The Castaways: A Novel,
by Elin Hilderbrand
If you plan on heading to the beach or would like to curl up with a book on a rainy day during your vacation, The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand is an engaging and quick read that takes place on Nantucket. While there are plenty of plot twists, flash backs, and eight characters to follow through the novel, you get a very good picture of the personalities involved and their obvious and not so obvious relationships. You find out immediately that two of the characters are not actively in the story but they are an integral part of the life of the remaining six. Each chapter of the book continues the story of one of the characters and you really develop a picture who these people are and why they live in Nantucket. If you want to move on to other books by Ms. Hilderbrand, just pick up Nantucket Nights, Summer People: A Novel, or The Beach Club.
August 2009 Archives
The Castaways: A Novel,
by Elin Hilderbrand
I loved, I lost, I made Spaghetti,
by Giulia Melucci
Humor + Food = A Great Read
New books that debuted this summer include: I loved, I lost, I made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci. This short read is a memoir of a successful ex-VP of a publishing company, & a talented cook's failed love relationships. Although the heroine of the book; who is also the author, G. Melucci tells us about her "late start" in the dating scene at the age of 24 and embarking in a roller coaster ride of relationships and unexpected outcomes. Melucci endures several painful breakups until the last relationship she had in her early forties that ended in a startling style and set her off the edge as she evaluates what went wrong with all her past relationships. You can't help but keep rooting for Melucci and all her relationships in every chapter you read. Melucci prides herself in being a terrific cook and sharing that talent with the men she loves. In every chapter there are hilariously named recipes that she shares with her readers when she tells us about the special dinners & food creations she cooked for the men in her life. This novel is about hope, desolation, deception, humor, faith, social issues/societal norms, & most importantly, food. To conclude, this book has a little bit of everything enough to keep any reader interested. I wouldn't be surprised if this book will soon be turned into a television series akin to Candace Bushnell's Sex and the City. As said by the Kirkus Reviews in describing Melucci's book : "Giada De Laurentiis meets Candace Bushnell in this debut memoir from romantically challenged yet resilient Melucci . . . Frustrations whisked into a tasty treat of a story." And a tasty treat of a story it is.
by Kathy Reichs
Devil Bones, the first book by Kathy Reichs that his reviewer has read, is the author's eleventh mystery featuring the forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. After reading Devil Bones, it is easy to understand why Reichs's books are so widely read and became the basis for the popular television series Bones. The adventures of Temperance Brennan mirror many of the cases that Reichs has experienced in her "real-life" career as a forensic anthropologist. The crimes Brennan becomes involved with in Devil Bones have many juicy, as well as deadly, elements: voodoo, witchcraft, the fringe religion Santeria and some violent characters. Brennan aids police investigators in solving a series of gristly murders by using her forensic skills. This reviewer found Brennan's use of bone structure and other aspects of anthropology to solve these crimes fascinating and informative. The character of Temperance Brennan comes alive as Reichs writes about various events in her personal life that occur as she works on solving these crimes. Devil Bones is such fun and enjoyable reading that many readers will want to follow other cases Brennan has been involved with in the various books Reichs has written. As a bonus, there is an interview with Reichs at the end of this book that provides insight into how she writes her books and incorporates aspects of forensic anthropology into her writing.
Connecticut Baseball: The Best of the Nutmeg State,
by Don Harrison
If you enjoy semi-pro baseball, then you should read Don Harrison's Connecticut Baseball: The Best of the Nutmeg State. Harrison was a sports reporter for the Waterbury Republican-American, and covered local sports for 43 years. He has a vast knowledge of the teams that played in Bridgeport, Hartford, Waterbury, New Haven, New London and New Britain. The book contains interviews with 25 of the Nutmeg's state's best baseball players. These men grew up in Connecticut - some going on to play professional baseball and/or managing. These include: Bobby Valentine, Jimmy Piersall, Bobby Bonds , Charles Nagy and Mo Vaughn. It even includes an interview with John "Zeke" Bella from Cos Cob! The New Haven Ravens, a local team which Rick Langeloh and I used to go see at Yale in the late 1990s, is mentioned. I love the Appendix which contains: facsimiles of baseball cards of local players; records and award winners; a list of natives in the Baseball Hall of Fame; Connecticut-born managers; and World Series participants. This book is only 159 pages long, and is a quick, easy and fascinating read.