Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Four More Books

Yes, it is now the middle of September...I went to Orlando over Labor Day weekend specifically to visit the new Harry Potter park.  It did not disappoint!  It was great fun and I had a wonderful trip with my daughter, daughter-in-law and grandson.

While in Orlando, I began reading My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira.  I had seen quite a few reviews on it and when I saw it available at my library, I snatched it up and took it with me on my trip.  Luckily, I had brought another book, too, because Mary Sutter was a disappointment.  Admittedly, I didn't finish the book.  I read over half of it (a good try, I feel) and I just never cared about Mary or anyone else in the book.  Mary Sutter learned midwifery from her mother, but she wanted to learn more and become a doctor.  She was unable to get accepted into medical school or to apprentice with a doctor, primarily because she was a woman. When the Civil War broke out, she made her way to Washington DC to nurse wounded soldiers, still intent on becoming a doctor.  Since I didn't complete the book, I don't know if she ever realized her dream.  Nor did I care! Not a good sign for a book!

So then I began reading The Appeal by John Grisham.  This book was given to me as a retirement gift over a year ago, and I still hadn't gotten to it.  It was a small paperback, so thankfully, it fit well in my luggage and made the trip to Orlando with me.  I have read some of Grisham's other books, and none have ever grabbed me as much as A Time To Kill.  This one didn't either, but I did find this book to be very interesting.  The story centers around a case against a chemical company and is about the law, money and politics.  While I realize that the novel is fiction, my guess is that it is a pretty accurate portrayal of just how politics, law and money prevail in this country.  I was fascinated with how Grisham told the story of how a court seat could be obtained.  I suspect that the fiction is right on the truth!  Very interesting.  I was, however, quite let down by the ending, which only suggests my desire to have everything turn out right and fair!  Good book.

Back to the library for my next two books.  After The Appeal, I returned to Greg Iles and chose Turning Angel.  Another great read by Iles.  He is turning into one of my favorite mystery authors (not that I really had one).  In Turning Angel, Iles returns to Natchez, MS and to his earlier character, Penn  Cage (from The Quiet Game).  This time Penn's old friend Drew Elliot is accused of murdering his son's babysitter who Drew is having an affair with, and he asks Penn to represent him as his lawyer. This is a long book, but worth the time!

It is another of Greg Iles' books that I could not put down!  Great mystery, and I love the portrayal of Natchez.  I have never been there, but am planning a trip to New Orleans in the next year or so, and plan to go to Natchez just from reading his books!

And the last book that I have read is The Violin of Auschwitz by Maria Angels Anglada.  It is a very small book and was a quick read.  It is typical of many Holocaust books that I have read.  That being said, it was a good story.  It is about a violin-maker in a concentration camp and his struggle to survive.  He is assigned to build a violin for his survival.  Would I recommend it?  Probably not, but only because there is nothing new or exciting about it.

I am getting ready to start The Art of Racing in the Rain which is the book chosen for my book group that meets next week.  Again, it is one of those books that has been out for awhile and I just never got to reading, so I am happy that it was chosen.  When we meet next week, it is my turn to present three books to be voted and chosen for our November meeting.  Can you guess what will be the three I will choose to present?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Quiet Game

After having read Blood Memory last week, I went on to my local library to see if they had any more books by Greg Iles.  Imagine my surprise when I saw almost a whole shelf of books by him!  I was thrilled!  I chose The Quiet Game to read and I chose a winner!  Great mystery story set in Natchez, Mississippi.

Penn Cage has returned to Natchez with his four year old daughter, Annie, to stay with his parents for awhile.  His wife, Sarah, died seven months earlier and he is a bit overwhelmed with dealing with both his feelings and Annie's emotions.  He wants Annie to have some time with his mother, and for both he and Annie to begin some healing.  However, upon his return, Penn learns that his father, a well-loved local doctor, is being blackmailed.  As Penn, a former prosecutor-turned-author, begins to investigate what is happening with his father, he comes face-to-face with an unsolved thirty year old murder, involving a black man, the FBI, local judges, etc.  The black man was killed in 1968 between the time of the killings of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.  Is there a connection?

Meanwhile, there are some romantic things going on also.  A lost love from twenty years ago, and a brand new love interest.

This book has many twists and turns and kept me up reading late every night until I finished it.  I really like his writing.  As soon as I finish my next book, it will be back to the library for another of Greg Iles' books!