Random Reviews in Random order from Random Library Staff and Volunteers:
Looking for something to read? Check out these very short reviews that we hope will pique your interest. The best of these reviews have been put forth by the engaging, Mr. Von Hatch. So many books, so little time.
We’d love to have your short reviews to include next time. Just ask us!
A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY by John Irving
I read “The World According to Garp” by John Irving- loved it. Saw the movie with Robin Williams and Jon Lithgow- what’s not to like there? Skipped “A Prayer for Owen Meany.” Just listen to the title! Are you serious? A dear friend, after some spirited debate about the value of this book, suggested that I might want to consider the book as opposed to extensive therapy. Pushy, pushy. In any event shortly after I began to read, I was amused, entranced, enchanted, and very involved in the lives of the people in the book. This is not an action book, although many exciting things occur; it is not a love story in spite of the fact that many of the characters love each other. What it is, is a wonderful portrait of interesting, vital and familiar characters. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be glad to be human and you’ll wonder at the fact that we all have some sort of redeeming value. You’ll see why you need to keep your friends close.
THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah
A definite 5-star rating. An amazing love story that took place at the dawn of World War II. It starts out with an elderly widow in a nursing home getting an invitation to return to France to attend a ceremony for people who aided the escape of others during the war. Then the story begins… Fantastic!
REMAKE by Ilima Todd.
This is a coming of age book and is intended for the coming of age crowd. All of that aside it is a refreshing read that is able to transport the reader to those long ago years – if those years are long ago. The emphasis here, beyond young love, is the family unit which I thought too elemental. Then I thought of the reality that the nuclear family seems to be in some distress in our society. Perhaps this is a message that needs to be sent forth. It certainly can’t hurt. Good stuff for young and old(er).
SOLITUDE CREEK by Jeffery Deaver
Good, solid mystery thriller here as is usual for Deaver. The book is full of suspense. Has a great range of characters and a high “who is doing what to whom” factor. A very clever end. I was certainly scratching my head at the end wondering how I missed all of that. I’m no rocket scientist, but I generally have an idea about what the end might be. Katherine Dancer, our heroine, is easy to like and you underestimate her at your peril.
CHASING LINCOLN’S KILLER by James L Swanson (Playaway)
This tells the true story of the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. It also gives us insight into who Abraham Lincoln as a man, father and husband and how his death affected people that were close to him.
PRAYER: EXPERIENCING AWE AND INTIMACY WITH GOD by Timothy Keller
Keller ties the practice of prayer to the historical record of Christianity in the Bible and to stories from the lives of great Christian teachers to make the enigmatic concept of prayer more practical. This book encourages the thoughtful reader to move beyond the hurriedly offered prayers that are more like sending “tweets” Godward to a more disciplined, meditative method that allows prayer to effect change in the life of person doing the praying as he/she grows more familiar with the One to whom prayer is addressed.
THE BONE TREE by Greg Iles
The second part of the Penn Gage trilogy concerning racism, love, the assassination of JFK, heroes and villains, the righteous and the damned…what have I left out? A lot. But, Iles leaves out nothing and as the tale unfolds, the tension is ratcheted up to the point of “just leave the lights on dear. I’m going to be reading for a while.” This is not a stand-alone book. You must read “Natchez Burning” first. (For those of you saying, “Yeah… you gonna make me?” I say, “You’ll be sorry.”) It took me a while to get back in the groove as it’s been a while since “Natchez Burning” but, when I found my stride, it was all over until the end. Of course there was no end because “Unwritten Laws” is coming in 2016 and I can’t wait. If you are a thriller fan, it doesn’t get better than this.
WHIPPING BOY: THE FORTY-YEAR SEARCH FOR MY TWELVE-YEAR-OLD BULLY by Allen Kurzweil
How many of you have been bullied? Raise your hand. How many would now like to find that person and knock his/her block off? Raise your hand. It took Allen Kurzweil 40 years, but he finally got back at his childhood tormentor. He did not assault him physically, he did what journalists do: he researched and exposed his old enemy for what he truly was – a fraud. And aren’t most bullies? This book takes us places that we have only see on the silver screen. Think “The Sting” only with the bad guys running it. Our bully and his confederates run a scam that is breathtaking in its scope and audacity. The end of the book will be a bit of a disappointment if you are looking for our author to beat the crap out of the bad guy. This is not fiction, but it is intriguing.