Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.

This week I finally downloaded an app for my Kobo Vox ereader so that I can borrow books from the Toronto Public Library.
I am enjoying borrowing books from the library, I think the app works quite well once you get used to where things are put.

The Last Good Man: A Novel
Synopsis here.

I started reading this with great expectations as the storyline really appealed to me. Overall I liked the characters and the writing was good. However as it moved (slowly) along I got more and more bored. The execution of the story left a lot to be desired. As I neared the ending I was just plain disappointed. I just felt it was too trite an ending.

From the book jacket:
From the winner of the 2009 Impress Prize for New Writers (U.K.) and finalist for the Sunday Times Short Story Award, a stunning debut novel about an extended Sri Lankan family--a kaleidoscopic view of contemporary immigrant life, by turns darkly funny, sad, poignant, and uproariously beautiful.

It's New Year's Eve 1982. At Victor and Nandini's home in southeast London, the family and their friends gather to ring in the new year. Whiskey and arrack have been poured, poppadoms are freshly fried, andbaila music is on the stereo. Upstairs, the teenagers have gathered around the television to watch The Godfather again while drinking pilfered wine. Moving back and forth in time, from the 1970s to the present day, and from London to Sri Lanka and back again, we follow Victor and Nandini's children: Rohan, Gehan, and in particular dyslexic Preethi--funny, brash, and ultimately fragile. We also meet troubled Lolly and her beautiful sister Deirdre; wonderful Auntie Gertie; and terrible Kumar, whose dark deed will haunt the family.

Homesick reads more like a collection of short stories that are tied together by one central family, Preethi's family.  Stories range from a wedding, would be terrorist, a rocky marriage, daughter trying to find her father, and so on. The stuff life is made of.
She does a remarkable reveal of the range of emotions and experiences of Sri Lankans in the UK and how their background still impacts the second and third generations. 
She writes beautifully and I am looking forward to reading her next novels.

Black Friday (Maggie O'Dell, #7)
From the book jacket:
On the busiest shopping day of the year, some idealistic college students believe they're about to carry out an elaborate media stunt at the largest mall in America. They think the jamming devices in their backpacks will disrupt stores' computer systems, causing delays and chaos. What they don't realize is that instead of jamming devices, their backpacks are stuffed with explosives, ready to be detonated by remote control and turning them into suicide bombers.
Caught up in a political nightmare, battling a new interim director and still mourning the death of her boss A. D. Cunningham, FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell must put her own troubles aside and fly to Minnesota to help figure out what's behind this terrorist attack--a massacre that is all the more frightening because no group has claimed responsibility.
The search becomes personal when a tip reveals that one of the college students involved is Patrick, Maggie's brother. Afraid and on the run, Patrick must decide if he can finally trust Maggie enough to help her unravel this horrifying nightmare.
Sifting through the debris for answers, Maggie is joined by Nick Morrelli, who has recently taken a job with a national security company that oversees security for the mall. Although Maggie and Nick have investigated several cases together in the past, they've never investigated a relationship with each other. Nick would like to change that.
When an informant confides in Maggie that there are other attacks on the secret agenda, she knows that she's running out of time. In less than twenty-four hours she'll need to figure out exactly when and where the second attack will take place, who to look for and how to keep her brother from becoming one of the casualties.
Meh, what can I say? I downloaded this from the library as a test of checking out a book that was immediately available.
The premise is good, bombs in the biggest mall on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day. I do like conspiracy theories as well.
I can't say any of the characters were more than one dimensional to me. Even the story needed more development.
Only One Life
From the book jacket:
It was clearly no ordinary drowning. Inspector Louise Rick is immediately called out to Holbraek Fjord when a young immigrant girl is found in the watery depths, a piece of concrete tied around her waist and two mysterious circular patches on the back of her neck.
Her name was Samra, and Louise soon learns that her short life was a sad story. Her father had already been charged once with assaulting her and her mother, Sada, who makes it clear that her husband would indeed be capable of killing Samra if she brought dishonor to the family. But she maintains that Samra hadn't done anything dishonorable. Then why was she supposed to be sent back to Jordan? Samra s best friend Dicte thinks it was an honor killing. A few days later Dicte is discovered, bludgeoned to death, and Samra's younger sister has gone missing.
Navigating the complex web of family and community ties in Copenhagen s tightly knit ethnic communities, Louise must find this remorseless predator, or predators, before it is too late.
At the start of this book the author refers to a Danish honour killing that actually took place recently. However, much more recently we had an even worse honour killing here in Canada. Four female family members were killed by thier immediate family because they wouldn't conform to the father's rules.

