Monday, March 29, 2010

Jamie recommends "Game Change"

If you love politics and want to relive the 2008 presidential campaign then Game Change is the book for you. John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, arguably two of the best political journalists in the country, shed light onto one of the most dramatic campaigns in current memory. The book spends a lot of ink on the Democratic primary and, though we all know the outcome, the authors do a great job in highlighting the reversal of fortunes of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, throwing in the strange tale of John Edwards’ campaign for good measure. There were times when I had to remember that this was nonfiction, as some of the inside tales were so intriguing that I almost forgot that Clinton lost the nomination. The Republican side of the ticket was no less intriguing. The actual campaign between Obama and McCain is glossed over in comparison to the primaries, but no less interesting. The book was put together with information from sources who were actually there and it is quite a good read for anyone who likes or loathes politics.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bethany recommends "The Thief"

Megan Whalen Turner’s excellent series begins with The Thief. Gen is faced with the ultimate test of his skill as a master thief. The subtle layering of plot and character development is more amazing each time I read this book. The author creates a wonderfully realized world reminiscent of ancient Greece with some Renaissance Europe thrown in too. The subsequent titles The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia further the adventures of Gen. I hope there will be a fourth title but if not, The Thief is a great read.

Bethany recommends "The Sea of Trolls"

I read this over the summer and immediately had to read the second title The Land of the Silver Apples. Nancy Farmer writes the best characters. The Sea of Trolls is a great mix of fantasy and history with lots of adventure and exciting plot twists mixed in. The author creates characters that make you stick with you. I would read anything by Nancy Farmer and plan to read her other science fiction titles. This title is also an excellent choice for listening to on audio book. Third in the trilogy is Islands of the Blessed.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Juliane recommends "The Fixer-Upper"

If you like Chick Lit with a more mature tone and have a penchant for remodeling, this book is for you! It follows the trials and tribulations of Dempsey Killebrew. Dempsey is an assistant to a political lobbyist, but her career is soon tarnished because of her (unintended) involvement in a Washington D.C. bribery scandal. Unsure of how to revive her career, she leaves town when her father proposes that she start fresh and help him remodel an old plantation house he was recently bequeathed. The story quickly turns to Dempsey’s adjustment to small town life in the South. It follows her as she tackles a room by room overhaul of an old mansion with good descriptions of the renovation and restoration work. The author provides satisfying entertainment as Dempsey finds love with a young lawyer in town, but sometimes stretches the drama with the cranky old aunt character. Nevertheless, this is a fun read and I was happy to see Dempsey prevail in the end!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Gretchen recommends "Deaf Sentence"

David Lodge’s latest novel, Deaf Sentence, explores the human frailties of aging with Lodge’s characteristic satirical humor. Desmond Bates, a retired professor, finds himself in a ridiculous entanglement with an enigmatic graduate student because of a misunderstanding stemming from his profound hearing loss. His near deafness drives everyone crazy, including himself. Unlike Lodge’s previous novels, this one strikes a poignant tone with Desmond dealing with his aging father, and confronting his own mortality, the state of his marriage, and the meaning of life in retirement. Suitable reading for adults.