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Book Remarks

HARD COUNTRY

BOOK REMARKS  Diane Bostick  dianebostick@comcast.net   Author: Michael McGarrity  Publisher: Dulton Adult, 2012  I am doing much of my reading these days on either my Kindle or my iPad as I have taken to using them for ease of use while reading in bed or traveling, and while I am using one my husband can be reading the same book on the other. Otherwise we are sometimes grumbling as to who gets to read a new book first. And that is exactly what happened with this one. I bought it in hard cover and he wanted to read it first. Since ... Read More »

XO – A Kathryn Dance Novel

BOOK REMARKS Diane Bostick dianebostick@comcast.net   Author: Jeffrey Deaver Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2012   I have always enjoyed Jeffrey Deaver’s books. He manages to keep me on the edge of my seat, and occasionally, with the covers over my head. His characters usually personify pure evil. I wouldn’t put him in the class of some of the books I read in my younger days but he certainly has no problem keeping me in suspense. If you are now in your “younger days” you might not have read some of the books that kept me pale and sweaty palmed so I ... Read More »

The Shoemaker’s Wife

BOOK REMARKS Diane Bostick dianebostick@comcast.net   Author: Adriana Trigiani Publisher: Harpers, 2012 It is time for a “summer read.” When the weather gets this hot there is nothing to do but try to find a cool, shady place where one can curl up, cool drink in hand, with a nice long romance novel (I believe I made this exact suggestion last summer. Must be a good one and worth repeating). Throw in a little history and you can tell anyone who asks that you are reading an historical novel, which somehow makes it seem as though you have not totally given ... Read More »

Hunger Games 2008, Catching Fire 2009, Mockingjay 2010

BOOK REMARKS  Diane Bostick  dianebostick@comcast.net   Author: Suzanne Collins  Publisher: Scholastic Press  My usual instructions from the publisher of the Coastal Breeze are that I am to choose books for review that have been written in the past year or so. I explained to them that though these three books are all older than that, they are still very much in the public’s mind. When I went to the library to get a copy of the first of the series I was number 144 in line waiting for it to be returned. After hearing this they agreed to make an ... Read More »

Home Front

BOOK REMARKS  Diane Bostick  dianebostick@comcast.net Author: Kristin Hannah.  Publisher: St. Martins Press, 2012.  Kristen Hannah’s style of writing is not my favorite for various reasons. It somehow reminds me of the “Chicken Soup for the…” books. All the girls have either raven or auburn hair, smiles are always gentle, eyes sparkle, skirts swing gently around shapely legs, feet always slip into shoes…in other words, everybody is perfect. Nobody has dirty brown hair, smiles are not snaggle toothed, eyes aren’t dull, and nobody just plain puts on a pair of shoes. I can only stand such kind and gentle writing for ... Read More »

30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans

BOOK REMARKS Diane Bostick dianebostick@comcast.net   Author: Karl Pillimer Ph.D Publisher: Hudson Street Press, 2011. Much to my surprise it seems that the author of 30 Lessons for Living, Dr. Karl Pillimer, considers those who have passed their 65th birthday the “Wisest Americans.” So it is nice to know that I qualify as “wise” in the eyes of some. Please don’t ask my children if they concur with this conclusion as I would hate to see them shuffle their feet as they try to come up with some politically correct response. After all, they still get some benefit from making me ... Read More »

11/22/63

BOOK REMARKS  Diane Bostick  dianebostick@comcast.net   Author: Stephen King  Publisher: Scribner, 2011.  I would think that almost everyone over the age of ten, in 1963, remembers where they were and what they were doing when they heard that President John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. I clearly remember grabbing my two tiny children and running over to my neighbor’s house, tears running down my cheeks, in total shock, to see if they had heard the news. It seemed totally unbelievable. That was not something that happened in America. That only happened in ... Read More »

Lone Wolf

BOOK REMARKS Diane Bostick dianebostick@comcast.net   Author: Jodi Picoult. Publisher: Emily Bestler Books/Atria, 2012. This is Jodi Picoult’s 19th novel and I would have to say I found it one of the most engrossing of those she has written. Many of the books I have reviewed for you have had some type of moral dilemma involved and this is, once again, one of those books. All through life we encounter moral dilemmas. When we are young it might be should we copy the answers to a test we are taking from the person sitting next to us, who is known for ... Read More »

The Tiger’s Wife

BOOK REMARKS Diane Bostick dianebostick@comcast.net Author: Téa Oberht. Publisher: Random House, 2011. If you want to read a book in which a butcher beats his wife to a bloody pulp and is then punished for it, you can probably find dozens of books of that genre in any library or book store. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, life disappoints, man beats girl, man is punished…or not, as the case may be. That’s it. No deep analytical discussion of why he did it. But if you want to first learn the tragic story behind how the man became a lowly ... Read More »

The Heart Mender

BOOK REMARKS  Diane Bostick  dianebostick@comcast.net Author: Andy Andrews.  Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Publisher 2010.  This book has a couple of unusual things going for it. It was first published in 2005, under the name “Island of Saints” and nobody bought it. And, then there is the fact that it is published as fiction, but is largely true. All the numbers, history, dates, items unearthed and photographs are real. And the main characters, though given different names, did exist, and, in fact, some are still alive, though most of the story takes place during World War II. At the end of the book ... Read More »

