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Book Remarks

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 »

The Widower’s Tale

Diane Bostick Author: Julia Glass.  Publisher: Pantheon 2010. Available in paperback by Anchor Books.  I think of myself as a reader of mysteries more than any other type of book. When I go to the library that is the section I gravitate to first. (I have yet to figure out yet why what I would call a “mystery” is sometimes to be found in the “Mystery” section and sometimes in the “Fiction” section. Who decides which it is?) However, since beginning these reviews I have read a good bit of fiction in trying to review books for everyone’s taste. And, ... Read More »

WINGSHOOTERS

Diane Bostick  Author: Nina Revoyr.  Publisher: Akashic Books. Available in hardcover and paperback 2011.  Why we select the books we read is somewhat of a mystery. Sometimes we read something because it is on the best seller list or a friend has said, “You just have to read this.” Often it is a new book just published by an author we have come to love over the years. We would hope it is frequently because you read a review such as this that led you to feel the need to read the book being reviewed. Occasionally we are just caught ... Read More »

All That Is Bitter & Sweet: A Memoir

Diane Bostick Author: Ashley Judd Publisher: Ballentine Books 2011 It may seem harsh to say in this day and age that I have little sympathy for those who have made no effort to improve themselves and expect others who have studied and worked hard to pay their way. I understand that the economics of today have changed a lot of the rules and there are many who are suffering because of it who have truly tried to do all the right things. But, I also realize there are millions of people in the third world countries who, through no fault ... Read More »

Buried Secrets

Diane Bostick Author: Joseph Finder Publisher: St. Martins Press, 2011. I have given quite a bit of thought since I started writing these reviews as to what makes a book something I want to continue reading. Sometimes it is beautifully detailed descriptions of people and places. Sometimes it is the thrill of the chase. Sometimes it is learning about something I know nothing about, told in an interesting way. But one of the most important things for me in a book of fiction or biography is that I care about the people in the book; that I want to know ... Read More »

Beaten, Seared and Sauced On Becoming a Chef at the Culinary Institute of America

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BOOK REMARKS Diane Bostick Author: Jonathan Dixon Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Publishers 2011. I doubt that I am the only one, man or woman, who loves to cook but is seldom able to produce anything to equal the gourmet delights I have been served in first class restaurants. You would think that with enough practice cooking meals for a family day after day you would eventually reach some level of acclaim, at least from that very family eating those lovingly prepared meals, but ‘taint necessarily so! You can spend all the time you want perusing cookbooks of all types and practicing what you read ... Read More »

Rules of Civility

Diane Bostick Author: Armor Towles Publisher: Viking July 2011  I’ve got to be honest and tell you that I first read a review of this book in one of the other local newspapers. I don’t remember which one. I have now read it and loved it and figuring that not everybody reads all of the local papers decided to review it myself. Even if you have already read the other review, you might not have realized this is a real keeper. Always the gentleman, even at the age of sixteen, George Washington himself wrote one hundred and ten “Rules of ... Read More »

The Lock Artist

By Diane Bostick Author: Steve Hamilton Publisher: St. Martin’s Minotaur Books January 2010. Winner of the 2010 Edgar Award for Best Novel, the Alex Award and a New York Times Notable Crime Book of the Year. When I was first asked to take over as book reviewer for the Coastal Breeze for the summer I figured it would be a simple enough thing to do. I was wrong. It is a lot harder than it looks. I first asked what the parameters for the books I was to review might be and was told they should be something written either this ... Read More »

Summer Rental

By Diane Bostick Author: Mary Kay Andrews Published by St. Martins Press New York, 2011 O.K. It’s summer and every part of your body, including your brain, is fried beyond recognition and the only thing you want to do is sit somewhere shady and cool, drink in hand, and read something that requires no actual thought what-so-ever. This is the perfect book, a “chick flick” on paper. If you want to stir your mind at all you might have the fun of imagining which movie stars could best play the three long time friends living for a month together in ... Read More »

The Sixth Man

By Diane Bostick Author: David Baldacci Published by Grand Central Publishing 2011. When each of us goes to the polls in the fall of the year we imagine that we have done due diligence in selecting the perfect candidate for the job of overseeing our lives from the pedestal of the Capital. But in David Baldacci’s world there are no guarantees that we have come even close to being successful. Nobody is safe in the world of Baldacci. Anyone from the President of the United States down to the janitor sweeping out the store room at 3 o’clock in the morning ... Read More »

