Listening to the audio book of Christmas Blizzard (by Garrison Keillor) was like listening to one of GK’s rambling Lake Wobegon stories on steroids. He introduces James Sparrow (a thoroughly unlikely and unlikable character) in the first several chapters and then send the man on a trip to his hometown in North Dakota. While there, James has visits from three “ghosts” of his past and hence a complete and utter reversal of character. Sound a bit familiar? I was hoping for a good, funny, Christmas story to read and recommend to others this season, but this didn’t fill the bill.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
This was my second reading of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. I do love his writing style!
The Bonus Book Club will be discussing this title next week and I'm sure everyone is going to be happy to talk about Botswana, Precious Ramostswa, her little white van, and all the adventures she has as a courageous and wise lady detective! She is an inspiration for us all and I'm looking forward to reading many more of her adventures in the series!
Labels: No 1 Ladies Detective Agency
School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister was a real delight. The Wednesday evening book club at Hartland Public Library was scheduled to discuss the book and when my hold for it came in a few days beforehand, I wasn't sure I'd have time enough to read it before the discussion. No problem - I didn't want to put it down. The tale of restaurant owner Lillian and stories of all the pupils who enroll in her monthly cooking classes provided compelling narrative and seductive descriptions of food. I wanted to run right out and sign up for THAT kind of cooking class! Somebody tell me where I can find it.
Labels: School of Essential Ingredients
Saturday, November 06, 2010
Laura Rider’s Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up this book, but I have to say that it was extremely entertaining and fun – especially since I am a Wisconsin resident who also loves Milwaukee Public Radio. I’m going to just copy the Publisher’s Weekly review for you to get the gist of this crafty novel!
“Oprah-anointed Hamilton once again takes readers to the Midwest, this time lacing her narrative with winning humor. Laura Rider and her husband, Charlie, live in Hartley, Wis., where they own and run Prairie Wind Farm. After 12 years of marriage, Laura decides to stop sleeping with Charlie, and although lovemaking is his “one superb talent,” she's convinced she's “used up her quota.” Also, Laura has a secret fantasy: to be an author. After she meets local public radio host Jenna Faroli, Laura decides to write a romance and encourages a flirtation between Charlie and Jenna, an experiment that she thinks will help her write her book. Their flirtation quickly slides into an affair, with Laura's sly interference. Laura, at once jealous and pleased, benefits from the inevitable chain of events, while Jenna isn't so lucky. Though the plotting is a bit predictable, the female characters are sharply observed and delineated, and the humorous tone will be an appealing surprise to Hamilton's readers.” (Apr.) --Staff (Reviewed December 8, 2008) (Publishers Weekly, vol 255, issue 49, p40)
Reckless by Cornelia Funke
With references to stories from the Brothers Grimm, Cornelia Funke again takes her readers into an alternate world full of dangers and evil villains. This time her protagonist is Jacob Reckless who is a boy as the start of the novel begins, but quickly ages as the story fast-forwards twelve years into his future.
Without giving too much of the plot away, Jacob’s younger brother Will follows Jacob into the alternate world where he is wounded and slowly begins morphing into a non-human. The remainder of the story involves Jacob’s attempts to save his brother. A brief trip back to the real world (ours) involves Will’s girlfriend who also ends up accompanying the brothers on the quest for the cure. Although this book has an 840 (5th grade)lexile level, I would recommend it for an older audience of teens. There may well be a sequel as the ending leaves the reader wondering what might happen next to these characters.