Page Turners

Here is a list of books that have been shared on KMA's Page Turners with the Shenandoah Public Library.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

THE TENTH JUSTICE—Brad Meltzer—The 26 year old author writes the proverbial page-turner in this book of legal fiction. Given his age the author is able to capture Ben Addison, a clerk for a Supreme Court justice; Lisa, Ben’s co-clerk; and Ben’s housemates, friends from high school, as older authors could not. Ben and friends attitudes toward multiple life issues, are featured as Ben tries to figure out who the person was to whom he secretly leaked the results of a case pending before the court is, that person seemingly determined to destroy Ben’s life as well as the lives of his friends.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

PEOPLE Of The MASKS—Kathleen O’Neal Gear & W. Michael Gear—Another in the ‘First North Americans’ series, a fictionalized story portraying with archeological accuracy the lives of the Iroquois about 1000 A.D. Centered around ‘Rumbler’, The False Face Child, and ‘Wren’ his savior, the war-like attitudes of several tribes are brought to the possibility of mutual cooperation. Written with great detail (sometimes very repetitive) the Gears portray the similarities and differences of daily life (as well as styles of war) and attitudes in several of the Iroquois villages. Good, albeit lengthy in descriptions. Significant, also, is the Afterword in which the Gears present their thesis the belief system (as shown by behaviors in the story) of the Iroquois in large measure affected the founding beliefs of the United States and thereby the ‘Free World’. In doing so they cite, among others, Thomas Jefferson.

Monday, May 21, 2007

THE SHAPE SHIFTER—Tony Hillerman—Another fun/fine Hillerman mystery set in the Southwest U.S., featuring heros Joe Leaphorn with almost cameo appearances by Jim Chee and Bermie Manuelito (now a married couple). A Navajo rug, allegedly destroyed in a fire, turns up on the wall in a rich man's house. Using the rug as a base, in solving this potential crime as well as more than a few murders, Hillerman gives insight into the Navajo (and other tribes) views toward good and evil, the creation, the relationship of man to the rest of the world, etc. Good reading from many levels.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

JACK ABSOLUTE:--C.C.Humphreys--A fun read novel about the American Revolution from the perspective of a British soldier, spy, actor, swordsman, lover, you name it, Jack Absolute is it! Author Humphries, in an earlier phase of is life, an actor, played the part of “Jack Absolute”..and has turned that role, together with Jack's spying, into cleverly and humorously written fiction while at the same time showing a huge background of research in the settings of London and what is now Canada...the way people lived and how they thought. Quick, fast, ...great learning and fun reading.

Friday, May 18, 2007

THE BOOK OF FATE—Brad Meltzer—Multiple plots and sub-plots drive a large cast of well drawn characters (each for their own reasons) to answer questions which arose eight years before when a friend of and advisor to the President was shot at a NASCAR event. An aide to the President, Wes, was permanently disfigured at that time and the dead man's reappearance eight years later brings the grim memories back as well as the need to resolve the mysteries. Author Brad Meltzer's research has paid handsome dividends as this fiction rings true. The Miami Herald says of him, “Meet the next John Grisham”.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

IRISH LINEN—Andrew M. Greeley—Nuala Anne McGrail and her husband and 'spear-carrier' husband are approached by his hyper-protective parents to find a young man, Desmond Doolin, who has, perhaps, gone to Iraq; and in the sequence, 'happen upon' the recollections of Timothy Patrick Clarke, the Irish Ambassador to Nazi Germany, which provides a parallel story. Greeley is free with his views of the war in Iraq, Homeland Security, the Bush administration in this tale of multiple loves.

THE KINGMAKER—Brian Haig—Yet another fun, fast-reading, quick dialog book of political and international intrigue. Hero Sean Drummond has been requested (demanded) to defend the defendant in the biggest case of treason in U.S. history—and the defendant's wife is a former old flame of Drummond's. Katrina Mazorski, a recent law-school grad and Drummond's equal, is 'recurited' to serve as co-council. Through them, Haig-an 'insider'-gives an insider's view as he explores the fall of the Soviet Union and effects of the aftermath of the 'cold war' and it's effects on the intelligence and defense communities in a fast paced,novel.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Firehouse by David Halberstam

On September 11, 2001, a firehouse located near Lincoln Center sent Engine 40 and Ladder 35 to the World Trade Center. The rigs carried thirteen men--only one survived. Halberstam has painted a picture of the brotherhood shared by these men and takes us through the day, waiting with families to hear news of their loved ones. Absolutely riveting.