Defending Jacob

BOOK REMARKS  Diane Bostick  dianebostick@comcast.net   Author: William Landay.  Publisher: Delacorte Press, 2012.  I feel badly writing yet another review of a mystery/courtroom drama, as I try to write about a variety of types of books, but I couldn’t resist this one. Besides, in reading the list of the New York Times Book Review’s top 16 fiction books I see that 11 of them are mysteries, thrillers or courtroom dramas so it is pretty obvious that this kind of book is very popular. Defending Jacob is a book of which the late, master of suspense, director Alfred Hitchcock, would have been ... Read More »

One Perfect Shot

Diane Bostick dianebostick@comcast.net   Author: Steven F. Havill. Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press 2011. I am preparing myself mentally to start reading Ken Follett’s Fall of the Giants which is a whopping 1,000 pages long. I am sure I will enjoy it as I have many others written by Mr. Follett, but, in the meantime, I need to read something reasonably short that doesn’t require a lot of thinking or sorting of dozens of characters and One Perfect Shot fills the bill perfectly. It has likable characters, which is always a plus, the main two being Undersheriff Bill Gastner and a ... Read More »

Dead in Small Doses

By Holly Benedict  Author John Dandola debuts Dead in Small Doses, his newest mystery novel set during 1943.  Each year, author-screenwriter-playwright John Dandola makes several trips to Marco Island, spending in total at least two months here. He not only relaxes but he finds the quiet, easy atmosphere conducive to writing. His newest mystery novel, Dead in Small Doses, is one of his 1940’s Hollywood series which will surely generate reminiscences among readers. The author’s Dead series got its start due to the late Orson Welles. Just out of college, Dandola was asked to tag along with a friend who ... Read More »

2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America

BOOK REMARKS Diane Bostick dianebostick@comcast.net Author: Albert Brooks. Publisher: St. Martins Press 2011. Quite frankly, I would probably not have given this book a glance if I had just looked at the cover. It would seem that a book cover should draw a potential reader to want to pick the book up and feel compelled to at least glance at the inside blurb that tells what the book is about. This cover failed miserably. It is boring to look at, and the title leaves the impression that it is a non-fiction book. Had it not been suggested to me at my ... Read More »

Turn of Mind

BOOK REMARKS  Diane Bostick  dianebostick@comcast.net Author: Alice LaPlante.  Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press 2011.  If you are a regular reader of Book Remarks you probably have noticed that you often don’t know what the book I am reviewing is about until close to the end of the column. I tend to chat a bit about various other things first. In this case I will tell you right up front this book is told through the eyes of Dr. Jennifer White, an orthopedic surgeon, who, at the age of 64, has dementia, the intermediate stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Her best friend has been ... Read More »

EXPLOSIVE EIGHTEEN

BOOK REMARKS  Diane Bostick  dianebostick@comcast.net Author: Janet Evanovich.  Publisher: Bantam Books 2011. If you haven’t read a Janet Evanovich book you have missed a reading experience like no other. However, I must warn you, don’t even pick up the book if you aren’t prepared for some funky, quirky humor. If you are at the library you will find them in the mystery section, but I wouldn’t exactly call them mysteries. The author started out writing One for the Money and is now up to Explosive Eighteen with a book for each number in between. Her heroine, if you want to call ... Read More »

Killing Lincoln: The shocking assassination that changed America forever

BOOK REMARKS Diane Bostick dianebostick@comcast.net Author: Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. 2011. While reading this book I was entranced and when I finished, all I could say was, “Wow.” Back in the ‘50s when I was taking American History in Fort Myers High School, it was all I could do to stay awake. For one thing, there was no air-conditioning then and the class was right after I had eaten lunch. But to make things much worse I had the kind of teacher who felt she had covered all her bases if she had us learn ... Read More »

THE LONG SONG

Diane Bostick  dianebostick@comcast.net Author: Andrea Levy  Publisher: Picador (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 2010. Available in Hard cover, soft cover, audio and Kindle.  I know that some of you would rather be shot in the foot than read anything considered a “Historical Novel.” (Yes, I know, some of you think I should say ‘an’ rather than ‘a’ before the word historical. I took the time to look it up and both are correct depending on where you live, but the ‘a’ seems to be preferred in America today.) Now to get back to the subject at hand. “Historical Novel” brings on ... Read More »

THE LITIGATORS

By Diane Bostick dianebostick@comcast.net Author: John Grisham Publisher: Doubleday 2011. When we think of John Grisham, our minds go automatically to courtroom drama. However, this man is no one note wonder. Although the majority of his twenty-five books have indeed been about lawyers, law firms and the courtroom, he has also branched off into other subject matter, though not with as much success. I, personally, think that his very first book, A Time to Kill, is his finest by far. It was written in a fine literary style. Since then, although I have enjoyed almost all of his books, I ... Read More »

Robert B. Parkers’s – Killing the Blues

Diane Bostick    A Jesse Stone Novel  Author: Michael Brandman  Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2011.  What do V.C. Andrew and Robert B. Parker have in common? The obvious answer is that both are well loved authors who have written for years and still have new books being published as recently as this year. The less obvious answer is that both are dead! V.C Andrews died in 1986 with over 24 million books in print in many languages and has had over 29 books written by others, but published in her name, since her death. Another author suffering somewhat the same ... Read More »