Monday, February 27, 2012

The Tiger's Wife by, Téa Obreht

Synopsis:Weaving a brilliant latticework of family legend, loss, and love, Téa Obreht, the youngest of The New Yorker's twenty best American fiction writers under forty, has spun a timeless novel that will establish her as one of the most vibrant, original authors of her generation.

In a Balkan country mending from years of conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea. By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculate the children there, she feels age-old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her. Secrets her outwardly cheerful hosts have chosen not to tell her. Secrets involving the strange family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards. Secrets hidden in the landscape itself.

But Natalia is also confronting a private, hurtful mystery of her own: the inexplicable circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather's recent death. After telling her grandmother that he was on his way to meet Natalia, he instead set off for a ramshackle settlement none of their family had ever heard of and died there alone. A famed physician, her grandfather must have known that he was too ill to travel. Why he left home becomes a riddle Natalia is compelled to unravel.

Grief struck and searching for clues to her grandfather's final state of mind, she turns to the stories he told her when she was a child. On their weeklytrips to the zoo he would read to her from a worn copy of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, which he carried with him everywhere; later, he told her stories of his own encounters over many years with "the deathless man," a vagabond who claimed to be immortal and appeared never to age. But the most extraordinary story of all is the one her grandfather never told her, the one Natalia must discover for herself. One winter during the Second World War, his childhood village was snowbound, cut off even from the encroaching German invaders but haunted by another, fierce presence: a tiger who comes ever closer under cover of darkness. "These stories," Natalia comes to understand, "run like secret rivers through all the other stories" of her grandfather's life. And it is ultimately within these rich, luminous narratives that she will find the answer she is looking for.

My Review:
It took awhile to get into this story I don’t think I really got into it until they gave Luka’s back story. I guess that was the story I liked the best. I’m not sure I liked this as well as some but didn’t hate it’s a very hard book to review because I did enjoy it but sometimes just when I was really getting into the story it would switch to a different viewpoint and I wanted the last story back. The story of the tiger’s wife was my favorite and the deathless man and his interactions with Natalia’s grandfather were interesting.
The writing is beautiful, sometimes too much so, the mythology/folktales were very interesting I guess I don’t know enough about The Balkans to know if these are actually stories told in that part of the world. I do think I enjoyed the folk stories better than the story of Natalia not sure I ever came to care much about her. Also I felt the ending was a bit of a letdown not satisfying at all.

I did enjoy parts of this book more than others and I do feel like the last half of the book was much better than the first which moved slowly. I guess I would have to say this book was good not great.

3 Stars

Friday, February 24, 2012

Beyond The Bougainvillea by Dolores Durando~~Review

Beyond The Bougainvillea by Dolores Durando
:She found her place in a turbulent era of deep passions, heartbreaking sacrifices, and grand dreams.
When scholarly, smart Mary Margaret is sixteen, her father marries her off to a drunken neighbor in return for a tract of land. The year is 1924, and Mary Margaret's motherless childhood has already been hard as a farm girl on the desolate prairies of North Dakota. Abused and helpless, the new Mrs. "Marge" Garrity seems destined for a tragic fate.

But Marge is determined to make her life count, no matter what. Her escape from her brutal marriage takes her to California, where she struggles to survive the Great Depression.
This vivid saga of one woman's life in the early decades of a turbulent century is told from the heart of a true storyteller in the grand tradition of women's sagas.

Author Dolores Durando knows Marge's world very well. She grew up ninety years ago on the plains of North Dakota.

My Review:
It is the early 1930’s and the Midwest has been hit with the drought and the great depression is starting. Marge’s young life in North Dakota is anything but happy but when things are at their worst she is rescued by some good people, the kind of people Marge never knew existed. With their help she goes off to California to start her new life. I enjoyed Marge discovering all the new things in the world outside of the North Dakota farm she grew up on, like pull chain toilets, bubble baths, and different ethnic groups.

I fell in love with Marge she is a strong woman yet so kind and loving towards everyone. Her life motto “What’s done is done, now get on with it.” It is how she lived her life no matter what life threw at her she picked herself up and dusted herself off and got on with it. The way she lived her life was inspirational I would love to have her as a friend and can only hope I could treat others with an ounce of the kindness and grace Marge showed to others.

The author of this book is a 90 year old woman and this is her first book and I hope that she writes more! Marge is a character that will stay with me for a long time and I am so sad to be leaving her now that the book is over. This book is at times sad and painful but so very inspirational and uplifting. I highly recommend this one it is a great story whose characters will stay with you long after you put this book down!

5 Stars

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay~~Review

The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay
Paris, France: 1860’s. Hundreds of houses are being razed, whole neighborhoods reduced to ashes. By order of Emperor Napoleon III, Baron Haussman has set into motion a series of large-scale renovations that will permanently alter the face of old Paris, moulding it into a “modern city.” The reforms will erase generations of history—but in the midst of the tumult, one woman will take a stand.
Rose Bazelet is determined to fight against the destruction of her family home until the very end; as others flee, she stakes her claim in the basement of the old house on rue Childebert, ignoring the sounds of change that come closer and closer each day. Attempting to overcome the loneliness of her daily life, she begins to write letters to Armand, her beloved late husband. And as she delves into the ritual of remembering, Rose is forced to come to terms with a secret that has been buried deep in her heart for thirty years. The House I Loved is both a poignant story of one woman’s indelible strength, and an ode to Paris, where houses harbor the joys and sorrows of their inhabitants, and secrets endure in the very walls...

