"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett

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Charlie Lovett does an impressive job of telling three tales simultaneously without it becoming confusing or difficult to follow. Reading The Bookman's Tale was like getting 3-for-1! I enjoyed all three facets of this tale but my favorite was the one that followed the Pandosto pamphlet from owner to owner. Lovett's booksellers of yesteryear came alive and I couldn't get enough of them. It's fascinating to imagine how rare pieces of literature found their way to the special collections of present day libraries. 

Lovett's passion for his craft and for books is clear in his writing and I don't know that I've ever read an author who so skillfully transported me from past to present with every new chapter without losing the momentum of the story. I am awed by his ability to tell three distinctly different parts of a tale and bring them together seamlessly and perfectly in the end. A job very well done! 

You will find an official plot line description at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16158563-the-bookman-s-tale?from_search=true.

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio

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Goodnight June is chick-lit similar to the work of Emily Giffin or Kristin Hannah. I loved the inspiration for this novel. It’s an interesting approach and I found it fascinating to ruminate on the possible influences and creative processes behind my favorite childhood stories. 

This easy “beach-read” has a heartwarming plot line and a feel good ending. Though not particularly intellectually stimulating, there were a few surprises at the end that I didn’t see coming providing a refreshing break from the inevitable predictability of some of the other plot elements. There are several ‘big’ events in this novel and I am convinced that Sarah Jio has the talent to take one or two of those things and really flesh them out, producing a novel and characters with more depth, thereby impacting the reader in a more powerful and lasting way. Goodnight June is a nice story with the untapped potential to be a great one.

You will find an official plot line description at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18667906-goodnight-june.

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker

I couldn't put this book down! When life's necessities forced me to momentarily set it aside, my mind stayed behind with Marcus, Harry, and Nola while my body accomplished whatever necessary tasks stood in the way of my return to this engrossing tale.  What I loved most about this novel is that despite its sizable length, IT JUST KEPT GETTING BETTER! When was the last time you read a 600+ page novel that got better with every turn of a page? It's happened to me before but lately finding a novel like that is a little like a Bigfoot sighting.  

A critic called The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair "the great thriller that everyone has been waiting for since the Millennium Trilogy of Stieg Larsson." I loved Stieg Larsson's work and will continue to recommend it but, with all due respect to the great success of  the Millennium Trilogy, I liked the Harry Quebert Affair much better. Dicker delivers a deliciously twisty suspense thriller, continually ratcheting up reader engagement until the final page. It's not all white knuckle mystery solving though. The witty, dry personality of main character Marcus Goldman had me laughing out loud more than once. I fell so completely in love with the characters in this novel I recall them now with a fondness only made possible through the word smithing brilliance of Joël Dicker. 

Some books are so good it would be criminal to enjoy them in only one format. This is one of them. With that in mind, I downloaded the audio version as well and I can't wait to enjoy the sleuthing efforts of Marcus Goldman a second time.

You will find an official plot line description at: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=✓&query=The+Truth+About+the+Harry+Quebert+affair.

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