Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Book Notes Returns

With the onset of homework, football games, and the passing of the Labor Day Holiday so ends the summer. As we welcome fall (and hopefully cooler temperatures), we'll share what some of the library staff have been reading this summer.

Alison @ Warrenton - One of the books I read over the summer was The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine (the pseudonym for mystery writer Ruth Rendell). Akin to the type of article you’d find in Vanity Fair Magazine, this fast-paced, suspenseful novel covers the rise and fall of a fairly selfish/self-centered British politician, the murder of his mistress and the mystery behind her death. The voices and personalities behind the two very different narrators, particularly the creepy, self-pitying Jane Atherton, make this a page-turner.

Beth @ Bealeton - One book I read this summer was Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories just to get a jump on Halloween, I guess! I enjoy short stories of all types because they’re easy to fit into my hectic schedule and because I think a special skill is required to construct a good one. This book contains 14 stories selected by Dahl, none written by him, although his nine-page introduction to the volume is quite entertaining. According to him, “Good ghost stories, like good children’s books, are damnably difficult to write.” He should know—he read 749 stories before finding the relative handful that met his standards.
Anonymous @ Warrenton - Over the summer I read Shaghai Moon by S.J. Rozan. This is the ninth in the author's Lydia Chin/Bill Smith mystery series but it can just as easily be read as a stand-alone by someone not familiar with the series. Enough of the characters' backstory is given that you don't feel left in the dark. Rozan is a very good writer and does lots of research. The story takes place in Shanghai's Jewish ghetto and includes scenarios that occur when different cultures meet, both then and now. The story and characters are well developed making this a very satisfying reading experience.
Gloria @ Marshall - Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson, is the delightful love story of two mature people from very different cultures. The ending made me want to stand up and cheer! I couldn't agree with her more. The relationship that develops between the Major and Mrs. Ali is a lovely thing to follow in this beautifully written novel.

Check back next week for another installation of recommended reads from library staff.

Dawn @ Warrenton

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