Thursday , July 24 2014
Home » Entertainment » Book Remarks (page 2)

Book Remarks

Run, Brother, Run: A Memoir of a Murder in My Family

CBN-B9_10-4-13feature

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   By David Berg Scribner 2013, 254 pages I am very fond of the genre Real Crime, but I believe “Run, Brother, Run” is the first of such that I have addressed in Book Remarks. For the past month or so I have been working on reading the nominees for the Man Booker Prize, due to be announced on October 15. (I predict “Harvest” by Jim Crace takes the prize.) However, after I read that “Guardian US” readers had picked “Run, Brother, Run” as their favorite Summer 2013 read, my interest was piqued and I had ... Read More »

Sisterland

B16-CBN_9-20-13-8Feature

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   By Curtis Sittenfeld Random House, 397 pages   Violet and Daisy Shramm are psychic identical twins who live in Saint Louis, Missouri, but dwell in Sisterland, the name the older-by-eight-minutes twin, Violet, gave to the bedroom they shared as children. Her sign “Sisterland – Population 2 – Do NOT Enter Without Permission” that hung on their bedroom door was a declaration of both physical and psychic boundaries. As children, both girls accepted their innate ability to “know” future events and other people’s secrets. They also knew others did not understand this trait, including their own ... Read More »

I Hate To Leave This Beautiful Place

B17-CBN_8-23-13-9feature

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com by Howard Norman 208 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt   Lest you think this is a book about gorgeous vacation spots, let me explain the book title. “I hate to leave this beautiful place” is the call of a man turned into a goose in an Inuit tale. He repeatedly cries out this phrase as migration time, winter, approaches. That this is an exceedingly apt title becomes evident as you read the five sections of the book. The publisher calls this a memoir, but that term does not do this exquisite book justice. This is one of ... Read More »

Deadly News

B7-CBN_8-9-13-4feature

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Don Farmer with Chris Curle 309 pages, Publisher Page, 2013 Atlanta is hosting the Olympics for the second time. One week before opening day, the planning committee is meeting at the Global News Service boardroom. Each of the 18 people present is assessing his or her readiness for the event. The mayor proudly shares his solution to a prickly problem: “We’ll urge our homeless friends who wander around downtown talking to themselves to walk in pairs. Visitors who come here during the Olympics will think they’re talking to each other.” The characters in the book ... Read More »

The Racketeer

CBN_B11-9feature

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   By John Grisham Doubleday 2012 340 pages As a long-time Grisham fan, I didn’t hesitate to read this book when it was recommended by a friend. It is never difficult to get engrossed in a Grisham novel, at least not his legal thrillers. I did not want to put this book down. I have not been this mesmerized by Grisham since The Client, my first Grisham novel. The protagonist is Malcolm Bannister, a small-town Virginia lawyer imprisoned (wrongly) to a 10-year federal prison sentence for money laundering. We find him halfway through that term, ... Read More »

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, A Small Town and the Secret of a Good Life

CBN_A24-4feature

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Rod Dreher Grand Central Publishing, April 2013 271 pages I wanted to read this book because it addresses sibling relationships, in particular the loss by premature death of an adult sibling, a topic rarely written about or discussed. Society does not seem to acknowledge sibling grief but focuses on surviving parents and the grief of losing a child, and/or spouses and their grief. Not to be crass or denigrate anyone’s grief, but spouses can and usually are replaced while siblings cannot be. No one else knows your personal history, shares your DNA or your ... Read More »

The Fourteenth Day: JFK and the Aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis

CBN_A26-5FEATURE

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com Author: David G. Coleman WW Norton & Company, 2012 Oh, to be a fly on the wall! Almost everyone has uttered that phrase at least once in their lifetime, yearning to be an inconspicuous observer taking in details of conversations to which they are not privy. In other words, the good, juicy, unadulterated, unadorned nitty gritty. The Fourteenth Day is a chance to be the fly and witness real-time history during a very crucial event. Filtered through the author, of course.  Because last October was the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, there was ... Read More »

Six Years

CBN_B15-18feature

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com by Harlan Coben Dutton 2013 Harlan Coben’s most recent novel soared to the number one spot on the NYT Bestseller List immediately after it was published several weeks ago in March. I have to admit I was attracted to it because I read that Hugh Jackman had signed on to play the lead in the movie adaptation of Six Years, assuming that if this intelligent actor was eager to be involved in the project (as the Hollywood types call movies in the works), it must be an engrossing story. I was not disappointed. I am ... Read More »

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

CBN_B14-10feature

BOOK REMARKS Diane Bostick dianebostick@comcast.net Mary Roach W. W. Norton & Company As I have mentioned many times in the past finding the right book to review is no easy task. In the past month I have read a number of mysteries, including David Baldacci’s latest, “The Hit.” But when I got through, though I enjoyed it, it just seemed too convoluted to try to write about. Another one that I really loved was “The Garden of Evening Mists” by Tan Twan Eng. It is a novel about a Chinese woman who was a prisoner of war in a Japanese ... Read More »

The Dinner

CBN_B13-3feature

by Herman Koch Hogarth Books 2012 The Dinner is a feast for anyone with a taste for dark humor and satire. I found it to be a positively enthralling story. It is the type of book hard to describe without giving away too much. When I read it, I had no prior knowledge about it except the blurb I read in the public library’s newsletter. Two couples, each with a 15-year-old son, meet at a fancy restaurant in Amsterdam to discuss said sons who may be facing grave legal consequences for some recent impulsive behavior that resulted in the death ... Read More »

