MARTIN SLOAN by Michael Redhill, (2001). This one is a BOOK OF THE YEAR WINNER chosen by Book Sense Independent Bookstores for Independent Minds. On the cover a critic named Michael Ondaatje claims the book is “A deeply moving first novel that reveals human truths with grace and humor. It is a book of constant surprises.” The story is about one Irishman named Martin Sloan who moves to Canada as a child and becomes an artist of sorts. He meets up with a young 20-year-old college student named Jolene Iolas and they become lovers. The story of the relationship spans 2 decades so it sounds interesting to me to read the ins and outs of an eccentric artist. After all aren’t we ALL eccentric? So here’s this young college girl who continues a relationship with Martin Sloan a “Box Artist”, who makes glass boxes full of his creations. He lives in Toronto, Canada and part of the time and he lives in New York with Jolene for a few weeks at a time, but he doesn’t want her to visit him in Canada. So we’re thinking “Does he have a wife there?”. It seems the year she turned 25, Martin Sloan walked out of her house and disappeared, never to seen again. Now what? I suppose she looks for him huh?
Here’s an excerpt of that time:
“When I was twenty-five the man I loved walked out of my home late one night and vanished. No one ever saw him again. There are no other words for this.” So now I’m at that point, he just disappeared from sight. I’ll have to let you know what I think later.
NOTE: This was an odd book with an odd ending!
SWORN TO SILENCE by Linda Castillo, 2009. By the author of PRAY FOR SILENCE. People Magazine says “Balancing chilling suspense and a nuanced portrait of the English-Amish divide… Sworn to Silence is the opening salvo in what promises to be a gripping series.” Now that being said I have to find the other books in the series. So far it’s a good book and would make a great movie. IN fact I just noticed a similar movie on Dish network, starring Neve Campbell. I hope this isn’t the same movie. Oh well, I’m reading the book anyway. It seems that the police chief is a woman who survived an attack by a serial killer ay age 14, and she managed to survive AND kill the man who tried to torture and murder her!
NOTE: It’s proven to be a good book. I plan to read more if they come my way.
BROOKLYN by Colm Toibin, 2009. Cover says this book was “Twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize”, whatever that means. This man wrote THE MASTER which I have yet to read, and he has written several other books which I’ve never read. I am SURE to read his other books though, since I enjoy his writing style. This is the story of a young, Irish woman named Eilis Lacey who was born in Ireland, but she can’t find a decent job there so ends up moving to Brooklyn NY to work and live. It’s well written, I’ll give you that!
NOTE: This was a good book, but not a GREAT book!
THE BLUE MOON CIRCUS by Michael Raleigh. Publisher’s Weekly says this book is “Rollicking, warmhearted…as dramatic and engaging as a high wire act.” Now doesn’t that sound inviting? There is no blurb on this book cover and none on the first page, so I have to read the quotes on the back. Here’s the first and last reviews:
“With no safety net, Raleigh takes a spectacular high-wire route…in this captivating tale of a decent man in a very hard world.” – Kirkus Reviews
“With this ragtag band of over-the-hill performers, Michael Raleigh creates a zany little circus with a heart.” – Sandra Dallas, author of THE PERSIAN PICKLE CLUB and THE CHILI QUEEN.
Now for my early review:
It’s a rough and soggy road for the BLUE MOON CIRCUS which has just been through a flood. Many of the performing animals have drowned and things don’t look good for the owner, Lewis Tully in Wyoming in 1919. I love a good story that takes place in the past, which seems much simpler than the complicated present. I am enjoying Raleigh’s writing style and trust that it is a good book with those favorable reviews.
NOTE: I’m really enjoying this book! The cast of characters is so interesting. The integration of an orphaned boy makes it more interesting and it would truly make a great movie!
This Book Reader’s Blog will be 2 years old next month! I started this blog to keep a list of all the books I’ve read starting with August 2013. Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg, since I have been reading for the past 51 years. I only have 116 followers on this blog, but that doesn’t upset me in the least. I am honored when anyone follows my opinions on a book. I get very few comments, but I appreciate the ‘likes”.
Here’s a sample photo of my Book List Journal which I started in 2011:
LAST DANCE AT THE JITTERBUG LOUNGE by Pamela Morsi, 2008. This is a sweet little love story. It starts out with the not so perfect marriage of Jack and Clair Crabtree. Jack has a pretty young woman working for his architect firm while Clair is at home raising their 3 daughters. Then one day they get a call that Jack’s 83 year old grandfather Jack (Buddy) Crabtree Sr. is in the hospital with a brain bleed, so Jack and Clair travel to the old homestead and must decide what to do about old Buddy Crabtree, as he seems to have the final word. The book chapters run like a time sequence, stating the day, date and time. Buddy Crabtree is visiting his wife’s grave when he passes out. Of course we don’t know what happened yet, because it is followed by his grandson Jack and his wife Clair’s story.
NOTE: I find the flashback chapters to when Buddy and Geri were courting, very inviting. So far I’m really enjoying this book.
EAT CAKE by Jeanne Ray, 2003. I keep wanting to place the words “Let Them” in front of the title! This is Ruth’s story. Ruth finds cake baking to be a source of relief from her hectic life, and believe you me Ruth is pretty stressed out right now. Her husband just lost his job, her now fearful mother moved in with her a year ago after her door was literally broken down during a burglary. Now her life-of-the party father has moved in for an extended stay. On top of all that her teenage daughter just wants to sulk around and not do anything to help her family. I wonder if Ruth will open a bakery?
I think I’ll enjoy this book since I love to bake and my middle name is Ruth by the way. Ruth means “friend” in my Baby names book. Just a small insignificant fact. I love them there facts!
NOTE: This is a very nice book! Go ahead and read it, especially if you love to bake like I do.