Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Big Sister's June Reads

I beat you, Middle Sis???!!!

Here we go...

Spoken from the Heart, by Laura Bush - I enjoyed this autobiography and it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm registered as a Republican! (LOL!) It was an easy read, and I loved reading about her childhood, her courtship, her marriage, her daughters, and every once in a while, for fun, she threw in some commentary about newsworthy political events. It was very interesting to hear her side of 9/11, her side of her daughter's underage drinking, her view of her daughter's wedding on the ranch, her view of some of the dignitaries who've come to the White House for state dinners, her view of the White House itself... I gave the book to my mom to read. I think she'll enjoy it.

Return to Sender, by Fern Michaels - I haven't read a Fern Michaels book in many, many years. I was a fan when I first started reading romances, but have moved away from her books lo, these past 15 or 20 years! I can't say it captured me from page one, and I don't really think I ever really got hooked on any of the characters. So Lin got pregnant at 17 and raised her child alone; her letters to the boy's father were ignored for 17 years. She makes good and becomes a frugal millionaire; she can never forget having to count every penny. Coincidentally, when her son goes college and Lin takes him to the Big City, who's the very first person she sees at a benefit dinner? The daddy. And Lin decides to make him feel the pinch, like she did, of not having money when you need it. And the Daddy is diagnosed with leukemia... It was just a bunch of fluff, not one of my recent favorites, that's for sure...

Lego, A Love Story, by Jonathan Bender - I read this because I had to work with a couple of the people mentioned in the book; my company published it and they were buying the book for some author events. It was interesting, and I'm glad I read it, although admittedly it's not a book I'd normally have chosen. Bender describes how he became a Lego fan as an adult, and how he got swept up into the Lego culture, attending conferences, building mosaics and self-portraits and airplanes and the Sears Tower... The book includes some history of the Lego Company itself, which I enjoyed learning.

The Devil's Arithmetic, by Jane Yolen - My niece gave me this to read a looooong time ago and again, I never got around to it. It's a piece of fiction based on the Holocaust. Hannah's grandfather spends a lot of his time "ranting and raving" about the Nazis, and he talks all the time about the death camps and the Germans and the Jews... One year, during her Passover Seder, Hannah goes to open the door to Elijah and is transported back in time to Poland in the 1940s. She "lives" through the death camps, and experiences it all. The book ends with Hannah returning to "now" with a new-found appreciation for all her family has suffered through and a new respect for those family members who lived through the Holocaust. I loved this book and I'm sorry it took me so long to read it.

Death Echo, by Elizabeth Lowell - I'm a fan of Ms. Lowell, but this wasn't one of my favorites. It is the 5th in the St. Kilda Consulting series but somehow I just never got to like the main characters. It was nice to see the Consulting group again, in their "cameo" appearances, but Emma and Mac? Egh, just never really fell for either one of them. I finished the book just because I don't like to NOT finish a book...

The Burning Wire, by Jeffery Deaver - Oh, yea! Another Lincoln Rhyme novel, and this one was a good one! I do think there was a bit of tweaking needed on the subplot that took place in Mexico; it didn't seem as well crafted as the main plot taking place in NYC, but since it is crucial to the entire story and you don't find out why until the last couple of pages, I think, looking back, that it just needed a bit more attention, perhaps on my part. Maybe I was concentrating so much on the main story that I didn't pay enough attention to what was going on in Mexico, since I wanted to get back to Lincoln and Amelia in NYC...

Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert - This is another of those books that got so much publicity that I really never planned on reading it until I saw that Julia Roberts was going to star in the movie version. Then I decided to read it. And I like it. The author is married, not wanting a baby, divorced and then searching for herself in Italy, then in India, and finally in Bali. It's one of those fuzzy, warm, soul-searching books, wrapped around food, meditation and finding love again. They got me at the food and the love, so I read it, and I liked it.

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett - I made some comments on my blog ( so all I'll say here is: I loved it! And I didn't expect to because again, it's one of those books that "everyone" was talking about when it came out and really, do I need to say it again? I'm not much for what "everyone else" says is good... But this one was. I had no idea going into it that it was based in and around the civil rights movement and that it was written in a number of voices, including the black maids who were working for the white women of Jackson, Mississippi in 1962... I came to love Aibileen and Minny, and I felt a special empathy for Skeeter Phelan. I cried when her mom got so sick, even though the mom wasn't too nice a person at first... I was pleasantly surprised by this book and really enjoyed every page!

And now, I'm reading Whiplash, by Catherine Coulter - This is the 14th Savich/Sherlock book. I like the whole paranormal FBI thing and I hope this one is as good a fluffy mystery thriller as the last 13 have been! Erin is a ballet teacher/private investigator, and I think she's going to wind up hooking up with Bowie Richards; she's babysitting his daughter Georgie who happes to be her dance class student, too... She is also the "small woman" who broke into the big, bad pharmaceutical company's CEO's office and Bowie doesn't know that yet. Thrown together on the same case, even though she know it and he doesn't (at least not yet!), you sort of know they're going to wind up together...

I have some good ones stacked up for next month, but that's it for June!


  1. Hey, gig sis, I had no idea you were so into the romantic thriller genre. Never would have picked that for you. Sounds like you read several winners this month, even a couple I might be interested in.

  2. BTW, this liberal Democrat appreciates your not writing about any political observations that may (or may not) be in Mrs. Bush's book. Yay to sticking to our No Politics rule! LOL Her reflections on living in the White House certainly sound interesting from a historical viewpoint.

  3. LOVE me some romantic thrillers! Personal favorite authors? Tami Hoag and Iris Johansen are two...