Monday, January 3, 2011

Bobbye's Reviews

Welcome to a new year and new finds for your reading pleasure, whether in print or electronic format. These are combination reviews and recommended reads, two for the price of one. This time I have three picks that vary between small and large press, fiction and non-fiction for you to consider.

First the non-fiction:

What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures
By Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is back! I received this book for Christmas, and it didn’t disappoint. I’d read The Tipping Point, also by Gladwell, a while back. I liked it, but this one surpasses that, as I believe it has a much easier conversational quality. So tip a glass of white zinfandel and have fun. The topics are hilarious.

This quote sums it up:
"This evidence of a Gladwell effect helps to predict something larger: that Mr. Gladwell's new book will be as successful as his first three...This book full of short conversation pieces is a collection that plays to the author's strengths. It underscores his way of finding suitably quirky subjects (the history of women's hair-dye advertisements; the secret of Heinz's unbeatable ketchup; even the effects of women's changing career patterns on the number of menstrual periods they experience in their lifetimes) and using each as gateway to some larger meaning." (New York Times Janet Maslin)

Even if you’re not a big non-fiction reader, I think you’ll like this one.

Rescue Me
By Jennifer Johnson

In the mood for a sweet contemporary romance with a lot of sexual tension and no actual sex? Did I mention it’s all Southern with a dash of down-home humor? Then, this is the book for you.

Here’s part of the blurb:

“Sitting in front of her parents’ house in a U-Haul truck at midnight, Amy Mann decides it’s time to break it to them that she’s divorced from her husband and moving back home with her seven-year-old son, Toby. As Amy settles into her hometown, she has a plan to get out of debt, get her college degree, and put her life together.

Enter Captain Riley Pennimon, local firefighter and superhero to Amy’s son. Riley is kind, brave, and civic-minded. The captain does not fit into Amy’s putting-her-life-together plan, and yet he is way too good looking without a shirt. Much to Amy’s chagrin, Toby decides that Riley is just what they need for a happily-ever-after.”

Published by Turquoise Morning Press,, Rescue Me is one of those books to enjoy while sipping on a glass of hot Irish coffee. Well-crafted, Ms. Johnson’s book makes you feel for the complicated plight of each lover, thrust together by a father who wants to see his little girl happy and a son who thinks the sun rises and sets with the gorgeous hunky local firefighter. You’ll cheer and sigh as these two battle their inner demons to face a better future in love.

Beyond Guilty
By Richard Brawer

“Teenager Eileen Robinson lives in an ideal, middle class African-American family in Houston, Texas. Through a careless act she causes the deaths of her two younger sisters.

Tormented and alienated from her mother, she moves in with a drug dealer. At twenty-one she is a single mother of two falsely convicted of killing a state senator’s son and sentenced to death. At thirty-two she is executed. Or is she?”

This is the blurb for this legal/medical thriller published by L&L Dreamspell, The heroine is a woman who has spiraled down a deep dark path to self-destruction. She ends up as a pharmaceutical company’s guinea pig in human trials on a remote island. These trials involve nanotechnology—something which exists presently (My husband even had one of those little robotic nano cameras travel through his body and take pictures of his digestive tract and intestines). At the core of this novel are two moral questions: how far will we go for cures to diseases and should the lives of human beings be risked, even if they are guilty of crimes?

Eileen goes on a fast-paced chase full of twists to prove her innocence and get her family back. What Southern drink should you have with this one?--One that’s not too potent. Otherwise, you won’t realize how much you’ve consumed as you’re zooming through the pages.


Maddie James said...

Great reviews Bobbye. I loved Rescue Jennifer's voice. And Riley just is Harry Connick, Jr. in my book!

Beyond Guilty looks intriguing from the get-go. I'm thinking I'm going to have to have this one! Sounds like one to sink your teeth into.

Thanks for the recommendations!

Tina said...

I love mysteries that manage to handle Big Issues without being all soapbox-ish -- they usually do it by focusing on the characters and showing the personal costs and individual heartaches. Beyond Guilty sounds like my kind of read -- thanks for sharing it.

Susanna Ives said...

Awesome reviews. I'm going to check out "What the Dog Saw." Thanks!

Bobbye Terry said...

Thanks to everyone for commenting. These were fun books.

Jennifer Johnson said...

How wonderful! Thanks, Bobbye, for the great review. And thanks, too, for the bit about What the Dog Saw. I actually heard someone else mention this book, but had forgotten about it.