moreThis novel is a decent thriller. Patterson writes in such a way to keep the pages turning with his short sentences and action packed storyline. The personal aspect of the kidnapping of Cross's niece adds some drama into the story. The story has plenty of thrills and chills, but there is certain realism to it, lots of young women disappear all over the country, things like this happen, there are no supernatural demons and creatures that lurk in the imagination, this can be real. When I was reading the book I kept thinking, what if that happened to me, what would I do? Fight to the death of course, hopefully the bad guy's death. I enjoyed this book immensely. It is true that there are some very graphic descriptions of violent acts involving female victims. Graphic descriptions of violent acts are not rare in books of this genre, and I don't see the complaints if the victims are men. So, if you have a serious problem with violence against women this book is probably not for you. (less)
Along Came a Spider is probably the epitome of what every crime-thriller novel should be. At 500 pages its easy to devour reading, the suspense is wel...moreAlong Came a Spider is probably the epitome of what every crime-thriller novel should be. At 500 pages its easy to devour reading, the suspense is well balanced, but the real key to success is Alex Cross himself. Alex is a black, detective with a degree in psychology, who is passionate about his work, volunteers at a food bank and counsels on the side. And he isn't perfect, he loses his head and punches out racists, doesn't spend enough time at home with his kids and is a bit of a sucker for the ladies. The plot of the novel is pretty basic, but flows well, the first half reads like a standard serial killer case, the pace does slow a little in the second half as deeper intrigue is revealed. This book is wonderful! Suspenseful, twisting, and delicious, James Patterson has crafted quite the protagonist in Detective Alex Cross. AMAZING! I loved it. I would read it for hours and hours. I had a hard time putting the book down. It was great! James Patterson is one of my favorite writers.
A very good book, fast reading. This book continues the Ladies Murder Club. Patterson's characters are well developed and quite believable as well as...moreA very good book, fast reading. This book continues the Ladies Murder Club. Patterson's characters are well developed and quite believable as well as likable. I look forward to his next foray with Lindsay Boxer a recommend to all mystery/detective fans. 4th of July, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro is a very good book. It's a classic suspense novel with an extremely eerie vibe. This makes a hard book to put down.I enjoyed this book. Especially the two storylines, which go in parallel (the trial of Lindsay and her murder investigation). Overall it was an entertaining book. Patterson's style of small chapters (2-3 pages) is very addictive ... just one more chapter ... and another one. I am not sure how realistic the trial is, but the trial showed some real issues from two sides. It is also extremely fast paced and enjoyable as it contains a twist that caught me off guard(that I should have expected).(less)
While I enjoyed the book, it seemed to me that the way it was written applied the story so much better to the screen rather than the written word. Of...moreWhile I enjoyed the book, it seemed to me that the way it was written applied the story so much better to the screen rather than the written word. Of course, the incredible acting by Meryl Streep, and the oh so wide eyed - well played role Amy Adams took may have shaded my take on this. So often, for me the book turns out to be so much more enjoyable than the movie, but in this case, I have to say that I enjoyed the movie much more than the book!!
הרעיון להציג את השואה מנקודת מבטו של כלב הוא מקורי ומבריק. יצירה שמשלבת את דעתו של האדם בפיו של ידידו הטוב ביותר. שמחדדת את חייתיות ה'אדם' הנאצי מול '...moreהרעיון להציג את השואה מנקודת מבטו של כלב הוא מקורי ומבריק. יצירה שמשלבת את דעתו של האדם בפיו של ידידו הטוב ביותר. שמחדדת את חייתיות ה'אדם' הנאצי מול 'אנושיותו המוסרית' של הכלב. אין זה רומן,סיפור אהבה, או מתח אלא סיפור מסע בדרך אחרת , מאוד מיוחד ומהנה לקריאה
The idea to show the holocaust from the viewing point of a dog is something original and original. Its a creation that combines a man opinion in the mouth of his best friend. It also focuses the cruelty of the nazi "people" against the " moral humaneness" of the dog. It isn't romance, love story, or suspence, it is a story of an other journey, something special and enjoyable to read.(less)
Book is so much better than the film. If you did not read before seeing the film slumdog, then it's fine, but after reading, the film is a bit deceivi...moreBook is so much better than the film. If you did not read before seeing the film slumdog, then it's fine, but after reading, the film is a bit deceiving. So even before or after the film READ the book. Inspiration for the movie Slumdog Millionaire, but this novel stands on its own. It is well told tale, without the violence and betrayal of Slumdog Millionaire. I enjoyed it and rooted for the character all the way from page one until the end. In Q&A Swarup has found a doozy, utilising a format most readers will be able to easily relate to whilst springing continual surprised in the non-linear timeline. Even when you know a particular story is due to be told, when it arrives the details are always fun. And the punchline is fantastically plausible and consistent with the established story and characters.(less)
Like water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. English translation from Spanish. This delicious story of love, family, fate and food is enthralling. Esqu...moreLike water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. English translation from Spanish. This delicious story of love, family, fate and food is enthralling. Esquivel, a Mexican resident, does a brilliant job on this her first novel. This book tells a tale of Tita who is unable to marry her true love due to unjust family tradition.The story develops to reveal the pain suffered by Tita in struggling to live without her soulmate and having to live with in oppression due to her old fashioned mother.Narrated in the third person this story is fairly comprehensible although it moves quickly so reading it more than once allows for better understanding. This book is outstanding as it is unique, the journey of unrequited love is captivating. The Mexican setting is easy to visualise because of the detail used in describing the food and people.the story is set at the time of the Mexican Revolution(1910 to 1920) which adds to the atmosphere of the book. Tita as the main character is likeable as she is an interesting, lively character with extreme talent for cooking. Tita deserves a lot of sympathy in the story as she is the victim. One of Tita's two sisters, Rosaura, is the quiet , shy type. She became a bother to the plot , she was placed in a bad situation but she is not an evil person.Gertrudis, Tita's other sister is a free spirited soul who rebels against all restrictions. Gertrudis brings an element of shock or surprise to the story which makes her likeable. The male lead and love interest of Tita, Pedro is highly passionate but acts at times submissive as he is not strong enough to stop circumstances. The villain of the story is arguably Mama Elena. As the mother of the three girls, this tyrant woman is dislikeable as she ruins the lives of nearly every character. Esquivel has created such a believable character in this bitter selfish woman. I liked this book! It was filled with emotions, you could taste, smell, feel and see the characters lives unfolding. I liked the magical touch too. The truth is that I would like a different end to this book, but I have ti live with the author decided to write.(less)