Thursday, January 12, 2012

Whatcha Reading?

On a cold, snowy day like today my thoughts automatically turn to curling up on the couch with a good book.

Not that I'll get to do that today, of course, but a girl can dream.

I've read a couple good ones lately.

First off is Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels. This is a wonderfully spooky mystery originally published in 1968. It's very much like a grown up Nancy Drew. Absolutely no blood-and-guts, tons of well crafted suspense, a dash of romance and (my personal favorite) no shortage of details. When a character walks into a room, I need to know everything - from the wallpaper to the carpet - and Ms. Michaels didn't let me down.
An intellectual foursome must solve a hundred year old mystery before something really bad and scary happens to our lovely, young heroine. Library archives are combed. Dusty attics are searched. Creaky floors and spooky voices hamper our investigators at every turn. Hooray!
I read this one compulsively, it was delightfully intriguing, with the supernatural aspects coming off frightening, rather than hokey.  It was a great read - perfect for a crisp autumn evening, or a dark and cold winter's night. Mwah-ha-ha.

Next up,When She Woke by Hillary Jordan. Warning: this book hits on a bunch of touchy subjects - so if you read it, don't send me flame-o-grams, okay? You've been warned.
This book is thought provoking and suspenseful. I couldn't put it down.
Set in a post-STD-plague ravaged future where religious fundamentalists have largely taken control of the government. Criminals are "chromed", their skin turned a different color based on the type of crime of which they have been convicted. Prisons have been eradicated since criminals are now so easily identifiable and "Chromes" are forced to live in slums, subject to all manner of abuse from the general population.
Our main character is convicted of murder after she is found to have undergone an illegal abortion. She is sentenced to be "a red" for seventeen years. She refuses to give up the name of the father of the baby, or the man who performed the abortion. Released to the general population she begins a journey of self-discovery on which she questions the very foundations of the belief system on which she was raised.
This book is a modern take on the scarlet letter - it's intense, though. If you don't like books that make you question everything, skip this one.

And, what have you been reading lately, dear friends?


  1. both of these sound awesome and i think i'll get them for vacation in march..i can almost read one on a long flight. i have two for you that everyone is talking about down here. Hunger Games by suzanne collins and before i go to sleep by s.j. watson..check them out everyone is raving about them hunger games looks a little sci fi for you but maybe you would like it..stay warm and dry looks by up you guys

  2. meant bad up there hope not too much snow

  3. Oooh, that second one sounds like something I should add to my reading list. I just finished The Story of Beautiful Girl, which was a rather enjoyable read although the subject matter was disturbing at times. It should come with a warning label for pregnant women that states "You will be sobbing by the end of the first chapter."