Friday, August 30, 2013

The Air We Breathe

by Andrea Barrett

     Autumn, 1916. America is preparing to enter WWI, but at Tamarack State Hospital, the danger is barely felt. Here in the crisp, mountain air where wealthy tuberculosis patients recover in private cottages and charity patients, mostly European émigrés, fill the sanatorium, time stands still. Prisoners of routine and yearning for absent families, the inmates take solace in gossip, rumour and secret attachments.

      One enterprising patient initiates a weekly discussion group, but his well-meaning efforts lead instead to tragedy and betrayal. The war comes home, bringing with it a surge of anti-immigrant prejudice and vigilante sentiment. Andrea Barrett pits power and privilege against unrest and thwarted desire in a spellbinding tale of individual lives in a nation on the verge of extraordinary change.

      I love Andrea Barrett.  My favorite is her short story Ship Fever.  She brings the progression of scientific inquiry and development to life. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013


by Karen Slaughter

Why haven't I been introduced to this author before?  If Unseen is a good indication of her work, and I have every reason to believe it is, I should have been reading every book she's ever written.

This is my kind of mystery.  There's a main plot but then there are several subplots going on that are equally intense.  The characters are real, 3-dimensional, flawed yet likable, and strong-willed.  

Here's the write-up from Karen Slaughter's webpage:
Karin Slaughter’s New York Times bestselling novels featuring detective Will Trent are utterly riveting and masterfully drawn. Her latest thriller, Unseen, pits detectives, lovers, and enemies against one another in an unforgettable standoff between righteous courage and deepest evil.Will Trent is a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent whose latest case has him posing as Bill Black, a scary ex-con who rides a motorcycle around Macon, Georgia, and trails an air of violence wherever he goes. The cover has worked and he has caught the eye of a wiry little drug dealer who thinks he might be a useful ally. But undercover and cut off from the support of the woman he loves, Sara Linton, Will finds his demons catching up with him.Although she has no idea where Will has gone, or why, Sara herself has come to Macon because of a cop shooting: Her stepson, Jared, has been gunned down in his own home. Sara holds Lena, Jared’s wife, responsible: Lena, a detective, has been a magnet for trouble all her life, and Jared’s shooting is not the first time someone Sara loved got caught in the crossfire. Furious, Sara finds herself involved in the same case that Will is working without even knowing it, and soon danger is swirling around both of them.In a novel of fierce intensity, shifting allegiances, and shocking twists, two investigations collide with a conspiracy straddling both sides of the law. Karin Slaughter’s latest is both an electrifying thriller and a piercing study of human nature: what happens when good people face the unseen evils in their lives.
For my reference, and anyone else's who wants to read these mysteries from the first, here's a list of Slaughter's books that feature Will Trent:
1. Triptych*
2.  Fractured
3.  Undone*
4.  Broken*
5.  Fallen
6.  Snatched
7. Criminal
8.  Busted
9.  Unseen

I just checked my book shelves and I already own the 3 title with an asterisk by them.  I must have read a review in the past that piqued my interest enough to order her books.  Why didn't I get around to reading them sooner?   My only defense is 'too many books, too little time.'  Now that I know I love her work, these books will get read!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ariel Bradley

by Lynda Durrant

As you can tell from this picture this is a book for young readers between the ages of 4 to 8.  Ariel Bradley is the name of a real boy who served as a spy for George Washington.  At only 9-years-old, Ariel is asked to ride into the enemies camp and act as if he is looking for a mill that his father has sent him in search of.  He pretends to be a country bumpkin but he is really spying for General Washington, assessing the strength and numbers of the British camp.

This is a great little book for K-3 grades to correlate with a history unit on the Revolutionary War.  Also, a good book for mother's to read to their children to introduce them to real life heroes and instill concepts of courage and bravery.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Magic Words

by Mike Blanc

Magic Words is based on the expedition notes of the Danish explorer, Knud Rasmussen.  My maiden name is Rasmussen and, as a child, I used to wish that I was related to Knud.  So when I was this book I was interested in what he learned about the Inuits.

This is a very old creation story where people and animals share bodies and languages.  I think children will find the story confusing, as I did, but the pictures are wonderful and will spark the imagination.