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What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.

Paperback: 488 pages
Publisher: Berkley Books;(April 24, 2012)
ISBN-10: 9780425247440

alice

 

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…

I do not remember what I was thinking when I purchased this book… it wasn’t my usual mystery/ murder/ or fantasy type.

But it certainly was interesting and got me to thinking alot.  How would you deal with the fact you no longer remembered the last 10 years of your life?  You don’t remember having 3 children, or what they even look like.  You don’t remember that you are in the process of a divorce from the man you married and loved and was the father of your children…  Difficult to think that could happen or how you would feel.

So, as different a book that this is to what I am use to reading…it was a book that I kept picking up, wanting to know how Alice was dealing with it and how it would all end.

In between there was her sister Elisabeth who had her own tragedies so you have a secondary story to follow.

A very enjoyable story and well told by the author.  It certainly makes you look back on your life and wonder, what if it happened to you?  Would your life be different today from it?

Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn.

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers;August 4, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0547076452

dark

 

From Booklist

Hahn offers another eerie, suspenseful ghost story filled with family secrets. Thirteen-year-old Ali is thrilled when her aunt Dulcie invites her to spend the summer at the family’s Maine cottage, where Ali will help babysit her four-year-old cousin, Emma. Things fall apart, however, when Sissie, a mysterious, manipulative girl, befriends Emma. As tensions rise, Ali begins to piece together rumors about a childhood tragedy that continues to haunt her mother and Dulcie. Early on, Hahn drops heavy hints about who Sissie is. Guessing her identity won’t spoil the suspense for readers, though; on the contrary, it will feed their sense of terror as events unfold. The emotional weight of family dynamics and the private burdens of adults might have overwhelmed the ghost story, but Hahn maintains the momentum with scenes that will chill readers as surely as a plunge in cold water. Young people will easily connect with sensitive Ali, whose search for family truths feels like "good practice for crossing a minefield." Gillian Engberg

wow!  A quick and excellent ghost story!  Not sure what I expected but this was quite a good, short read!

The mystery behind the whole story doesn’t totally come out until close to the end, but all along you know secrets are being kept by the adults in the story. I really enjoyed this little book… couldn’t put it down!  Great little book to have with you when on the move.

Guessing this book would be for anyone but believe it was written for ages 9 and above.. ’cause it is a bit scary!

Behind the Bookcase

Behind the Bookcase by Mark Steensland.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Yearling;(September 10, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0385740727

bookcase

 

A girl stumbles into a fantastic world in this tale perfect for fans of Coraline, Alice in Wonderland, and The Twilight Zone.

Spending the summer at her grandmother’s house is the last thing Sarah wants to do—especially now that Grandma Winnie has died—but she has no choice. Her parents have to fix the place up before they can sell it, and Sarah and her brother, Billy, have to help. But the tedious work turns into a thrilling mystery when Sarah discovers an unfinished letter her grandmother wrote: Strange things are happening behind the bookcase. . . . 
Sarah’s mother dismisses the letter as one of Grandma Winnie’s crazy stories, but Sarah does some investigating and makes a remarkable discovery: behind the bookcase is a doorway into Scotopia, the land where shadows come from. With a talking cat named Balthazat as her guide, Sarah begins an unforgettable adventure into a world filled with countless dangers. Who can she trust? And can she face her fears, not only in Scotopia, but also back at Grandma Winnie’s house, where more secrets and strange goings-on await her?

I must have found this for 50 cents .. and even if it’s written for the very young.. it’s still a fantasy fiction.  A great book to have your child read or to read to them!  Nicely illustrated too!

Sometimes I think those that write for the young have better imaginations then do adult writers.  It’s a welcome change and think that most people who read a lot should read something simpler (but not written down to the young) and more imaginative.  It reminds me of the days when books, radio and television were our only alternatives to "escapism". (plus our own imagination of course)

But, I will let the Amazon review let you know what you need to know. 

The Fifth Heart

The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons.

Hardcover: 624 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (March 24, 2015)
ISBN-10: 031619882X

5heart

In 1893, Sherlock Holmes and Henry James come to America together to solve the mystery of the 1885 death of Clover Adams, wife of the esteemed historian Henry Adams–member of the Adams family that has given the United States two Presidents. Clover’s suicide appears to be more than it at first seemed; the suspected foul play may involve matters of national importance.
Holmes is currently on his Great Hiatus–his three-year absence after Reichenbach Falls during which time the people of London believe him to be deceased. Holmes has faked his own death because, through his powers of ratiocination, the great detective has come to the conclusion that he is a fictional character.
This leads to serious complications for James–for if his esteemed fellow investigator is merely a work of fiction, what does that make him? And what can the master storyteller do to fight against the sinister power — possibly named Moriarty — that may or may not be controlling them from the shadows?

Hooray! Dan Simmons has done it again!  I know Dan Simmons has many books out, many of which are not to my topic liking, but when he does one that suits me.. he’s fantastic!  I’ve read his book Drood (over 600 pgs ) twice because I like it so much.. now I can add The Fifth Heart!

He is a master at taking real characters, mixing them with fictional character adding great descriptions of time and places and come up with a really good book to read.

This time his main character is "fictional, Sherlock Holmes".. or is he fictional?

It takes place in the United States (I prefer stories in the British Isles) and uses many historical real characters. 

