Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I REMEMBER YOU: A GHOST STORY by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

 Are you a fan of Scandinavian crime fiction?  If you haven't read anything from Sigurdardottir, give this a try.  One reader says this is one of the creepiest books she's ever read.

"In a departure from her series featuring lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir, Iceland’s queen of suspense combines modern crime detection with mysticism to chilling effect. The sense of foreboding starts early, as married couple Katrin and Gardar, along with Lif, the widow of Gardar’s best friend, travel from Reykjavik to isolated Hesteyri to renovate the old house they’ve bought to turn into a guesthouse. Concerns about finances and the viability of the project pale as something about the house makes the trio want to leave it. Across the fjord, psychiatrist Freyr starts working with police on the unlikely connection between an elderly suicide victim and a six-year-old boy who disappeared three years earlier and was never found. Inevitably the two plot lines collide, revealing human behavior and failings—lies, betrayals, assaults, murder—that explain only part of what has happened from a time decades earlier to the present. Sigurdardottir skillfully builds the early ominous warnings to the point that readers find themselves shouting to Katrin to cut her losses and go home, as the unexplained becomes terrifying. Nordic mystery writers can raise goosebumps as few others can, and Sigurdardottir shows she’s one of the best."  ~ Michele Leber, Booklist

Monday, April 14, 2014

ASTONISH ME: A NOVEL by Maggie Shipstead

"In this exquisitely rendered story of love, loss, betrayal, secrecy, and artistic ambition, Maggie Shipstead takes hold of the reader and doesn't let go. "Astonish Me" is a haunting, powerful novel."
--Dani Shapiro 

  "From the author of the widely acclaimed debut novel Seating Arrangements, winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize: a gorgeously written, fiercely compelling glimpse into the passionate, political world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations. Astonish Me is the irresistible story of Joan, a ballerina whose life has been shaped by her relationship with the world-famous dancer Arslan Ruskov, whom she helps defect from the Soviet Union to the U.S. While Arslan's career takes off in New York, Joan's slowly declines, ending when she becomes pregnant and decides to marry her longtime admirer, a PhD student named Jacob. As the years pass, Joan settles into her new life in California, teaching dance and watching her son, Harry, become a ballet prodigy himself. But when Harry's success brings him into close contact with Arslan, explosive secrets are revealed that shatter the delicate balance Joan has struck between her past and present. In graceful, inimitable prose, Shipstead draws us into the lives of her lovably tempestuous characters. Filled with intrigue, hilarious satire, and emotional nuance, Astonish Me is a brilliant investigation into the bonds that hold us, despite the distancing of time and geography"
         -- from the Publisher

Saturday, April 12, 2014

WITHOUT WARNING by David Rosenfelt

A new standalone from David Rosenfelt, who writes the Andy Carpenter mystery series is just about to hit our new book shelf:  "Spooky. Creepy. Edgy. Shuddery. What more could anyone want?...Highly recommended for readers craving that elusive "something different.""--"Booklist"

 Years ago, Katie Sanford’s husband was convicted of the murder of Jenny Robbins, then died himself in prison. It’s a small town and memories are long, and Katie and Jenny’s husband, Chief of Police Jake Robbins, have had to work at putting the tragedy behind them. But it's all brought up again in the wake of a hurricane which has just wreaked havoc on their quiet Maine town. Since its founding, Wilton has had a quaint tradition of creating a time capsule every fifty years, and the storm unearthed the most recent capsule. As the editor of the local paper, Katie joins Chief Robbins to supervise its opening. Neither of them is prepared for the macabre set of predictions, dating back to months before Jenny’s murder, that they find inside. Someone predicted her death, as well as eleven other tragedies, which are still occurring even long after the death of Katie’s husband.

At last, after all these years, Katie has reason to hope that her husband might not have been guilty of Jenny’s murder after all. But as she and Jake race to stop the next predictions from coming true, they find themselves caught in a terrifying mind game with no rules…and life or death consequences.
~ from the Publisher 

Look for this one on our new book shelf next week.  And if you haven't read any of his other books, give them a try.  ~ Katherine

Friday, April 11, 2014


"A heartwarming dog story like no other: Tuesday, a lovable golden retriever, changes a former soldier's life forever. A highly decorated captain in the U.S. Army, Luis Montalvan never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home from combat, however, his physical wounds and crippling post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. He wondered if he would ever recover. Then Luis met Tuesday, a sensitive golden retriever trained to assist the disabled. Tuesday had lived among prisoners and at a home for troubled boys, and he found it difficult to trust in or connect with a human being--until Luis. Until Tuesday is the story of how two wounded warriors, who had given so much and suffered the consequences, found salvation in each other. It is a story about war and peace, injury and recovery, psychological wounds and spiritual restoration. But more than that, it is a story about the love between a man and dog, and how, together, they healed each other's souls."  ~ from the Publisher

Luis Montalvan and Tuesday continue to share their story at appearances across the United States, in fact, they will be at the Norwalk Public Library in a few weeks. An amazing, powerful, and heartwarming story.  ~  Katherine

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Reading for the New Year

So many things in today's world get in the way of sitting down with a good book--computer time (thinking Words with Friends), television watching (catching up on that television series everyone is raving about), this year may be the one to head back to the pleasures of reading.

