Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jamie recommends "Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty

Big little lies

Part murder mystery, part study in domestic life in 2014, Big Little Lies, is intriguing and enjoyable as a mystery as well as a work of fiction.  The story revolves around three women raising Kindergartners in Australia. Their lives overlap through the school when one child is accused of bullying, triggering a chain of events that results in the death of a parent, but who died?  The story follows the lives of Madeline, the Queen Bee of the school moms, Celeste, the beautiful, wealthy mother who harbors a secret and Jane, the young new mom on the block who harbors her own secrets about her child's father.  This book was enjoyable and the central mystery, told through flashbacks, will keep you turning the pages until you reach the end.

This book is recommended for Adults.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Colette recommends "The Children Act" by Ian McEwan

Fiona Maye is a British High Court Judge in the Family Division and, as such, her life’s work is ‘bringing reasonableness to hopeless situations.” She is deeply cultured and believes that  kindness is the essential human ingredient -yet kindness IS complicated.  Fiona brings  rational  and compassionate clarity to life altering and murky court cases, showing how fragile we all are and how cautious we should be about disrupting another’s well-ordered life.  All the while, the equilibrium of her own life is being rocked by betrayal and an eventual recalibration of her long-term marriage.

Excellent small novel by Ian McEwan, recommended for the adult reader (also available on audiobook).

Monday, November 17, 2014

Colette recommends "The Paying Guests" by Sarah Waters

A very long novel with two story arcs set in a post WWI London suburb:  British society is changing and Frances Wray & her mother are forced to take a young married couple into their home, euphemistically known as ‘paying guests,’ because lodgers would be too common to live in a  home on Champion Hill. The Wrays live in genteel poverty with Frances duty-bound to her (helpless) mother, living  a life of constant drudgery, all dreams set aside.  Enter the young couple. There is a semi-slow build which is wonderfully seductively drawn out, “forget Fifty Shades of Grey, this novel is one of the most sensual you will ever read and all without sacrificing either good taste or a “G” rating” [NPR].  With a lesbian relationship center stage, a love story and crime drama develop.  So well written, this IS literary fiction at its best and it will keep you reading and guessing until the very end.

Highly recommend for the mature and discriminating reader.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Beth recommends: "The Innovators" by Walter Isaacson

I have not even finished this book yet and want to recommend it – highly!  This is the story of the people and personalities behind the creation of the computer and the internet, told in a way that renders it very accessible to the layperson.  The history starts with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who with her mathematics interest and expertise was a pioneer in computer programming – before there were computers.  I am currently halfway through the book and up to the stories of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.  So many interesting people – and successes and failures - preceded them.  I have no engineering or programming background, but still am finding this story fascinating – especially the focus on personalities, and the way in which collaboration and teamwork was so fundamental to the success of the many entrepreneurs and the world in which we live today. 

Recommended for Adult, Young Adult