Monday, August 31, 2015

Online Book Club: Yes Please

August Book: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

I enjoyed learning more about Poehler's life in a book filled with humor and little life tidbits. She also shared her life openly, including her mistakes, which was refreshing. It was titled Yes Please because in improv it's important to say yes to your partner, and she tries to say yes to life. Something that I try to live by. Please share your thoughts! Here are some questions to get you started:

  1. Anything you wished Poehler would have talked more about?  Less about? 
  2. What was your favorite quote?
  3. What did you think about Poehler prior to reading it? Now you have read more about this person, has your opinion changed?
  4. Were there any parts of the book that did or did not ring true? Which?

September Book: Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Monday, August 24, 2015

[Guest Reviews by Shirley Ayres]


10th Anniversary

(Women’s Murder Club Cases)

by James Patterson

San Francisco Police Detective Lindsay Boxer and her longtime boyfriend, Joe, finally get married.  Very soon after the wedding, Lindsay is called upon to investigate the injuries of a 15-year-old girl who has just given birth but cannot remember a thing.

The second case Lindsay investigates is about the murder of a well-known actor by his doctor wife.  Yuki is called upon to prosecute the doctor. Twists and turns come up in both cases and all four members of the Women’s Murder Club are involved in both cases.

11th Hour

(Women’s Murder Club Cases)

by James Patterson

Someone is killing drug dealers and a cop, who just happens to be a dear friend of Sgt. Lindsay Boxer, is suspected.

At the same time the back yard of a world famous movie star is yielding the heads of murder victims.  Did the movie star commit the crimes or is someone else committing the gruesome murders?

All during the investigations, Crime Reporter Jason Blayney is making life miserable for the SFPD by reporting actual cases sprinkled with lies and false accusations. He makes sure that Lindsay is the “star” of his columns about the ineffectiveness of the police department.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

"Difficult" fiction still important

[By Cynthia Becker]

The Nation has a great article on the virtues of difficult fiction:

It made several great points. Here are a few:

1. ... Great writers have a way of solidifying “the vague ideas that have been tumbling in the misty depths of our minds.”

While it's true that fiction books are not necessarily full of "facts" like nonfiction, they still have a lot to offer the world. Novels can be essentially limitless in their ideas, and they can be great observations of human behavior. They can point out new ideas and ways at looking at the world and can help you improve your own life, making you consider your outlooks on life.

2. Online reading invites quick glances; Mikics prefers the “silent, fascinated absorption” that comes with careful reading of a worthy book.

Not that online reading and social media don't have their place, but they are often about headlines. They are quick jabs that ask "can you believe this?" People often quickly click through them and move on. They don't become absorbed in the reading materials they same way they can with a book. But thinking through reading is also important for stretching the mind. And not having the point of a story come too early also teaches patience. We don't always know the point of a story (or life) right away, but we continue on to see what happens.

3. Careful reading is difficult because it demands continuous learning. We have to work to learn new methods of reading in response to new methods of writing.

Authors who do not write in a formulaic way demand that we keep learning -- not only with the ideas discussed, but also with the actual sentence structure and vocabulary chosen. With this kind of reading, we must constantly evaluate it. And in turn, this helps us evaluate new ideas in general. Because of that learning, it is important that difficult literature still is written so that we can continue to experience it.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

5th Horseman and 6th Target by James Patterson

[Guest Reviews by Shirley Ayres]


5th Horseman

(Women’s Murder Club Cases)

by James Patterson

Healthy patients in San Francisco’s Municipal Hospital, with minor ailments, are dying, one by one during the night, and are found the next morning with buttons on their eyelids. The victims' relatives sue, but the hospital is determined to shield its reputation at all costs, and an explosive court battle takes place.

At the same time, young women are being murdered, dressed in expensive designer clothing and posed in luxury cars. The two different cases has Lt. Lindsay Boxer working overtime.

Another good murder mystery. Very fast-paced and exciting. Good character development and interesting plots.

6th Target

(Women’s Murder Club Cases)

by James Patterson

 Lindsay Boxer is faced with two murder cases. The first is a shooting of five people on a ferry just as it docks. Four people are dead, and one is seriously wounded. The killer runs away and a massive search ensues.

The second case is the kidnapping of a little girl and her nanny. The kidnapping turns into murder but which of the victims is killed. The child? The nanny? Both?

Another good police drama. I really love the Women’s Murder Club series.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Guest Review: 8th Confession by James Patterson

[Guest Review by Shirley Ayres]


8th Confession

(Women’s Murder Club Cases)

by James Patterson

When San Francisco’s elite citizens start dying and Medical Examiner Claire Washburn can find no reason for their deaths, Sgt. Lindsay Boxer is called in to investigate.

Meanwhile, a homeless man is brutally beaten and shot to death on the street. Reporter Cindy Thomas takes the case personally when it is revealed that the victim is known as "Bagman Jesus." Cindy investigates and Lindsay and partner Rich are called in to help, but on their own time.

Again, the Women’s Murder Club is faced with two crimes to solve. This is a good series, and the books keep the reader interested for hours on end.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Guest Review: 7th Heaven by James Patterson

[Guest Review by Shirley Ayres]


7th Heaven


(Women’s Murder Club Cases)

by James Patterson

When the governor’s son, Michael Campion disappears, foul play is suspected. His confessed killer is arrested and brought to trial. For ADA Yuki Castellano, member of the Women’s Murder Club, it turns out to be one of the biggest trials of her life.
At the same time, teenage rich boys are setting mansions on fire and killing the occupants. Sgt. Lindsay Boxer and her partner, Inspector Rich Conklin, search for clues but keep getting nowhere fast.
Yuki becomes a victim of a stalker, and ME Claire Washburn is very pregnant as the two members of the Women’s Murder Club appear in several chapters. Boyfriend Joe and partner Rich leave Lindsay breathless as she ponders her future with each man.
Lots of action. This book, like the others in the series, does not disappoint.