Thursday, March 1, 2012

Book Reviews: Thieves and Goons, oh, and Truffles too

Thieves of Manhattan

By Adam Langer

 I have to admit, I didn’t know what to expect when I started this one. I saw it on a “1001 books you must read before you die” website, the title caught my attention, the library had it AND it was checked in, so I read it.  I was delightfully surprised.

The story is narrated by one of the main characters as he recounts a series of events leading to a twist in the plot. The best part of this story is that you really get caught off guard by this twist.  There are several, maybe even tons, of literary references and the book is equipped with its own glossary.

Written from a male perspective with adventure, literary and publishing world criticism, a sprinkling of romance and sex, this is a book that will appeal to a variety of readers.

A visit from the goon squad

By Jennifer Egan

 This book was a Pulitzer Prize winner. The author does an incredible job of developing a wide cast of characters and interweaving their stories over a 3 decade period. The story is heavily situated in the music industry and offers glimpses into different areas of that industry from the garage band trying to make it big to the executive producers, aging musicians trying to make a comeback and, make-your-lifelong-dream-come-true performance.  I didn’t love the story until the very last chapter.

The last chapter brings the story to a final statement about music, technology, and community.

The Swan Thieves

By Elizabeth Kostova

This is a story about a psychologist, his patient, the patient’s lover and ex-wife, and a painting entitled “Lita”.  Kostova’s second novel, she does a wonderful job with the history and technique of painting. The book has some wonderful twists, exquisite details, and passion. I loved this book and would recommend it to any art lover.  Kostova spends quite a bit of time developing the scene and the characters, stick with it, the payoff is worth it.  

Blood Oath: The President’s Vampire

By Christopher Farnsworth

What do you do when bizarre murders occur and the normal channels cannot protect you? You call Nathaniel Cade, the President’s Vampire. 

Nathaniel Cade came to America on a ship from Africa in the early 1800’s and was charged with murdering the ship. Instead of being put to death a creole witch bound him to the President of the United States with a blood oath to serve and protect…and he has been ever since.

This is the first in a series. Great trash read with vampires, hit men, a little espionage, and even some zombies.

White Truffles in Winter

By N.M. Kelby

The story is set in the early 1900’s the main characters are a famous French chef and a Poetess. This is a love story containing a love triangle, the way only the French can provide, with The “Divine” Sarah Bernhardt as an integral part in this story.

White Truffles offers beautiful prose, historical references, and serves as an amazing introduction to French cooking.

I really loved this story. It was a fantastic escape and like “The Swan Thieves” it offered a chance for me to learn some new information while enjoying a wonderful story.

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