3 days ago
Sunday, July 29, 2012
"They're one of the country's most telegnice couples: beloved TV journalist Sara Lowell and New York's hottest basketball player Michael Silverman. Their family and social connections tie them to the highest echelons of the political, medical, and sports worlds -- threads that will tangle them up in one of the most controversial and deadly issues of our time.
In a clinic on Manhattan's Upper West Side, a doctor had dedicated his life to eradicating a divisive and devastating disease. One by one, his patients are getting well. One by one, they're being targeted by a serial killer. And now Michael has been diagnosed with the disease. There's only one cure but many ways to die . . ."
I find it interesting that the book cover does not spell out the name of the disease which is AIDS, but it was published in 1992 when the disease was much more controversial than it is today. I also just read recently that they may have found a cure for AIDS which this book is all about. The difference is that in 1992, so many people wanted to ignore AIDS because of its link to the gay community. But, all that aside, the book is a great mystery, with a scary hit man and a surprising person who orders the hits. I especially enjoyed the police detective who investigates the murders. Max is a boyish-looking, Jewish, closet-gay man who hates violence, doesn't carry a gun, but is intellectually brilliant at putting the pieces together. Great character. While the book is dated (no cell phones), it is still a good read. Rating: 4.5
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Rose Chandler, a fifteen-year-old bondgirl who lives on Greengarden Orchard, fears everything: the dark, the moon, other people, and the Dalriadas from the Red Mountains who are at war with the Valley folk. But Rose especially fears the Thing locked in the attic of the Bighouse, home of Mr. Brae, the Master of Greengarden. Rose loves Greengarden and dreams of saving it from Mr. Brae’s neglect. That love gives her the courage to confront her fears one by one, until at last she comes face-to-face with the Thing in the attic. There, when Rose lights a candle in the dark, a nightmare beyond her worst imagining comes true, and she learns Mr. Brae has betrayed her. Then the Thing – and the intensifying war – present Rose with a terrible dilemma. Will she have to give up the land she loves in order to save it?
I didn't realy enjoy this book. I found Rose tedious with her fears, although I was glad to see her overcome them in the end. The Thing was obnoxious as was Mr. Brae. But the worst was Rose's relationship with her family. That was just sad. Rating: 3
In a peaceful, prosperous African American neighborhood in Los Angeles, Mack Street is a mystery child who has somehow found a home. Discovered abandoned in an overgrown park, raised by a blunt-speaking single woman, Mack comes and goes from family to family–a boy who is at once surrounded by boisterous characters and deeply alone. But while Mack senses that he is different from most, and knows that he has strange powers, he cannot possibly understand how unusual he is until the day he sees, in a thin slice of space, a narrow house. Beyond it is a backyard–and an entryway into an extraordinary world stretching off into an exotic distance of geography, history, and magic.
Passing through the skinny house that no one else can see, Mack is plunged into a realm where time and reality are skewed, a place where what Mack does and sees seem to have strange affects in the “real world” of concrete, cars, commerce, and conflict. Growing into a tall, powerful young man, pursuing a forbidden relationship, and using Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream as a guide into the vast, timeless fantasy world, Mack becomes a player in an epic drama. Understanding this drama is Mack’s challenge. His reward, if he can survive the trip, is discovering not only who he really is . . . but why he exists.
Fantastic, creative, hard-to-put-down. While Ender's Game is still my favorite book by Card, I really enjoyed this book. Mack is such a mesmerizing character, coming from a true evil that he struggles with and that goes against everything he is raised by his adoptive parent to be. Rating: 4.75
Saturday, July 07, 2012
Reading about Boise in the 30's was fun. It was definitely a simpler, more innocent time; but I found Artie to be almost too good to be true. Things just fall into place for him. At least, David Boone realistically resents his good fortune even if his persecution of Artie seems out of place. There were some heartwarming moments, but I found the dialog to be stilted and the characters were unbelievable. Artie is the bad boy with a heart of gold who turns out good and Mary is the curmudgeonly rich old woman who is redeemed by loving the young boy she saves. So-so read. Rating: 3
Anna Pigeon has been a ranger with the National Park Service for many years, but she had a very different life before tragedy sent her west seeking something new. Now Nevada Barr finally tells the previously untold story of Anna’s first foray into the wild, and the case that helped shape her into the ranger she became. Thirty-five years old, fresh off the bus from New York City, and nursing a shattered heart, Anna Pigeon takes a decidedly unglamorous job as a seasonal employee of the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area. On her day off, she goes hiking into the park never to return. Her co-workers think she’s simply moved on - her cabin is cleaned out and her things gone. Anna herself wakes up, trapped at the bottom of a dry natural well, naked, without supplies and no clear memory of how she got into this situation. As she slowly pieces together her memory, it soon becomes clear that someone has trapped her there, in an inescapable prison, and that no one knows that she is even missing. Plunged into a landscape and a plot she is unfit and untrained to handle, Anna Pigeon must muster the courage, strength, and will to live that she didn’t even know she still possessed in order to survive, outwit, and triumph.
I have always enjoyed the Anna Pigeon series and reading about the national parks. It was fun to read how she became a ranger and to learn that she wasn't always the tough infallible crime solver we see in later years. The audio story was very gripping, just the thing to keep me awake on the drive to work and back. Rating: 4.25