Showing posts from April, 2013

107. The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler.

The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler. Translated by Ann Long
Joona Linna (1)

Rating: (5/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

2009 (Sweden), Jun. 12, 2012 (English), McClelland & Stewart, 503 pgs
Age: 18+

"Tumba, Sweden. A triple homicide, all of the victims from the same family, captivates Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the grisly murders -- against the wishes of the national police. The killer is at large, and it appears that the elder sister of the family escaped the carnage; it seems only a matter of time until she, too, is murdered. But where can Linna begin? The only surviving witness is an intended victim -- the boy whose mother, father, and little sister were killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes intended for this boy to die: he has suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and Lapsed into a state of shock. He's in no condition to be questioned. Desperate for information, Linna sees one mode of recourse: hypnotism. He enlists Dr. Erik M…

102. The Horla by Guy De Maupassant.

The Horla by Guy De Maupassant. Translated by Charlotte Mandell
The Art of the Novella

Rating: (5/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

1887, 2005, Melville House Publishing, 74 pgs
Age: 18

"This chilling tale of one man’s descent into madness was published shortly before the author was institutionalized for insanity, and so, The Horla has inevitably been seen as informed by Guy de Maupassant’s mental illness. While such speculation is murky, it is clear that de Maupassant—hailed alongside Chekhov as father of the short story—was at the peak of his powers in this innovative precursor of first-person psychological fiction. Indeed, he worked for years on The Horla’s themes and form, first drafting it as “Letter from a Madman,” then telling it from a doctor’s point of view, before finally releasing the terrified protagonist to speak for himself in its devastating final version. In a brilliant new translation, all three versions appear here as a single volume for the first time."

101. Jungleland: A Mysterious Lost City, a WWII Spy, and a True Story of Deadly Adventure by Christopher S. Stewart

Jungleland: A Mysterious Lost City, a WWII Spy, and a True Story of Deadly Adventure by Christopher S. Stewart

Rating: (3.5/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

Jan. 8, 2013, Harper Collins, 288 pgs
Age: 18+

Received an egalley through from the publisher through Edelweiss.

""I began to daydream about the jungle...."
On April 6, 1940, explorer and future World War II spy Theodore Morde (who would one day attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler), anxious about the perilous journey that lay ahead of him, struggled to fall asleep at the Paris Hotel in La Ceiba, Honduras.Nearly seventy years later, in the same hotel, acclaimed journalist Christopher S. Stewart wonders what he's gotten himself into. Stewart and Morde seek the same answer on their quests: the solution to the riddle of the whereabouts of Ciudad Blanca, buried somewhere deep in the rain forest on the Mosquito Coast. Imagining an immense and immaculate El Dorado–like city made entirely of gold, explorers as far back as th…

99. The Alienist by Machado De Assis.

The Alienist by Machado De Assis. Translated by William L. Grossman
The Art of the Novella

Rating: (3/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

1881, June 2012, Melville House Publishing, 86 pgs
Age: 18

"Brilliant physician Simão Bacamarte sacrifices a prestigious career to return home and dedicate himself to the budding field of psychology. Bacamarte opens the first asylum in Brazil hoping to crown himself and his hometown with “imperishable laurels.” But the doctor begins to see signs of insanity in more and more of his neighbors. . . .
With dark humor and sparse prose, The Alienist lets the reader ponder who is really crazy."
Purchased a copy on subscription from Melville House.

Taking place in a fictional small town in Brazil, this is a farcical look at the new science of psychiatry, whose practitioners are called Alienists, and what exactly it means to be mad.  Who can claim someone is insane versus someone else? What exactly is normal? Are we all mad? Is normalcy a sign of insanity? …

96. Woe To Live On by Daniel Woodrell.

Woe To Live On by Daniel Woodrell. Foreword by Ron Rash

Rating: (5/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

1987, 2012, Back Bay Books, 226 pgs
Age: 18+

"Set in the border states of Kansas and Missouri, WOE TO LIVE ON explores the nature of lawlessness and violence, friendship and loyalty, through the eyes of young recruit Jake Roedel. Where he and his fellow First Kansas Irregulars go, no one is safe, no one can be neutral. Roedel grows up fast, experiencing a brutal parody of war without standards or mercy. But as friends fall and families flee, he questions his loyalties and becomes an outsider even to those who have become outlaws."
Borrowed a copy from my public library.
I hadn't planned on reading any Civil War books this year but I am reading all of Woodrell's works and have had this on order with my library for close to a year now.  So it was a welcome surprise when it showed up with my library holds!  While this is an historical fiction Civil War book it is like none I&…

