Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Piles of Books


Last Chicken in America:a novel in stories by Ellen Litman. Stories about the Russian emigres in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania.

Storm Runners by T. Jefferson Parker. Matt Stromsoe hit rock bottom when his family was murdered by a bomb. The bomber was Matt's childhood friend and his wife's ex-lover. Rebuilding his life with a private detective firm Matt is assigned to protect a local newsman from a stalker. A stalker who has ties to the man imprisoned for killing Matt's family.

In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar. Nine year old Suleiman lives in Libya in 1979. His father travels frequently for business but one day Suleiman sees him across the square in big sunglasses. His mother starts burning his fathers old books. The man in the parked car outside asked sinister questions. His friend's father disappears and then reappears on television being interrogated.

Headmaster's Dilemma by Louis Auchincloss. Michael Sayre is the Headmaster at Averhill prep school. A sexual assault on campus brings a lawsuit by the student victim's parents. Michael opposes the lawsuit while the conniving President of the Board of Trustees sees an opportunity to dismiss Michael.

Undead and Uneasy by Mary Janice Davidson. Part of Davidson's chicklit vampire humor novels.

Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot. Continuing character of Lizzie Nichols. Lizzie's big mouth get her in trouble with her would be mother-in-law, at new job at a law firm, and everywhere else.

Sundown, Yellow Moon by Larry Watson. Author of Montana, 1948 which I read for a book discussion. In 1961 Bismarck, North Dakota Gene's father walked into the state capitol, shot a state senator to death, walked home, and hung himself. The reasons why died with both men but speculation continued for years. Forty of those years have passed and Gene is back in town trying to figure out why it all happened.

Red Sea by Emily Benedek. A thriller. Four airliners explode in midair on the same day. Governments and people around the world are in panic. Aviation reporter Marie Peterssen has a theory about the event that is confirmed by an Israeli airline security expert. Together they uncover a plot to explode a nuclear warhead in New York Harbor.

World Without End by Ken Follett. This one earned some some big reviews. A sort-off continuation of Follett's Pillars of the Earth. 14th Century England where the cathedral in Knightsbridge "at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge." Follett still has a full head of hair but that hair doesn't extend several inches up like it used to.

Trespass by Valerie Martin. Chloe Dale is living the good life in rural New York. Except for the strange poacher on her land and her anger over Iraq. When Toby brings home his pregnant Croatian girlfriend Chloe immediately dislikes her. When the girlfriend brings along her mom, the trouble grows.

Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella. British Army officer Captain James Gould is assigned the authority to approve soldiers to marry Italian girls. Gould's rarely grants the needed approval. So the townspeople conspire to get him a new cook: the widowed and beautiful Livia.


When Day Breaks by Mary Jane Clark. The cover has a picture of a pool deck and pool water with an electrical cord snaking into the water and the shadow of a woman falling across the cord.

Fools Rush In by Ed Gorman. A positive review by Bill Crider.

First Wave by James R. Benn. Billy Boyle is General Eisenhower's personal investigator. Boyle didn't earn the job, his family connections helped with that. But, Boyle turns out to be a better detective than anyone, including himself, thought. Boyle hits the Algerian beach in 1942 investigating the murders of American and French servicemen and runs across would-be girlfriend and British agent Diana. Diana is captured by the Vichy French and Boyle is out to rescue her.

In Cold Pursuit by Sarah Andrews. This is a neat one. The author received a National Science Foundation grant to visit Antarctica to research the novel. A science based mystery set in Antarctica with geologist Valena Walker arriving at McMurdo Station to find her professor arrested for the murder - by exposure - of a journalist out to discredit the professor's work.
Several years ago I was watching a kid's program on Antarctica that sent a junior high aged girl reporter down there for a report. One person she talked to was a gruff, middle-aged guy with a bad case of rosacea and a ratty wool sweater. You could tell that the girl did not like being around the guy, and that the guy did not like being a tour guide to a thirteen year old. But, they got enough uncomfortable film footage of him showing her some fish.

