Tuesday, November 24, 2009

True Evil

I started listening to Greg Iles on the recommendation of a librarian from Shaker Heights. I listened to Turning Angel, and I loved the way Iles told a story. Even though it was graphic and the subject matter wasn't my favorite, Iles's mastery of the language and his ability to build a compelling plot led me to pick up True Evil. I loved this audiobook; it was suspenseful, the characters were strong, and the plot had a medical element that kept me on the edge of my seat.
I find medical and legal thrillers interesting because there are so many twists and turns that are dictated by powers beyond the characters' control. Special Agent Alexandra Morse visits Dr. Chris Shepard at his office, pretending to be a patient, but she is really investigating a series of mysterious deaths. Chris is next on the list. Like all of Iles's books, the story takes place in the evocative setting of Natchez, Mississippi. I can't say much more without revealing too much, so go and enjoy True Evil!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Peter and Max, by Bill Willingham

An excellent literary tie-in with the Fables series of graphic novels. If you haven't read the graphic novels (really, you should, they're fantastic) this still stands on its own. If you are familiar with the series, this fills in some back-story and builds on the main story line.

Complete Joy of Home Brewing, by Charlie Papazian

A tremendous resource for those curious about brewing their own beer. This book covers the history of brewing and how the American commercial brewing scene evolved, the science behind brewing, and the actual art involved.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Angela's Ashes

If you haven't read this book and enjoy audiobooks, this is a fantastic one to listen to. Frank McCourt narrates this autobiography of his childhood growing up in Ireland. His thick Irish brogue is charming and his tale transports you to the dirty streets of Limerick. Living in the lane, children went without proper shoes, food, and were plagued by the guilt ingrained in them by the Catholic church. His child-like style of narration is endearing as he introduces us to the people in his life: his father, a man who spends all his wages on pints and comes home most evenings singing Rody McCalley and Kevin Barry, making the boys get out of bed and promising to die for Ireland; his mother, who tries to support her broud of boys by scrounging for coal on the roads, begging at priests' doors, and getting used items from the St. Vincent Paul Society; his strict but supportive school masters; and his rambunctious brothers. You'll fall in love with this scrappy young Irish boy who survives typhoid and eye infections, who dreams of one day coming to America.

Dirty Little Angels

by Chris Tusa

Tusa immediately draws you into the world of Hailey Trosclair, a typical teenager discovering herself, questioning the meaning of life and the existence of God in a world fraught with misery, loss, and desperation. In such a short amount of time, you become entangled in the lives of the people in Hailey's life - genuinely feel for them, sharing their trials and their triumphs. Only a master craftsman could have created such a believable and emotionally charged narrative in a mere 170 pages. A must-read!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down (or close the window of my ebook). I was first intrigued by this rambunctious and endearing girl, remember what it was like to be a teenager, with the temptations of boys, drugs, parties, etc....then by utter suspense as surprising events unfolded in shocking detail. I was enrapt from beginning to end