The story of the Becker and Vonn families set in Orange County starting in the mid 50's and culminating in 1968. The four Becker son's Nick the cop, Andy the reporter, David the Minister and Clay the star who is killed in Vietnam in 1966, the Vonn's a poor family from Oklahoma with two violent and surly boy's and two ptretty girl's ,the two families lives entertwine throughout this novel in violent and loving ways, including murder. The plot is multi layered and revolves around the murder of young Janelle Vonn,through the eyes of Andy Becker we meet Nixon, Leary, and Charlie Manson as he lives through 1968 in Southern California while trying to solve Janelle's mrder. I enjoyed the writing and intricate plot and the author's description of 60's CaLifornia was spot on.
On July 14, 1518 in Strasbourg, Frau Troffea started dancing until fatigue overcame her for the night. After sleeping briefly, she continued dancing until her feet were bloody. By the end of July, over one hundred people had been affected by the dancing plague and many were dying from it.
In The Dancing Plague: the strange true story of an extraordinary illness, John Waller uses contemporary witnesses and records from Strasbourg that document this unbelievable event. What scientific causes were there, if any? What internal struggles or environmental causes could there be to make people dance to their death? How did it come to be called St. Vitus Dance?
John Waller has created a very readable book about the times in which the dancing plague occurred. How the beliefs of the people may have helped or hindered those afflicted. And could this event be the basis for Hans Christian Anderson's tale The Red Shoes?
A great read for nonfiction book groups and those interested in learning more about living in the late medieval period.
Remarkable. A mystery taunt with psychological suspense, unusual events, interesting locales, and very distinct characters. All this wrapped in skillful, eloquent writing. Don't let anyone know this might be literature.
When a body is found at an archeological dig in a small community in Ireland, Detectives Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox of the Dublin Murder Squad are assigned to the investigation. But Detective Ryan has some history of his own.
This is Ms French's first novel. Her second, The Likeness, is already out. We all have great things to look forward to.
This is a sexy, adult paranormal-romance that is first in the Riley Jensen series. Riley is a dhampir. . .half werewolf /half vampire. She works as a secretary for the Directorate; an agency that polices non-humans. The enforcers for this ruling body are called Guardians. She has a brother, Rhoan, who is a Guardian. Riley's boss wants her to become like her brother, but she insists that she is not born for the violent aspects of that career choice. Like all werewolves, Riley is subject to drastic mood swings during the week of the full moon.
She must mate and mate often. She currently has two millionaire mates that meet needs. Her brother is in a gay relationship with a renowned werewolf makeup artist. The plot is simplistic: Someone is killing vampires and the Guardians sent to investigate. Cloning and plans to create super non-human beings appears to be the end game goal. I have never read any romance books before, but this one hooked me. Arthur has eight other books in this series published and her website says that she plans to end at the number nine. I have already put holds on the next two in the series. It looks like Arthur has a couple of more series books out there that I might investigate.
Haunting, elegant, mysterious, intricate, passionate, a bit gothic and demonic, at times slapstick, a work of art. This international best-seller by Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafon is all of these and more. Need I say more?
This mystery book is about a mystery book and its mysterious author. The setting is 1940s and 50s Barcelona, a city slowly healing from the war. Daniel Sempere, the son of a rare books dealer, narrates how he came into possession of The Shadow of the Wind, a bewitching book that took over his young life. Not yet 11 years old, Daniel’s father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a huge book repository for books forgotten by the world but waiting for someone to care about them again. Daniel’s father tells him to pick out one book in the massive labyrinth of shelves and rooms, a book that will have a special meaning for him.
Daniel so loves The Shadow of the Wind that he sets out to find the other books written by the author, Julian Carax. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, madness and doomed love. At every turn, he is haunted by a mysterious man who appears to be the devil personified, and threatened by an evil, corrupt police captain who made his bones as a hit man during the war. Over the course of several years, in pursuit of his mystery author, Daniel falls in love a couple times, and befriends a hilarious homeless man who lends great comic relief to the dark story. After many twists, turns and dead ends to the mystery, Daniel must find out the truth about Julian Carax, or he and those closest to him will suffer horribly.
The Magicians is Harry Potter mixed with The Chronicles of Narnia and rated "M" for Mature. A surly teenager, Quentin Coldwater is invited to a school of magic. With a fair amount of sex, drug use, and violence, this is no Hogwarts. The Magicians is more mature in other ways, as well. The characters question the relationship of man, magic, and God. And Quentin has a complex relationship with his girlfriend. Additionally, it has one of the most interesting and sinister villians I've read in quite some time. The Magicians is a page-turner that will appeal to fantasy readers as well as readers of realistic fiction.
I have long known that Jennifer Weiner is a very popular author of "chick lit", but I have never read any of her books. Certain Girls is actually a sequel to the bestselling novel Good in Bed. The reader does not have to read the prequel to understand and appreciate this fun and enjoyable read. In Certain Girls, Cannie Shapiro, the main character, is happily married and is a very proud mother of her daughter, Joy. Cannie has settled into a routine of being a mom and wife, and writing science fiction novels for teenagers. But, life gets interesting and a little crazy as Joy hits adolescense and begins to explore her mother's past. At the same time, Cannie and her husband our trying to decide if they should have a child through surrogacy. The narrative switches from Cannie's point of view to Joy's and this is an interesting way for the readers to hear and experience both sides of the story. This is not a deep reflective book, but one that you will enjoy as a humorous and fun look at mother-daughter dynamics.
If you are into the current vampire-fiction-frenzy and demand well-written books instead of ones that appear to have been published without editing, this is the book to read. There are over 30 authors contributing short stories that are each unique to the genre. Renown authors such as Eric Van Lustbader, Ann Rice, Stephen King, and even King's son, Joe Hill, contribute. There is a humorous tale starring Bela Lugosi, who, while in a morphine-induced state, meets Vlad the Impaler, who is in an equally opium-induced state that is quite creative. There is a sort of Great Gatsby sequel with some character tweaks. There even is an Old West tale. I enjoy searching for new ideas on old themes. This collection spins an assortment of short stories that each distances itself from the next. No two tales are similar. It also has a comprehensive guide at the end of the book listing additional author recommendations.
The Help is Kathryn Stockett's debut novel about black domestic servants working in white Southern households in the early 1960s. The author gives us three remarkable woman who are changing the times: Skeeter, Aibileen and Minnie. Skeeter has just graduated from college and her mother would like her to marry, but she wants to be a journalist. It is Skeeter's idea to work with the black "help" to document life of the hired help in the tumultuous civil rights time. Skeeter works with Aibileen, a black maid who is a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. We also hear personal stories and challenges from Minnie, Aibileen’s best friend, a short, fat, and sassy maid. These three women come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. These brave woman are challenging the stereotypes and segregation in this town.
I read this new book only because I was, and to some extent still am, a Rolling Stones fan. If you liked the movie Almost Famous you might enjoy this book. The author was a huge Stones fan growing up in Brooklyn in the disco 80's, he started a Fanzine called Beggars Banquet and at seventeen managed to track down Ron Wood and give him a copy. The Stones were living in New York in the 8o's and the this 17 year old kid managed to become a marginal part of the inner circle. The book has a lot of behind the scene tales of the band's relationships and was quite heady stuff for a kid. I enjoyed the book but it came at a time when the Stone's were going corporate and the bad boy partying except for Wood and Richards were over.