Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter Reading Club Recommendations

by Mischa Berlinski

The story is set in northern Thailand in a mythical tribe who are beset by Christian missionaries. Berlinski flips our expectations by making the Christians into the demons and the agrarian, rural natives into relatively sane folk. An outstanding first novel, good craftsman.

~Jim W.

Altar of Eden
by James Rollins.

A genetic engineering thriller. Animals from the Baghdad zoo are taken in 2003 and turn up 5 years later in New Orleans --- with weird feathers on jaguars and leather-skinned parrots. A veterinarian and endangered species activist start noticing these weirdnesses...

The bad guys are well fleshed-out, and there's enough genetics and science to occupy 20-30% of the frontal cortex so, for example, you could still watch reality TV and not miss either... I recommend it.

~Jim W.

The Leisure Seeker
by Michael Zadoorian

How does a young man understand and write so convincingly of the spirit, soul and mind of a senior citizen!? Mr. Zadoorian should win a prize for this happy/emotional/scary novel. I thoroughly enjoyed "The Leisure Seeker" by Michael Zadoorian, and was in awe of the humor, insight, and sadness he was able to convey in the wonderful book.

The minute I finished the last page I wanted to go knock on the doors of my friends that read (not everyone does!) and insist they sit right down and engross themselves in the lives of these two elderly people. The book involves a cross country trip, taken by this dear couple, who for all we know, may be on their last big adventure. Take it home with you today!

~Lois G.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Recommendation from Julie

The White Tiger
by Aravind Adiga
I listened to this book. The reader read with a Hindi accent so it felt right as a story of India. It presented a picture of India from the poor person's point of view. It felt very third world. It was entertaining, enlightening, and thought-provoking. Winner of the Man Booker prize, 2008.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter Reading Club Recommendations

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

A novel made up of letters. The characters are developed brilliantly: you know them, care for them, love them. The story takes place the year after the end of WW2 and the German occupation of this channel island. It is a love story: peoples love for one another and their book club. YES! I would recommend it, one of the best books I've read in a long time.

~Nancy M.

The Coil
by Gayle Lynds

I was trapped a couple of weeks ago at a friend's house for the weekend and picked up THE COIL, by Gayle Lynds... It was drech!

She didn't trust herself to advance plot or flesh out characters, unless somebody got killed.. As a result death and mayhem every other page...

Love the affectation with the twoYs in names...not!

~Jim W.

Thank you for your reviews. Keep them coming - every review is an entry for the weekly prize drawings. ~Michele

Monday, January 4, 2010

Winter Reading Club recommendations

Goat Song by Brad Kessler

Mr. Kessler and his wife sought to escape the city, ending up in Vermont raising goats. Not only does he describe their daily life milking and herding, but he references pastoral images and language still used, e.g. scapegoat. I found other topics enlightening, e.g. Gandhi's goat which saved his health, bells of different tones on each goat which then identify who has wandered just by sound, a discussion of pasteurization which is not used in Europe or on the Kessler farm, and the step by step process for making goat milk cheese. The book also compares his spiritual life with that of the monks up the hill.

Review submitted by Kathy S.

~ Thanks for the great review Kathy! Your name has been entered for the weekly prize drawings. Michele