Monday, March 28, 2011

A Kind of Intimacy by Jenn Ashworth

book jacketAnnie Fairhurst is an obese social misfit who is addicted to self help books.  The narrator Annie is unreliable and gifted with an amazing ability to distort reality to suit her wishes.  She is calculating, delusional and most certainly insane.  However, the read is delicious and I could not put it down.  Fortunately, it was my day off.   Please someone read it and let me know if you enjoyed it as much as I did.  Amazingly another debut I cannot wait for Ashworth’s next book.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Four Wonderful Debut Novels

I am amazed at the talent that is writing.  We are a long ways from the death of the book.  The following four books are debut novels, so imagine what is yet to come.

The Very Thought of You by Rosie Allison
book jacketThis is a most enjoyable debut novel.  It is about the evacuation of children from London to a country estate at the start of World War ll so that they would not be present for the blitz.  It is also a love story involving many different kinds of love----the author does a good job of creating the atmosphere of the time period both at the Yorkshire estate and in London.  Toward the end the author wraps up the story quickly and I found the ending a bit questionable but it is still worth the time to read it.

Request The Very Thought of You from the Bangor Public Library

Up from the Blue by Susan Henderson
book jacketThis book grabs your attention from page one.  It is a story about a troubled military family in the 1970’s.  The father is very focused on his career and the mother is depressed and self absorbed so the family is neglected.  The story is told by Tillie the daughter and most of it takes place while Tillie and her brother are growing up.   These were children in need of sane parenting.  The father did try but was not successful.  Neither the mother or father  should have been a parent---however, I liked the father better but am sure many of you feel  the mother was a sympathetic character.

Request Up From the Blue from the Bangor Public Library

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
book jacketThis book is a page turner from the beginning.  Annie O’Sullivan has been a golden girl that things went well for-----however, her life turns horrifically wrong when she is abducted from an open house she is conducting in her capacity as a top realtor.  She is held hostage in a remote cabin by a freaky monster.  She lives through a dreadful year and finally breaks free.  In the aftermath of her ordeal and with much counseling she realizes that the old Annie is still ‘missing’.

Request Still Missing from the Bangor Public Library

Piano Teacher by Janice Lee
book jacketThis novel is set in mid century Hong Kong.  The ‘piano teacher ‘ is an English woman who has moved to Hong Kong with her husband.  She gets a job with a wealthy family, becoming the piano teacher to their daughter.  She soon starts an affair with the chauffeur.  How it all ends up I cannot tell you since I read it awhile ago---I remember loving it and wanting to include it since it was a debut.  I have looked at reviews on Amazon to refresh my memory of the story and found it had mixed reviews----I loved it ----

Request Piano Teacher from the Bangor Public Library

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Share your favorite non-fiction!

Have you read a non-fiction novel that you enjoyed?  It can be a recent publication, or older, it does not matter, just something you enjoyed reading for one reason or another.  Post a comment with title or author, and we will add their covers below with a link to our catalog. 

Here are some non-fiction books that I have recently enjoyed.
Perfection:  a memoir of betrayal and renewal  by Julie Metz
This is a story of a perfect marriage that wasn't however, the author only finds this out after her husband’s premature death.  Metz works through her pain and loss by tracking her dead husband’s mistresses----we all grieve differently.
Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill
This book is written by a 90 year old british editor.  She deals with tough realities in a very positive way.  She is probably a better writer than the authors she edited. I enjoyed her so much I read another book by her Stet:  an editor’s life.  Another good read.
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Patti writes about her relationship with the late artist Robert Mapplethorpe.  Her writing is very readable and she paints a compelling picture of New York City in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Slow Love:  How I lost my job, put on my pajamas & found happiness by Dominque Browning. 
Ms. Browning is an ex editor of House and Garden this book is interesting and in contrast to another book I had read written by her when she was happily married Around the House and in the Garden. 
We are happy to post suggestions anyone might have for good non-fiction reads-----
: :  Request each book from the Bangor Public Library by clicking on the cover  : :

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Monday, March 14, 2011

These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf

book jacketThis is a story of secrets and misunderstandings that affect every character in the novel.  It begins with the release of Allison Glenn to a halfway house after serving  five years in prison.  We are not told what the crime was but we do know it causes Allison to be rejected by all-even members of her own family.  Upon arrival at the halfway house Allison tries without success to get in touch with her sister Brynn to help her come to terms with her past and reestablish a sibling relationship.   
Each chapter is told from a different characters perspective.  This book is suspenseful and each time one thinks you know what is happening the author surprises you with a twist.  Heather Gudenauf is a good story teller.  I have read her debut novel, Weight of Silence and highly recommend that as well.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pictures Of You by Caroline Leavitt

book jacketThe story starts with a car accident on a fogbound back road.  April and Isabelle collide and Isabelle loses her life.  April leaves behind a grieving husband and a nine year old boy.  Isabelle is not responsible for the accident but does have intense guilt.  Charlie, her grieving husband, spends the rest of the book trying to piece together reasons why April was leaving and where she was going on the fateful day.  While the story was compelling it lacked character development and had many inconsistencies.  However, it was a good read and I raced through it.
~ Maggie