“But mainly we want to utilize you for security. You’ll be with Barbara whenever she makes public appearances. You’ll go in, check the microphone and the lights, and make sure she presents herself in the best possible light. And with your police background-I told you we know all about you-you’ll be right there in case any troubles starts.”
“I can’t imagine there being that kind of trouble in a place like Lake Erie Shores.”
Her eyes narrowed just a millimeter. “Why? Because it’s all middle-class whites?”
“No,” I said quickly. “Because…” I blushed furiously. “I’m sorry. I guess that’s exactly what I meant.”
Private investigator, Milan Jacovich owes the mob family in Cleveland a favor and they are ready to collect. They assign Milan to protect and help a candidate for mayor in an upscale Cleveland suburb. Barbara Corns is a terrible candidate and with a week before the election Milan knows there isn’t much he can do but stay close and put in his time. The other candidate and current mayor of the city is slick and he has plans for a casino on Lake Erie that would benefit the city. Things are pretty tame until the mayor’s wife is run down and killed. Then Milan uses his police contacts and detective talents to investigate the many people surrounding the campaigns.
I love this series. The mystery is always good and Milan is a great main character. He’s a divorced middle-aged man with two teen boys that he sees every other Sunday and a lonely lifestyle between girlfriends. He is a Clevelander who is proud of his Slovenia heritage and knows the streets and the people well. As for the mystery this time around I had a suspicion, but I was wrong so another successful book by Roberts! Any mystery lover will love this series and most Clevelanders have already discovered it. I got started a little late so I’m just catching up, but I haven’t read a dud yet.
If you are trying the States reading challenge or just want to read a book set in Ohio I would highly recommend this series. This book is set in the 1990′s, but the series continues today so you could probably pick up any of them to get a feel for Cleveland.
I checked this book out of the library.
This is the perfect picture of what a sleeping newborn should look like – and yes, I do see the resemblance to a frog. Sleeper, check. Baby on back, check. Absolutely nothing else in crib, check. As you can see Gage knows the correct procedure. At least every time but nighttime. I consider it a little funny that this night owl has a son who seems to think daytimes are for napping and when the sun goes down it is time to party. I won’t go into the sleeping woes of this new mama because my parents came for the weekend and I got two nights of extra sleep. I’m feeling good and ready for the mostly sleepless nights of the upcoming week.
The following book was given to me for a pregnancy gift, but I only read it after Gage arrived. My loss. It has proved invaluable.
This photo was taken when Gage was 2 weeks old. He’s pushing 4 weeks now
I am not a huge fan of schedules but I think that babies and children can benefit from them so I was happy to read this book on how to give my baby some structure. The book recommends forming and maintaining a routine for your infant that is based on sleeping, feeding, and waketime. There are tips on how to establishing a schedule for your child and I have found it useful. I have not been able to follow it to the letter (Gage is only a newborn, after all!), but by using the guidelines loosely I have found my day to have a little more certainty.
I think there may be a danger if you try to follow it too closely. I’ve tried that and there are some things that I think will not work for Gage. Making him nap when he wants to play for a few hours seems counterproductive to getting him to sleep at night. But keeping in mind the three blocks of time and shaping them to suit your needs I think will help many first time parents feel more in control and knowledgeable. Having a plan, whether you follow it to the letter or not, goes a long way in making you feel prepared.
While I think the first chapter called Your Baby Needs a Family was well intended it did seem to lack empathy for most mothers and fathers out there that for whatever reason do not have the ideal nuclear family. If you are one of them, as are most families these days, I might just skip that chapter altogether.
This book was a gift from my friend, Kate.
When I found out I was pregnant I made the decision to buy and read only one pregnancy book and this is the one I chose. I’ve heard women complain about it being outdated or not detailed enough, but I found it to be very useful. I did not read it cover to cover and the last section on things that could go wrong I didn’t read, although I did reference it early on when I was afraid I might be having trouble. I felt like it gave me just enough information to feel comfortable, but not too much to cause increased worry, which is some thing I struggle with anyway. I definitely have a worry gene and I hope I haven’t passed it on to Gage!
Not only does the book cover eating for two, but its week by week updates were so much fun to read with Jason every week. It also helped for Jason to see some of my symptoms in print so he didn’t think I was making them up As a first time mom who has spent very little time around pregnant women I thought this book was a wonderful resource and I would recommend it.
As a bonus I thought I’d share the last picture we took of me ‘expecting’. We took this Saturday afternoon and I went to the hospital later that evening. I gained 45 pounds during my pregnancy. Hard to believe I gained all that belly for a 6 pound little guy!
This book was from my personal library.
