Book Lovers

The Terra_Cotta Dog
Andrea Camilleri

As protagonists go, you’d be hard pressed to find one more disagreeable, brooding, and on the mark than Andrea Camilleri’s, Inspector Salvo Montalbano. Set in Sicily, Inspector Montalbano unravels an odd supermarket heist with the goods left abandoned in plain sight and dying words that lead him to an illegal arms cache in a mountain cave. But what he finds there leaves him scratching his head, the bodies of two very young lovers dead since World War II, and carefully arranged with coins, a water jug, and a faithful terra-cotta dog.  What Montalbano lacks in warmth and charm can only be topped by his dry humor and the interesting characters that surround him.  This is the second in the Montalbano series.

Mar 26, 2013
Marilyn
The Fifty Year Sword
Mark Z. Danielewski

A jilted Chintana attends a party where she and five orphans find themselves at the mercy of a mysterious storyteller. The unnamed storyteller brings with him a menacing black box that contains a uniquely dangerous weapon. Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves) is known for his unusual methods of storytelling. In The Fifty Year Sword, he "stitches" together snippets of five different accounts of what happened to make a complete story.

Mar 18, 2013
Liz
The Storyteller
Jodi Picoult

Baker Sage Singer meets Josef Weber at the grief therapy sessions they both attend.  Josef, a former Nazi officer, asks for her help which she is first reluctant to do.  The story intersperses the stories of Sage, Josef, and Minka, Sage's grandmother, a Holocaust survivor.

Mar 16, 2013
Susan
The Last Runaway
Tracy Chevalier

Honor Bright decides to emigrate to the United States with her sister Grace when she is jilted by her intended.  Unfortunately, Grace dies shortly after they arrive.  Honor continues on her journey meeting a soon-to-be-faithful friend.  Her Quaker faith will sustain but also butt up against the runaway slave issue.

Mar 11, 2013
Susan
Never Coming Back
Hans Koppel

How long does someone plan their revenge and what will the punishment be?  Ylva Zetterberg was involved in a long-ago incident but someone hasn't forgotten her participation.  When Ylva is abducted, her family has no idea what has happened and why.  Would she voluntarily leave her husband and more importantly, her eight-year old daughter?

Mar 9, 2013
Susan
Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
Maria Semple

This novel is the story of Bernadette, one-time architect wunderkind, and, at the start of the novel, a stay-at-home-in-a-dilapidated-house mom of heart surgery survivor, Bee, and wife to Microsoft code man, Elgin. The book starts off in storm of letters, emails, and commentary (by Bee) that is helping Bee find her mom, who goes missing after a botched intervention attempt. Along the way, we get peaks within the art world, the genius culture of Microsoft, magnet schools, and, most of all, Seattle. The book is, by turns, funny, touching, and outrageous, and infused with some “So that’s how it works” ideas. The straightahead narration (most of it is by letter or email) makes this a fast read, though it also allows the reader into multiple characters’ heads and situations. Authored by one of the writers from the cult TV series, Arrested Development. Recommended.

Feb 14, 2013
Andy
Blessed Are Those Who Thirst
Anne Holt

It's hot in Oslo and even hotter in the police station.  Everyone is overloaded with cases when there are a string of "Saturday Night Massacres."  Only problem: there are no bodies to be found.  Hanne Wilhelmsen and Hakon Sand need to figure out the clues fast.  And to top it off, there's a rapist on the loose and one of the victims is ready to take her own vengenance.

Feb 12, 2013
Susan
Last Rituals
Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Thora is called by a wealthy German matriarch to investigate the death of her son.  She is assisted by the family representative, Matthew Reich, and soon find themselves investigating Icelandic witchcraft rituals.  First book in the series.

Feb 8, 2013
Susan
The End of Men: And the Rise of Women
Hanna Rosin

The End of Men isn't just another "we don't need men" diatribe, although the title may suggest that.  Since the beginning of time, men have always been dominant.  Now, as Rosin says, women have not only gained on men, but have surpassed them in various areas like education and career.  Once women gained equal rights, they were able progress with the times.  They had more of a need to prove themselves.  Men, on the other hand, haven't adapted as quickly as women have to changing times and are being left behind.  Instead of only praising all the accomplishments of females, Rosin makes it clear that traditional roles are changing and we all need to be able to accept and adapt to that fact.

Feb 7, 2013
Andrea
golden-lit, Italian village built into the Mediterranean coast
Beautiful Ruins
Jess Walter

The newest novel from Walter, whose previous book The Financial Lives of Poets, was a riot is a little more subdued, at times, but still a funny, even romantic look at the past and current life of how movies are made in Hollywood. It is not the story of one or even two characters but nearly ten, that Walters does a great job of keeping separate through alternating chapters and alternating settings (Rome, Hollywood, London, Idaho). Just when you think, "Oh no, not another new character", Walter offers up a spin you don't see coming and you're sucked right back in to the new thread. I ate this book up- and think you will, too.

Feb 2, 2013
Andy

© 2013 William P. Faust Westland Public Library