Friday, May 11, 2007

ROMA:The Novel of Ancient Rome—Steven Saylor—A completely impressive work of historical fiction tracing the growth of Rome from before it's beginnings into the reign of Caesar Augustus. Through the 499 tightly written pages, Saylor weaves history and myth using succeeding generations of the earliest of families to explain those myths and the histories surrounding them; the politics, wars, and overriding themes of history. Wonderful 'tidbits' of fact are presented within the storyline...things that relate to our understanding of the world today. Roma has been highly praised by the reviewers and is a wonderful book—very difficult to put down once started.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey

This is the second in Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms series. They both have fairy tale themes, but with a twist. In The Fairy Godmother, the first, a young girl is made a servant by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, and all is set up for her to be a Cinderella story. Unfortunately, the prince is only two years what happens then? The Tradition, a force which recognizes fairy tale situations, is at work in the Five Hundred Kingdoms and characters like Godmothers, Champions, Dragons, Sorceresses, Wizards, and Princesses are important in working the Tradition to their advantage

In One Good Knight, Princess Andromedea is nothing like her mother, the powerful, beautiful Queen. Andie loves to read and learn, particularly about the Tradition, and her sweet nature has made her a favorite of the castle Guard. When a Dragon appears, a plan is made to sacrifice a virgin each week to keep it from destroying the kingdom. When gossip says that only the daughters of the Queen's enemies are being sacrificed, Andie finds herself the next sacrifice to the Dragon. After she is tied to the post, and the Dragon approaching, a Champion appears and the Dragon flies away. Knowing that she cannot return to the castle, Andie follows the Champion, and they begin a search for the Dragon's lair. Since the Tradition encourages Princesses to fall in love with Champions, Andie and George, the Champion, swear a blood oath as siblings before George will remove his helmet, since neither wants to fall in love at all. When a passing Unicorn reveals that George is actually Georgina, since a spell put on the border would not allow any man to come in and slay the Dragon, they realize that all is not as it should be. After finding the Dragon's castle, with 2 brother Dragons and a large group of the supposedly-sacrificed virgins, they begin to use other elements from the Tradition to overthrow the Queen and her wicked advisor.

Lackey tells a fantastic story. I love the fairy tale elements, and the frequent warnings that the Tradition likes tragic endings just as well as happy endings. The Fairy Godmother Elena, from the first book, makes an appearance in this one, but reading them in order is not necessary. It is fantasy, but it is a world that we have all been familiar with, once upon a time...

Monday, May 07, 2007

AT RISK—Patricial Cornwell—Not her best nor most forensic book. Politics, power and money drive this sketchy plot when the Atty. General of Massachusetts recalls her favorite investigator from a training session to help solve a murder which is 20 years old and committed in another jurisdiction all to advance her political career. That plan becomes waylaid as she's attacked and raped so two investigations run anemicaly simultaneously. An easy evening's read.

BREAKPOINT—Richard A. Clark—This novel, written by an advisor to Presidents Reagan through George W Bush, ending his governmental career as Chairman of the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, gives glimpses into the future; the types of technology, medical advances, and a host of new problems confronting society and political debate because of them. Not a great novel, but the information of what's 'in the pike' in terms of development and debate at high levels is highly suspenseful. As shown on the covern, Gary Hart of the Washington Post says “Some of us have learned to listen when Richard Clarke has something to say”. More should listen!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

THE COLLECTORS—David Baldacci—The Camel Club (4 older guys with special talents), again, is engaged in solving multiple murders in Washington, D.C., these involved with spies selling secrets to the highest bidder and mysteriously using the venerable Library of Congress and the Rare Book area in the scheme. 'Oliver Stone', former CIA works with the others, and a newcomer, Ms. Annabelle Conroy, a con-artist who has developed her own problems heisting $40 million from a hate-filled casio owner. As The Camel Club, rather simplistically written, but intesting, fun, and the pages keep turning.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

MAN IN THE MIDDLE—Brian Haig—A book that might be fun to read a couple of times. First for the story and the great dialog that really works; second for the information Haig pacts into the 450 pages on politicl theory, history of recent wars, interpretations of the situation in Iraq (and Iran and the rest of the middle-east). Son of Alexander Haig, Brian is career military and intelligence. His work with the Joint Chiefs of staff and knowledge of their workings, provide strong underpinnings for his somewhat predictable story.