Whatcha reading?

Whatcha reading?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

White Fire: Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child

This was the first book I have read by these authors, and it was actually recommended to me by a friend. The book starts off with a flashback to the late 1800's. Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle meet over dinner and discuss a disturbing story Oscar heard from some miners in Colorado. The story then continues to present day and a girl, Corri, working on her thesis in criminology. She gets a tip that a cemetery is being moved and the remains have been dug up, which is a perfect opportunity to study the causes of death. She hears a story about a grizzly bear that killed several miners and plans to study the bones for how a large carnivore attack leaves them. Once she gets to the town she is told she can no longer view the remains and after she breaks into the shed where the bones are being temporarily kept, she gets jailed. The story then progresses where her benefactor- Pendergast- saves her from 10 yrs. in jail and obtains permission from the families to study the bodies. She finds out the people were actually eaten by humans, not bears. Then by going through historical documents (and Doyle's missing book about the incident) they realize the cannibals had mercury poisoning cause by the mine. They then realize the newer housing development is sitting in the valley where the mercury would have run off. A boy, who expressed interest in Corri, ends up trying to kill her and we learn he too suffered from mercury poisoning.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Death Without Company: Craig Johnson

This is the second book in the Walt Longmire series. This on takes place only a few weeks after the first book. A woman in assisted living dies and it is assumed to be of old age, but the past sheriff asks for an autopsy. An interesting story then unfolds. The Sheriff Lucian had once been married to the victim and suspected foul play. During the investigation Walt gains two new sheriffs and his daughter comes to visit. Lucian realizes the deceased woman's, Maria, first born was actually his and he has a granddaughter. Maria had ended up being hastily married off once her family learned of her condition. Her husband was abusive and she killed him once night when he attacked her son. His illegitimate son with a native woman was trying to kill anyone who would inherit since the father's will had left everything to him. Both Henry and Walt almost die. I liked that this story was completely different than the first. I was worried they were going to all take place during snowstorms.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Book Thief: Marcus Zusak

This was a devastating book about the common German's life during World War II. It took a few chapters to get into because it is told by the Grim Reaper. A little girl is given up for adoption by her mother, who we later learn was a communist and being sent to a camp. On the way her little brother dies and she is forever haunted by his last grappling cough. She is taken in by a couple with grown children. Rosa, the woman seems harsh, but we begin to see she is actually very warm hearted. The man, Hans, is very gentle and loving. Liesel adapts to her new life and helps her new momma with the washing she takes in for others. Once the war is well on its way they lose the laundry accounts and Liesel begins to steal books from the Mayor's wife's library. She doesn't realize until the end that the woman wants her to have the books. The story centers around how many lives Liesel touches and the devastation war causes, every family suffers death, heartbreak, and poverty. Hans ends up taking Max, a Jewish man, in and hides him in the basement, fearing discovery, Hans asks him to leave. Later in the book Liesel sees Max in the group of Jews being marched to Dachau and is frantic. She gets whipped by the guards until her friend Rudy pulls her away. Her poppa gets sent to war, miraculously survives and is sent back home with a damaged leg. Shortly afterwards, by chance Liesel happens to be in the basement one night when the air raids are going on and ends up being one of the only survivors on the street. Both her Momma and Poppa are killed along with her friend Rudy and his whole family. She ends up living with the major and working for Rudy's dad when he gets back from the war. The only happiness in the book seems to be that Max comes back to find her once he is released.