My Review:
I love the way Tatiana de Rosnay writes, this was a great story of one woman’s life told by her in letters to her dead husband. It is 1865 and Rose’s house is being torn down to make room for the streets to be widened, she doesn’t want to give up her house but has no choice but she is not ready to leave she sends her belongings to her daughter and says she will be there soon but is really living in the basement of her home and re-living her life through memories she puts down in letters to her dead husband. Throughout these letters you sense there is a secret, something she needs to tell her husband. Plus what she really plans to do is kind of just hanging there the whole time. (no spoilers). The author also brings the times to life through the descriptions of the demolition of Paris to make way for new and improved Paris.

I found this a fascinating look at one woman’s life in time of such change I Paris. I thought this was very good story telling about well, simply about life. I went into this book expecting a good story and that is what I got , is it different from her other books, yes, why would you want an author to write the same book over and over. All of Tatiana’s books are different from each other and that’s what I like about her as an author you never know what the story will be but you know it will be written beautifully! I just really liked this one, the character of Rose telling her story it was so simple yet brilliant.

4 Stars

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Catch Me by, Lisa Gardner~~Review

Catch Me by, Lisa Gardner
Synopsis:In "New York Times" bestselling author Lisa Gardner's latest D.D. Warren thriller, the relentless Boston investigator must solve a coldly calculated murder--before it happens.

"In four days, someone is going to kill me . . . "

Detective D. D. Warren is hard to surprise. But a lone woman outside D.D.'s latest crime scene shocks her with a remarkable proposition: Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant believes she will be murdered in four days. And she wants Boston's top detective to handle the death investigation.

"It will be up close and personal. No evidence of forced entry, no sign of struggle."
Charlie tells a chilling story: Each year at 8:00 p.m. on January 21st, a woman has died. The victims have been childhood best friends from a small town in New Hampshire; the motive remains unknown. Now only one friend, Charlie, remains to count down her final hours.

But as D.D. quickly learns, Charlie Grant doesn't plan on going down without a fight. By her own admission, the girl can outshoot, outfight, and outrun anyone in Boston. Which begs the question, is Charlie the next victim, or the perfect perpetrator? As D.D. tracks a vigilante gunman who is killing pedophiles in Boston, she must also delve into the murders of Charlie's friends, racing to find answers before the next gruesome January 21 anniversary. Is Charlie truly in danger, or is she hiding a secret that may turn out to be the biggest threat of all?

"In four days, someone is going to kill me. But the son of a bitch has gotta catch me first. "

My Review
Lisa Gardner has done it again; another edge of your seat, stay up all night, can’t put it down, book!

If you have followed my reviews you know I have had a problem in the past with D.D. and that I was hoping that having a baby would humanize her a bit, well Lisa Gardner has done just that I really liked D.D. in this book!

This story had its twists and turns and kept you guessing all the way to the reveal, D.D. has 2 cases going on at once the first one is someone is killing pedophiles which brings a sex crimes detective called O onto the team and her and D.D. butt heads. There is also Charlie Grant who comes to D.D. to solve her murder, her 2 best friends were killed a year apart on Jan.21st and as that date approaches Charlie is convinced she is next and she wants D.D. to find the killer, but can D.D. do that before or after?

We also get a bonus of characters from other books that I for one have missed it was a great gift for longtime fans of Lisa’s books.

As for D.D. we get to see how she is handling being a mother and a cop and how great Alex is for her! We also meet D.D.’s parents and get insight into her childhood that explains a lot about her personality. It also made me care more about D.D. than I have before but it is because of the entire series to really see how she has grown and changed with each book.

If you are a fan of Lisa Gardner this is a must read and if you’ve never read Lisa’s books before what are you waiting for these are some of the best mysteries out there!

I received and advance copy of this book from netgalley .

5 Stars

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sorry about the Mix-up in the Transcript!

I guess I sent the wrong column to the Transcript and they didn't catch it either so here is what is supposed to be this weeks Library column!

Tax Forms are in we have 1040~1040EZ~1040A and also the ND State forms.
Also we have started our one-one-one classes in a variety of computer and internet topics. Classes are “on-demand”, meaning that anyone interested may call the library to schedule a lesson anytime during regular library hours. Lessons will be taught by City Library or New Rockford Area Betterment Corporation staff. Possible topics include:
• Basic Computer Skills
• Internet
• Email
• Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
• Facebook

Tuition will not be charged, but a donation of $10 per hour (one-hour minimum) is asked for the Library for the use of the computers. To schedule a lesson or for more information, contact Susie at the Library at 947-5540

New Books This Week are:
In Adult Fiction:
Private #1 Suspect by, James Patterson
The Weird Sisters by, Eleanor Brown
The Tiger’s Wife by, Tea Obreht
The Rose Garden by, Susanna Kearsley
Night & Day by, Robert B. Parker
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by, Jonathan Safran Foer
The Winter Palace by, Eva Stachniak
March by, Geraldine Brooks
I Still Dream About You by, Fannie Flagg
Lowcountry Summer by, Dorothea Benton Frank
A Gracious Plenty by, Sheri Reynolds
The Geographer’s Library by, Jon Fasman
A Great Deliverance by, Elizabeth George
Mortal Friends by, James Carroll
Walks the Fire by, Stephanie Grace Whitson
A Journey by Chance, After All These Years, Just To See You Smile, The Winding Road Home by, Sally John
Saving Grace by, Annie Jones

In Adult Non-Fiction:
House Calls and Hitching Posts by, Dorcas Sharp Hoover
Not Even my Name by, Thea halo
Faith of our Mothers Stories of Presedential Mothers by, Harold Gullan
Cortez the Great Adventurer and the Fate of the Aztec by, Richard Lee Marks

In Young Adult:
Divergent by, Veronica Roth
Geronimo a Novel by, Joseph Bruchac