A. Reader

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Shopgirl by Steve Martin

My book club read the book for February. A slim volume and I had high hopes for the book - even though the movie was pretty well trashed by critics.
The story started well and I was quite impressed with funnyman Martin's writing style. He created the lonely shop girl, Mirabelle who works in the glove department of Neiman's, "selling things that nobody buys any more."
Of course, about the time that I am thinking that I might want to recommend the book to a couple people suddenly the F-bomb is dropped. And dropped frequently throughout the book. Not that I am a prude, but I really didn't need it more than the first time that was a shock value to the conversation.
The main character is a bit passive for everything that is going on around her, but she does make progress within the book.
Otherwise the story is cleverly written with moments of graceful pain.

Village School by Miss Read

Sweet and easy reading. A spinster school teacher who talks about life in the quaint English village and her two room school house. No scandels, not a single "desparate housewife", and no real pressing world issues. But nice stories without being too syrupy.
Mom called it a "cozy read" and that is how it should be read. Warm cookies and a glass of milk while under a blanket with a curled up kitty on your chest and/or a dog laying at your feet.

Village Centenary, Thrush Green and Mrs. Pringle of Fairacre are other titles in the 30-plus series.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Maybe a Miracle by Brian Strause

While sneaking out to get high before his senior prom, Monroe Anderson discovers his little 11-year-old sister Annika floating face down in their swimming pool. He jumps in to save her and manages to restore her breathing, but she is left in a coma. Soon miracles seemingly begin occurring around her: the face of Jesus appears on the hospital wall, rose petals rain down from the sky, and Annika begins displaying stigmata on her body. She soon inspires pilgrimages and visits from the sick and grieving seeking healing in her presence. Monroe’s mother turns their home into a religious shrine for the comatose girl. His workaholic father grows increasingly distant. Monroe struggles to make sense of all the craziness and stay connected to the little sister he has always known and loved.

This was a fairly interesting novel. It kept me wondering what was going to happen and often surprised me.

Cell by Stephen King

A pulse is transmitted simultaneously to every cell phone around the world, turning all who hear it into savage, zombie-like killers. The small minority of non-cell phone users (or “normies”) are left to survive in a world overrun by “phone-crazies” and attempt to somehow defeat them and restore some semblance of civilization. I am not a big Stephen King fan, but I just couldn’t resist the theme of the demonization of cell phones.

Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle

This graphic novel recounts a French-Canadian animator's two month stay in North Korea. He travels to Pyongyang to oversee the production of a cartoon for his French company. This book gives a fascinating glimpse into what has to be one of the most bizarre places on the planet.