Month: June 2011

What I’m Reading Now (Again): The Bricklayer

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A mysterious organization calling itself the Rubaco Pentad is blackmailing the FBI. If the Pentad’s demands for money are not met, high-profile victims will die.

Each demand is bigger than the last, and the drop-off instructions are lethally complicated—it’s almost as if the Pentad wants the FBI to fail.

But when an agent disappears with the cash he’s carrying, he needs to be found, and fast.

The FBI pins its hopes on former agent Steve Vail, who quit rather than compromise his rigid personal code and is now working as a bricklayer.

Vail masters cryptic clues leading him to traps worthy of Rube Goldberg’s evil twin, but the logistical implausibilities won’t trouble most readers, who will root for the tough, intelligent Vail while savoring the sexual tension between him and his FBI handler.

My Thoughts on The Magicians and Mrs. Quent

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This book made me truly sad. Not because it was depressing but because it was so good, and I just did not have time to really sit down and read it.

But, I finally finished it! (It’s a little under 500 pages). Since high school I have read really bad “Part II” books. I’ve read about four different Pride & Prejudice Part II’s and they were all horrible. So I am AMAZED and a little embarrassed for my gender that a male was able to dial in to Bronte and Austen so well. Not that this is a sequel by any means. But in his book you catch glimpses of Austen and Bronte — but with dialogue included. Hurray!

This is the story of Ivy, a beautiful, smart and brave young woman who, in the effort to help her father and her family, sets off on a dangerous, romantic and magical adventure.

It’s fabulous, and I am excited to read the next book, though I have heard it is not as good.

This book is CLEAN. I do not think that there is a single bad word in it and though there are two love stories in this book and a wedding, there is not a single kiss except toward the very end when two people kiss twice. And they really shouldn’t. Really.

Those are the only spoilers I’ll provide — now get reading!

What I’m Reading Now: The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett

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Young Ivy Lockwell, the unmarried daughter of a family stricken with poverty after her magician father went mad, travels from her home in Invarel, a mirror of Austen-era London, to become a governess at the country estate of Heathcrest, a Bronte-analogue complete with mysterious Rochester stand-in, Mr. Quent. As a woman, she is forbidden to perform magic and consoles herself with the study of magical history, discovering an ancient story still working its will on the world. Treading a fine line between homage and unoriginality, Invarel occasionally sparkles with descriptions of illusionist shows and quasi-fascist government activity, but Heathcrest is lifted part and parcel from Jane Eyre, and Beckett relies too much on references to that work to fuel emotional arcs and reader attachment. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

My Thoughts On “The Rest Of Her Life” by Laura Moriarty

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I really enjoyed this book! At the beginning a horrible accident occurs and the main character, Leigh, must work through it with her daughter, Kara. It would be a hard enough situation in the best of circumstances, but Leigh has a difficult relationship with her daughter, and they struggle to communicate even about small things.

I loved watching the mother-daughter relationships in this book. Kara and Leigh do NOT have a bad relationship because Leigh is distant and Kara is a teenage brat. On the contrary, they are both good people doing good things, but Leigh is so affected by her relationship with her mother that it clouds and affects the relationship with her own daughter.

In this book you see how each generation tries to give their child what they wanted when they were the same age instead of looking at the actual need of their child. Leigh and Kara work through this awareness, and it’s a great journey to work through with them as they struggle to go on after the accident.

What I Am Reading Now: The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty

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Moriarty’s follow-up to book-group favorite The Center of Everything again explores a tense, fragile mother-daughter relationship, this time finding sharper edges where personal history and parenting meet.

Now a junior high school English teacher married to a college professor, Leigh has spent much of her adult life trying to distance herself from her dysfunctional childhood. Raising their two children in a small, safe Kansas town not far from where Leigh and her troubled sister, Pam, were raised by their single mother, Leigh finds her good fortune still somewhat empty.

Daughter Kara, 18 and a high school senior, is distant; sensitive younger son Justin is unpopular; Leigh can’t seem to reach either—Kara in particular sees Leigh (rightly) as self-absorbed.

When Kara accidentally hits and kills another high school girl with the family’s car, Leigh is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her daughter, her resentment toward her husband (who understands Kara better) and her long-buried angst about her own neglectful mother.

The intriguing supporting characters are limited by not-very-likable Leigh’s POV, but Moriarty effectively conveys Leigh’s longing for escape and wariness of reckoning. (Aug.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

My Thoughts On Live Wire by Harlan Coben

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My friends and family know that I am a huge Harlan Coben fan. I have really enjoyed all of his books. He swears like a sailor in all of his books written before 2000, but his books post 2000 are all a little darker, a little more serious.

This one in particular. Though we meet back up with our favorite character, Myron Bolitar, the book lacks a lot of the wit and humor of his early Myron books. There’s a lot of violence in this one. And where did this brother come from? Two decades with Myron Bolitar and I missed that he had a little brother?

I was also surprised by how the ending affected the Win storyline. It just feels like the end of an era.

That said, it was still a good read, a good book.

What I Am Reading Now: Live Wire

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Edgar-winner Coben’s 10th Myron Bolitar novel (after Long Lost) is a perfect 10: providing readers with new information about the past of the former athlete turned agent and owner of MB Reps; a satisfyingly complex mystery; and the always entertaining, sometimes shocking exploits of Bolitar’s partner and friend, Windsor Horne Lockwood III (aka Win). Suzze Tervantino, a former tennis prodigy and one of Bolitar’s first clients, visits his New York office and shows him a Facebook posting that suggests that her husband, rock star Lex Ryder, isn’t the father of the child she’s carrying. When Ryder, also a client of MB Reps, disappears, Suzze begs Bolitar to find him. In the process, Bolitar catches a glimpse of his sister-in-law, Kitty, at a crowded nightclub, and begins a search for her and his estranged younger brother, Brad, whom he hasn’t seen for 16 years. This explosively fast thriller will leave fans clamoring for more.