Page Turners

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

Thursday, July 26, 2007

194) NEXT—Michael Crichton—Tantalizingly, two pages before the beginning, on a page otherwise blank, Crichton has written, “This novel is fiction, except for the parts that aren’t.” The novel itself deals with genes and chromosome and who owns them and who can control them and who may patent them or parts thereof and who might be required to donate to continue a strain; a child, perhaps a grandchild? Interwoven throughout are suggestions of what is being done in genetic research, cures, other applications, or are they? The bibliography at the end is quite extensive and provides the basis for the conclusions Crichton reached when writing NEXT and which conclusions are outlined in the ‘Author’s Note’ at the conclusion of another fascinating Crichton tale.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

THE MINISTRY OF SPECIAL CASES—Nathan Englander—A powerful, poignant novel not designed as light reading (although there are light parts). The book centers on a Jewish Family in the 1970s Argentina, a time of military dictatorship for that country in what was known as ‘the dirty war’. The only child, a son, is kidnapped and mother and father both of extremely differing temperaments, try to deal with the loss and locating him. In doing so they reach the governmental religious and other cultural roadblocks which individually and collectively make their tasks ever so much more difficult. As mentioned, this is not light reading, but a book worth reading. Fascinating, also, are the reviews at Amazon. com and Barnes & Nobel . com, which include such descriptions as “staggeringly mature work’, ‘harrowing and brilliant first novel’ ‘mesmerizing rumination on loss and memory, ‘chilling book of intrigue” ‘vibrant, exquisite, quirky and devastating historical novel’, among many other phrases of praise.

Friday, July 13, 2007

191) THE GENTLE AXE—R.N. Morris—Filled with the passions of Russia and multiple murders, this wonderful ‘historical crime novel’ leads through an investigation in 1866 St. Petersburg to a magnificently convoluted conclusion. A large man is found hanging from a tree with an axe in his belt and at his feet, a dwarf is dead, contained in a suitcase. The investigation or Porfiry Petrovich branches from houses of prostitution, through pawn shops, to the finest mansions and respectable businesses in St. Petersburg…and introduces and well develops characters with very long Russian names, the parts of which are sometimes used interchangeably. An excellent mystery..historical or not.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

CAPITOL THREAT—William Bernhardt—During the confirmation process for a prospective Supreme Court Justice a whole bunch of political ‘hot-buttons’ are pushed; starting with the nominee ‘outing himself, murder, abortion and a whole bunch more. A quick read with good dialog, interesting facts and theories, our hero, a recently appointed (to fill a vacancy) U.S. Senator becomes the advisor to the nominee and in the process has to keep putting out the ‘fires’ all the while maintaining his own self esteem. Great leisure read.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

TAKEDOWN—Brad Thor—The confusion that can, and probably does, happen when agencies to protect the security of the U.S. against terrorists work alone is well portrayed in this current day thriller. Once again New York City is under attack by forces of terrorism; it’s cause, probably actions of the U.S., or was it? The need for security and the power of government in providing it is explored as are the abuses of such power and the confusion caused by governmental bodies acting independently. Luckily, skilled people are in the right place at the right time to lead to a long long long chase and bring the reader to a relatively startling sudden conclusion.

THE 6TH TARGET—James Patterson and Maxine Paetro—Two major events are taking place which involve one or more members of the “Women’s Murder Club” of this pair of authors. An attacker kills several on a San Francisco Ferry, which leads to a discussion of the legal defenses of insanity while simultaneously children are being kidnapped with no demands for ransom. Within this framework, Lindsey Boxer, San Francisco Police Homicide Detective’s relationship with her love interest Joe takes a new step.

NO GRAVES AS YET: A Novel of World War I—Anne Perry—A sweet remembrance of the ‘good ‘ days prior to WW I as the clouds of war are breaking, this mystery evokes the attitudes of ‘upper-crust’ educated Britons as the war is erupting. A Cambridge student is found dead a week following the death/murder of a Cambridge professor’s parents. The family/educational ties between student and professor provide the background for discussion of the forces of the war converging and the resolution of the mysteries surrounding the deaths provide the springboard to the remainder of the series.