Killer Stuff and Tons of Money

By Diane Bostick Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market America Author: Maureen Stanton Published by The Penguin Press, New York 2011. You might think this a strange book that I have chosen to review but with the popularity of the television shows, Antiques Road show (in its fifteenth season), Pawn Queens, Pawn Star and the thousands of flea markets and garage sales all around the United States, it is obvious there is a fascination by the public for finding unlikely treasures in unlikely places. The Brimfield Antiques Show, held 3 times a year in a sleepy little town in ... Read More »

The Reversal

By Diane Bostick Author: Michael Connelly Published by Little, Brown and Company New York October 2010 It is always reassuring to know that you can depend on your favorite author to come out, on schedule, with another book you can’t put down. Michael Connelly has done it again with his 23rd fiction novel, The Reversal. In this one we have a “twofer.” We have both defense attorney Mickey Haller and his half-brother, Detective Harry Bosch working together to try, once again, a man who was sent to prison 24 years ago for the murder of a young girl, after abducting ... Read More »

UNBROKEN: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption

By Diane Hudson Author: Laura Hillenbrand. Published in 2010 by Random House, New York. Many hundreds of books have been written about World War Two. A good many of them have told about life in the German prisoner of war camps, but few have touched on the subject of what it was like to be a prisoner in a Japanese POW camp. Laura Hillenbrand has done a superb job of writing the biographical story of Louis Zamperini and the extreme ordeal of his time in just that setting. In my experience biographical books are often long and tedious to read; ... Read More »

Sing you Home

By Joanne Tailele Author: Jodi Picoult. Published by Artia Books 2011. Author Jodi Picoult is never afraid to take on controversial issues, and Sing You Home tackles not one, but many topics from gay rights, the evangelical Christian church and reproductive science. She objectively presents all sides through the voices of three protagonists. Sometimes uncomfortable in her frank portrayal of these issues, I was forced to examine my own beliefs and determine if they could test the throes of opposition or did it sway or change what I thought I believed? A loving couple, Zoe and Max Baxter wanted desperately ... Read More »

A Reliable Wife

By Joanne Tailele Author: Robert Goolrick. Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2010. He knew he was not a good man.  His life was filled with haunted memories of cruelty and deception. The town feared him, pitied him and relied on him for their sustenance.  For twenty years he lived in the loneliness among the crowd, aware of their stares behind his back and their aversion to his eyes in his presence. When he stood alone at the train station he felt them watching. They all knew. They had read the personal ad he had run in the paper; ... Read More »

Night Vision by Randy Wayne White

By Joanne Tailele Published by Penguin Group, G.P.Putnam, New York , 2011. By now, he has visited us so often in our living rooms through his 24 novels and 7 non-fiction works, I think we have afforded the right to call him Randy. Randy doesn’t take us far from home on his newest Doc Ford adventure. According to Google Maps, a short sixty miles separates the land of the Florida migrant workers of Immokalee and our sun-soaked shores of the beautiful crescent beach of Marco Island. As we sit under our beach umbrellas, heals dug into the sand with a ... Read More »

The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

By Joanne Tailele The tremors from the recurring earthquakes rattled her more now than they had in the ten years she had lived in Japan. Lucy Jarett blamed it on being recently unemployed–too much time on her hands. When she received conflicting emails from her mother and her brother Blake about a car accident her mother had been in, she decided it was a time to make the trip home to the Finger Lakes of New York to the little rural town of The Lake of Dreams. At home, she discovers a letter to her great-grandfather about a young girl named ... Read More »

LEFT NEGLECTED

By Joanne Tailele Published Dec. 2010 by Simon & Schuster. BY LISA GENOVA Sarah Nickerson awoke from a coma to a mysterious condition caused by a brain injury sustained in a car accident. As a PHD from Harvard and a high powered businesswoman and mother, she was not unacquainted to challenges. On a daily basis she juggled more balls in the air than most and thrived on the adrenalin it provided. However, this was one confrontation that changed all the rules. Left Neglect is a real condition that mentally dismisses anything to the left; a left hand, the left side ... Read More »