Next life might be kinder

From Catherine Given

Author:  Howard Norman

Title:   Next life might be kinder  

Some books are easy – they give us free choice to dip into their pages — others hold us captive. This one’s hold was surprisingly fierce. In Next Life Might Be Kinder, Sam, a newly married writer/birdwatcher and Elizabeth, his gentle wife who is writing her dissertation, set up housekeeping in an apartment in an old Halifax hotel.

Howard recounts their dreamy, Zen-like existence, enlivened once a week by dance lessons, shattered to smithereens by Elizabeth’s murder. Norman depicts Sam’s devastation in a spell-binding, no-frills, stream-of-consciousness style.

Peter, an egomaniacal filmmaker, breaks through Sam’s numbing grief when he makes him an offer for the couple’s tragic story – one Sam feels he can’t refuse. Violation of Sam’s privacy and desecration of his memories of Elizabeth ensue, putting Sam’s ethics and his patience with Peter, to the test.

 

Six Years

From  Rosemarie Jerome
Author:  Harlan  Coben
Six Years
A broken hearted college professor, Jake Fisher, watches is ex-lover, Natalie, marry another man, Todd. He tells her that he loves her and she makes him promise that he will never contact her again. He keeps that promise for six years until a momentous event occurs, he sees Todd’s obituary online. Jake attends the funeral but another woman is the grieving widow. Where is Natalie? His search for her unearths lies, secrets, conspiracies and violence. His world and reality is destroyed but he knows that he must discover the truth about the woman that he loves.

The narrator of this suspense, Scott Brick, is a master storyteller who navigates the listener through these plot twists and draws you into the story. His intense delivery captures you from the very beginning and he gives each character their own distinct voice by just using a subtle change in tone, pitch or dialect. His narration is very natural, never over the top, but you really get to know the characters by their (his) voice. I loved the characters with attitude like our hero.

The Night Circus

From  Ellen  Druda
Author:  Erin Morgenstern
The Night circus [sound recording CD]
This is the story of the romance between a man and woman destined as children to become opponents in a magical game in which only the winner will survive.  We follow them through their studies and formative years as they develop their skills as illusionists, able to manipulate the physical world around them.  Their stars cross and uncross and cross again working in the Cirque De Reves as the story draws to its fantastic conclusion.  Told in lush descriptive passages, the images are vivid of this turn-of-the-century steam punk night extravaganza, filled with eccentric characters, arcane magic spells, and dramatic love.  Narrator Jim Dale weaves the dialog around the plot points with a talent that enhances the richness of the text.

White truffles in winter

From Rosemarie Jerome
Author: N.M. Kelby
White truffles in winter : a novel
This literary gem needs to be shared. It is a quiet, intense portrayal of a man who loved two women but whose passion was food. This man is the great French chef Auguste Escoffier and this is his elegant “memoir in meals.” Like his magnificent culinary creations, there is a complexity to this story that evokes the spirit of the time and captures the essence of the man. His was a life of extremes: suffering and captivity during the Franco-Prussian War; wealth and splendor communing with royalty, high society, the powerful, and poverty in his declining years. The cornucopia of images and feelings bombard the senses and creates a rich realism that you could almost touch and taste. Escoffier did not want to be forgotten, this story makes you want to know more about the man who was an epicurean genius yet a sad, idealistic romantic.

Plain fear : forsaken

From Rosemarie Jerome
Author:  Leanna Ellis
Plain fear : forsaken 
Vampires and the Amish, sounds bizarre and I was skeptical at first but the story slowly lured me in until I was hooked.  It begins with a young man running for his life and evolves into a young Amish woman haunted by her dead boyfriend and an ex-cop from New Orleans hunting for his wife’s killer.  It is a dark story of secrets, love, faith and a battle to save a woman’s life and her immortal soul.

The Dead Travel Fast

Ftrom Rosemarie Jerome
author: Raybourn, Deanna
The Dead Travel Fast
Theodora Lestrange wants to be a writer.  When her childhood friend, Cosmina, invites her to Transylvania she sees it as an opportunity to explore the world beyond Scotland.  Cosmina told her stories of vampires, werewolves, strange rituals and exotic landscapes, this would be the perfect place for inspiration.  She soon realizes that legend and truth are entwined and murder and secrets abound.  Who do you trust when everyone has a motive to kill?  Is falling in love with a monster?  Can she escape?  Does she want to?  This gothic suspense will keep you guessing till the end and beyond.

Twilight

From Mary Polito
author: Meyer, Stephanie
Twilight
The book Twilight is about a young girl who is a little unsure about herself and moves to a new town to live with her father.  She begins a new  school and meets Edward who is amazingly beautiful to her however he seems different from all the other high school kids.  Slowly she starts to  get to know him and finds out his secret.  He is a vampire.  She is not afraid of him but starts to fall in love with him.  He tries to avoid her but he is also mystified by her.  The book follows their relationship and all its ups and downs.

Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum Series #16)

From Margie Hartough
author: Evanowich, Janet
Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum Series #16)
Summer is a great time to visit cool friends,   Stephanie, Lula, Connie, Grandma Mazur, Ranger, Morelli and they’re back with another adventure.  Cousin Vinny has gone missing and owes a lot of money for gambling debt. If Vinny goes down so does the bond agency and Stephanie has to do whatever it takes to save it, even listening to Lula’s crazy plans. Also Stephanie has  inherited a lucky bottle from Uncle Pip, which is supposed to bring luck.  Good luck or back luck no one knows! And the off again on again romance with Morelli is off, but Ranger is on this summer.  It’s just all fun!

Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind

From Jody Bassuk
author: Kelley, Karen
Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind
Very good.   It’s very entertaining when Mala, from the planet Nerak arrives on Earth to visit the planet that her grandmother wrote about.  She meets Mason and there’s that instant attraction–but of course he doesn’t believe in her when she tries to tell him she’s from another planet.  Mala learns about Earth (chocolate tastes better than food capsules) and builds a relationship with Mason.  Holds your attention but doesn’t have as much substance as other Karen Kelley books.