Book Lovers

Lucifer's Tears
James Thompson

After solving the traumatic case that unfolded in Snow Angels, Inspector Kari Vaara is now in the Helsinki homicide department.  Life is now a major headache, both literally and figuratively, for Vaara.  This time, he has a new eager partner and they need to solve a murder case that could have major political implications.  Also, he has been asked to check up on possible war crimes involving not only a war hero but his own grandfather.  Plus, his wife is pregnant and her siblings have come for a visit.

Jun 1, 2012
Susan
The Disappearing Spoon
Sam Kean

It is clear from the first chapter that Sam Kean loves chemistry. He loves it so much that he wants you to see the beauty in every element. If he could, he would write poetry about radiation and electrons. Instead, he wrote The Disappearing Spoon, a history of the periodic table of elements that is as much about people as it is about atoms. For those who struggled with high school chemistry, Kean does an excellent job of explaining complicated scientific concepts in laymen’s terms, though it gets a bit tricky when he enters the areas of astrophysics and quantum mechanics. Still, novices and science geeks alike will find this book to be a wealth of “did you know…” conversation starters and a fascinating read.

May 25, 2012
Anonymous
Fall Higher
Dean Young

"The error is not to fall / but to fall from no height." This is the quip that leads us into Dean Young's 9th collection of poetry. Young, the surrealist master of contemporary American poetry, proceeds to take us on a comic, sometimes dizzying, sometimes diverging ride- and with titles like "Selected and Recent Errors" and "Is this why love almost rhymes with dumb?", we get a chance to experience this in spades. But Young is also reflective (or as reflective as only he can be) on the birth of his son, past jobs ("Full-time at the Cyclotron"), and touches on themes of love and mortality ("Vacationland"). This is not poetry for those who like their poetry to be narrative or to make sense, but an irrational, musical, and fun romp through one esteemed poet's quirky (and quick-witted) mind. Enjoy!

May 25, 2012
Andy
Snow Angels
James Thompson

It's kaamos time in northern Finland--very cold weather and almost complete darkness.  Inspector Kari Vaara has a brutal murder to solve as well as the other crimes that occur during this bleak time.  He thinks he has the crime solved but the true perpetrators may be someone much closer to him than he thinks.  Once you start the book it's very hard to put it down.

May 15, 2012
Susan
The Stonecutter
Camilla Lackberg

Book 3 in the Patrik Hedstom-Erica Falck series.  This time Patrik has to find the person responsible for the drowning death of a seven-year-old girl, who just happens to be the daughter of one of Erica's friends.  Another fast-paced story of the evil that can be present in the picturesque Fjallbacka.

May 14, 2012
Susan
My Lobotomy
My Lobotomy
Howard Dully

This interesting memoir offers a firsthand account of a man who received a transorbital lobotomy when he was 12 years old in the early 60's.  Howard Dully was only told that his doctor was going to run some tests in the hospital, when he had an ice-pick inserted in his eye sockets to sever his frontal lobes.  Dully describes his behavior problems as a little boy and his abusive step-mother who took him from psychiatrist to psychiatrist trying to find someone who thought there was enough wrong with him to institutionalize him.  She couldn't find anyone who thought his issues were greater than a bad home life until she met Dr. Walter Freeman--the father of the American lobotomy and one of the few practitioners anywhere who still performed this awful procedure.  Afterwards Howard slips into a life of heavy drinking, drugs and petty crime.  It is not until later in his life that he begins to reflect upon what led to his life trajectory and getting past the stigma of being lobotomized to research and speak out about what happened to him.

May 8, 2012
Kristy
The Preacher
Camilla Lackberg

When a young woman's body is found, more skeletal remains are also unearthed.  Patrik Hedstrom (first introduced in The Ice Princess) has to not only find the killer of the recent victim but is there a tie to the skeletons of two women missing for 24 years.  All fingers point to someone in the Hult family, could one of them be a murderer?  Time is especially short when another young woman goes missing.

May 7, 2012
Susan
The Windup Girl
Paulo Bacigalupi

After a series of fast-mutating agricultural plagues kill off much of the world’s food supply, a new economy builds around the calorie and genetic engineering. A number of interests-government officials, foreign business interests, and even newly-engineered species-fight to survive and profit in this new, post-oil world, but so much greed and so little cooperation these various players are just as likely to destroy the world as to save it. Science fiction fans will find this Nebula Award-winning novel a fascinating read.

May 4, 2012
Anonymous
fathermucker book cover
Fathermucker
Gerg Olear

Fathermucker is the story of Josh Linsky, stay-at-home dad, former screenwriter and journalist for News Corp. Josh and his wife, Stacy, moved from NYC to the suburbs of Jersey after realizing New York wasn't the best place to raise a kid. One of their kids, Roland, has been diagnosed with Asperger's; their daughter, Maude, a precocious three year old, keeps her dad super-busy when Roland isn't. Between playdates, lunches, and numerous compromises with his demanding but sweet kids, Josh hears a rumor that Stacy is cheating on him. Olear is trying to create a new perspective on parenting (specifically, male) and does a great job representing the highs and lows of the gig. Josh, the narrator, can be pretty cheeky, so this is not a "how to" guide, but more a depiction of what's it is like right now being a stay at home dad (Facebook included). Give it a try!

May 1, 2012
Andy
The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion

When she awoke on December 29th, 2003, Joan Didion was a scared parent, visiting her only child in the hospital where she was in a medically-induced coma after falling suddenly ill. She had her husband of almost 40 years, John, to help her cope. That night, at the dinner table, John stopped talking, slumped over, and died of a heart attack. By the time she went to sleep that evening, she was still a scared parent, but also a widow. The Year of Magical Thinking marks her efforts to cope with the loss of a spouse and the potential loss of an entire family. A beautifully-written treatise on loneliness, grief and mourning.

May 1, 2012
Anonymous

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