Night Work by Steve Hamilton. Hamilton's books have been steady in maintaining high quality. Or so I've read.
New Yorker Joe Trumbull is pretty fearless after years of travel in rotten neighborhoods as a juvenile probation officer working to keep his high-risk kids out of jail. Tonight, however, Joe is terrified at the prospect of his upcoming blind date. His first date in two years since the murder of his fiancee. This is a mystery so you know things do not go well.

Kissing Christmas Goodbye by M.C. Beaton. An Agatha Raisin mystery.


A Nameless Witch by A. Lee Martinez. We are late to get this one on our shelves. I missed it's publication in the Spring. Martinez wrote the humorous and action filled fantasy novels Gil's All Fright Diner and In the Company of Ogres. This is a good one too. Nameless is a beautiful witch cursed with the a hunger for cannibalism. Her beauty draws men but her literal hunger to eat them alive makes her stay away. Along with her pet demon duck she enters human society and helps a village and a White Knight fight off a horde of goblins and their wizard boss.


Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope by Jenna Bush. Seventeen year old Ana has been raped, is now a mother and is HIV positive. A true story account from one of the people Jenna met through her work with UNICEF.
Is Jenna the one that got busted for underage drinking in Austin? It's bad enough to get a citation and have to tell your parents. It's worse to have the citation spread across the news media and repeated over and over for years. Example: I was flipping through an issue of Rolling Stone once and scanned a Jennifer Aniston interview. It's Rolling Stone so that had to detail her complaints about Bush. In there was a comment about her walking through her agent's office with her husband, Brad Pitt, in tow. A Bush girl is summer interning there and Pitt says, "Hey, Jenna, wanna go get a beer? Ha ha ha ha." Great, the 'sexiest man in America' just made a joke at your expense.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Novels, but "No Guns, No Knives, No Personal Checks"


View From Mount Joy by Lorna Landvik. Teenaged Joe Anderson moves to Minneapolis with his mom and gets involved with libidinous cheerleader Kristi. Years later Joe ends up working at Haugland Foods grocery. Joe expected to play professional hockey or travel the world and is disappointed in his current job. But, when Kristi comes back to town from own own wild trips whose life has turned out better? "A dramatic, heartbreaking, and hilarious novel."

Many Bloody Returns: Tales of Birthdays with Bite edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner. Birthday themed, vampire short stories. Bill Crider has one in here.

Mark's Story by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. A new series, The Jesus Chronicles, by the authors of the Left Behind series.

The Assassin by Andrew Britton. Only Ryan Kealey is suspicious of an Iranian plot to bomb the U.N. [what's the point of bombing the U.N.? Of course he is suspicious.] He thinks the plan is a ruse and is after the real threat.

Heartsick: a Thriller by Chelsea Cain. Gretchen Lowell is the beautiful and alluring acquaintance of Portland police detective Archie Sheridan. When I say "acquaintance" I mean torturer. Two years ago Gretchen captured and tortured Archie for ten days. Serial killer Gretchen inexplicably released Archie and turned herself in. Now Archie cannot stay away and visits her once a week saying he wants to find unknown victims. When a new killer stalks victims in Portland Archie tries to use Chelsea as a helper.

Sophie's Dilemma by Lauraine Snelling. Inspirational fiction and book two in the Daughters of Blessing series. These book covers by Bethany House are always the same. Bethany has the same cookie cutter format of a demurely dressed, pretty younger lady and a mildly blurred, outdoor background.

Eulalia by Brian Jacques. A Redwall tale. A juvenile fiction novel too, but hey, you read Redwall books them 10-20 years ago and liked them then.

Large Print

Shoot Him if He Runs by Stuart Woods. Large Print of the book listed in an earlier update.


Cartoonist's Bible: an essential reference for the practicing artist by Franklin Bishop. Contents includes sections on Tools and Materials, Starting to Draw, Types of Cartoon, Going Professional and Expressions File.

Easy Organic Cooking: the essential organic cookbook for you and your family by Parragon Publising.

No Guns, No Knives, No Personal Checks: the tales of a San Francisco cab driver by Larry Sager. Stories from Sager's cabbie days in the 1990s when he doubled as a student.