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and life along the winding road

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Waters of Eternal Youth by Donna Leon

Product DetailsDonna Leon has long been one of my favorite authors. I love imagining a walk beside Commissario Brunetti along the canals of Venice. As most of you know, Italy, and Venice in particular, is my favorite place to visit.

It's been a while since I've read any of the Guido Brunetti series and after looking through Donna Leon's list of books, realized I've missed a few books, but I found The Waters of Eternal Youth on our local library e-book list and took advantage of the chance to read it on my Kindle.

By the way, FantasticFiction.com is a great place to look up your favorite author and get an up to date list of published books.

From the cover:
In Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti series, the Venetian inspector has been called on to investigate many things, from shocking to petty crimes. But inThe Waters of Eternal Youth, the 25th novel in this celebrated series, Brunetti finds himself drawn into a case that may not be a case at all.

Fifteen years ago, a teenage girl fell into a canal late at night. Unable to swim, she went under and started to drown, only surviving thanks to a nearby man, an alcoholic, who heard her splashes and pulled her out, though not before she suffered irreparable brain damage that left her in a state of permanent childhood, unable to learn or mature. The drunk man claimed he saw her thrown into the canal by another man, but the following day he couldn’t remember a thing.

Now, at a fundraising dinner for a Venetian charity, a wealthy and aristocratic patroness—the girl’s grandmother—asks Brunetti if he will investigate. Brunetti’s not sure what to do. If a crime was committed, it would surely have passed the statute of limitations. But out of a mixture of curiosity, pity, and a willingness to fulfill the wishes of a guilt-wracked older woman, who happens to be his mother-in-law’s best friend, he agrees.

The series appears to have been filmed, but I could only find it in German!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Breach of Promise by Perri O'Shaughnessy

Breach of Promise by Perri O'Shaughnessy is a little reminiscent of John Grisham's books with a similar legal mystery format. Note: Perri O'Shaunnessy is the pen name of two sisters.

My thoughts:
The story was well developed, but I did find it a little tedious at times and not overly believable, especially the penultimate chapter. At over 500 pages, I felt it could have been condensed considerably without losing the story or legal action.

From the cover:
In glitzy Lake Tahoe, couples break up every day. But few are as successful as Lindy and Mike Markov, who built a $200 million business together before Mike took up with a younger woman. Now he's claiming he doesn't owe Lindy a dime since they never married. Attorney Nina Reilly, struggling to make a living in her one-woman office and raise a young son alone, agrees to take Lindy's case. Nina knows winning is a long shot, even with a brilliant jury consultant and a palimony expert on her side. It's the kind of case - full of passion and explosive secrets - that could make a fortunate for a young lawyer. Or drive someone to commit murder - for love, money or the right verdict.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 Favorite Books

Below is a list of my favorite books read in 2016 - they are in no particular order. This year I took the 50 State Reading challenge in which I chose many books based on location rather than content and in the process came across quite a few gems I might not have otherwise read.

Swan by Frances Mayes
Bryson City Tales by Walt Larimore
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall
Dewey by Vicki Myron
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
John Riley's Daughter by Kezi Matthews
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
The Flood Girls by Richard Fifield
Basket Case by Nancy Haddock
Cimarron by Edna Ferber
Evan Help Us by Rhys Bowen
The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
Keeper of the Doves - Betsy Byars
The Art of Keeping Cool by Janet Taylor Lisle
The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling
The Street Lawyer by John Grisham
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Weatherford Tour of Homes

Each year the Parker County Heritage Society organizes a tour of local historical homes. Each home has a tour guide who talks about the history and residents (past and present). This year beautiful Chandor Gardens was part of the tour along with a claustrophobic tiny house, but my favorite was the Altfather/Belanger Home which was beautifully decorated and started off, in 1892, as a dog-run house with an open passageway in the center and only four rooms.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Gray Mountain by John Grisham

This is the second John Grisham book I've read recently (given to me by a friend) and Gray Mountain didn't disappoint. Having worked in the legal field for many years, I'm always a little intrigued with how a case can change depending upon the competency and clout a lawyer might have.
Gray Mountain is set in the coal country area of Virginia. I remember British historical books that touched upon the horrible lung diseases contracted by the miners in Wales and other locations. It's awful that this is still continuing with long work hours and coal companies fighting to dis-allow benefits coal miners are entitled to. On top of the problems with coal dust, left behind is a toxic waste sludge that is dumped behind badly built dams and seeps into pristine lakes and rivers.
But Gray Mountain isn't about mining underground it's about strip mining where the coal companies remove tops from the beautiful Appalachia mountains to reach the coal seams below.

From the cover:
The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she is downsized, furloughed and escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is offered an opportunity work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, all for a slim chance of getting rehired.
In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200 in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.