Archive for August, 2011

THE GLASS DEMON by Helen Grant

“I didn’t believe in demons; I ranked them with ghosts and vampires and werewolves, as products of a fevered imagination, or phenomena with a perfectly rational explanation. I did not realize yet, that summer when I was seventeen and my sister Polly was still alive, when the sun was shining and even the wind was warm and my whole body was restless, that there are worse things than being stuck in a small town for a year. There are demons, and they are more terrible than we can imagine.”

August 27, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Coming-of-Age, Germany, Mystery/Suspense, Psychological Suspense, Speculative (Beyond Reality)


THE TWELFTH ENCHANTMENT, by David Liss, starts off promisingly. It is the early nineteenth century and our heroine, Lucy Derrick, is a twenty-year-old orphan who is living unhappily in Nottingham, England, with her cruel uncle and an abusive woman named Mrs. Quince. Although she was well-educated by her late father, Lucy was left almost penniless when he died. She is at the mercy of her vicious uncle, Richard Lowell, who cannot wait to be rid of her. In fact, her uncle plans to give her hand in marriage to a thirty-five year old, dried up prune of a man named Olson, the owner of a local hosiery mill.

August 26, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Scifi, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author

A DEATH IN SUMMER by Benjamin Black

Irish author John Banville continues to pick up a number of literary prizes (including the Booker Prize in 2005) for his novels, but he sidelines with the pseudonym Benjamin Black for a series of ‘50s crime novels set in Dublin. Banville aka Black has produced these crime novels steadily over the past few years. A DEATH IN SUMMER and the other novels comprise the Quirke series–a series of mysteries featuring a Dublin pathologist. Banville states that reading the roman durs of Simenon inspired him to try his hand at writing crime fiction. While reading Simenon, he noted the “simple language and direct, lightweight narrative,” accompanied by existentialist thought and decided to “try it.”

August 25, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Ireland, Sleuths Series, y Award Winning Author


LET’S TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME is, at its core, a love story. It’s a story of how a close connection with a friend can ground us and provide us with a life worth living. And it’s a story that any woman who has ever had a friend who is like a sister – I count myself among those fortunate women – will understand in a heartbeat.

August 24, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Non-fiction, Reading Guide, y Award Winning Author

THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Before she is emancipated at eighteen years old, Victoria Jones has lived in 32 different foster homes creating havoc wherever she’s lived. Abandoned at birth by a mother she never knew and knows nothing about, the only steady contact she’s had in her life is Meredith, her social worker. Meredith’s role is primarily to take Victoria from one foster home and place her in another.

August 23, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Contemporary, Debut Novel, Reading Guide

CHIKE AND THE RIVER by Chinua Achebe

Chike is Chinua Achebe’s young hero in this gentle, touching story of an eleven-year-old Nigerian boy who has to leave his village in order to continue his schooling in the big city on the shores of the mighty Niger River. It is a charming tale about finding your way in a totally new environment and learning some important life lessons about loyalty, honesty, courage and the strength and limits of dreams.

August 22, 2011 · Judi Clark · 2 Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Africa, World Lit