Books….Lots of Them…

What I’ve Read Recently:

The Silent Girl, by Tess Gerritsen
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Virals, by Kathy Reich
When Crickets Cry, by Charles Martin
Slow Love, by Dominique Browning
Iron Knight, by Julie Kagawa
The Secrets of Jin-Shei, by Alma Alexander
Let’s Take the Long Way Home, by Gail Caldwell,
Noah Zarc, by D. Robert Pease
Dust and Decay, by Jonathan Maberry

What I’m Reading Now:
Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Ember and Ash, by Pamela Freeman
Fury, by Elizabeth Miles
Celebrations, by Maya Angelou
366 Celt: A Year and a Day of Celtic Wisdom and Lore, by Carl McColman
Dragon’s Oath, by P.C. and Kristin Cast
Sisterhood Everlasting, by Ann Brashares

I was on vacation last week, so I got a lot of reading done, which is always a high point of any vacation to me. The Silent Girl, by Tess Gerritsen, is another enjoyable read in the Rizzoli & Isles series. Great mystery, touched by magic and mystique, that explores a long-ago murder in Chinatown that is somehow linked to present-day events. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett was a fantastic book. From the moment I read the first sentence, until I finished the last page, I was hooked on the lives of Abeline, Minnie, and Skeeter. Ms. Stockett paints such a vivid picture of Jackson, Mississippi in the midst of the civil rights battle, that I felt like I was there, living through it all. And I hated Hilly with a passion! What a horrible woman! On a side note, I saw the movie as well, and I highly recommend it to anyone. Very well-done, and does not suffer in comparison to the book.

Virals is Kathy Reich’s first venture into the world of YA fiction. Although tangentially connected to her adult books (the main character is Temperance Brennan’s niece), the books stands solidly on its own. With its slightly-creepy-yet-cool setting of a research island and another island inhabited solely by company workers and their families, Virals explores the evils of some men stoop to in the name of research and money, all centered on the lives of a group of teenagers who get caught in the midst.

When Crickets Cry, by Charles Martin, is another beautifully written book, about a cardiac surgeon who lost his beloved wife before she could receive a transplant, and the bond he forms with a young girl who needs a transplant of her own. This is a beautiful book that kept me up ‘til 2 a.m. so I could find out what happened! Slow Love, by Dominique Browning, is the story of a woman who loses her high-octane job as a magazine editor, and has to learn to live all over again, to a much slower tempo.

Iron Knight, by Julie Kagawa is not on the shelves yet, but I was fortunate enough to receive an e-galley, and will be posting a review closer to release date. But I will say that the fourth book in the Iron Fey series was just as good as the first three books.

The Secrets of Jin-Shei, by Alma Alexander was a book that surprised me. Set in a fictionalized version of China, it is about the jin-shei bonds—sort of a cross between friendship and sisterhood, only more—formed between a group of girls. It tells the story of their lives, as one of them grows up to be Empress, and the lives of the others become even more entwined.

Let’s Take the Long Way Home, by Gail Caldwell, is the true tale of the friendship that develops between Gail and Caroline, both writers and dog-lovers, and how Gail learns to face life without her best friend after she loses Caroline. This book made me cry. A lot. Twice.

Noah Zarc, by D. Robert Pease is a middle-grade fiction debut that combines time-travel, space ships, and high adventure into one adrenaline-laced story. I’ll be reviewing it in depth in the next day or so, as it was my pleasure to read both a first draft of this NaNoWriMo story, as well as the finished product. (It’s great to have writer friends, so you can see the beauty of a story’s evolution.)

Dust and Decay, by Jonathan Maberry, is a zombie story…but not your typical zombie gross-out tale of decaying flesh and overwhelming odds. It is a tale of survival and growth, of growing up and forming ties that will never be broken. There is some great humor in this story, and plenty of death and destruction as well.

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