The novel starts after the death of Sunyan Woo when her daughter Jing-Mei is asked to take her place at the mahjong table. And so begins the stories of four Chinese mothers and their American daughters. Jing-Mei finds out that before leaving China her mother abandoned two daughters and now Jong-Mei’s sisters have been found. Waverly Jong has a daughter, but not much respect for her mother or her heritage. Lena St. Clair is in an unhappy marriage and her mother considers herself a ghost. Rose Hsu Jordan is getting divorced much to the consternation of her mother.
The most interesting parts of this book are the stories of the mothers and their youth in China. I loved learning about the culture and history and how their lives changed when they moved to San Francisco. They all seemed to have real issues with the American way of life and values and lamented how it affected their children. It was fascinating.
As much as I loved the stories of the women there were too many to invest in completely. There was not a resolution for every story and that’s okay, but I would have liked one. This didn’t really detract from the beauty of the book, but it is worth mentioning.
I didn’t expect to love it, but I did. It wasn’t what I expected, it was so much better. It was fun escaping into another culture for a few hours. I will definitely be checking out more books by Amy Tan.
“A modern classic, I think. Really well done.” Jenners
“Fantastic book by a wonderful author. You’ll remember this one well after you’ve read it!” Staci
“Because it’s an engaging tale of immigrants and generations, but also because this is one of those books that will be (or already is) a part of our collective consciousness.” Hannah
“You called me fat in a magazine. You turned me into a joke. You don’t think you did anything wrong?”
“Face it Cannie,” he said. “You are fat.” He bent his head. “But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love you.”
The box of tampons bounced off his forehead and spilled into the parking lot.
Cannie has a good job as a reporter, close friends, a dog she loves, but she is unhappy with the extra weight she carries. To make matters worse her ex-boyfriend of five years has just written an article in a national magazine titled “Loving a Larger Woman.” Although she was the one to initiate the break-up she’s not sure she did the right thing and she makes some questionable decisions.
Cannie is a great character, full of humor, intelligence, laughter, and wit. It is light at first, but also addresses serious family issues with both of her parents that I found very real. And the fact that the reality wasn’t all tied up with a pretty bow at the end made it great for me. It managed to maintain the fun while still showing that not all things in the real world can be solved the way we want. It is chick lit at its best, but moves beyond that to a heartfelt story about starting to love yourself.
This was a great debut novel and I’m not sure what took me so long to read it. Oh wait, it’s the hundreds of other books I own. Anyway, I’m happy to discover a new author who I look forward to reading. My only complaint comes from the fact that I’m pregnant. The pregnancy storyline was a little flat for me only because it felt like Weiner just took things from a pregnancy book and threw them in. I’m sure that if you are not pregnant this would not bother you, but since I’ve had over eight months of living it it just didn’t ring true for me. Still loved the book!
“Hilarious, love her.” Em
“I became an instant fan after I read this one.” Debbie
“I love that book.” Shanyn
The floorboards creaked under my weight. There were books everywhere. There were pens, and a blue glass vase, an ashtray from the Dolder Grand in Zurich, the rusted arrow of a weather vane, a little brass hourglass, sand dollars on the windowsill, a pair of binoculars, an empty wine bottle that served as a candle holder, wax melted down the neck. I touched this thing and that. At the end, all that’s left of you are your possessions, Perhaps that’s why I’ve never been able to throw anything away. Perhaps that’s why I hoarded the world: with the hope that when I died, the sum total of my things would suggest a life larger than the one I lived.
“Die Laughing” chapter
Leo Gursky, a man who escaped the Nazis in Poland before following the love of his life to New York City, is staring a lonely death in the face. He has one friend, he makes a scene when in public so that people will remember him, and he is willing to embarrass himself just to be seen. He is alone, the love of his life is dead and his son doesn’t know he exists. Leo is full of wit and wisdom and sadness. I just wanted to give him a hug.
Alma Singer is a girl who wants to know who her namesake is. Her dead father had given her mother a book, The History of Love, and the woman in it, Alma, represented all women. Young Alma’s search for the author provides the catalyst and the mystery for this original novel.
The language is beautiful and the story bittersweet. It is both funny and confusing, touching and depressing. It came close to being perfect for me and I loved it. It is very difficult to describe, but pick it up and take a look. It may be just the unique voice you are looking for.
“Best book ever. Really. Please, please tell me this came from your Holiday Book Blogger Santa? I might cry otherwise.” Mille (my very sweet Secret Santa )
“You want to dig deeper into the book as you read.” Vasilly
Narrated by Carol Burnett
I love Carol Burnett. I loved her variety show, The Carol Burnett Show. The woman is funny and sincere and real. This memoir covers the time she was getting started in show business. She talks about meeting Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant, two of my faves, and how starstruck she was. She had an elevator encounter with John Steinbeck which I loved.
