Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Six Good Innings

Six Good Innings

Mark Kreidler

4 out of 5

I love kid's sports, I love the parents who support their children's dreams, I love the coaches that give unknown hours and sweat and money to mentor their team and I love communities that encourage those that participate.
This is the story of the boys of Tom's River, New Jersey and their struggle to maintain the winning tradition of Little League Baseball. Tom's River is no ordinary baseball town, they create winners year after year beginning in the 1990's and continuing on to today. They may not all make it to Williamsport, but they do make it to the District and State Championships, and those very rare years, they make it to the "Show" and take on the title of Little League World Series Champions.
Unfortunately, this group of 12 years olds also take on the burdens of the towns dreams and it can be a bit much. This book follows the team from the start of their year to the culmination of their All-Star game. You meet the coaches, the kids and the parents and they all touch you and you find yourself cheering them on from afar. I highly recommend this book to all youth sports lovers, those that have cheered from the benches and those that have watched from their armchairs.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Fisher Boy

The Fisher Boy
Stephen Anable
3 out of 5

As Like As Like As Like As Like As Like

By the end of the book I was more interest in where the next simile was going to fall then where the plot was going.

This meandering story is told through Mark Winslow a gay man vacationing in Provincetown. Mark has given up his main career and had decided to bring his improve group to P-town for the summer to see if they have what it takes to break into the club circuit. But the peace and quiet are quickly broken when a dog is found murders on the mailbox of a wealthy man, a group of curious Scandinavian’s tourist, who look more like panhandlers take over the town and Mark finds out more about his past then he bargained for.

Add in the death of another high profile community leader and a painting that tells a story of it’s own and you have a book that wanders in too many directions at one time with a rather anticlimactic ending. If it wasn’t for the last 20 or so pages where the author recaps the whole thing I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what this book was supposed to be about.

Can’t recommend this one; maybe next time if he can figure out the one or two plotlines that he wants to stick with.

Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3MWF046NCX7U9/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch

5 out of 5

Don’t use a highlighter in a library book. This is a book that should be bought not borrowed. There are so many life lessons and words of wisdom that you find yourself wanting to highlight sections to come back to, to ponder the simplicity of words and the deeper meaning that they portray.

Randy Pausch has terminal pancreatic cancer. He has 3 to 6 good months left. He has 3 very young children, two of which will grow up with no true memories of him. A wife that is strong and yet terrified, a family that wants to spend every last moment with him, but yet Randy must put on his final lecture. The one that each professor has, the last one that will portray who and what they have learned and become.

Randy chooses “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” as his theme, not what you would assume a computer geek to pick.

There are so many laugh out loud moments that you begin to question if it’s appropriate to laugh at a dying man, but I think that is the point, life is funny, those moments that make us what we are, are humorous. Without being preachy or religious Pausch leads us through his life, and how with a little imagination you can achieve your childhood dreams and leave a great legacy to you children at the same time.

Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/ROBY6PBGIP71R/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Beach House

The Beach House

Jane Green

5 out of 5

Nantucket is known for its quirky personalities, but Nan Powell seems to be the reigning queen. Not caring much for other peoples opinions she lives her life the way she wants. If that means at 65 she wants to skinny dip in the neighbor’s pool or steal their strawberry plants so she can care for them better, well so be it.

Then her life starts getting dull and the house which she loves with all her heart is too big and difficult to take care of, but most of all she is lonely. Lonely for the excitement and challenges that her life used to hold, that was before her husband, Everett darn near lost everything to gambling and decided to wander into the ocean to commitment suicide. To top it off she finds out that the money is beginning to run out so what does she do to solve all of her problems, she opens up the house to summer boarders. Seems to be a win-win for all involved.

What ensues is a wonderful gathering of damaged people who come together to solve their problems, answer their questions and heal their lives.

I was so afraid that this book was going to be another like Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy (Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/RDVF3EL1A9VLP/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm ) that I nearly didn’t pick it up, but this book holds its own with a cast of characters that you find endearing. The ending has a wonderful twist that makes you gasp but without being too corny and not every question is answered leaving you to make up your mind and hope for the best with these new friends.

Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R24TBQBQ8K30GP/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Last Breath

Last Breath

George D. Shuman

5 out of 5

This author always hits the mark for me. This is the 2nd book in the Sherry Moore series and I enjoyed it more than the first. Which is saying a lot. But one word of warning, I think you need to read the first book before this one to get a more rounded view of the main characters life.

Sherry Moore is an investigative consultant, a rather puffed up title considering her gift of being about to touch a victims hand and see, even thought Sherry is blind, the last 18 seconds of their lives. The Police don’t want to make public their use of her and the skeptic love to slam her at every turn.

This time Sherry is called in when strange apparent suicides and outright murders of women through hanging start to appear with more frequency than usual. What or who do they have in common? Who has a secret that can’t be kept at bay any longer? Who needs Sherry’s help more, the police or the killer?

A smoothly paced book that never lets you down. I highly recommend this author.

Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R9VPFNPA9XF90/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Previous book in this series: 18 Seconds Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2NICXUD4M5PO4/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Death for Dessert

Death for Dessert

T. Dawn Richards

3 out of 5
I kept finding myself wanting to add plot lines and twists that the author didn’t.

After a life time of marriage, May List flees a philandering doctor-husband and ends up in an "active senior living" complex. Not only has her life ended up this way but she encounters a bizarre group of elderly residents that aren’t exactly as they appear. After a bizarre encounter with the erratic Mrs. Berkowitz, May is warned to stay as far away from this woman as possible, but May’s curiosity gets the best of her when Mrs. Berkowitz just happens to know the secret details of May’s life.

May starts putting the pieces together and finally see this woman as the blackmailer that she really is, the only problem is that it’s a little too late when Mrs. Berkowitz is found dead and the plate of brownies that May had found next to her door is now empty on Mrs. Berkowitz’s counter.

It’s up to the “Active Seniors” to solve the crime and get their secrets back.

Parts of this book are very funny, but with the slow pace and pat ending, this book just didn’t work for me.

Amazon Review: http://www.amazon.com/review/RCR41VMOE9QSW/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm