The adage “truth is stranger than fiction” is proven in “The Lost Wife,” by Alyson Richman. She has succeeded in blending both for an unforgettable reading experience.
I have read so many good books lately I couldn’t decide which one to review. It was a toss up between “The Obituary Writer,” by Ann Hood and “The Secret Keeper,” by Kate Norton (I don’t know about you but any title that contains the word “secret” draws me like a magnet — maybe it was that early Nancy Drew conditioning).
February is the month we glorify “love” and “The Fault In Our Stars,” by John Green, is a glorious love story. A love story not just between a boy and a girl, but with life itself. You’ll find this book in the Young Adult section, but don’t let that keep you from reading it; its message is universal to all ages because it is about living each day to the fullest, as if your days were limited.
January means resolutions. My guess is that at least one of your resolutions falls under the category of being happier in some area of your life. If so, you might want to take a look at Gretchen Rubin’s new book, “Happier at Home” (2012). Her previous book, “The Happiness Project,” was No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list for months. Although I hadn’t read that one, I bought her next book as the “perfect” gift for someone. Before I wrapped it I skimmed it a little further than in the bookstore. Soon I was reading each page and knew I had to have my own copy. This is a valuable and inspirational reference for any individual, family or home — the kind of book you might not read at one sitting or from beginning to end, but snippets on a daily or weekly basis. With a highlighter.
"The Beautiful Ruins” started off as a little frivolous and fun — a nice break from a serious novel. How wrong could I be.
Edward Rutherford has been writing historical sagas for more than 20 years but I just discovered him this summer with “New York, the Novel (2009).” After a passionate reading, I wanted heartily to recommend but hesitated — would most readers consider it “old news?” However, when Hurricane Sandy recently ravaged the East Coast, I felt compelled to do the review as it certainly wrote another chapter in the history of this amazing American city from 1664 to the year 2009.
As the country prepares to enjoy the 108th Baseball World Series, even those who may not be true baseball fans are often caught up in the spirit of America’s national sport. If you are indeed a die-hard baseball fan, “The Art of Fielding,” by Chad Harbach might be just the book for you. But don’t discount it even if you don’t know first base from a knuckle-ball pitch. Described by one critic as the “greatest baseball novel in a generation,” the sports theme is metaphorically much grander — that of the human condition.
When you see the photo of Ann Patchett on the book jacket of her latest book, “State of Wonder,” it’s hard to believe someone so lovely and feminine could write a book describing some horrific images. I guess that is the power of imagination and skillful writing which she has proven in her previous books, most notably “Bel Canto” (2001 Winner of PEN/Faulkner Award).
Last month I highlighted Jacqueline Winspear’s “Maise Dobbs” series and this month is dedicated to Canadian author Louise Penny and the wonderful world she has created in the fictional setting of Three Pines, a rural Canadian village south of Montreal, just kilometers from the Vermont border.
The wonderful thing about discovering an author you enjoy who writes a series is the anticipation of the next book ... just knowing that as you turn the last page there is another good book on the horizon. And if you discover them after the series has been around a while, you can eagerly go from one book to the next with the characters you have come to love.
© Copyright 2011, Ahwatukee Foothills News, Phoenix, AZ