Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Solitude of Prime Numbers

The Solitude of Prime NumbersThe Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I bought this book for my mom's birthday because i was attracted to the cover and the title, and I knew she'd loan it to me after she read it.  The story was written by an Italian physicist and translated to English, which is also interesting to me as I'm an Italiophile.

The story follows two characters, Alice and Mattia, each of whom survive a childhood trauma that leaves scars and alters their behavior and their life paths.  Near the beginning of the book, Alice is in a serious skiing accident while training for competitive downhill skiing.  She never quite learns to trust anyone after the incident, and develops anorexia as a way to control her Universe.   Mattia loses his twin sister, and starts a lifelong habit of mutilating himself.  They become friends, and they each recognize the intense feelings they have for each other, but neither of them acts.

The characters are well-developed; each is a lonely, prime-number-type entity unto himself or herself.  The story is like a deep study of loneliness and trauma, and the question of whether or not one causes the other and how a person might deal with life events.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Long-Shining Waters

The Long-Shining Waters is a celebration of Lake Superior.  Three story lines, in three different centuries, are tied together by setting.  Lake Superior has been here for eons, and will remain long after we're all gone.  The stories in this book relate Superior's beauty, her strength and her fierce moods.

In 1622, an Indian settlement along Superior's shores survives various accidents and visions.  In 1902, a young married couple homesteads on a remote beach.  In 2000, a bar burns down, forcing the owner to take stock of her own life and propelling her to journey around Lake Superior, viewing her from all sides.  The three stories are interspersed with mysterious poem-like snippets, as if told by Lake Superior herself.

Go ahead: open the cover and fall into the poetic prose. Each story line is related with great attention to detail and in powerful language that compels the reader to visit Mother Superior and pay homage.  If you haven't seen Lake Superior yourself, it's time to make the journey.  She's a true inland-ocean.

Read the book and plan your trip.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Author Interview

Betty Meyette interviewed me!  Check it out here:  and share it with your friends.  

Betty writes historical romance novels such as Love's Destiny and Love's Spirit, and you can visit her website here: or you can check out her books on Amazon, here.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Garden of Last Days

The Garden of Last DaysThe Garden of Last Days by Andre Dubus III
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Garden of Last Days offers the reader a glimpse into a facet of the events leading up to 9/11.  The twist is, it takes place in Florida.  This isn't something I enjoy reading about, but this story is so well done and features enough interesting characters, it's impossible to put down.  I forgot to eat and didn't bother sleeping until I finished this book.

You'll meet Franny, an adorable three-year-old whose mother April is a dancer at a strip club.  April is not the stereotypical coke-snorting dancer; she's saving her money to buy a house for herself and her daughter, and she conducts her life like two parallel paths:  one April the mother, one Spring the dancer.  One night, her babysitter (elderly neighbor and landlady Jean) is unable to sit for Franny, so April takes her with her to work.

You'll meet AJ, a guy dealing with a recent string of bad luck (mostly brought on by himself).  The kind of guy who's always in the wrong place at the wrong time, and makes bad decisions. He's a patron at the strip club and ends up getting tossed out with a broken wrist for manhandling one of the dancers.

You'll meet Lonnie, the best bouncer at the strip club.  He's dyslexic and has a crush on April/Spring.

Finally, you'll meet Bassam.  He's finished his training for 9/11 and is an enthusiastic member of jihad (not sure if that is the correct phrasing; my brain refuses to absorb much about those people).  He's also a customer at April's strip club.  He is, of course, the least favorite character in the story.  His tale is well told, however, and the author relates much of Bassam's philosophies and religion through his inner narrative.  Sickening and stomach-turning, but well done.

The story takes the reader through the last few days before Tuesday, September 11, 2001, and into that morning.

Clear your calendar, hold your calls, tell everyone you've got the flu.  This book is fascinating.

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