Harry Bosch is Michael Connelly’s lead character in a series
of detective books had thirty years in the LAPD. But now he’s out and doing his
own private investigating in The Wrong Side of Goodbye. A
reclusive billionaire contacts Harry. He’s haunted by a regret and wants Harry
to find a child he might have fathered. This was long ago, but there’s a vast
fortune at stake. Is the Mexican girl, now an old woman, still alive? Is
she even in the country? Did she have a child? There’s danger ahead for the
man, for Harry, and for the possible heir or heirs he’s seeking.
Cover blurb – But as Harry begins to uncover the haunting
story – and finds uncanny links to his own past – he knows he cannot rest until
he learns the truth.
Meanwhile, Bosch volunteers for a small town police
department and tracks a serial rapist – a baffling and dangerous foe. Michael
Connelly keeps all of the balls in the air as you hold your breath for Harry.
For a retired detective he’s the busiest man in Los Angeles. Fast paced, The
Wrong Side of Goodbye, is a darn good read with several
satisfying twists and turns to a crazy ride and heart pounding
I enjoyed The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey with a
book club. It was a worthy read and discussion and left me pondering part
of the overall book. Was she real or not? I don’t have the answer – you will
need to read and decide for yourself.
It’s 1920, Alaska and rough country for Jack and Mabel to
homestead. As they try to maintain their marriage after she miscarries, the
hard work and loneliness cut a larger drift in their lives. But one
evening, the first snow of the season begins to fall. Jack and Mabel build a
child out of snow. Cover blurb: The next morning the snow child is gone…but
they glimpse a young girl running through the trees. Faina, as she calls
herself, hunts with a red fox and survives in the wilderness. She visits the
couple more and more and slowly accepts their food and affection. As they come
to understand this child, who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy
tale, they begin to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful,
violent territory, things are rarely as they appear, and what they learn
about Faina will transform them all.
The descriptions of Alaska are beautiful. Ivey lends a wide
range of vocabulary to the haunting wildness of the terrain. Her characters
begin weak – will they make it in their new home? But Mabel and Jack grow
backbones. They meet neighbors who are quite colorful, and slowly there’s a
humor and richness to all their lives as they harvest the bonds of
friendship. And Faina is the sprite who grows up before them. She brings
anticipation to Mabel’s every day. P. 117 The December days had a
certain luminosity and sparkle, like frost on bare branches, slight in the
morning just before it melts.
The Snow Child is a unique story, rich in
character, setting, and twists. It’s got roots in the Alaska earth, and also
has a freeing native spirit – a mysticism of sorts. I liked this book a lot, as
did my book club group. What do you think about Faina? Read it and see.
Happy Easter weekend everyone! Here's my little tablescape at home. It was nice to pull out my bunny stuff. Spring pastels and cuteness. The little ceramic bunny - I made that back in junior high art class.
This bunny plate is a new treat. It caught my eye in the Anthropologie store in Southlake. Cheap enough kitschy stuff....heck yeah, I wanted it.
I am in PA visiting my Dad. We'll be eating Easter brunch at my brother's place. It will be nice to see everyone. A little spring renewal.
My sister is on spring break for the upcoming week and she'll be popping in and out. Will we accomplish any clean out? Will Dad allow us to pry stuff loose from his arthritic hands? Can we run faster than him using his walker?
Stay tuned. I will answer these questions and have some Dad senior stories at the end of the month.
Meanwhile - Happy Easter - enjoy the spirit of the season.
From the cover blurb – Commonwealth by Ann
Patchett is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of
stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and
responsibility that bind us together.
Patchett is a glorious writer who can weave together a tale
that will pull you in and not let go. Bert Cousins shows up for Franny’s
christening party. He’s not been invited, but the Keatings welcome him because
that’s what they do. By nightfall he’s kissed Beverly (the mother) and
has set in motion the dissolution of two marriages and the joining of two
Five decades are covered in Commonwealth.
The six kids unite and manage to become friends, united against the parents
who betrayed them. Franny, our heroine, begins an affair with a famous
author, Leon Posen. Her stories to him of her family become gristmill for his
award winning book. Can Franny survive this betrayal of sorts? Can the family
overcome the losses, guilt, and connection they have to the past to overcome
the future? Humor and heartbreak are the connections in Commonwealth.
