Page Turners

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

Monday, June 30, 2008

Dig: a Morgeu Mama Mystery by C.R. Corwin has one of those curmudgeonly main characters I just love. Maddy Sprowls has been the morgue librarian at the Hannawa Herald-Union paper for longer than anyone can remember. Imagine her surprise when going through the obits to file one Monday morning she stumbles across an obituary for an old college classmate who has been shot while digging at an abandoned landfill. There is more than meets the eye here and it is up to Maddy to reconnect will all her old beatnik college chums to get to the bottom of this dastardly deed.

THE VENETIAN BETRAYAL—Steve Berry—An intriguing series of plots and sub-plots starring Berry’s hero, Cotton Malone, bookseller and former U.S. agent, Cassiopeia Vitt and super-wealthy Henrik Thorvaldsen pursue Irina Zovastina Supreme Minister of the Central Asian Federation. Zovastina idolizes Alexander the Great and plans to build an even larger empire moving from West to East. Use of biological weapons is in her plans through her association with the Venetian Council and it’s greedy and duplicitous leader, Enrico Vincenti.
Further, Zovastina seaches for the Tomb of Alexander and the elixir there which will help her in her quest. Not Berry’s best story, but very readable. Somehow the book keeps pushing, trying to do too much. [Ah, and the editing leaves something to be desired; people were “actually murdered” and the heroes climbed ‘inclining up’, and choices had to be made “between the three of us” or a “statement from both he and Cassiopeia”—all eyestoppers]. Yet, still a very readable story, but not one of his best.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a beautifully executed wordless graphic novel that conveys what words cannot about being an immigrant in a strange new land. I had no idea how deep and moving pictures alone could be. What a beautiful story. I highly recommend taking the time to view the pictures and let them move you too.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I enjoyed The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson more than I though I would at the start. The writing is a little difficult to follow at first, but once I got into the story I was hooked. It is about Sheriff Walt Longmire and an old case involving the rape of an Indian girl who has fetal alcohol syndrome. In the story the boys involved in the rape are being picked off one by one and it is up to Walt to find out what is going on, even if he secretly believes they are getting what they deserve. It surprised me that I could laugh out loud during a book with such dark subject matter. Craig Johnson knows his characters and the beautiful Wyoming countryside. I look forward to reading the other books about Sheriff Walter Longmire.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

THE ROSETTA KEY--William Dietrich—A true adventurer, Ethan Gage, former protégé of Ben Franklin, searches for the Book of Truth as he escapes from a prior adventure in Egypt, and also searches for a love he lost there—literally—when she fell from a hot-air balloon. His search takes him to the holy land and through a series of adventures involving the British, French and locals as Napoleon attempts to best Alexander in capture of the globe. Incredible scrapes Gage manages to escape, all with tongue in cheek humor and a way with words and thoughts that bring smiles to reader’s face. Example, p 77, “I couldn’t’ have made a worse stew if I’d invited anarchists to draw up a constitution”. Highly enjoyable.

KILLING ROMMEL—Steven Pressfield—A terrific historical novel describing the primarily British campaign in North Africa against Rommel during the early part of WWII. Only the hero (and a few other details) are fictitious; the remainder researched thoroughly and written fluidly. I’ve read descriptions of many things, but before this, not the desert. Pressfield describes it well, the cold of nights to the furnace of heat in the day—sand types—sky types, all mixed in with the exigencies of men dealing with military hardware in such a climate—and against such a determined, incredibly chivalrous enemy. Excellent

Monday, June 16, 2008

It is good to be back and finally get to put a post on the blog. I just finished reading A Real Basket Case by Beth Groundwater. This is her first mystery novel and it was an enjoyable read. What made it memorable to me was her description of Colorado Springs and her character development. Clair's struggles with her relationship with her husband and the changes in their life now that they are empty nesting are realistically portrayed. I especially enjoyed her run ins with Leon the drug dealer. I am curious to see if he shows up again. Clair is an inept sleuth, but an endearing one as she bumbles along trying to clear her husband of murder and save their faltering marriage.