This was a light month in terms of quantity of books, but as we all know, it's quality that counts, not quantity. (AKA Size doesn't matter.) Here you go...
Reckless, by Andrew Gross - Although Andrew Gross s well-known for his collaborative titles with James Patterson, the only thing Reckless has in common with those books is the quick pace. There's very much Gross' own feel to the book, it's not just a Patterson clone. In fact, on amazon.com, in an author interview, Gross is quick to mention he learned a lot on the job with Patterson, but that aside from technique and some literary elements, he's his own man. And I agree. This is a good read, suspenseful from page one when there's a home-invasion-gone-deadly-wrong scene, to the last page, when it's all tied up in a neat little package. I didn't feel short-changed by the wrap-up; I felt the story was finished.
Hannah, by Debbie Macomber - Every time I spend some money on a hardcover by Debbie Macomber I think to myself I should be waiting until the paperback, it's a quick read, more fluff and romance than hard core fiction, and yet I buy them. And I enjoy them. And when I'm done, I donate them to the library to ease my conscience. (It's not really wasting money when I'm donating to the library...) In Hannah, pediatrician Michael Everett has lost his wife to ovarian cancer and she wrote him a letter he knew nothing about, a letter delivered by her brother to Michael on the one-year anniversary of her death. In the letter she suggests that it's time for her grieving husband to move on with his life, to find another wife. Michael's suitably shocked, and even more shocked to find that his wife has named names! She includes the names of 3 candidates for the position of Mrs. Everett #2. From the start, based on the author's description, I guessed which would win that lottery, and I was right. That wasn't the part that was a bit of a disappointment. I would have preferred a bit more interaction between the 2 runner-ups and Michael, not just one date that went nowhere... I wasn't disappointed in the book, but I was left wanting more.
Fever Dream, by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston - I can't say enough about this series of suspenseful thrillers. There's always a little somethin'-somethin' I didn't expect! A surprise in the character development, a shock in the outcome, an excerpt that is so visual in its creation that you really do see it in your mind's eye long after you've moved on to another chapter! In this book we learn about Pendergast's wife (gasp!), Helen, and her tragic and deadly mawling by a crazed lion in wilds of Africa 12 years past. And who'd have thought it would be directly related to a lost painting by John James Audubon! And then there's the sub-plot of Constance, Pendergast's ward (sort of). I really wish that had been either (a) more fully engaged in the story, or (b) saved for another book where it could shine! She's a fascinating character, and although she really had nothing to do with the story, I was left wanting more development of that storyline, or perhaps it should have been left out, as an amazon.com reviewer suggested (although they just plain didn't like it!). I LOVE this series of stories; they're a combination of suspense and horror and shock and awe!
I'm also in the midst of reading Spoken from the Heart, by former First Lady Laura Bush. It's a truly engaging autobiography, without any political undercurrent at all. It is what it is, and it was what it was. "Just the facts, ma'am." Mrs. Bush clearly loves her husband and her daughters. This book is not too in-your-face for Bush-bashers. She's a wife who loves and supports her husband because she loves him, not for personal political gain. There were a few snippets that I found fascinating: the description of their ranch in Crawford, the family's take on the fake i.d. scandal, G-Dub's drinking, the accident that had such an influence on Mrs. Bush's life, the threat by a Yale teaching assistant to NOT give daughter Barbara an "A" in a class until/unless her father did not go to war... These small glimpses into a life we perceive as glamorous and in the public eye - nope, not so much. There is an awful lot of private time we are privy to in this book and although admittedly I'm a Bush supporter, I was happy to be truly drawn to the non-political side of the man, the father, the son, the husband. I'm really looking forward to finishing this book and would happily recommend it to anyone who wants to read about a genuinely nice woman and her place in our history.