An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls and Looping on the Old Course

B6_caddie_feature

BOOK REMARKS Diane Bostick dianebostick@comcast.net Oliver Horowitz Gotham 2013 How I came to read a book about being a Caddie in St. Andrews Golf Course in Scotland is strange to say the least. The closest I have ever come to playing golf is the summer my husband and I, newly wed, spent in Springfield, Missouri where he was interning as an accountant with Kraft Foods. Since we were only there for a couple of months and knew no one I slept late, watched TV and read. In the evenings and weekends one of the few things we could afford to ... Read More »

A Week In Winter

maeve_feature

A Week In Winter By Maeve Binchy Knopf, November 2012 The Irish speak English with a musical lilt, softening even the harshest words and syllables. The best Irish authors bring this magical musical lilt to their written word. In my opinion, Maeve Binchy is in that class of authors. Some paint pictures with their words, but Maeve paints life with her words. The reader cannot just “see” her characters in her mind’s eye, but experiences life right along with the characters.  The soaring giddiness of falling in love, the deep delight of parental pride, the pathos of betrayal, the comfortable silences ... Read More »

Until I say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy

Untitled-1

At the age of 44 Susan Spenser-Wendel, a Palm Beach Post reporter, was told that she had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or as it is more commonly known, Lou Gehrig’s Disease. There is no cure for this disease and sooner or later it is fatal as muscles lose their strength throughout the body. Her first sign of there being something wrong was when she noticed that her left hand had gotten thinner and weaker. Many of us would give up all hope and rail against the unfairness of our situation. But Susan, with a husband and three children, decided that ... Read More »

Jack Grout: A Legacy In Golf

B10_feature

As a non-golfer, I was attracted to the biographical aspect of this book. What I found was essentially a history of competitive professional golf in the US disguised as the story of one man’s life. I knew the meaning of eagle, bogey, birdie and par before I read this book but not much else. Now I know fade and draw, understand a bit about how integral the golf course design is to the players’ enjoyment of the game, and of course, the clubs. Per Jack Grout, “Just like there are no gimmicks in the swing, there are no magic clubs. ... Read More »

The Expats

CBN_B11-11Feature

I have to tell you up front that, after reading various reviews about this book, there were varying feelings as to its worth. A good many people liked it a great deal. Almost as many readers were less enthusiastic. Those who were less enthusiastic seemed to dwell on details about the writing itself, which I found perfectly acceptable. There are a number of books on the best seller list right now that, in my opinion, do not have as good a story and are written in the style of some third class romance novelist. If you decide to take my ... Read More »

Little Wolves

B15_feature

Maltman has taken an incident, the true story of a small-town Minnesota boy killing the local sheriff with a shotgun, and fashioned Little Wolves (Soho Press, 2012) into a captivating read. Sixteen-year-old Seth Fallon, Junior, took his shotgun, went to his teacher’s house, range the doorbell, and getting no response, walked on. He was stopped by the sheriff who while rolling down his car window was greeted with a shotgun blast to his face. Later that day, Seth was found in a field, having turned the gun on himself. This book is full of characters whose mundane intertwined outer lives belie ... Read More »

Robert B. Parker’s Ironhorse

book-review

By Diane Bostick dianebostick@comcast.net By Robert Knott G.P. Putnam’s Sons 2012 As many of you know, Robert Parker died in 2010. He published books with various main characters and after his death, his family, with the encouragement of his publisher I would imagine, decided to allow various other authors to attempt to write books in Parker’s voice, in my opinion, with varying success in their endeavors. His Spenser series has been taken over by Ace Atkins, his Jesse Stone series by Michael Brandman, and now his Virgil Cole western series is being written by Robert Knott. It seems to me that ... Read More »

“Do You Remember Your Spirit?”

Spirit-Time

Review by Jane A. Marlowe A new book by local author, Dom Fiorda and Kendra Brady relates a story about someone who remembers his ‘Spirit Time.’ Ernest Spirit’s name was rather prophetic. When he was a boy, he didn’t realize that fact. He was named for his grandfather, Ernesto, who immigrated to America at the beginning of the 20th century. The custom’s officer who processed him through Ellis Island Americanized his name, Ernesto Di Spirito, to Ernest Spirit. In English or Italian, the name translates to mean “of the Spirit”… and young Ernest was ‘of the spirit’. As a child ... Read More »

better than fiction: True Travel Tales From Great Fiction Writers

CBN_B3-3feature

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   Edited by Don George Lonely Planet Publications, 2012 I usually find collections of short stories a bore. If there are ten stories, only four are truly interesting and well-written. I was drawn to this book because I was intrigued by the title, “better than fiction,” which could be my mantra, and because “travel” is in the title (Ready – where are we going? is my other mantra). I had no inkling I would be writing about it in Book Remarks, but it was an unexpected delight and worth sharing. An editor and book reviewer for ... Read More »

Book Remarks: The Forgotten

baldocci_feature

David Baldacci Grand Central Publishing 2012 David Baldacci has done it again. I am sure that you, as do I, hesitate before buying a book unsure as to whether or not to fork out the money just in case the book might not be as good as the flyleaf’s titillating words make it sound. You are pretty safe when it comes to a Baldacci book. He seldom fails to deliver. I am not too much into espionage, foreign intrigue, spy novels or anything involving “the mob.” I can count on this author to deliver a good old, down to earth ... Read More »