A Fatal Waltz: Tasha Alexander

This was the 3rd of the Lady Ashton series. In this one she is engaged to Colin, but is introduced to a past love of his while at a gathering at a politician's house. The Politician is murdered during a hunting accident while all are gathered at his home. The suspect is Ivy's, Emily's best friend, husband. At the party the politician and the husband had a spectacular falling out. While the husband, Brandon, is in prison he requests Emily uncover the truth. Her discoveries lead her to Vienna where she is stalked by a murderer, though not the one she wants, and meets with other murderers. She discovers that Colin is still in love with his past girlfriend and feels both relief and sorrow when she is eventually "silenced". Emily is surprised to learn the murderess was actually closer to home than she originally thought. The wife of the murdered man was the culprit. She found out he was responsible for her brother's death, and he was the last of her family left when she was an orphaned girl.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The COLd DiSH: Craig Johnson

The first book in the Walt Longmire series. Walt is characterized as a widower, who is a bit of a slob and the sheriff of a small town in Wyoming. His best friend, Henry, is from the reservation and helps him with his cases when he is not running his bar. Suddenly boys convicted in a rape case against a young, challenged girl from the reservation, turn up dead. At first Walt thinks the murderer is a native, because there are symbolic "Eagle" feathers on the bodies, but the feathers turn out to be fake. Walt goes on a few dates while he is not on the case and then learns more about the woman he is seeing than he wants to. As a child she was raped by her father, who ended up killing himself, and she wanted justice done against the four boys.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

In her Shoes: Jennifer Weiner

This was a heartfelt book about the bond between sisters. Rose and Maggie lost their mother when they were 8 and 6. Since then Rose has been taking care of selfish Maggie with varying degrees of effectiveness. Rose finally gets a boyfriend and is awoken in the middle of the night by a man telling her she needs to pick up a drunken Maggie. Maggie has lost her apartment and her father and stepmother won't take her in since she is a thief and nothing but trouble. After Maggie sleeps with Rose's boyfriend she disappears and one day sends Rose a note that she is living with a long lost grandmother. The family comes back together and Rose ends up marrying someone worthy of her.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Escape from camp 14: Blaine Harden

This book wasn't quite what I was expecting, but the author hints at what happened. I assumed the book would be mostly based on the person who escaped from camp 14, but after the author started working with the North Korean Prison camp survivor, Shin, Shin seems unable to tell his story. A lot of his story he ends up changing along the way as well. The book became a lot of political background, history of how power was given to those in control in North Korea and international relations. It was still an interesting read into North Korea's chaos.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Poisoned Season: Tasha Alexander

This is the second book in the Lady Ashton Series. This book had a lot of twists that I wasn't expecting and it was a delightful read. Interwoven with the story of the vandalism of Marie Antoinette artifacts and the Heir to France coming forward, is the story of Lady Ashton and her growing fondness for Colin. This was a quick interesting read, I especially like the historical references and how it makes you want to research for more.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Reached: Ally Condie

Wow, This book was much longer than necessary and I kept losing interest. The last chapters seemed like the author didn't know how to end the story and were brutally long while trying to tie up all loose ends and make a happy ending. A lot of things from previous books were revisited, but there didn't really seem to be a need to do so. In this one a plague breaks out and only The Rising has a cure. The rebels come into power and Cassia, Xander, and Ky are all brought together to work on a cure for the mutated virus. Ky gets the virus and they find a cure and save him along with Xander's parents and Cassia's mother. There is some belief that Ky's cousin is actually alive-if this is the last of the series I don' know why it was important to mention. A lot of the book seemed to concentrate on putting every character into a good light and explaining why they made decisions. The target audience is for someone much younger than I am, but I kept thinking that I have a pretty good attention span and I had trouble finishing.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hell is Empty: Craig Johnson

This was one of the best books I have read. A sheriff, Longmire is responsible for escorting 3 criminals caught in his jurisdiction to the FBI. The transfer goes well, but on the way home the sheriff finds a hairpin in his sandwich that he got from the new girl at the local diner. The sheriff gets a bad feeling that the criminals found the pins in their sandwiches and he races back. The escort vans are on fire when he gets back and only 1 law enforcer is still alive. Longmire heads on in a blizzard to find the gang and the waitress. He suffers from getting shot at, getting stuck under his snowmobile, a fire, freezing, etc. This was a spiritual novel in a sense and I couldn't put it down. I loved this quote "Cigarettes are killers that travels in packs" (154)