I enjoyed this book. The writing was good. At a few points I thought I knew who did it but was pleasantly surprised by the twists in the plot.
She does an excellent job of describing an immigrant teenage girl trying to fit into a Western society, family morals and issues, bullying and a host of other cultural issues.
A Perfect Evil (Maggie O'Dell #1)
From the book jacket:
Nick Morrelli is the Platte City, Nebraska, sheriff who must be smarter than he appears, since there's a framed Harvard law degree hanging on his wall. Not that appearances don't count. The reader is treated to a number of descriptions of his sexy, lady-killer looks and his charismatic effect on even the most hard-bitten woman character in this somewhat muddled, serial-killer thriller. Nick is investigating the kidnap-murders of two young Platte City boys when FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell shows up and all but takes over the investigation. Several years earlier, the former sheriff--Nick's father--capped his own career with the arrest of the last serial killer in the neighborhood, who abducted and tortured three boys in an eerily similar crime spree. When Antonio Morrelli returns from retirement to meddle in the investigation, and when Nick's own sister uses her connections to advance his career, Nick hardly raises an objection. And that's the central weakness of what would otherwise be a good, first effort. 

I've just started it and am not impressed. This is another one I quickly downloaded when I was setting up the library app.
2012 books read (54 to date):
The Coast Road - John Brady
Still Midnight - Denise Mina
The Bulgari Connection - Fay Weldon
Good Bait - John Harvey
The Heretic's Treasure - Scott Mariani
Dead I Well May Be - Adrian McKinty
The Devil's Elixir - Raymond Khoury
A Darker Domain - Val McDermid
The Impossible Dead - Ian Rankin
GB84 - David Peace
The Emperor's Tomb - Steve Berry
Stonehenge Legacy - Sam Christer
Inquisition - Alfredo Colitto ABANDONED!
The Troubled Man - Henning Mankell
Nineteen Seventy-Four - David Peace
Faithful Place - Tana French
Dead Like You - Peter James
Brother and Sister - Joanna Trollope
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton ABANDONED!
A Beginner's Guide to Acting English -Shappi Khorsandi
The Snowman - Jo Nesbo
The Leopard - Jo Nesbo
The Stone Cutter - Camilla Lackberg
Miramar - Naguib Mahfouz
The Gallow's Bird - Camilla Lackberg
Nineteen Seventy- Seven - David Peace
Timeline - Michael Crichton
Millennium People - JG Ballard
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins 
Birdman - Mo Hayder
Clara Callan - Richard B. Wright
The Paris Vendetta - Steve Berry
Little Girls Lost - Jack Kerley
The Reutrn of the Dancing Master - Henning Mankell
Nemesis - Jo Nesbo
Dublin Dead - Gerard O'Donovan
City of Bohane - Kevin Barry
This Beautiful Life - Helen Schulman
The Copenhagen Project - K. Sandersen
Prague - Arthur Phillips
Fortunes of War - Gordon Zuckerman 
The Cold Cold Ground - Adrian McKinty
Before the Poison - Peter Robinson
The Mozart Conspiracy - Scott Mariani
Dancer - Colum McCann
Pig Island - Mo Hayder
Old City Hall - Robert Rotenberg
The Paris Wife - Paula McLain
The Last Good Man - A. J. Kazinski
Homesick - Roshi Fernando
Black Friday - Alex Kava
Only One Life - Sara Blaedel


  1. dd brought me the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy yesterday to read, so must get on with those and will review. Read mixed reviews about these books.


  2. I haven't heard of any of these authors before so I'm pretty excited to check out more from them. Hope you have a great week.

  3. I've read a couple of Alex Kava's Maggie O'Dell books, but ended up letting go of the series. I had too many other books I wanted to read more.

    Hope you continue enjoying the books you download from your library, and Happy Reading!

  4. Only One Life sounds interesting. It's awful to think that things like that really do still happen today.

  5. I've read a lot of your 56 books read in 2012. :) Loving that list! :)

    Check out what I'm reading at Between the Bind.

  6. Homesick sounds AMAZING! Thanks for reviewing it ;) I need to add that to my tbr pile STAT. The cover is gorgeous as well

    Have a fab week of reading!


This blog does not allow anonymous comments.