Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors

Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors is Volume 16 of Ann Rule's Crime Files.  Excellent true crime writer Ann Rule alternates these volumes with her books devoted to single cases.  Two cases take up half of this book:  the Josh and Susan Powell family tragedy and the case of the baffling deaths of billionaire Jonah Shacknai's young son Max and girlfriend Becky Zahau.  Rule uncovers details in both cases that the reader will not have heard elsewhere. 

The Powell tragedy received ample publicity, and Susan Powell's parents wanted Ann Rule to tell their daughter's and grandsons' story.  Susan Powell vanished in 2009 in a Utah blizzard, leaving behind her two small sons with her husband Josh.  The investigation focused on Josh Powell and also his mentally unhinged father.  Almost three years after Susan's disappearance, Josh Powell brutally took his sons' lives as well as his own.  If anyone had detected how depraved Josh Powell truly was, his trusting family might have been saved.

In July 2011, a billionaire's Coronado, California mansion was the setting for two deaths just a few days apart--his young son's fall from a balcony and his girlfriend's hanging.  The case of Max Shacknai and Becky Zahau is still shrouded in mystery despite being closed as a respective accident and suicide, but Ann Rule probes the possibilities and cast of characters to bring this case closer to the truth of what happened.  The book includes seven other cases that will keep you quickly turning the pages.

Monday, January 28, 2013

52 Books 52 Weeks / Week Ending January 28

AN INVISIBLE THREAD by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski

"Stopping was never part of the plan . . . "

She was a successful ad sales rep in Manhattan. He was a homeless, eleven-year-old panhandler on the street. He asked for spare change; she kept walking. But then something stopped her in her tracks, and she went back. And she continued to go back, again and again. They met up nearly every week for years and built an unexpected, life-changing friendship that has today spanned almost three decades. 

"Whatever made me notice him on that street corner so many years ago is clearly something that cannot be extinguished, no matter how relentless the forces aligned against it. Some may call it spirit. Some may call it heart. It drew me to him, as if we were bound by some invisible, unbreakable thread. And whatever it is, it binds us still."

The Invisible Thread is a thought provoking and compelling story that teaches us how a simple act of kindness can not only change the person receiving the gift but enrich the life of the person giving it. And it reminds us that we may have more in common than we think when comparing ourselves to someone from a totally different background. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

52 Books 52 Weeks / Week Ending January 21

What did you read this past week?  Add a comment at the end of this post. Give us the book title and author, and if you'd like, a description and your rating.  

There have been a few questions, so just to clarify:

You don't have to be an adult to post.  If you're a teen and want to join in, please do!

If you don't have a google account, you can post as anonymous, but if you do, think about adding your name, at least your first name, in your post.

You don't have to write a blurb about the book, but it does make it more interesting if you tell a little about it, and why you liked, or didn't like it.

You don't have to have a Shelfari account.  If you do, and want us to add your Shelfari, just let us know.  Shelfari are the little bookcases on the right of the blog.  

Join any time!  If you join on week five or week ten, and want to read a book a week for the rest of the year, that's okay with us.  And if you want to make your own challenge, that works too! 

52 Books 52 Weeks

Jack Caffery is a detective based in Bristol, England, and in the fifth book in this series, he is searching for a carjacker with a difference. Someone is stealing cars, with children in the back. Sometimes the children are returned, but sometimes not. But it is not as simple as it seems as it becomes clear that the carjacker is targeting particular families, and he seems to know all about them, including where they live, and their family backgrounds. Jack, along with Flea, the head of the underwater search unit, race to find answers about the missing girls as time runs out.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What are our readers reading?
Books, audio books and ebooks!
Check out their reviews in the comments on earlier posts.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

52 Books 52 Weeks / Week Ending January 14

What did you read this past weekAdd a comment at the end of this post. Give us the book title and author, and if you'd like, a description and your rating.  

Thanks to Melanie and Suzanne and J for posting last week!

52 Books 52 Weeks / Week Ending January 14

THE ROUND HOUSE by Louise Erdrich

"One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning."

The Round House is a coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a novel of family, history, and culture. Included in the afterword is the terrible statistic that “1 in 3 Native women will be raped in her lifetime (and that figure is certainly higher as Native women often do not report rape); 86% of rapes and sexual assaults upon Native women are perpetrated by non-Native men.” Life on the reservation has other challenges such as alcoholism and injustice that affect the daily lives of Native Americans and Erdrich is adept at conveying the Native culture and reservation life.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

52 Books 52 Weeks / Week ending January 7

What did you read the first week of January? Add a comment at the end of this post. Give us the book title and author, and if you'd like, a description and your rating.

52 Books 52 Weeks / January 7

52 Books 52 Weeks / Week ending January 7, 2013


When young Eden Harrison receives a heart transplant from an unknown donor, she becomes  haunted by dreams of people and places she doesn’t recognize, and she is convinced that her new heart carries the memories of its original owner. Eden leaves her old life and fiancee behind and moves to the city of San Diego.  
There, Eden becomes fast friends with Darcy, a young woman recently widowed when her wealthy, much older husband dies. Yet, the more Eden learns about Darcy, the more she realizes that all is not as it seems, and she begins to suspect foul play behind Darcy's husband and a young man Darcy had been having an affair with who has disappeared.

The compelling concept that memory can exist on a cellular level lies at the core of this newest thriller from Ginsberg. Some twists and turns, both of the story line and a dangerous California highway, Del Dios, gives the reader an exciting ride.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks

 52 Books in 52 Weeks

 We're just a few days into the new year, and it might be fun to do a "52 Books 52 Weeks" challenge, as a way to share what we are reading. 

The "rules" are very simple and the goal is to read one book (at least) a week for 52 weeks.

  1. The challenge will run through December 31, 2013.  
  2. Participants may join at any time, just make a comment on the weekly entry.
  3. All books are acceptable except children books.
  4. All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc. 
  5. Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2013 
My personal goal will be 52 books, but if you'd like to participate and that's more than you want to tackle, then set your own goal and join in!