Thursday, October 25, 2012

Night Watch

5 out of 5

Well, Ms. Linda Fairstein, has certainly done it again with her new Alexandra Cooper mystery novel, Night Watch.  

This is the latest in the series and it does not fail to pull you into the world of law and order in New York City, and France, since Alexandra is still in a relationship with Luc.  Having read the entire series, I think this is by far her most complex and entertaining story so far.  There is still a lot of history to hold your interest. This time the history is of many of the great upscale restaurants of New York, and the famous or infamous, as the case may be, that own or patronize them.   The story line takes lots of twists and turns with two different story tracks unfolding side by side.  The similarity of the first story line is uncanny or "maybe not". to the well-known real story of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. However, it gives an inside look at what can happen in a case where truth seems to flit around and not always land on the most important facts.

  All the regulars are are still on the scene, but she leaves us with a cliff hanger at the end to make us yearn for the next book in the series. I know I am yearning.   Don't look to me to give it away, I don't do spoilers.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Good House

5 out 5

I would give it a 10 out of 5 if that was possible.

Wow, oh, wow!!  This latest book, The Good House, by Ann Leary hooks you in the first few pages.  You don't even know you are getting pulled in until you look at the clock or the page you are on.  If you start early, it can be a one sitting book, but that does not mean it is fluffy.  By no means fluffy.  I wanted to finish it but I did not want it to end.  This is the first Leary novel I have read, so now I will have to go search out the others and put them in the TBR pile.

I don't believe in writing spoilers especially on a book that is not out yet.  It is suffice to say that Ann Leary has hit the mark with this story on so many different levels.   You may know a "Hilda (called Hildy) Good", you may live in New England, or you may know an alcoholic, but you will learn something new about each in this book either through the humor or the hard hitting reality of the characters. I look forward to talking and sharing my take with others once they have consumed it.  

So sorry you have to wait until January 2013 to share in this wonderful read.  Order an advance copy as a Christmas present and then be prepared to devote the time to read in one sitting after the holiday rush.  You will be glad you did.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The End of Your Life Book Club

5 out of 5

 It was a pleasure to meet Mary Ann Schwalbe even if was for a very short time at the end of her life.    I would have loved to have known her during the rest of her life.   She had a beautiful spirit and outlook on humanity.   There are a lot of lessons to take away from this wonderful memoir, The End of Your Life Book Club.   Will Schwalbe has bared his heart and love for his mother, and her life.     He has also shared with us the love of books that she instilled in her children and others around her.  

Maybe I loved this book because the values that she carried and passed on to her children were much the same as ones that we learned as kids from my parents.   Or maybe it was her simple unadorned love of books and the need she had to share her opinion, or passion of the topic with others.   Whatever the pull was, I completely fell into this story, the discussion of some books that I have loved as well, and a recommendation of some that I will now have to read as a result of her enthusiasm for the story.

 Will’s love for his Mom comes out over and over again.   He admired not only how she had lived her life and the service she gave to refugees, students, women and children around the world, but he was a witness to how she was choosing to live the end of her life and loved her even more for that.

 Mary Ann gives out a lot of advice for anyone who will come in contact with a loved one or friend who is dealing with a terminal illness.      I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to read this book early, and that I will be able to share it with my friends.   Some may want to compare this book with other memoirs about death and the loss of an immediate family member; however, I believe this memoir is about life.

 Thank you, Will Schwalbe for giving us this extraordinarily personal gift.