Monday, April 27, 2009

My review for The Noticer

Orange Beach, Alabama is a typical American town - it's filled with people with a lot of needs, from failing marriages to bankrupt businesses to lonely lives. But one by one, lives are changed by a mysterious old drifter known only as Jones. Jones insists that all it takes is a little perspective on your problems to change your life and realize that things are not as bad as they seem to be. As he travels throughout the town, he touches many lives, offering wisdom and hope to those who need it.
"The Noticer" is very different from any other book I've ever read. Part fiction, part self-help, and part good old fashioned wisdom and advice, it definitely makes you think. It gives you, as Jones would say, a little perspective. It also includes a detailed discussion guide that would generate some really good topics for a book club. The sound advice and encouragement it offers, as well as the author's own inspirational life story, would make it a great choice for anyone going through a transition or a difficult time in their life. It made me think about the people who have influenced my own life as well, often in ways they never even realized. It's definitely a book I will pass along to others.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My review for The Rivers Run Dry

Raleigh Harmon's life is not going well. A disciplinary transfer lands the Southern FBI agent far from home in Seattle with an egotistical supervisor. Add to the mix her mom, who has moved with her to live with the quirky sister of Raleigh's deceased father, and the disappearance of a young hiker who may have been kidnapped, and things gets a little crazy.
I really enjoyed "The Rivers Run Dry." It includes quite an interesting cast of characters, from Raleigh's New Age aunt and her friend Claire the Clairovyant, who is all too eager to help Raleigh solve a case - and leads to to some pretty funny episodes; to the ever-evolving list of suspects in the disappearance; to Raleigh's quirky co-workers and sometimes confusing boss. Not only is a great mystery with lots of surprises, but Sibella Giorello's writing style is beautifully descriptive. You can picture each scene is vivid detail. So often, especially when reading a mystery, I feel compelled to keep going simply by the plot - rarely do I find a book with not only a good plot, but one whose poetic language drives me to keep reading and keep enjoying it. This was a great introduction to Giorello's work, and I look forward to reading her next Raleigh Harmon novel, due out next year.
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