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Book Archive | My
- (1/30)The Stalking of Sheilah Quinn by Jeremiah Healy.
- I'd heard Jeremiah Healy's name associated with some mystery
awards so I thought I'd give one of his books a try. This one is a legal
thriller about a woman lawyer who defends a murderer, gets him off, and
then nearly becomes his next victim. It was pretty unimaginative and not
written, but maybe I just happened to pick Healy's weakest novel. Ya
never know. So, I'll try another one before giving up on him completely.
I guess. If you're in the same boat, don't give this one a try on your
- (1/27)Duane's Depressed by Larry McMurtry.
- Third and final book of the trilogy that began with "The Last
Picture Show," this one follows Duane, now in his 60's through a kind of
mid-life crisis. First he suddenly decides to quit driving and only walk
from place to place, an action that makes the entire town extremely
nervous. Then he moves completely out of his house and begins to live in
a little cabin about 6 miles from home. When his wife Karla suggests he
might be depressed, Duane starts going to therapy, assisted by a beautiful
and intelligent psychiatrist named Honor (love it). But it's not exactly
a stock story of mid-life depression. As usual, it's funny and strange
and utterly unsentimental (which, oddly enough, makes it very
- (1/25)Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell.
- Novel set during the depression in the incredibly poor
farmlands of Augusta, Georgia. The story focuses on the Lester family, a
bunch of ignorant, selfish, and brutally impoverished farmers. Their
major fears seem to focus mostly on being buried in their dirty clothing
or descending to a lower rung on the social ladder than the black families
who live near them. They're horrible people (they even have grown tired
of the grandmother in the family and have quit giving her food so that
she'll just hurry up and die), but it's hard to tell if they would've been
quite so horrible if they'd only had a steady income, however small.
Indeed, there are hints given regarding the family long ago that suggest
that they were once relatively decent folks (sunbonnets and happy,
dedicated children are mentioned, for example). A novel about what
happens when people ignore civilization just as completely as it ignores
- (1/23) One Year Off by David Elliot Cohen.
- Absolutely delightful book about the year Cohen and his wife
quit their jobs, sold their house, and took their three children (9, 7,
and 2) on a year-long adventure around the world. Not only is Cohen a
great writer when it comes to description of foreign places and sights (I
totally want to go to Costa Rica now), but he's also very funny. The two
elements combine to make this a very charming book. I heartily recommend
it, though I suspect if I were a parent myself, I would've been more
horrified than amused at some of the situations they got into. You might
want to take that into consideration!
- (1/20) Three Bedrooms, One Corpse by Charlaine Harris.
- The third in the Aurora Teagarden mystery series -- in this
one, Roe quits her job at the library and starts working part-time with
her mother at the local real estate agency. While showing her first house
to her first prospective customer, she melodramatically flings the master
bedroom doors open, only to discover a naked corpse tied to the bed
inside. Oops. This is the second Aurora Teagarden I've read and I'm very
happy to say there are many more out there. Excellent mysteries!
- (1/16) Tara Road by Maeve Binchey.
- Novel about two women, one an American whose son has recently
been killed in an accident, and the other an Irish mother whose husband
has recently left her for someone half her age. Just when both feel they
have hit the bottom, they encounter each other via a telephone call.
Suddenly they find themselves agreeing to switch houses, and lives, for
the summer. What they discover about each other, and themselves, has a
profound impact on both their lives. I really enjoyed this novel. Though
it seems like it's a big one, it actually goes pretty quickly. Great
characters and a very interesting plot-line.
- (1/14) The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger.
- Fascinating non-fiction book about a fishing boat that
encountered a terrible storm in 1991 and took the lives of everyone on
board. But it's not just a horror story, Jungre also writes a lot about
the history of fishing in America and what the job did/does to the
families of the crewmembers involved. His description of the sensation of
drowning is one that I will not soon forget. This is an interesting and
extremely well-written book and I highly recommend it.
- (1/5) Last Things by Jenny Offill.
- Strange and wonderful novel about eight-year-old Grace Davitt
and her mother, an ornithologist who has kind of gone off the deep end, so
to speak, and is pulling Grace down with her into a world of myths and
obsessions. Excellent writing, fascinating characters, sad overtones. I
very highly recommend this, though it's no secret I'm a sucker for
"coming-of-age" stories about little girls.
- (1/3) The Devil's Teardrop by Jeffrey Deaver.
- Deaver's latest thriller, this one about an expert in
forensics who specializes in documents, that is called out of retirement
by the FBI
to help them stop a killer. The killer, named "The Digger," has been
ordered by a man to shoot as many people as he can in public places every
four hours or until the city pays him a ransom. The good news is the guy
in charge gets killed crossing the street. The bad news is, the guy he
convinced to do the shooting is crazy and simple-minded and doesn't know
his boss is dead. Things get ugly. Nice cameo appearance from Lincoln
Rhymes, the main character of another Deaver series, also a forensics
expert. This was everything Deaver's other books have been --
suspenseful, well-written, and full of interesting people. Perfect way to
spend my last holiday weekend of the season!