Thursday, September 30, 2010

Year 2088

I was long needing a book that was so good I couldn't put it down and I found it in The Last Christian by David Gregory. With this futuristic and sci-fi thriller - year 2088 -Gregory gives us a future that we may not like - but have to admit is possibile.

Abagail Caldwell, the main character, is the daughter of missionaries to an isolated (by government decree) tribe in New Guinea, where a strange disease has killed everyone but her. As a result she is thrust from the jungle into a very different America where advanced technology has changed the world! Here, people no longer care about nurturing their souls but only want to stimulate their bodies and virtual reality is where they live by choice. And now, physical death may soon be eliminated altogether but at what cost. Abagail finds herself in the heart of this biggest change of all, her life threatened, and other deaths unexplained. She also finds that Christianity has died, and she, Abagail Caldwell, is that last Christian.

This book, with it's incredible message, is a highly thought-provoking novel. I recommend it without hesitation!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Southern-Fried Fantasy For Vampire Fans

A mixture of both fantasy and mystery, Dead Until Dark is the first title in the Sookie Stackhouse series.

Sookie, a mid-twenties barmaid from Bon Temps, Louisiana, resides with her grandmother and rarely dates because her telepathic abilities simply complicate any opportunity to have a reasonably normal relationship with a member of the opposite sex.

A lone vampire named Bill (internationally and nationally, vampires have just been allowed to "come out of the closet") wafts into Merlotte's bar one evening (Sookie's place of employment) and to Sookie's amazement, she's unable to read Bill's thoughts and he is unable to glamour her as well. A romance begins.

When the bodies of young women who are labeled as "fang bangers" begin piling up, Sookie's brother Jason is suspected of murder and Sookie's ability to read minds both hinders and aids in solving the crimes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Worst Place on Earth to be a Woman

Lisa Shannon had what some would call a good life-her own business, a successful finance, a secure home. Then one day in 2005, shortly after her father's death, an episode of Oprah changed everything. The show was about women in the Congo depicted atrocities too horrible to comprehend: millions dead, women gang-raped and tortured, children starving and dying in shocking numbers. That day Lisa woke up to her dissatisfaction with the "good" life and to her role as an activist and a sister.

She created a foundation call Run for Congo Women, with the goal to raise money to sponsor 30 Congolese women. What started as a solo 30-mile run has now grown into a national organization in connection with Women for Women International. Run for Congo Women holds fundraising runs in four countries and ten states, and continues to raise money and awareness. In A Thousand Sisters, Lisa shares firsthand accounts of her experiences visiting the Congo, the women she's helped, and the relationships she's formed. With compelling stories of why she remains committed to this cause, Lisa inspires her audience to reach out and help as well, forming a sisterhood that transcends geographic boundaries.

Shannon is exposed to a world remote from her own affluent life. Her painful firsthand accounts of the violence inflicted upon Congolese women by Hutu militants will shock and make you realize that the Congo is the worst place on earth to be a woman.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fever of the bone.

This is the sixth Tony Hill mystery written by Val McDermid. Tony is a psychologist and criminal profiler who is often used by the Bradfield CID and Detective Inspector Carol Jordan and her hotshot major crimes team. The case this time concerns the murder of several young male teens by seemingly the same perp and the team cannot find the connection between them. Tony is persona non grata at the station because the new chief constable thinks he is a waste of money. So he takes a job in the neighboring community of Worcester profiling the murderer of a young teen girl who was a member of a social networking site.
McDermid is very adept at twists and turns in her mysteries and added to the mix is the deep friendship between Carol and Tony-one which has never turned romantic in spite of the chemistry. They each have their own life turmoils to deal with. Carol drinks too much and due to Tony's horrific upbringing, he is afraid that emotionally he is closer to those he profiles than to normal. Unexpectedly and with Carol's help, Tony learns some information about the father who never acknowledged him leading us all to hope that it helps Tony towards emotional healing. The next book should contain some major changes for all the characters.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Writing Circle

Over the course of her career, author Corinne Demas has belonged to numerous writing circles. In her most recent novel, The Writing Circle, Demas unravels the complicated histories and entangled lives of members of Leopardi Circle, a writing group whose members include a poet, biographer, adventure writer, historian, and two aspiring novelist. Every Sunday afternoon, without fail, the group of established writers meet to read their work outloud and to give feedback. Through this process of revealing their work, they ultimately begin to share their lives , their personal stories, families, affections and most buried secrets. Each chapter is written in the voice of a Leopardi member, family member or acquaintance. As the story builds, Demas takes us on a roller coaster ride full of eccentric passengers and intricate relationships. This is an engaging novel that delivers a rich and surprising story. Demas introduces characters who have enough heft and sincerity to them that I wish that I could meet them for coffee and a good talk.