Through it all, Patchett’s writing is lovely. She captures
the characters, weaves her plot, and keeps us wanting more. I highly
recommend this book and shall not give away more plot. You must delve into it
yourselves. Dig deep and root for this family to pull together and make it
work. This is very much a book about current times, blended families, and the
power of love.
Holy Cow – Colin Whitehead’s book Underground Railroad
is just stunning. The story, the writing, and the characters. Totally
worthy of Pulitzer Prize nomination and many awards for 2016. Whitehead
reimagines the underground railroad as a real train. Cora is a slave on a
cotton plantation in Georgia. Caesar compels her to take a risk and join him
for escape. Oh, but plans go awry. Now they are hunted. There’s a secret
network of tracks and tunnels. We follow Cora and Caesar as they navigate the
system and you root for them all the way. But it’s tough.
First stop is South Carolina. Seemingly idyllic, but hiding
slave catchers and others blocking true freedom. Cora is so strong and
her odyssey is a journey through time and space. From the cover – Whitehead
brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War
era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America. The Underground
Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to
escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the
history we all share.
I was transfixed reading this book. It will break your heart
and also strengthen your resolve in rooting for Cora. Just knowing what her
grandmother went through, and her mother, and then her. Wow – so strong and
vital, and smart, and good, and worthy of a chance. Whitehead’s writing
is lovely. I enjoyed his book Sag Harbor, and now in this book he is
just better and stronger. There is no agenda. Just darn good writing and
a story for the ages.
Cover blurb – Writing about yourself is a funny
business…But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show
the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this. Bruce
Bruce Springsteen was Born to Run – in music,
in his life, sometimes from himself. Just as he gives his all on stage,
in the studio, and on his recordings, he gives his all in this book. He
discusses his demons, his depression, his restlessness, and his need to write
and perform music. His words pour out on the page – well crafted, poetic at
times, and rough and raw on other pages. I enjoyed this book a lot and I hauled
out some old albums for backdrop music.
He grew up Catholic and poor in Freehold, New Jersey. Poetry,
danger, and darkness fueled his imagination. He played the bars of
Asbury Park, and became beloved at the Jersey Shore. With the E Street Band,
they toured, wrote, toured more, and struggled often.
p.15 I am alienating, alienated, and socially homeless…I
am seven years old
p.237 There was no master plan guiding band selection
beyond instinct, geography, and the power of the music once we began to play.
p. 243 describing the late Clarence Clemons-genius sax
player: He had the face of an exotic emperor, an island king, a
heavyweight boxer, a shaman, a chain-gang convict, a fifties bluesman, and a
deep soul survivor. It held one million secrets and none at all.
(any mention of Clemons is a joy in this book. The brotherly bond and love of
music shines through. And Springsteen loved and counted on Clarence Clemons as
a backbone to his life)
p. 369 on Patti Scialfa –his wife and bandmate – I was
more than a song, a story, a night, an idea, a pose, a truth, a shadow, a lie,
a moment, a question, an answer, a restless figment of my own and others’
imagination…Work is work..but life…is life…and life trumps art…always
If you love music, read this book. If you enjoy good writing
and a glimpse into a musical poet’s soul, read this book. Born to Run
by Bruce Springsteen is genuine to the core.
I treated myself a few Sundays ago to a symphony ticket. How glorious. As part of the Pops series, the Fort Worth Symphony presented Rodgers & Hammerstein show tunes accompanied by film clips. Basically, the symphony played and the singers on screen burst into song.
I knew them all thanks to my folks. My mother and father loved theater and show tunes and I grew up knowing Oklahoma , The King and I, Carousel, Sound of Music, and South Pacific. Wow - so many great songs.
If I Loved You, June is Bustin' Out All Over, There is Nothing Like a Dame, Some Enchanted Evening, Getting to Know You, Shall We Dance, Oh What A Beautiful Morning, and more....
I had a great seat in the orchestra section. The symphony did a grand job, and the clips brought back such awesome memories. I was fortunate to actually see Yul Brynner many years ago in a touring production of the King and I - holy cow - he commanded the stage.
Anyway, support your local musicians and go see some and hear some great tunes. I'll be going back, that's for sure.
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.