Besides, we've all heard that reading can be a great stress reliever, right? And we all need that, agreed? Simply by opening a book, reading can  relax your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles, by up to 68% according to a 2009 study at the University of Sussex  It works better and faster than other relaxation methods such as drinking a hot cup of tea or listening to music.  

So, no hard and fast resolutions here.  But it would definitely be lovely to read more for pleasure, and to read more books outside the usual choices (for me that would be more nonfiction).  Maybe more of a different genre, maybe some of those books that have been sitting in the TBR pile forever.  And, a good year to catalog and rate ALL the books read in 2014, either on GOODREADS or LIBRARY THING or SHELFARI.  

If one of yours is to join a book group, think about the offerings at your library.  Here at Brookfield, we have at least three a month:  Brookfield Reads Fiction, Book 'Em Mystery Group and Nonfiction Book Club.  And every few months we have a Cooking the Books get together, where we enjoy good book conversation and great food! Think about coming to one or more of our meetings--we love having new readers join us.

Do you have any reading resolutions for 2014?  

~ Katherine

Monday, January 06, 2014

Is There a Pattern Here?

I just finished reading THE SILENT WIFE by A. Harrison, and then picked up BACKSEAT SAINTS by Joshilyn Jackson, not realizing that both books were about mariticide, the killing of one's husband ( I admit to having to look that up).  Motives differ wildly, however.  THE SILENT WIFE is about revenge, and BACKSEAT SAINTS is about survival.  

THE SILENT WIFE is a psychological thriller about surviving a long term relationship in which one partner is faithful, and the other is a serial cheater.  It's about how far a woman will go maintain her lifestyle and keep what she feels is rightfully hers.  BACKSEAT SAINTS is about domestic violence, twinged with wit and humor.   I will admit my husband is a bit worried about my choice of reading.  ~ Katherine

THE SILENT WIFE by A. Harrison

"Psychotherapist Jodi Brett is content with her tidy, tranquil existence cooking for her husband, Todd Gilbert; walking the dog; seeing a few clients out of their gorgeous Chicago condo while headstrong Todd works as a professional renovator. As Jodi sees it, they complement each other, and she doesn't mind pretending to disregard Todd's indiscretions (which he clumsily attempts to cover up) in exchange. Accepting the peccadillos of her adulterous husband is one thing, but when Todd takes his infidelity to the next level and tells her that he's leaving her, the existence she's clung to so dearly is destroyed. And Jodi will do anything to take it back. And she does."  ~ Publishers Weekly 

BACKSEAT SAINTS by Joshilyn Jackson

"Rose Mae Lolley's mother disappeared when she was eight, leaving Rose with a heap of old novels and a taste for dangerous men. Now, as demure Mrs. Ro Grandee, she's living the very life her mother abandoned. She's all but forgotten the girl she used to be-teenaged spitfire, Alabama heartbreaker, and a crack shot with a pistol-until an airport gypsy warns Rose it's time to find her way back to that brave, tough girl . . . or else. Armed with only her wit, her pawpy's ancient .45, and her dog Fat Gretel, Rose Mae hightails it out of Texas, running from a man who will never let her go, on a mission to find the mother who did." ~ from the Publisher


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

52 Weeks 52 Books ~ SOMEONE ELSE'S LOVE STORY ~ Week Ending December 30, 2013

Happy New Year, and amazingly, the end of a year of weekly book blogging!

The title is the first tip off that this love story might not be the one that you expect--after all, how many love stories start with a shooting at a convenience store, between a man with Asperger's, grieving over great personal loss, and a young woman who has a charming and genius three year old son, the result of a sexual assault.  This lovely southern fiction tale reminds the reader that love is at once fragile and strong, enduring and often surprising.  ~ Katherine

"I fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint, in a Circle K."  First line of SOMEONE ELSE'S LOVE STORY.
"For single mom Shandi Pierce, life is a juggling act. She's finishing college; raising her delightful three-year-old genius son, Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo; and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced Christian mother and Jewish father. She's got enough to deal with before she gets caught in the middle of a stickup in a gas station mini-mart and falls in love with a great wall of a man named William Ashe, who steps between the armed robber and her son to shield the child from danger.

Shandi doesn't know that her blond god has his own baggage. When he looked down the barrel of the gun in the gas station he believed it was destiny: it's been exactly one year since a tragic act of physics shattered his universe. But William doesn't define destiny the way other people do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in science and numbers, destiny to him is about choice.
Now, William and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head-on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know." ~ from the publisher