Sunday, February 16, 2014

Avoiding Prison and Other Noble Vacation Goals by Wendy Dale

First sentence:

"I like to think that I'm a typical traveler, that my idea of a good trip is pretty much the same as the next guy's but every once in a while, something happens to make me suspect this isn't really the case."


"From salsa dancing in a rum-induced haze and struggling to exercise in Colombia (“the guerrillas were using the track again today”), to crossing international borders unconventionally and dodging bombs in Lebanon (“the good news was that they were ‘small bombs’”), Wendy somehow manages to find herself in the midst of hysterical, adventurous, and often illegal situations. Case in point—every time she heads to Costa Rica, she is forced to visit another prison. Although a jail may not be everyone’s idea of a place to find a date, Wendy soon falls in love with a man, a country, and its people and risks everything she has to clear his name.

Avoiding Prison and Other Noble Vacation Goals is a bumpy and hilarious ride in which Wendy discovers that a successful vacation—much like that elusive thing, happiness—can be found in some of the most unlikely places imaginable. -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

An amusing and sometimes poignant book about finding "home" in places near and far. I liked Dale's honesty as she recounted her adventures in the Middle East, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Date read: 2/15/2014
Book #: 7
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genres: Memoir / Travel

ISBN-10: 0609809830
ISBN-13: 9780609809839
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Year: 2003
# of pages: 326
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing page

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ice Man by Ron Cutler

First sentence: 

"It was December."


"Snow was falling when they found her floating downriver. She was naked, still chained, her beauty forever frozen in a block of ice. Jason Briscoe, the man convicted of the crime, claims it wasn't murder. Just rough sex gone too far. Prison psychologist Holly Alexander agrees. Sex offenders are her specialty, and she approves the handsome Briscoe's parole. But that's before Holly meets his living victims. Before the strange signs surface. Before the tables are turned and she becomes the hunted. Now Holly knows everything, but can prove nothing. And somewhere in the cold shadows, he waits to kill again..." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This is a very intense thriller that kept my interest throughout. As the main character, Holly Alexander, becomes increasingly isolated from friends and family, I wondered how she would survive and overcome her enemy. Cutler doesn't make things easy for Holly and while sometimes I found the obstacles seemingly endless, I now appreciate the problems Holly faced.

Date read: 2/1/2014
Book #: 6
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Thriller

ISBN-10: 078601654X
ISBN-13: 9780786016549
Publisher: Pinnacle
Year: 2004
# of pages: 356
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing page