Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Summer Installment #2 - 2 Louise Penny Mysteries

I love Louise Penny murder mysteries. They're more suited for grown-ups, just because they move kind of slowly and the writing is pretty complex with lots of French thrown in, but high school students who enjoy mysteries would like them. I first read one of her mysteries a few years ago when she won a big mystery writing prize, and I've been working my way through ever since. She sets all her mysteries in and around a small fictional town in Quebec, Canada, called Three Pines. It sounds like a magical place, really, aside form the fact that there are murders and mayhem happening all too often. But besides that, who wouldn't want to live there? :-)

I heard an interview with her recently, and she said that she had to draw herself a map of Three Pines so she didn't accidentally put something in the wrong place. She also said she wasn't even sure the first would ever be sold, let alone a whole series. Nice to be wrong like that I'm thinking.

Recommended for high school and adult readers of mysteries. Available at the Multnomah County Library.

Summer reading installment #1

As usual, when summer comes I get way behind on my blogging. But I DO read a lot. I promise. In fact, I'm ready to turn in my Multnomah County Summer Reading sheet and hope to win a prize! How's your summer reading coming along? I saw they were giving out some prizes at my branch yesterday. Have you been in to collect yours? Remember, if you're a WOMS student, you're already signed up!

Here are the first five book blurbs of summer. Three were audiobooks. You know I love those, and I have been training for the Portland to Coast walk in late August, so I've logged a lot of miles listening.

I listened to Andrew Clements' Things that Are - Part of the Things Not Seen series. Or is it really a series? I think more like companions. Anyway, this one focuses mostly on Alicia, Bobby's friend who is blind. That blind thing worked out really well for him in book 1. You should read it if you haven't. Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. It had a good mysterious hook and good character development. Much better than the previous book in this collection.

I listened to Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell, and I have to say I did NOT like the main character for most for the novel. She was super annoying. Even her friends said so. Of course they didn't know they were talking to her - they thought they were talking to a character in her novel. The premise of this novel is that the main character's grandmother invited her on a vacation to SE Asia, and she was so self centered and rigid that she was missing so many opportunities. Drove me batty. She did come around by the end, but it was nearly too late for me to make my peace.

Knit 2 Together by Elizabeth Lenhard is part of the Chicks with Sticks series - a fun series about a bunch of teenagers who actually knit! I am way into crafty, homemade kinds of things, so it's really appealing to me. Again, though, not the biggest fan of the main character. She, too, started to come around, but really, girl, get it together!

Joy for Beginners is a grown up book that I actually won! It was about a woman who'd recovered from cancer and got together to celebrate with her friends. They were trying to encourage her to go on a trip with her daughter, but it was a rafting trip, and she was really apprehensive. She agreed to go, on the condition that each of them allow her to choose an activity THEY had to accomplish over the next year. She picked some doozies, and it was interesting to watch the women face their fears - many admitting they even had these fears for the first time. I enjoyed this book.

Once was Lost by Sara Zarr was the final audiobook in the group and it was a doozie. It was one of those that made me walk farther and want to keep driving just so I could listen. It is a super intense mystery, one with many red herrings that made me very unsure and a little panicky at times. A young girl goes missing form a small town, and pretty much everyone knows her. The story takes place over the short period of time that they are looking for her and focuses on the daughter of the family's minister, who seems to be losing her faith in God, and on the brother of the missing girl who is a suspect in the abduction. I thought it was fab!

So that's my first installment. I'm determined to get caught up before I leave for my last vacation of summer next weekend, so watch for more. We're heading to Lassen National Park where the sun will be shining and the books beckoning, so I'll be getting a lot more reading done there! See you again soon!