Thursday, April 26, 2012

Someone to Watch Over by Trish MacDonald Skillman

First sentence:

"Cal Jefferies scowled at the red sports car straddling the flattened rose bush beside the driveway."


"I will be your guardian angel, and I will never let you go. . . .

In her disheveled little house on a run-down midwestern street she has seen the signs he left her: a repaired step, a clean set of dishes, even a new nightgown on her bed. Someone is watching over her and her two children. . . .

Devastated by the death of her husband, slowly Kate Eldridge begins to live again. Now she has a second chance--at love and at happiness. But Kate doesn't know her guardian angel has plans of his own, or what violent secrets haunt him, or how far he will go to keep her and her children in her sight and in his hands. . . .

It began as an act of kindness. Now it has turned into a dangerous obsession. The man who is watching over her has crossed the line into madness. . .and into terror. . . ." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This was an intense thriller featuring a man who slowly becomes a madman who creates his own reality.

Date read: 4/25/2012
Book #: 19
Challenges: TBR Challenge 2012, New Author Challenge, Off the Shelf Challenge 2012
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Thriller

ISBN-10: 0440217393
ISBN-13: 9780440217398
Publisher: Dell
Year: 1994
# of pages: 388
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing page

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

All Our Worldly Goods by Irene Nemirovsky

First sentence:

"They were together, so they were happy."


"Set in France between 1910 and 1940--and first published in 1947, five years after the author's death--All Our Worldly Goods is a gripping story of war, family life and star-crossed lovers Pierre and Agnes marry for love against the wishes of his parents and his grandfather, the tyrannical family patriarch. Their marriage provokes a family feud that cascades down the generations. This Brilliant novel is full of drama, heartbreak, and the telling observations that have made Nemirovsky's work so beloved and admired." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This was a moving story about love and courage which repeats down the generations. It was also about tradition and change and how holding on too tight often leads to loss.

Date read: 4/23/2012
Book #: 18
Challenge: A-Z Challenge 2012, New Author Challenge 2012
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 0307743292
ISBN-13: 9780307743299
Publisher: Vintage International
Year: 1947, 2008 (Translation)
# of pages: 264
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing page

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Native Tongue by Carl Hiassen

First sentence:

"On July 16, in the aching torpid heat of the South Florida summer, Terry Whelper stood at the Avis counter at Miami International Airport and rented a bright red Chrysler LeBaron convertible."


"Who stole the voles? Yes, it's true. The precious blue-tongued mango voles at the Amazing Kingdom of Thrills in North Key Largo are gone, stolen by heartless, ruthless thugs with much bigger - and deadlier - things in mind.

Joe Winder wants to uncover those "things" and find the voles. Winder is a burned-out ex-muckraking reporter now working for the Amazing Kingdom theme park as their PR man. But now the voles are gone, and Winder is dragged along in their wake through a series of weird and lethal events that begin with the sleazy real-estate agent/villain Francis X. Kingsbury and can end only one way. And Winder has no idea what way that will be. Until its damn near too late." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this off-beat book about crooked developers, bungling crooks, and amusement parks.

Date read: 4/18/2012
Book #: 17
Challenges: A-Z Challenge 2012, Off the Shelf Challenge 2012, New Authors Challenge 2012
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 0449221180
ISBN-13: 9780449221181
Publisher: Fawcett Crest
Year: 1991
# of pages: 407
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing page

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Household Gods by Judith Tarr and Harry Turtledove

First sentence:

"Nicole Gunther-Perrin rolled over to turn off the alarm clock and found herself nose to nose with two Roman gods."


"Nicole Gunther-Perrin is a modern young professional, proud of her legal skills but weary of the daily grind, of childcare, and of sexist coworkers and her deadbeat ex-husband. Then after one exceptionally awful day, she awakens to find herself in a different life, that of a widowed tavernkeeper on the Roman frontier around A.D. 170.

Delighted at first, she quickly begins to realize that her new world is as complicated as her old one. Violence, dirt, and pain are everywhere; slavery is commonplace, gladiators kill for sport, and drunkenness is taken for granted. Yet, somehow, people manage to face life everyday with humor and goodwill.

No quitter, Nicole manages to adapt, despite endless worry about the fate of her children "back" in the twentieth century. Then plague sweeps through Carnuntum, followed by brutal war. Amidst pain and loss on a level she had never imagined, Nicole must find reserves of the sort of strength she had never known." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I liked this book about a modern woman finding herself in a different time, but not because of the time travel. Rather, I liked the way Nicole has to confront her assumptions and how she finds the strength she needs in herself.

Date read: 4/9/2012
Book #: 16
Challenges: TBR Challenge 2012, Off the Shelf Challenge 2012, A-Z Challenge 2012
Rating: 4*/5 = great
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction

ISBN-10: 0812564669
ISBN-13: 9780812564662
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
Year: 1999
# of pages: 664
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing page