Sunday, May 1, 2011

April Book List

Nothing like Spring Break to get a few good books under your belt!  I love April!

This month I read:

Live Wire by Harlan Coben.  This is another Myron Bolitar book, one of my favorite series.  I'm looking forward to the next book, which you find out about at the end.  Looks like a whole new chapter for both Coben and Bolitar.

The Siege by  Ismail Kadare.  This gem was tossed in with the two bricks my mother-in-law left for me last month; and foolishly I saved this one for last.  This was originally written in Albania in 1970 about "a 15th-century Ottoman siege of a Christian citadel in Albania."  It won the Man Booker International Prize in 2005.  There were so many fascinating little details about this era interwoven with the narrative about life during campaign season.  I know next to nothing about Albania, but now I'd like to read more.

Circle of Quilters by Jennifer Chiaverini.  I used to buy these books the moment they hit the bookstore, but somehow have fallen behind.  One of my favorite things about these books is that Chiaverini manages to keep the stories about Elm Creek without them getting old the way some series do.  The original Elm Creek crowd are virtually background characters in this volume, but you still get to check in with them.  A word of warning:  this was the most emotional of her books that I have read and, in my opinion, the most personal so far.  The section about Karen hit very close to home for me and, I imagine, Chiaverini and all mothers.  But I wasn't prepared for the section about Russ and Elaine.  While this may be my favorite of the books so far, it wasn't as much of the light, easy read that I have come to expect and enjoy.  Pro or con, you've been warned. 

Capital Crimes by Jonathan and Faye Kellerman.  I'm a fan of both authors, and this book is the best of both worlds.  It includes a novella written by each of them.  Apparently they've done this twice, so I'll have to look for the other one, called Double Homicide.  This prolific couple feeds my appetite for crime drama in different ways; if I were honest, I'd say I prefer Peter Decker to Alex Delaware, but either will do when I'm in the mood for a murder mystery.

Deadly Game by Catherine Crier.  The only thing that grabs me more than a murder mystery is a TRUE murder mystery.   This book covers the details of the Laci and Conner Peterson case, for which Laci's husband and Conner's father, Scott, was found guilty and sentenced to death.  I followed this case fanatically from Christmas Day, 2002, when Laci was initially reported missing, all the way through the sentencing.  This is the case that is used against me to prove my obsession; while the jury was deliberating I needed some minor surgery.  I arranged for a friend to text me if they came back with a verdict so I'd know as soon as I woke up.  I'm sure there is a 12-Step program for people like me somewhere; for now I just spend a lot of time at Websleuths.

And then, just to get another perspective, I read For Laci by Laci's mom, Sharon Rocha.  As much as they told the same story, this one dealt so much with the personal, gut-wrenching pain and search for answers.  I have never really been upset by a true crime book, but this was definitely hard to read in a different way.  Sharon writes so clearly about her agony that I was having a hard time not imagining myself in her place.  I couldn't put it down, but at the same time it was horrible.

The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier.  I have got to read the rest of her books.  I loved Girl With a Pearl Earring, and this one was just as good.  I'm fascinated by the way the art becomes a character in her novels, and I love reading the facts at the end - the little known true details that inspired the story.  Also, no one is brutally murdered.  Sometimes you need a break.

Too Late to Say Goodbye by Ann Rule.  One more true murder mystery that I followed in real life, this one hit very close to home as the victim, Jenn Corbin, and her husband/murderer, Bart Corbin, lived just one county over.  This is another crime that I followed closely as it was happening, and I was shocked along with everyone else when the case came to an abrupt halt.  

That gets me back on track for my New Year's Resolution to read a book a week.  Nineteen books in seventeen weeks - only thirty-three to go!  I'm sure being a little ahead will come in handy once September rolls around!

How are you doing on yours?

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