Where Are You Now

By: Mary Higgins Clark

I remember when I was little and just starting to read chapter books, I loved to read mysteries (and of course horror stories by R.L. Stine, but that’s besides the point).  However, now that I have moved on from the chapter books, I haven’t come across many mystery novels that are actually very mysterious.  About halfway through the book, I tend to have a pretty good idea of who did it and how.  Mary Higgins Clark’s novel Where Are You Now was the exception.  I had never read one of her books before, but I was very pleased with her easy to read style and a story that kept pulling me in different direction on different leads.

The gist of the story is this: there is a young man who goes missing but calls home to tell his family that he is ok every year on Mother’s Day.  Then a woman gets abducted on her way home from a club late one night and these two crimes get confusedly intertwined, with multiple plausible suspects, the case is not solved until the last chapter.  At the risk of giving away too much, I will leave it at that.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially to the reader that is looking for a light, easy read that will keep you interested.

Rigged

It was good enough to keep me reading, but unlike Mezrich’s other more famous book (Bringing Down the

House), Rigged wasn’t nearly as exciting and didn’t have quite the same effect of surprising you when you realized it was a true story. That being said, it was ok, but worth the read if you are looking for something easy.

The story follows a young recent MBA graduate who stumbles into what is probably the most financially rewarding industry in the country – trading energy futures.  He has to deal with all of the people standing in his way and prove himself as not just a stuck up Harvard boy.  He quickly gains the respect of his peers and his superiors which allows him to undertake an unlikely business venture in the Middle East only about a year after 9/11.

I would say give it a shot if you are looking for something light – although in my mind, it is definitely a better book to get from the library than to spend your book budget on.

Netherland

The way I see it, there can be three problems that arise in a novel and make it fall short.  First, the plot can just be something that is not interesting to you so no matter how well it is written and how artistic and creative is, you are just simply disinterested.  Second, the grammar and writing style can be so frustrating to the reader that it makes the reader hate the characters and/or the author.  And third, the character development just isn’t there.  For Netherland, the last issue was the one that got to me.  When you sit down to read a book about a person and their experience for almost 300 pages, you better like the person.  Joseph O’Neill (the author) never gave me any reason to really care about Hans van den Broek or his problems.  The idea behind the novel was a decent one.  It follows the story of a dutch banker and how he is enmeshed in the multicultural city of New York, mainly through meeting people on the cricket field.  However, I felt it never really got all the way into the story, and I never actually cared what happened to the protagonist or his friends.

Microtrends

Microtrends book“Microtrends” was surprisingly good.  Usually I don’t enjoy business books.  This one however was quite interesting.  Each chapter discussed an emerging trend.  Some are religious, some are lifestyle based, some are political.  Each discussed groups and the trends that are emerging….And what repercussions might come from it.

So read it if you like….I certainly did.

Handle With Care

handle with careI finished “Handle With Care” last weekend.  I have to say it was rather disappointing.  I also should say that I was prepared for disappointment.  A couple years ago, I read Picoult’s “My Sister’s Keeper” and really enjoyed it.  It was a story of a family with one child who had leukemia and another conceived to be a genetic match and live life as a perpetual donor to her older sister.  I enjoyed the story – and the writing style as each chapter is told from a different character’s perspective.

Since then, I have read a few of her books and they all seem to follow the same formula: a tragedy, multiple perspectives, one tragic character, one character denied much needed attention, and some surprising twist at the end.  Though, now the surprises are getting quite predictable.

“Handle With Care” followed the same pattern.  Willow is born with osteogenesis imperfection – brittle bone disease.  Amelia is the much neglected older sister.  Then comes the wrongful birth lawsuit as Willow’s parents sue their obstetrician for not informing them early enough of this condition….

I’m sure you can imagine how this all pans out.  It is an easy enough read.  And not awful.  Just disappointing when comparing it to Picoult’s other books.

Dewey

dewey“Dewey…The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World” was about what you’d expect – a cat.

I’ve looked at this book a million times in the bookstore and kept putting it back on the assumption that it would be a book about a cat.  A friend gave it to me a couple weeks ago for a belated Christmas present so of course I read it…like I do almost everything else that is put in front of me.  It is about a cat but also about a small town in Iowa going through a farm crisis, individuals overcoming personal struggles, and much more.

Dewey had an unfortunate beginning.  As a kitten, he was left in a library drop box on an evening well below zero degrees.  I can personally relate to this with my kitten Bill.  While he wasn’t left in a library drop box, someone decided it would be a good idea to break his tail, hips, and face before he was found, passed around from house to house, and ultimately we ended up with this very abused kitten.  The similarities between the two of them made me much more interested than I likely would have been if I didn’t have a cat, too.

It was an easy and for the most part, light read….Just beware, it is VERY sad at moments too…Though, I’m not going to recommend this book to anyone who doesn’t like cats.  I can hear them now complaining about how much cat people talk about their cats and this book epitomizes a cat person talking about her cat.

Pope Joan

pope joan“Pope Joan” by Donna Woolfolk Cross tells the story of a woman in the 850s who could possibly be the only woman pope the Catholic Church has seen.  The possibility of a woman in such a position is seemingly unlikely however still a possibility based upon all of the tales told through the times.

Joan is born to a religious father and Saxon mother.  She is the yougnest child with two older brothers who are expected to learn and follow in their father’s footsteps.  Her oldest brother encouraged her love of learning by teaching her to read.  After he died, she continued to read and write and is tutored until a bishop from another town requests her presence in their school.  Her father immediately dismisses the idea and sends her brother instead.  So begins the journey Joan takes until she ultimately becomes the Pope.

This story follows her from the day of her birth through her childhood and the events that lead to Joan becoming John Anglicus and living the life of a man of religion.  She loves learning and questions the injustices of the world.  Her story is interesting and an incredible example of the possibilities for someone willing to fight for what they believe in.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.