93. More Twisted: 2 by Jeffery Deaver

More Twisted: Collected Stories 2 by Jeffery Deaver
More Twisted (Vol. 2)

(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

2007, Simon & Schuster Canada, 448pgs
Age: 18+

Rating: 3.5/5

"New York Times bestselling author Jeffery Deaver, who crafted first-rate thrills in the collected stories of Twisted, presents sixteen more tales -- including an all-new Lincoln Rhyme entry -- spawned from his darkly brilliant imagination. From a stressed-out commuter to a death-row inmate, Deaver's characters are never what they seem -- and every jaw-dropping curveball he delivers is nothing less than "ingeniously devious" (People). "
Purchased and downloaded the Kindle edition onto my Kindle. .

I've read one Deaver novel, A Kathryn Dance one, which I enjoyed very much; and several of his short stories now.  I enjoyed most of these stories with them ranging from excellent to mediocre and, imho, most were good-very good.  My average rating comes to a 3.5 for the stories and I feel happy with tha…

92. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola

Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola

Rating: (5/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

1992, Mar. 5, 2013, Holiday House, 32 pgs
Age: 4+

"The story of Patrick’s life, from his noble birth in Britain, to his being captured and taken to Ireland by a group of bandits, to the “dreams” that led him to convert the Irish people to the Christian faith. DePaola also retells several well-known legends, including the story of how Patrick got rid of all the snakes in Ireland. Full color."

Tomie dePaola is one of my favourite children's illustrators and I love the books he writes and illustrates, especially his Catholic books. There is really nothing else that can compare with them in pure quality and delight.  I've read this one before many times and it deserves a permanent place in any home library.  Not much is known about the real St. Patrick and dePaola starts off with telling us Patrick's life story as far as we know it factually.  It is a wonderful story of a young …

88. Island of Doom by Arthur Slade

Island of Doom by Arthur Slade
The Hunchback Assignments, IV

Rating: (5/5)

(US) - (Canada)

Jul. 9, 2012, Harper Trophy Canada, 272 pgs
Age: 12+

Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

"Modo is stationed in Paris, and is directed to follow the trail of a mesmerist and illusionist. In the course of his explorations Modo discovers that he is French and was born near Notre Dame. The revelation makes him question his allegiance to the very British Permanent Association.He forsakes his mission attempting to find his parents. The final scenes will be played out in the cathedral of Notre Dame, where Modo will learn his true origin. (Or is he merely manipulated by the illusionist?)"
The final book in this series is a splendid, rollicking adventure.  Almost every kind of derring-do meets our favourite team of 'Tavia and Modo as they travel from Montreal, Canada to France then London and end up on a South Pacific Island.  A mixture of steampunk and Frankenstein meet with the horr…

80. Bone: Quest for the Spark, Book Three by Tom Sniegoski.

Bone: Quest for the Spark, Book Three by Tom Sniegoski. Art by Jeff Smith
Quest for the Spark: Book Three
Rating: 4/5
(US) - (Canada)

Feb. 1 2013, Scholastic Canada, 288 pgs
Age: 8+

"The Nacht is growing stronger, and it's a race against time for Tom Elm and friends to find the final piece of the Spark before the entire Valley — and possibly the world — are plunged into eternal darkness. In this installment, the Queen of the Sky is brought down in the Pawa Mountains and our intrepid band of heroes is separated. What secrets can be found deep inside the mountains' caverns? Will the great mountain cat, Roque Ja, be ally or enemy? And will one of their very own betray them to evil?"
Page turning finish to this fantasy quest trilogy!  I thoroughly enjoyed the story, characters and plot with brief cameos from a couple of characters from the Bone comics for added fun.  Having been a year since reading book two I did find my memory hazy, as the book jumps right into the story…

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