Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Feel like a good book?

I've had the lucky event of reading some really good novels lately (I love it when I stumble onto some unusual and good books) so I thought I'd share some of the ones that I especially enjoyed.
There's No Place Like Here by Cecelia Ahern

This was charming and unusual and poignant. Here's Amazon's summary:
"Sandy Shortt, an obsessive-compulsive Missing Persons investigator ... suddenly finds herself in the mystical land of the missing, desperate to return to the people and places from whom she has spent her life escaping. ... Ahern asks readers to step outside the boundaries of reality, and enter a world where missing people (and possessions) from all over the globe congregate to start anew. When Sandy goes on an early morning jog and strays too far into the forest, she too finds herself "Here," the aptly named home of the missing. In addition to finding her lost socks, diaries, and stuffed animals, she also finds many of the people she has searched for throughout her career." I loved this book. And it really makes you think about your own "lost things" differently.
The Age of Dreaming by Nina Revoyr

This was another unusual find, and an atypical story well-told. It's narrated by an elderly Japanese man looking back on his days as an actor in 1920's Hollywood silent films. Here's how Publisher's Weekly describes this novel:
"Prompted by a journalist's visit in 1964, 42 years after he left the screen for good, Jun revisits his youth in Japan, his discovery at L.A.'s Little Tokyo Theater, his rise to stardom and the scandalous events that led to his abrupt retreat from public life. Mixing real people with fictional characters like principled Japanese actress Hanako Minatoya, troubled starlet Elizabeth Banks (not the one in Seabiscuit), ingĂ©nue Nora Minton Niles and dashing director Ashley Bennett Tyler, Revoyr creates a vibrant portrait of a time when the film studio was a place of serious work. As Jun reveals the secrets he has kept for decades, he uncovers new twists in his own history and comes to terms with other painful experiences he has repressed, namely his loneliness and the effects of the anti-Japanese racism he mistakenly believed he could overcome by being as agreeable—and American—as possible."

This glimpse of LA and the silent movie world was fascinating, as was the style of narration.
Definitely an unusual story and an enjoyable book.

Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

This is an earlier novel by the authors of The Nanny Diaries. It's light chick lit, but fun and fast reading. It's about a woman who is haunted by the need for closure after her high school love became a rock star and has based all of his hit songs on aspects of their relationship. When he returns to their home town, she's determined to tell him off, for once and for all. It's funny and maddeningly familiar (to anyone whose had a seemingly great guy act like a big jerk) and fun reading.
Missing Witness by Gordon Campbell
I love a good legal mystery, especially when the trial details are reasonably accurate. And this was a fun surprise. Here's Booklists's summary:
"Sixty-four-year-old lawyer Campbell sent the manuscript of this novel, unsolicited, to Morrow, the publisher bought it within a week. That will come as no surprise to readers of this suspenseful legal thriller, which has drawn comparisons to the early work of Scott Turow. Campbell brings to it a deep love of the law and a great feel for his Phoenix setting. That's where recent law-school grad Douglas McKenzie takes his first job, passing up an offer from a blue-chip firm for a chance to work with legendary defense attorney Dan Morgan. The hard-drinking, chain-smoking ex-marine asks Doug to help him with a huge murder case when he learns Doug has a family connection to the defendants. A rich cattleman's son has been shot, and the murderer is either his glamorous wife or his emotionally disturbed 12-year-old daughter. The many finely detailed courtroom scenes crackle with tension as the driven Morgan, frequently hung over and so nervous that he sweats through his suit, makes his arguments with passionate conviction. A page-turner that is also a fascinating primer on the law."
I'm off to the library now for a new stack!

Sorry about the weird spacing-- I don't know why I can't get Blogger to do paragraphs this morning!

1 comment:

Dianne said...

Thanks for posting this, Diane. Stuck here in the Hinterlands of Australia, I'm often stuck for good book recommendations, but thank heaven for Amazon! Plus, I'll be in California on June 9 for three weeks...heaven!