The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is a humorous story of a man finding love. Don Tillman is a professor of genetics at an Australian university. He is extremely intelligent, quirky and probably has Asperger Syndrome. His only friends are Gene, also a professor and a philanderer, and Gene’s wife Claudia, a clinical psychologist. Don decides he wants a wife and gets advice from Gene and Claudia. He makes a questionnaire to weed out smokers and those who are chronically late. Then Rosie comes into his life. She smokes and is chronically late.
Set in rural Manitowoc County mainly during 1994-1995, Mourning Hours tells the story of what happened after teenager Stacy Lemke disappeared in an early March snowstorm. Although in the end the mystery is solved, the story is more about how her disappearance affected the Hammarstrom family and the community. The tone of the book is tense as the strain on the family causes their lives together to come apart. Paula Treick DeBoard’s details of life in rural Wisconsin ring true, and her characters are realistic and believable.
Remember the old saying "you can't go home again"? Well, it certainly does not apply to Liza Palmer's newest book, Nowhere but Home. Though it is about trying to return home to a life left behind, the author takes some very serious subjects and manages to weave them into an emotional tale that is even lighthearted in some ways.
The beach scene with the cute little dog in a sweater might make you think it is a light beach read. Take my word for it, The Widow Waltz by Sally Koslow is anything but. It is a story of a wife and two daughters trying to move on after the death of their husband and father. It is hard enough to lose a loved one, but what if you discover the loved one you are grieving was not the person you thought they were, and the life of luxury you have been living is all based on lies?
What? William Shakespeare and Star Wars? Yes! Ian Doescher, with the cooperation of George Lucas, has written the story of the original Star Wars movie, A New Hope, in iambic pentameter in the style of a Shakespeare play. The language is fun to read with plenty of “thou” and “prithee” among the references to “droids” and “hyperspace”. It’s not really such a stretch to put Shakespeare and StarWars together. Both the Star Wars movies and Shakespeare’s plays are epic tales with villains and colorful supporting characters.
Don't let the size of this little book fool you. The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen may be small, but it is loaded with complicated relationships and numerous twists and turns. A group of four college friends reunite for a fully-paid trip to Jamaica with their spouses, courtesy of Dwight Glass, the "nerd" of the group, who struck gold with his dot com business.
It is hard to believe the month of July is almost over. Much of my summer has been spent reading light, romantic and fun books, but to be good at reader's advisory you have to be willing to read out of your "comfort zone" once in a while. Tell Me by Lisa Jackson is about as opposite of light, romantic and fun as you can get. Both thrilling and terrifying, Jackson's latest takes you on a suspenseful ride filled with both venomous snakes and creepy characters. Reading this one made me want to sleep with the lights on!
Have you ever looked at a book cover and wanted to crawl right in and be part of the setting? That was my first thought when I spotted The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs. The cover pictures the perfect summer scene of a white, casually laid table with mismatched white chairs set among apple trees loaded with succulent looking apples. I could almost hear the bees buzzing around the beautiful pitchers filled with colorful wild flowers gracing the center of the table.
The lazy days of summer are finally here. Time to grab that sunscreen, beach chair and umbrella and relax with the perfect beach read. My top choice for this summer is Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews. Set on the sunny beaches of Florida, it has the perfect combination of romance, mystery and comedy. Though it is a tale of divorce and betrayal, the author tells it with her trademark humor and mixes a bit of revenge and sweet justice in for good measure. This one is chick-lit at its best.