Saturday, May 16, 2015

HUSH, HUSH

 
 
 
HUSH by Laura Lippman
 
 
 
A mother leaves her child in a hot car as she sits in the shade of a tree near by.  She is acquitted by reason of insanity.  When this novel opens, that mother is back in her home town filming a documentary about the case.  She is also hoping to reconnect with her two teenage daughters.  Tess Monaghan, private detective, is asked by the woman's lawyer to assess her security needs and so Tess gets drawn into some mysterious happenings relating to the documentary. 
This book was entertaining and had some plot twists that kept me guessing.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"The Imitation Game"

Benedict Cumberbatch portrays Alan Turing in this outstanding film.  Turing is credited with discovering how to decode the Enigma machine, which produced the daily radio broadcasts from the Nazis during World War II. Being able to decode these messages saved thousands of lives, and, in the process, Turing molded the foundation of modern computing. As portrayed in the film, Turing reminds one of Sheldon of "The Big Bang Theory," but there is no humor in this story.  Like Sheldon, Turing was socially awkward,  considered his intelligence superior to his co-workers,  and insisted on following his own methods rather than more conventional methods demanded by his supervisors.  He was also homosexual, when that was still a crime in Great Britain.  Cumberbatch received an Oscar nomination for his role as Turing.  Keira Knightley is also excellent as his close friend and confidant Joan Clarke.  This film is now available in DVD at the Elmore library.  Reviewed by Amy @ Harris-Elmore P.L.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah




Sophie Hannah has resurrected Agatha Christie's beloved detective, Hercule Poirot,  in this mystery.  The plot is rather convoluted, but there are plenty of clues to help the reader solve the mystery along with Monsieur Poirot.  While I thought the plot was unnecessarily complicated, it was a pleasure to be back with Poirot and his "little grey cells."  The author has done a good job of re-creating this character.  Reviewed by Amy @ Harris-Elmore Public Library.

Monday, May 4, 2015

PIECES OF MY MOTHER

 
PIECES OF MY MOTHER, A MEMOIR by Melissa Cistaro
 
 
 
Melissa was the third of three children.  When she was three years old, her mother got into her baby-blue Dodge Dart and drove away.  Melissa's brother Jamie thought their mother left because he was bad.  Her brother, Eden, just kept crying and then escaping to the backyard where he would search for moths and crickets to kill.  Her dad, told them their mom was just taking a break from the family.  This well-written memoir alternates between Melissa's life in the present as a mother to her own two children and her life as she was growing up without a mother.  Her mother would periodically drop into their lives but she could never bring herself to return to motherhood full-time. The hurt from their mother deserting them affected Melissa and her brothers in different but profound ways.  The book is sad but eventually Melissa does find closure which is part of the reason she wrote this book.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Friday, May 1, 2015

TRUE STORY

 
 
TRUE STORY by Michael Finkel
 
Michael Finkel had his dream job - he was working for the New York  Magazine. Unfortunately in 2002 Michael Finkel was fired from this job because when he was supposed to be writing a true story about the chocolate industry he embellished and melded details and was found out.  The New York Times was going to post an online note about the firing the following week.  Michael decided to hole up in his Montana home and not answer his phone.  However, he did answer one call shortly before the notice would be posted.  The caller identified himself as a reporter from Oregon.  Michael figured he was calling about his shameful firing but instead the caller said he was calling about the murders.  This was how Michael Finkel found out that Christian Longo had killed his wife and three children and then fled to Mexico posing as Michael Finkel.  His curiosity getting the better of him, Michael Finkel made contact with Longo.  From there began a "friendship" between the two men that lasted until Longo's trial was over.  Finkel's goal was to find out what really happened that dark, cold night in December of 2001 to Longo's family.  The story Longo weaves is full or twists and turns, lies and deception.  Finally Finkel finds the answers he has been looking for, for such a long time.  This spellbinding nonfiction book kept me guessing and if you like true crime, this book will get under your skin.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

ELEPHANT COMPANY



ELEPHANT COMPANY, THE INSPIRING STORY OF AN UNLIKELY HERO AND THE ANIMALS WHO HELPED HIM SAVE LIVES IN WORLD WAR II
by Vicky Constantine Croke
 
This book, written about James Williams and his many years spent living and working with elephants is fascinating.  When James was 23 he moved from England to Burma to work in the Teak wood trade.  Quite soon he was in charge of the elephants who helped harvest and transport the Teak.  He learned how to look them over at the end of each day for signs of injury and he quickly bonded with the huge animals.  Eventually, he learned so much he could treat the elephants for most of their injuries or illnesses and knew each of his elephants intimately.  During the course of World War II, Japan tried to take over Burma.  Williams campaigned to have his elephants help serve the ally troops against the Japanese by helping rebuild bombed out bridges.  I learned so much about elephants from this book and felt as if I had taken a trip to Burma myself, so detailed were the descriptions in the book.  If you enjoy adventure and travel, you will love this book!
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library



WHERE THEY FOUND HER

 
 
WHERE THEY FOUND HER by Kimberly McCreight
 
 
This is a great mystery with an unexpected ending! The story opens when the body of a newborn baby is found in a the woods around a New Jersey  university.  No one can identify the baby or how she came to be there.  Molly Sanderson, who had just recently moved to town, was working as a journalist and was asked to cover the story.  Molly is troubled by the story since she had lost a baby a few years earlier and then suffered from a bout of depression.  As Molly delves into the mystery she uncovers many hidden secrets in her new town.  This was a great read!
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library