Cover Snapshot of Read Books

Sara's bookshelf: read

Crazy Little Thing
A Kiss at Midnight
The Disenchanted Widow
Hollywood Wives - The New Generation
There Goes the Bride
Table for Five
Do Not Disturb
The Husband's Secret
The Ugly Duchess
Help for the Haunted
The Power Trip
The Haunting of Maddy Clare
Summer At Willow Lake
Every Crooked Nanny
The Mystery Woman
The Woodcutter
How to Be an American Housewife

Sara's favorite books »

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Review: Angels Flight

Angels Flight
Angels Flight by Michael Connelly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Remarkable, intelligent, riveting

A Detective Bosch novel.

A prominent attorney is murdered and no cop wants to take the case as it will bring too much heat down on them. Bosch is called in the middle of the night to work the case, which he instantly knows will bring chaos and conflicts to the streets in LA. Bosch is smart and incredibly capable and trusting of his team. The problem is that he is assigned additional team members he doesn’t trust and all the while his boss is screaming for results.

The story is complex, a lawyer who prosecuted cops is dead and yet the cops are investigating the death, there is no win. The case is delicate but Bosch cannot bring himself to believe that a cop would commit this murder which seems so personal. The murder seems like the beginning, but in reality Bosch and his team must backtrack through cases, subpoenas, and suspects all while the pressure and media are bearing down on them. When Bosch’s former partner is named as the shooter, Bosch knows that they have the wrong man, now he just needs to prove it.

While Bosch is piecing all the clues together for his case, his personal life starts falling into shambles. He is an amazing lead detective; he snatches up details and draws the right conclusions; however it seems that he is losing his wife. Eleanor no longer responds to texts or calls; Bosch cannot even count on her being home at night. He fears the feeling of relief at the thought that his marriage may be ending.

Bosch is a superb character, he is a believable detective made human by the failings in his personal life, another great book in the series. The series starts with The Black Echo and is written by Michael Connelly, I highly recommend this series to mystery fans. My favorite in the series is The Concrete Blonde, but then I do love that title…

View all my reviews

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Review: Hector and the Search for Happiness: A Novel

Hector and the Search for Happiness: A Novel
Hector and the Search for Happiness: A Novel by Fran├žois Lelord

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

cozy, simple, friendly

Hector travels around the globe pondering happiness and what it means to each person he meets. An interesting story, and people love to open up to Hector, who like his author is a Psychiatrist. Hector carries his journal and makes little notes on happiness after each conversation. One observation is tha, "Happiness is a certain way of seeing things."

Hector acknowledges that those he treats who seem most unhappy have good jobs and no major problems. Hector's friend Eduard believes that making sixmillion dollars will mean happiness, but while he has work and money, he is extremely unhappy. Whereas in contrast, the poor shoeless children in the foreign countries Hector visits smile and seem happy.

A parable that seems to have some bits of truth to it, a much less complex version of Eat Pray Love.

View all my reviews

Friday, January 20, 2012

Review: The Book of Lost Things

The Book of Lost Things
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not-for-children, dark, violent

David is a little boy whose mother has recently died. In mourning and miserable, he doesn't understand when his father re-marries very quickly. Once David is living with his stepmother, the books in his room start talking. The lonely boy starts hearing his mother's voice and seeing odd strangers at the edge of the woods.

Soon the little boy has followed his mother's voice into the dark corners of a new world (much darker than Narnia). As soon as he enters the world, the boy is hunted by the Crooked Man and the wolves. Very scary, as the hungry wolves eat people and want to consume the boy. The book was dark and violent, as David goes on a quest to see the King in order to get back to his world. David must face beasts and trolls and all kinds of violent mystical killers, and make no mistake, they are violent.

I see why this was recommended for me as there are many author “retellings” of the Grimm fairy tales—his stories are much darker and more evil.

Not for children! It was an interesting book, but there was too much violence and death for my taste.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sparks of Wonder Alight The Lantern

Descriptive, Enthralling, new Rebecca

 “Some scents sparkle and then quickly disappear, like the effervescence of a citrus zest or a bright not of mint.” And so this beautifully written novel, The Lantern begins.

 In Switzerland Eve meets a mysterious man and starts a whirlwind romance. Dom is handsome but somehow closed off and haunted. Dom admits that he was once married but asks Eve to never speak of Rachel again; he will not speak further about it. Eve is caught up in the love affair and keeps thoughts of Rachel locked away in her mind.

 Soon Dom has convinced Eve to leave her work and home to move with him to the remote Les Genevriers in the South of France. Eve is thrilled to have found love and easily gives up her lonely life, renting out her London flat. Summer in the isolated French farming hamlet is heavenly. There are many things to discover, and Eve and Dom are content in their isolated new home together. Eve recognizes that their house is very old and full of friendly ghosts.

 When the cold winter moves in, Eve starts to feel haunted as she sees things in the garden and starts hearing noises in the house. And, seemingly, Dom pulls away from her, leaving her even more isolated. They are far from town and there are no other houses nearby, Dom has effectively cut off Eve from her friends, work and family. Eve becomes afraid, distant and restless as Dom becomes more uncommunicative. Eve also becomes obsessed with Dom’s former wife Rachel and spends all her time researching her and wondering what happened to her. Dom still refuses to talk about Rachel, but Eve has learned that Dom and Rachel had planned on living in Genevriers together. Eve soon finds a lady in town, Sabine, who implies that Dom may have killed Rachel. Per Sabine, Rachel was pregnant and disappeared unexpectedly…

 As the haunting of Eve begins, the reader starts learning the ominous past history of the farmstead. The farm is where Marthe Lincel, a famous 1950’s perfume creator grew up as a child. Eve often smells the strong scent of lavender which was the inspiration for Marthe’s signature scent. Soon Eve is also researching the story of Marthe, who disappeared at the height of her career.

 In an eerie bit of foreshadowing, Dom and Rachel have decided to replace the pool in the garden…what will they discover? Throughout the novel I thought of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, there are many parallels that cannot be ignored.

 For me, this novel is much more descriptive and enthralling than Du Maurier’s Rebecca. Here is an example of the language, “Outside, the figs fall, the wasps drone at the sugar bursting on the ground and on the branch, the scents of summer are overblown in the heat.” Magnificent descriptors, I highly recommend this novel for any fiction readers and book clubs. Alas, this novel is not yet available in paperback.