Monday, May 30, 2016

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple Review

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

I loved this book. It was so much fun. I listened to the audiobook version, which was awesomely narrated by Kathleen Wilhoite. The narration was done well and added so much personality to story. She did a great job making the characters sound different even when their word usage was similar. There was a big shift about 2/3 of the way through and it was a total change. It wasn't believable, but that's okay if you just let it go and enjoy the story for what it is. The book is set to be made into a movie by director Richard Linklater (known for Boyhood, A Scanner Darkly) starring Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Lord of the Rings) is in talks to play Bernadette. I could easily see her in the role, though I think Tilda Swinton would be amazing as Bernadette. 

Amazon Description:

 Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

This book is available for checkout from the Lake County Library.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Writing Prompt

                                                      1. Into the Storm
                                                      2. This is where I leave you
                                                      3. The Wind Rises
                                                      4. A Land Remembered
                                                      5. Off the Grid
                                                      6. What was Mine
                                                      7. The Affair
                                                      8. Beyond the Ice Limit
                                                      9. Weekend Warriors
                                                     10. Cascade
                                                     11. City of the Sun
                                                     12. The Boys in the Boat
                                                     13. Fire Touched
                                                     14. Harbor Lights
                                                     15. Signature Kill
                                                     16. See Me
                                                     17. Troublemaker
                                                     18. Most Wanted
                                                     19. The Melody Lingers On
                                                     20. Making Peace

Have fun!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Obsession by Nora Roberts Review

The Obsession by Nora Roberts

When Maragaret, our shelving volunteer, handed me The Obsession by Nora Roberts and said it was a good book I thought egh. I had never read any Nora Roberts books before, traditional romance books aren’t my preference. I read the synopsis and the first pages and was quickly sucked into the book surprising myself. I checked the book out and took an early lunch.

Just before her twelfth birthday Naomi wakes and follows her father into the woods. She saves a life and exposes her father as a serial killer. The story is about her life being changed by the actions of those close to her and then her learning to make the changes she wants. Naomi is a fun main character and I enjoyed the whole bit about the house and photography stuff. One of my favorite moments from the book involved Tag, a road worn stray that is homed. While healing from being fixed he kept getting out of the cone of shame. So, Naomi made him the Pants of Heroism to wear instead. The visual image of the dog in pants was great. 

Even though I pegged the villain from just after their introduction it didn’t affect the enjoy ability of the story. The things that did bother me was how almost stupid the characters acted toward the climax of the book, typical  horror movie stupidity. While I won't be in a hurry to read her previous books, I would give her future books a chance to catch my attention. 

Amazon Description:
“She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.”

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

This book is available at the Lake County Library.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Writing Prompt

Post Secret Edition, use the postcard and/or secret to inspire a piece of writing.

Monday, May 16, 2016

What was Mine by Helen Klein Ross Review

  What was Mine by Helen Klein Ross

“Kidnap. Parse the word. It ought to mean laying down with baby goats. Words can be so misleading.”

That is the opening to the sensational What was Mine by Helen Klein Ross. I devoured this book and despite finishing it several days ago am still thinking about it. It was an enjoyable emotional roller-coaster. I have done something before in a weird unaware haze. Not fully realizing what I had done until afterwards. Having that kind of experience helped me to believe and understand Lucy’s experience in taking Baby Mia from the unattended cart. 

The story is told in short chapter alternating viewpoints, primarily from the kidnapper, the birth mother, and the baby’s once older with other characters views as well. Almost everyone gets at least one viewpoint chapter. This jumping around can sometimes be disorienting if mishandled, it was handled masterfully in What was Mine. The story was richer for it. 

My only disappointment is in the ending, not what happened but that it ended too soon. It ended just as something I really wanted to read was happening. I get why the author left it there but ugghhh I really wanted to read it how the author saw it going.

All in all, an engrossing read and my favorite book I have read so far this year. 

Amazon Description:

 Simply told but deeply affecting, in the bestselling tradition of Alice McDermott and Tom Perrotta, this urgent novel unravels the heartrending yet unsentimental tale of a woman who kidnaps a baby in a superstore—and gets away with it for twenty-one years.

Lucy Wakefield is a seemingly ordinary woman who does something extraordinary in a desperate moment: she takes a baby girl from a shopping cart and raises her as her own. It’s a secret she manages to keep for over two decades—from her daughter, the babysitter who helped raise her, family, coworkers, and friends.

When Lucy’s now-grown daughter Mia discovers the devastating truth of her origins, she is overwhelmed by confusion and anger and determines not to speak again to the mother who raised her. She reaches out to her birth mother for a tearful reunion, and Lucy is forced to flee to China to avoid prosecution. What follows is a ripple effect that alters the lives of many and challenges our understanding of the very meaning of motherhood.

Author Helen Klein Ross, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, weaves a powerful story of upheaval and resilience told from the alternating perspectives of Lucy, Mia, Mia’s birth mother, and others intimately involved in the kidnapping. What Was Mine is a compelling tale of motherhood and loss, of grief and hope, and the life-shattering effects of a single, irrevocable moment.

This book is available for checkout through the Lake County Library System.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday Writing Prompt

Below are partial sentences from What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross. Use them as the start of a new piece of writing. Enjoy.

                                         1. They gave us a pile of  ...
                                         2. When I got to the hotel, I learned ...
                                         3. I went to the clinic for ...
                                         4. I heard her the next day telling ...
                                         5. What I hated most was ...
                                         6. I learned to take refuge in ...
                                         7. Driving home with ...
                                         8. They had no lead on ...
                                         9. Store security called ...
                                        10. It is hard to find ...
                                        11. If she had cried, I would ...
                                        12. Next, a police lady ...
                                        13. I even apologized to ...
                                        14. It seemed everyone I knew was ...
                                        15. The worst thing was ...
                                        16. I did try to ...
                                        17. We had a family ...
                                        18. I can explain ...
                                        19. In the mountains ...
                                        20. The first day ...