She talks about her time in New York, living with other girls and working on Broadway. I loved hearing about how she got her own show started, personal stories about castmates, and the honest confessions, like when she got her chin. She touches on her three marriages and the death of her daughter, Carrie, which give this memoir depth. Moving from Los Angeles to New York and back again showcase the fortunate life of this comedienne.
These stories of her life are fun to listen to and I must recommend the audio version since she reads the book herself. It made me want to buy her old shows from the infomercials I always see on tv. If you are a fan this is a must read.
I checked this audio book out of the library.
“Rich, I swear I think marriage is the most mysterious covenant in the universe. I’m convinced that no two are alike. More than that, I’m convinced that no marriage is like it was just the day before. Time is the significant dimension-even more significant than love. You can’t ask a person what his marriage is like because it will be a different marriage tomorrow. We go in waves.”
Jean is a married mother of a five-year old girl and a photographer. She and her family are on her brother-in-law’s boat on the islands off of Maine researching a story for a magazine feature. As Jean takes pictures of the island where a horrific crime took place in the 1800′s, she becomes convinced that her husband is having an affair with her brother-in-law’s beautiful girlfriend. This story is spliced with the truth about what really happened all those years ago.
It is haunting, sad, and drew me in right away. Beautifully told by alternating the past with the present I was even more invested in the old mystery surrounding a double murder and life on the inhospitable islands at the time. It was made better because it is based on a true story. Shreve used the old courtroom transcripts word for word, but made up the rest. It definitely made me curious about the real murders.
This is not a long novel and one that will keep you riveted. I never did fully connect with Jean, but I was fully engaged in the story. It left me thinking well after I finished reading and that is about as good a recommendation as I can give. I absolutely loved it!
This is from my personal library and was chosen by Piroska and Wanda. Here’s what Wanda had to say…”One of my all-time favourites.”
White Fang became hated by man and dog. During this period of his development he never knew a moment’s security. The tooth of every dog was against him, the hand of every man. He was greeted with snarls by his kind, with curses and stones by his gods. He lived tensely. He was always keyed up, alert for attack, wary of being attacked, with an eye for sudden and unexpected missiles, prepared to act precipitately and coolly, to leap in with a flash of teeth, or to leap away with a menacing snarl.
Part wolf, part dog White Fang came into the cruel Yukon world during a famine. He and his mother were the sole survivors of the family and eventually went to live with a group of natives who gave them security, but took away their freedom and eventually took away White Fang’s mother. White Fang was the biggest, cruelest, and most lethal of the dogs. When his loyalty was betrayed he became hardened to the dog in him. Is he redeemable?
Let me start by saying that I am a girl who cannot even watch the nature channels once one animal kills and eats another. It’s a little too much reality for me. I am much more likely to cry in a movie if a beloved animal is killed than a person. So, when I say that I love White Fang and all of his wild ways it is no small thing. I am sure that part of it is London’s writing – I loved The Call of the Wild as well- but the story itself is so compelling that I was riveted by White Fang’s life.
The book is mostly told from White Fang’s perspective once he is born, but the opening scenes that tell the tale of a sledding team on the run from wolves was perfect. I won’t tell you who wins, but it was as good as any thriller I’ve read lately. There was so much cruelty and abuse that White Fang never really had a chance until someone took the time to try to save him. It is a lesson in humanity and redemption and I loved it.
“Unforgettable story about man’s relationship with nature.” Rhapsody in Books
“A definite classic, but not so heavy that you’ll be stalled in your reading challenge.” GMR
This is book 2 in the Jack Reacher series (Book 1)
Jack Reacher is an ex-MP who is aimlessly travelling around the country after 13 years serving in the military and he happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The place is Chicago and the time is when FBI agent Holly Johnson, a woman with secrets and family in the highest of high places, is snatched off the street. When they realize they are being kidnapped by a crazy militia in Montana they are sure they will be rescued, but as time goes on and the craziness seems even crazier Jack realizes it is up to him to get them out of there. The rescue that should have come is delayed by the President and his chief of staff due to politics and it’s enough to make you mad (as most political things tend to do to me).
Jack Reacher is a man’s man, but one that women are drawn to because of his sheer masculinity and unavailability. He is who he is, take him or leave him and that confidence and physical presence makes him a force to be reckoned with. When I read the first Jack Reacher I said I was unsure about him because I didn’t know where he drew the line at right and wrong and this book helped clarify that for me. He’s a tough guy and one easy to like.
I liked this one even better than the first. It is still gritty and grisly, but not quite as much as the first. I am looking forward to more Jack!
This is from my personal library.