A fun, sprawling sci-fi comic book series about a forbidden love between children of two warring factions. The story is told using the humorous voice of the two lovers’ (not yet born) daughter. A heavy dose of humor, fantasy, violence and a little more nudity than necessary makes up this series. The universe in which the story is set contains some very imaginative characters, alien races, technologies and socio-political structure. It is probably the most entertaining fictional universe I have encountered since Star Wars. The story itself is ok, but the characters that fit into the story are the best part. My favorite pair of characters is a bounty hunter and his pet that looks like a lion, hired to track down these forbidden lovers. The cat has a special power where it is compelled to purr the word “lyyyyying” whenever someone is not telling the truth. This, among other quirks, keeps the reader on their toes while the story takes tremendous twists and turns. Note, the story is not finished yet, but at least the first four volumes are available from the DBRL. Continue reading “Reader Review: Saga”
“The Little Paris Bookshop” is about the book seller, Jean Perdu, who sells only the correct books to his customers at his literary pharmacy. (This is a book shop on a barge on the Seine River in Paris.) Monsieur Perdu is able to “transperceive” each of his customers (and others) to prescribe the correct book to fix what ails them. He generously gives books away, but he is equally stern in refusing to sell the wrong book to a particular client. Success in his work life is juxtaposed against the anguish, loneliness and pain in his private life resulting from a severely unmendable broken heart. The mood is magical, the characters profound, the sensual presentation of the story causes one’s heart to move along the story line as if it were on a roller coaster. To accompany Jean Perdu on his life journey is a sublime experience. Continue reading “Reader Review: The Little Paris Bookshop”
In 2014, Reese Witherspoon starred in the movie adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild,” her memoir of self-discovery and survival as she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. This September, another movie about a long walk – this time along the Appalachian Trail – hits the big screen. “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson is a laugh-out-loud misadventure but also manages to share the trail’s history and argue eloquently for the preservation of our undeveloped forests, trails and parks. Read this funny travelogue before seeing the film this fall.
Want more books about long walks? Read on. Continue reading “Take a Hike: Books About Long Walks”
“2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas” follows several characters over the course of 24 hours. As the night ends they all end up at a local Jazz club called The Cats Pajamas! This is one of those books that I might have to go back and read closer to pick up things I have missed. It followed several characters in the course of a day/night and how all their lives connect. A quick read and interesting story. I am still not sure about one part of the ending, but I liked the book overall.
Three words that describe this book: charming, hope, loss
You might want to pick this book up if: If you enjoy the movie, “Love Actually,” you will like this book. If you like characters that are flawed and believable, you will like this book.
“Still Life” by Louise Penny introduces Chief Inspector Gamache. There is a death in the small rural village of Three Pines near Montreal in Canada. Chief Inspector Gamache is called in to investigate what was originally thought to be a hunting accident resulting in the death of an elderly school teacher who was loved by all of the villagers. The plot unfolds to actually be a murder investigation with many twists and turns. The key appears to be in the painting done by the victim, and Inspector Gamache has to figure it out.
Three words that describe this book: Intriguing, captivating, interesting.
You might want to pick this book up if: You enjoy mysteries and like to try to figure it out as you read!
“Maine” is a story about three women, all related, who find themselves in different situations in their life but sharing their family vacation home in Maine. The women look back at events in their lives, how they’ve reacted to situations and built or destroyed relationships and what shaped them into the people they have become (or could have become if it weren’t for the structure and history of their family). This is a great summer read; the chapters are all built around the three main characters and move along at a quick pace. It’s a bit bittersweet, though, and not just because of the characters’ lives unraveling. It makes you realize that summer vacations come to an end, and we have to return to our lives. Continue reading “Reader Review: Maine”
After the breakup of her engagement, Sarah Booth Delaney embarks on another case. This time she is investigating threats against a local blues club. The story takes many twists and turns, and Sarah Booth’s friends – Tinkie, Cece and Coleman – are instrumental in solving the case.
I love the Sarah Booth Delaney series because there is always a good mystery that keeps me guessing, but also because of the characters. The relationships between the characters are really what keep me coming back to see where they will go next. Especially Jitty, the ghost that does her fair share of complicating life for Sarah Booth, as well as providing some comic relief. Continue reading “Reader Review: Bone to Be Wild”
“The Ingenious Mr. Pyke” is a biography of the brilliant and eccentric Englishman Geoffrey Pyke. He applied his intellect to the problems of the first half of the 20th century, especially the conflicts that erupted across Europe and the world over and over again during those years. The author organizes the material so that readers understand how Pyke framed questions and searched for answers. This is the story of a hero, in keeping with the theme of this summer’s reading program, and the book even includes a few “Superman” panels, yet Geoffrey Pyke was not a superhero but a complicated man living in difficult times. Continue reading “Reader Review: The Ingenious Mr. Pyke”
“The Girl With All the Gifts” was written with by a screenwriter, and it shows. The action unfolds like a movie in the best dystopian sci-fi tradition, beginning with the very limited worldview of Melanie, a genius-level 10-year-old who knows only her classroom and her cell. As Melanie’s understanding of her world grows, so does the reader’s, assisted by short chapters that bring in other characters’ points of view. By the end, the whole horrifying picture is clear, yet unlike so much of the literature in this genre it manages to not be completely depressing. After the first 25 pages or so I was completely hooked and basically just had to put the rest of my life on hold and finish it. Continue reading “Reader Review: The Girl With All the Gifts”
Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” is the amazing story of a nameless man who returns to his childhood home to remember. His childhood, no matter how his adult mind skews it, was a magical adventure that he shared with his childhood friend Lettie Hempstock. This story is filled with darkness, intrigue and relatability. Though you may have not had the fanciful upbringing the young boy from the book had, you will find things that make you really stop, close the book and realize what a tremendous piece of work you are reading. I loved this book and was able to finish it in a day. Definitely give yourself time to truly delve into yet another one of Neil Gaiman’s amazing worlds. Continue reading “Reader Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane”