Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rise and Shine (Women's Lives and Relationships Annotation)

Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen is set in New York and tells the story of sisters Meghan and Bridget Fitzmaurice. Both sisters are in their 40's with Meghan being the eldest of the two sisters and is a successful news anchor for the morning show Rise and Shine. Meghan and her husband Evan live a jet set life. All of this comes apart after Meghan makes the worst mistake that can be made during an on air interview. Thinking her mic is off, and they've cut to a commercial break, Meghan blurts out the profane statement "Fucking Asshole" in reference to interviewee Ben Greenstreet. This was nothing less than career suicide for Meghan. Just before this life changing event Meghan's husband Evan decides to leave her because he's tired of their marriage being all about her. In the end the victim of their messed up life ends up being their son Leo who is shot in the Bronx. Bridget, Meghan's younger sister, is a social worker who runs a women's shelter for domestic abuse victims and addicts in the Bronx. Bridget is there to help Meghan pick up the pieces after all the fallout.

The Cat Who Talked Turkey (Mystery Annotation)

Not being a mystery reader by nature but having a love of cats I thought any mystery that involves cats might actually be enjoyable. I chose to read Lillian Jackson Braun's book The Cat Who Talked Turkey.
The story is set in the fictional town of Pickax. James Qwilleran is a newsman who goes by the name of Qwill. Qwill has two Siamese cats named Koko and Yum Yum. These are not your typical cats, they actually help to solve murder mysteries. In this case a new bookstore is to be built in the town of Pickax. Of course the local retired librarian Polly will be managing the store with her newly acquired Marmalade colored kitty named Dundee. While spending a quiet evening with his cats Qwill noticed that Koko the male cat let out a meow that he referred to as the "death howl". Little did Qwill know that within 24 hours he would get word that a man was found shot execution style on the same property where his lake cabin stood.
I enjoyed this story because it didn't involve a lot of blood and gore. It was light and was very much character centered.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bram Stoker's Dracula (Horror Annotation Classic)

Bram Stoker's Dracula takes you through a series of journal entries and letters of the young English solicitor Jonathan Harker. His journey takes him from England to a castle in the Carpathian Mountains where he is to provide legal support to Count Dracula concerning his castle real estate. Through many twists and turns you encounter struggles with love, fear and redemption.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kirkus Style Review - A New Song by Jan Karon

A New Song is the fifth book in the Mitford Series by Jan Karon. Father Tim Cavanaugh has just retired as Episcopal Priest of a small parish in the North Carolina town of Mitford. New adventures await as he agrees to assume the post of interim priest at a small church on Whitecap Island with his wife Cynthia. While the story seems like a clean break from the life he'd been living before leaving Mitford, don't be fooled. The story is just a mere extension of the life he'd been living for years. The only difference is the location and characters. While the 4 previous books were a delight to read and left you caught up in Mitford's town life. A New Song in reality should have been the beginning of a new series rather than trying to make it an extension of the old.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The List by J.A. Konrath (A Technothriller)

Tom Mankowski , Chicago Homicide Dectective Second Class just arrived on the scene of what appears to be a hideous homicide. The victim has been decapitated and the head has rolled under a desk. If that's not enough for you imagine each finger being systematically cut off one at a time. This wasn't your average Joe that was dead. This was Thomas Jessup who worked at the main branch of the Chicago Public Library. As the Medical Examiner and 2 cops begin to lift the body on to a cart the Medical Examiner sees something strange on the bottom of the victims left heel. After a closer look it appears to be the number 7 tattooed on the heel. What does all of this mean? It's the beginning of a coast to coast investigation involving 7 people marked for death.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Secret Shopper

Well, I must say my experience with secret shopping belongs in the R.A. hall of shame. I went to my hometown library where I have not been for a long time to see how things are progressing. I was in hope that the Shelbyville/Shelby Co. Public Library would be further along since my last visit. I was sadly mistaken.

I entered the front door looking for any sort of brochures that might discuss certain genres or collections. There were none to be found. I did come across the library newsletter which featured a read with the community program. The featured book is Rocket Boys by Homer H. Hickam Jr. The movie October Sky was based on the book. Within the newsletter they did feature other books dealing with space travel, rockets and astronauts that were age appropriate for school age children.

After looking around a little more I approached the sole staff person at the circulation desk and said "Hi, I'm looking for a good book to read." "Do you think you could assist me?" I thought the staff person might respond with "Well, let me think a minute." or possibly "Do you have a favorite author?" All hope was lost when the response I received was "No, no I don't think I can help you, I really don't read books anymore because I can't see." I thought to myself, you can't see but you're working the circulation desk. Does the director know about this? Then the staff person went on to say that they did listen to books on audio. I asked if they could assist me with a good audio book. The response I got was, "Well, the last audio I listened to was a Carol Burnett biography." "It's over there about 3 shelves down." Well, I went and looked "over there" and had no luck.

After that fiasco I pretty much left the scene.