The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

From Donna Southard
author: Larson, Stieg
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
This is one of the best books that I have read in a long time!  My friend had recommended it to me and he had told me to not give up on the book until I get to page 100.  By page 70, I was hooked!  (The beginning was not as exciting as the rest of the book.)  I can’t wait to read Stieg’s other books!  This was a great summer read!  I especially liked that Stieg integrated a theme to end the exploitation of women throughout his murder mystery plot.

Drive

From Donna Southard
author: Pink, David
Drive
This is an interesting business book related to the concept of employee motivation.  Pink explains that there is a third way that people are motivated (compared to Theory X and Theory Y)and he labeled it Theory I (intrinsic).  Pink believes that most people want to make a positive difference in the world rather than just obtain a paycheck. Pink states that there is a missing link between scientific studies on human motivation and what is being applied in the business world.   I learned about “for-benefit” companies where profits are not the main focus of operations.  Pink states that Theory I (intrinsic) should be implemented by managers to develop a higher level of employee input.  I liked the concept of 20% work days where an employee can use one day a week to work on whatever interests them.  This is a quick and interesting business book to read.  It did make me think about the concept of motivation and how the current strategies to motivate people are seemingly misdirected in today’s industries and schools.

A New Earth

From Donna Southard
author: Tolle, Eckhart
A New Earth
I read this book because it was recommended as an Oprah must read book in her June edition of O magazine.  I read Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, last year and I found it be to very repetitive.  Tolle’s second book (this one) I found to be written the same way.  It is not exciting to read.  I felt that the message of the book could have been summarized in 5 pages.  I forced myself to finish it.  This was the only Oprah Club book that I read that I would not recommend for others to read.

Leaving Unknown

From Maryann Daquila
author: Reichs, Kerry
Leaving Unknown
A cute and entertaining tale of a young woman’s search for her identity and purpose in life.  Highlights the freedom and adventurouse spirit common in the young women of today who know there purpose and opportuny in life can lie far beyond the constrains of their home town and what they already know.

The Pinballs

From Chloe Rafferty
author: Byars, Betsy
The Pinballs
This book is about three children who are sent to a foster home. Their names are Charlie, Harvey, and Thomas J. It’s really hard for all of them at first. Carlie said they were all pinballs being bounced around. But later, as time went on, they realized that they aren’t pinpalls and they can SO control their own lives. all of them fight at first, but then treat each other like brothers and sisters. This book also gives us a taste of reality for some people.

Because of Winn-Dixie

From Chloe Rafferty
author: DiCamillo, Kate
Because of Winn-Dixie
This book was amazing!!! it’s about a girl named Opal who finds a dog in the supermarket. When the manager says to call the pound, Opal saves the dog by saying he is hers. she names him Winn-Dixie, because of where she met him. They become best friends, and Winn-Dixie finds more friends for them including Gloria Dump, Ms.Franny, Sweetie Pie Thomas, Otis, Amanda Wilkinson, and Dunlap and Stevie Dewberry. Any person of any age will enjoy this book.

The One From The Other, A Quiet Flame, If The Dead Rise Not

From Lynne Demestichas
author: Kerr , Philip
The One From The Other, A Quiet Flame, If The Dead Rise Not
I always found books about Pre-War Germany to be less than fascinating and to be fraught with drama. My dad recommended a few books to me by Philip Kerr,calling him a beautiful writer, a real story teller. And yes,the main character, detective Bernie Gunther, turned out to be quite a colorful gumshoe.From Berlin to Potsdam to Buenos Aires, Gunther is always hired to find someone,whether he (or she) be a Nazi criminal on the run, or a post war Jew looking for missing family.It’s kind of easy for him as he spent his early years as an SS, an SA, a Berlin policeman and a life-long detective.Let’s just say he has plenty of connections!Trouble follows him everywhere and in each of these books, there are fascinating de-“tales” and facts about pre-war and post war Germany, with appalling truths and outrageous descriptions.I wanted to read every book in the Gunther series as I,too,followed  his investigative footsteps with interest and curiousity.Still reading some of  his others with enjoyment.

Fast Track

From Mary Quirindongo
author: Michaels,Fern
Fast Track
Another great book in the sisterhood series. A year has gone by since the girls banded together to right the wrongs that have gone on. This time mysterious visitors come and hire them to fix a problem with the World Bank. If they succeed they will be rewarded beyond their wildest dreams. Money that they want to donate to abused spouses and children.As soon as their mission starts they run into problems. In the course of their adventures, the women have learned that when friends band together miracles can happen.

West with the Night

From Catherine Costanzo
author: Marhkam, Beryl
West with the Night
This was a very interesting non-fiction book about Beryl Markham who lived most of her life in Africa.  She grew up learning how to train racehorses — and later on learned to fly.  She used to fly safari hunters to different places within Africa — and attempted to be the first person to fly from England to the US.  Interesting reading especially if you have ever been to any of the places she mentions in Africa — or have any familiarity with Denis Finch Hatton or Baron Blixen.

Claire Voyant

From Elaine Pasquali
author: Rosenberg, Saralee
Claire Voyant
This book is both funny and fun to read.  The story is set in Plainview, L.I. and Miami, so readers will be able to identify landmarks, like the Plalinview Diner. Despite her light and frothy writing style, Rosenberg raises some thought-provoking questions about adoption, destiny, life after death, and after death communication.  In fact, she poses some “Hot Topics for Book Discussions” at the end of the book.  What I found amazing was that I was contemplating some of these questions while reading a book I would characterize as “light reading.”  Talk about a spoon full of sugar making the medicine go down!