On the day that James decides he will commit suicide he meets Sherlock and Sherlock basically turns him, for all intent and purposes, into "Watson" (side kick), and in turn saves his life.

I was running through this books when I was due to have company and then go away for a week and so the last 140 pages I just finished today.

If you like books that use fictional and real characters along with a good story… this book fits the bill!

I’ll keep this book along side of Drood, for a future reread!

Books Read in April..

For me, I have done exceptionally well reading this year!  But it is about to fall off a bit in May as I will have company and not be reading very much for a while.  But until then, here’s my list of seven books for April:

 

April…

25..The Alchemyst…………………..Michael Scott…….(400 pgs)

The Alchemyst is the first of a 6 book young adult series… it is really, really, (REALLY) a good series!  Matter of fact Paramount PIctures has bought the rights to make a movie from the first book!  And if that’s not enough to want to read them:  Michael Scott is a fantastic writer! (’nuff said)

26..What She Left Behind…………….Ellen Marie Wiseman.(321 pgs)

I have to admit that all the books I read this month were really good.. including this one!

27..The Forgotten Girl………………David Bell……….(448 pgs)

David Bell has turned into a writer that I enjoy.  I’ve read a number of his books and they all are good reads!

29..The Lewis Man…………………..Peter May………..(320 pgs)

ok… so this Peter May series that begins with The Blackhouse, and takes place in the Hebrides Islands (Lewis Island) off of Scotland are just and outstanding trilogy!!

30..Firedrake………………………Richard Knaak…….(234 pgs)

This one, although I liked it would be my least favorite. 

31..The Chessman……………………Peter May………..(308 pgs)

Book 3 of the Peter May trilogy.  I wish it wasn’t over the characters and the Island are all fascinating even if the story is fiction!

32..Gaudy Night…………………….Dorothy Sayers……(544 pgs)

I got a bit lost in this book. As I age I can’t keep track to too many characters! lol.. but still a good mystery!

Gaudy Night

Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers.

Series: Lord Peter Wimsey
Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks;(October 16, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0062196537

 

 

From the Back Cover

When Harriet Vane attends her Oxford reunion, known as the Gaudy, the prim academic setting is haunted by a rash of bizarre pranks: scrawled obscenities, burnt effigies, and poison-pen letters, including one that says, "Ask your boyfriend with the title if he likes arsenic in his soup." Some of the notes threaten murder; all are perfectly ghastly; yet in spite of their scurrilous nature, all are perfectly worded. And Harriet finds herself ensnared in a nightmare of romance and terror, with only the tiniest shreds of clues to challenge her powers of detection, and those of her paramour, Lord Peter Wimsey.

Basically we have a mystery at Oxford, seemingly based around the dons. (all women).

I easily admit I am not the brightest bulb in the pack and it took me a while to get into this book. A good part of the first half of the book was beginning to feel like it was overwritten.. a lot to do about not a big deal.  But the second half of the book perked up, especially when Lord Peter Wimsey entered the story.

It seemed to be a number of minor stories going on and so I found myself lost a number of times. But in the end I have to say I did enjoy the book.  I like the character of Wimsey, and I think I would have liked Harriet more had I read other books by Sayers. 

Of course the ending is one you didn’t really see coming… but then that’s what a good mystery is about.. not knowing the ending before it happens!

Another moment to admit that Oxford would not have been for me! lol.  Brilliance abounds with the dons but I really didn’t feel that "doing what they loved" made them happy people… I found that odd.

So.. onward and upward to another good book… I hope!

The Chessmen by Peter May.

Series: Lewis Trilogy

Hardcover: 308 pages
Publisher: Quercus;(February 3, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1623656044

 

 

Amazon Review

Now, with The Chessmen, Peter May gives us a dramatic conclusion to his award-winning Lewis trilogy. Living again of the Isle of Lewis, the ex-Detective Inspector Fin McLeod is working as a security officer for a local landowner. While investigating illegal activity on the estate Fin encounters the elusive poacher and former childhood friend Whistler Macaskill.

But while Fin catches up with Whistler, the two witness a freak natural phenomenon–a ‘Bog Burst’–which spontaneously drains a loch of its water, revealing a mud-encased light aircraft with a sickeningly familiar moniker on its side.

Both men immediately know that they will find inside: the body of Roddy Mackenzie, a friend whose flight disappeared more than seventeen years before. But when Whistler’s face appears to register something other than shock, an icy chill of apprehension overtakes Fin. What secret has Whistler been hiding from him, and everyone else on the island? Fin is unprepared for how the truth about the past will alter the course of the future.

What a really good trilogy!  Love our protagonist, Fin, and all the characters we meet along the way.  Even by the end of book one you feel you know Fin, but learn more about him with each book.

The atmosphere is phenomenal!  In the first two books you feel you’ve stepped back in time.  The Chessmen I had a little more feeling of "more recent".  But no matter what Peter May writes a great story!

As in the other books there has to be a death or a body.. or both! 

This time I had some moments where I felt it was being stretched out a bit… but he sure makes up for it in the last 80 pages!!

I certainly learn things when he writes also… never heard of a "bog burst"!  But then again until my second life here in Florida I had not known of sink holes!  So there ya go lol.

I think I tried to read the Chessmen a little slower because I didn’t want it to be the last I’d read with these characters. To sum it up I would say that anyone who likes mysteries and plenty of atmosphere will not be disappointed in this trilogy!

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