Tuesday, March 29, 2011

John Sandford

As readers, we all follow authors who reliably turn out good work. I'm a big fan of John Sanford and protagonist Lucas Davenport, a Minnesota State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator in Sandford's "Prey" series. He's just cool. He's sexy, smart, a spiffy dresser and drives fast cars. Leaning toward sarcastic and cynical, he'll bend the rules, if he cares to follow them at all, to get his man, woman or child (ok, maybe not child).

John Sandford, a pseudonym for John Camp, won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 1986. In my reading travels, I have found that journalists write the tightest crime novels - John Connolly is another example - and Sandford's are fast-paced, gritty and suspenseful. And did I mention the clever dialog? Sandford has 21 novels featuring Lucas Davenport, all with "Prey" in the title. Rules of Prey is the first, and he's newest, Buried Prey, is set for release in May.

Find John Sandford at your Library.

Vicki Ann

Friday, March 25, 2011

Love and Laughs

When it comes to romantic comedies, my favorites are from the 30's and 40's, the screwball comedies like It Happened One Night, which made witty banter and slapstick situations the sexiest things on screen.

It's always a treat to find an author whose books evoke the feel of those movies. Jennifer Crusie is one such author, especially when it comes to dialogue. It crackles and pops on the page, and you almost can't resist reading a little bit out loud, just because it's so much fun to say. My favorite of hers is Faking It, about an art dealer desperately trying to keep her art-forging past under wraps, and the reformed con man who might blow it all sky-high.

Another author, whose books have a more slapstick feel, is Susan Elizabeth Philips. Her characters have dressed in giant beaver costumes, starred in circuses, and manipulated the tabloids, all for the craziest of reasons. Many of her books are also set in the world of professional sports. One of her recent ones is Natural Born Charmer, about a football quarterback who picks up the strangest hitchhiker he's ever met, and discovers that she might be just the dose of reality that he needs.

~Maureen K.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Want To Ride My Bicycle

It is time for everyone to enjoy the 2nd annual Cyclovia event on Sunday March 27th. Enjoy a 5-mile course downtown where the streets will be free of cars and filled with people biking, walking, skating, etc. To help put you in the mood, here are a few bike oriented titles.
For the young ones, Duck on a Bike by David Shannon will convince everyone (including all the animals at the farm) to ride bikes.
Teens will enjoy Sarah Dessen's Along for the Ride. It's never too late to learn how to ride a bike, and add in a little romance to make the lessons a lot more enjoyable.
Finally, adults who grew up with the Talking Heads will appreciate Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne. Byrne takes a folding bike on tour and explores cities around the world from the street. He also braves New York City on a bike as his regular mode of transportation. Inspiring stories.
So hop on your bike and head downtown on Sunday March 27th. For more information, check out cycloviatucson.org

More Books

Friday, March 18, 2011

Book Lust to Go

Book Lust To Go by Nancy Pearl

Having spent two luscious days at the Tucson Festival of Books, followed by two evenings at my book clubs, I have been reveling in the company of the "bibliobibuli." Coined by H. L. Mencken in 1957, the word refers to people whose reading is constant and intoxicating. "I know some who are constantly drunk on books as other men are drunk on whiskey or religion."

If the bibliobibuli inhibited a kingdom, its ruler could easily be Nancy Pearl. Nancy, who spent all day Saturdays at the Parkman Branch of the Detroit Public Library, grew up to be the librarian whose book recommendations have been aired on radio, collected in print and been on the tongues of readers everywhere. In 1991 she initiated the concept of the all-city book club when book lovers all over Seattle read and discussed the same book. Cities all over America, including Tucson, soon started and continue to host similar book discussions.

Nancy's latest, Book Lust To Go: recommended reading for travelers, vagabonds and dreamers will delight travelers, active or armchair, as Pearl includes reading suggestions for 120 destinations both real and imaginary. She recommends history, memoir, fiction, geography and poetry to get you into the mood for your journey or take along as literary travel companions, setting the scene or finding the heart and soul of your destination. Even the method of arriving-- by walking, by train, bicycle, by sea or air--come under the scope of Pearl's literary radar.

Be sure to check out her two preceding lust titles--Book Lust and More Book Lust.

Bon Voyage!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In Memoriam

If you're driving around town today, wondering why all the flags are at half mast, here's why: the last surviving American veteran of World War I, Army Cpl Frank W Buckles, passed away February 27, at the age of 110. Today we're honoring all WWI veterans, in conjunction with his internment.

Also in honor of WWI veterans, here are a few books that take place around WWI.

Maisie Dobbs is a private investigator / psychologist who has worked her way up from position of servant into a position of independence. Her investigations take her back to her past as a nurse during the war as she uncovers intrigue at the cooperative farm called the "Retreat." Find it at your library.

Legends of the Fall, yes, was a movie, but first it was a novella by author Jim Harrison. Also set during WWI, it follows three Montana brothers who ride over to Canada to join the war effort, and the paths their lives take after the war has ended. Find it at your library.
~That One Girl

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Warning: Hunger causing books

I love food and I love books. It's rare that something other than a cookbook combines these two loves, but every now and then a book comes along that has such delicious descriptions of food and cooking that I am ravenous by the time I finish each chapter. I am not talking about a book where there is a special recipe that the character makes and that is often included at the end of the book. I am talking about books that intricately describe the act of cooking, the smells, the textures and the taste. Here are two of my favorites. I recommend not reading them on an empty stomach.

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melisssa Senate

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Titles similar to Hell's Corner by David Baldacci

Do you like political suspense stories? Are you waiting to get your hands on a copy of Hell's Corner by David Baldacci? Or have you already finished it? Whatever the case, if you are looking for another book like it, we have some titles you might enjoy. All these books feature assassination attempts, conspiracy theories, secrets, and suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat. And all of them are available at your local library.

Born to Run by James Grippando

Dark Justice by Jack Higgins

Mounting Fears by Stuart Woods

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's Tax Time...

April 18th is sneaking closer and closer -- and boy, do I have the perfect book for you to read during this tax season. Richard Yancey's Confessions of a Tax Collector: One Man's Tour of Duty Inside the IRS is full of dry wit, eccentric characters, and juicy scenes told with the insight only an IRS insider could provide. Far from being the dry tome you might expect a "tax book" to be, this memoir reads like fiction. You'll meet people who neglected their taxes so egregiously that Yancey and his colleagues come knocking at their doors to demand payment. And although you might sympathize with the people who owe money, you'll probably sympathize even more with Yancey, who does a remarkable job of humanizing the plight of the IRS man everyone loves to hate.
So if you need a break from working on your own taxes this month, pick up Yancey's book and have a good laugh. And if you need help with your taxes, remember that there are places where you can get free assistance--and some of them are at the library. Check out this link for more information. http://www.library.pima.gov/research/guides/taxinfo.php
~Queen of Books