Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín

First sentence:

"They appear more often now, both of them, and on every visit they seem more impatient with me and with the world."


Provocative, haunting and indelible, Colm Tóibín’s portrait of Mary presents her as a solitary older woman still seeking to understand the events that become the narrative of the New Testament and the foundation of Christianity.

In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son’s crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel—her keepers, who provide her with food and shelter and visit her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was “worth it;” nor that the “group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye,” were holy disciples.

Mary judges herself ruthlessly (she did not stay at the foot of the Cross until her son died—she fled, to save herself), and is equally harsh on her judgement of others. This woman who we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone. Tóibín’s tour de force of imagination and language is a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed. -- from the inside flap

My thoughts:

This was a thought provoking book, depicting the Gospel story from a different point of view. I liked how throughout Mary talks about being a mother first and last.

Date read: 2/15/2013
Book #: 4
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Historical Fiction

ISBN-10: 1451688385
ISBN-13: 9781451688382
Publisher: Scribner
Year: 2012
# of pages: 81
Binding: Hardcover
LibraryThing page

Friday, February 15, 2013

Virtual Light by William Gibson

First sentence:

"The courier presses his forehead against layers of glass."


"Berry Rydell, an ex-cop, signs on with IntenSecure Armed Response in Los Angeles. He finds himself on a collision course that results in a desperate romance, and a journey into the ecstasy and dread that mirror each other at the heart of the postmodern experience." -- from

My thoughts:

This was an interesting cyberpunk novel. I liked the characters Berry and Chevette and how they worked together to figure out the story behind the special glasses. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Idoru.

Date read: 2/14/2012
Book #: 3
Series: Bridge Trilogy, #1
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: SF

ISBN-10: 0553074997
ISBN-13: 9780553074994
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
Year: 1993
# of pages: 323
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing page

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Skull Session by Daniel Hecht

First sentence:

"'The thing about danger,' Lia shouted, 'is that it simplifies you.'"


"Despite his brilliance, Paul Skoglund hasn’t held a steady job for years, partly because of his Tourette’s syndrome, a neurological disorder that forces his body into wild swings and to blurt out words that are hilariously, often tragically, inappropriate.

When his eccentric, wealthy aunt asks him to take on the repairs of her magnificent hunting lodge, he is in no position to refuse. But inside the lodge lies a scene of almost superhuman destruction: a violence now mirrored by a series of disappearances and deaths haunting the region. As Paul delves into the wreckage, he can’t help but wonder what dark passion--and what strength--could cause such chaos.

Janet, Paul’s icy ex-wife, plans to use his condition to wrest away custody of their young son. And in his otherwise uncertain world, Paul is sure of one thing: nothing and no one is going to come between him and Mark. But quickening events lead him deeper into his family’s past, and as Paul faces the darker aspects of his own nature, he must brave the possibility that in saving those he loves, he might well destroy himself …" -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I liked this thriller about the "monster" inside and what happens when it's released without control. I liked Paul's interactions with Lia, his son Mark, and his aunt Vivian.

Date read: 2/13/2012
Book #: 2
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Thriller

ISBN-10: 0330353748
ISBN-13: 9780330353748
Publisher: Pan Books
Year: 1998
# of pages: 568
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing page