Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Finds

 
Friday Finds is hosted by Should Be Reading.
 Here are a few finds I discovered this week. Have you read any of these?


(amazon).....Starred Review. It makes a bizarre kind of sense to pair animals with celebrities, as the PEN-USA Award–winning Millet does in her new collection, since both tend to provoke our sympathy while remaining fundamentally alien. This disconnect proves a fascinating subject for stories where David Hasselhoff's dachshund (which is not his fault) inspires meditations on mortality, Noam Chomsky holds forth on hamsters, Jimmy Carter spares the swamp rabbit, and Thomas Edison is haunted by the elephant he electrocuted. Millet's apprehension of interspecies rapport is particularly sharp in Sexing the Pheasant, where Madonna's remorse at shooting a pheasant (while hunting in Prada boots, naturally) is mainly symptomatic of her own self-regard. For sheer line-for-line delight, nothing beats The Lady and the Dragon, where a Sharon Stone look-alike is lured to the bedside of an Indonesian billionaire who plans to make the movie star his concubine. Millet's stories evoke the spectrum of human feeling and also its limits, not unlike the famous naturalist in Girl and Giraffe, who watches as lions and giraffes live out the possibilities of the world while hiding in the underbrush: being a primate, he was separate forever.

 
(amazon).....White (A Brother's Blood; The Blind Side of the Heart) skillfully swirls gut-wrenching self-discovery and mystery in his newest fictional offering. Part-time medical examiner and full-time ob-gyn "Doc" Stuart Jordan is called early one morning to a murder scene at a cabin nestled in the frigid hills of North Carolina. Expecting domestic turmoil, Doc is surprised at the composure of the suspected murdererDthe deceased's common-law wife, RosaDand her absorption with her four-month-old baby daughter, Maria. Making a rash pre-arrest vow, Doc promises Rosa he'll care for her child. Despite his ageDhe's 50Dhis full-time practice, his current affair with a married woman, and his estranged wife, Annabel, who has drifted in and out of his life since the death of their son, Doc feels bound to keep his promise. Maria's entrance into Doc's world sends him on a new path, unearthing remembrances of his son; however, it is the reappearance of his wife that throws Doc into a tailspin. Annabel, who has been unstable since their son's death, believing she was partly responsible for it, breezes into his home, assuring him that she is "better" and able to care for the baby, but Doc is wary and unwilling to trust her again. Sleuthing on the side, juggling work and foster-parenthood, a wife and a mistress, Doc must also confront the ghosts of his past and search for a balance between forgiveness and acceptance. Facing pressure from his lover, who has just left her husband, to finally divorce Annabel, Doc is torn between the woman he currently loves and the one he's spent a lifetime caring for. White's emotionally packed novel delivers first-class examinations of morality, mixing strong supporting characters and unexpected plot turns, enveloping the reader in an extraordinary story. 

(amazon).....
Maggie Quinn has had her share of misfortune: Having grown up poor and fatherless in Galway, she was forced to quit school early and find work to support her ailing mother and her own child. But when a tragedy of her own making strikes, it is too much for her to bear. Plagued by feelings of guilt and sorrow and by losing her faith in God, she runs from her past; first by fleeing Ireland for America and later by drowning her sorrows with the bottle. Maggie hits rock bottom when she makes an unsuccessful suicide attempt. While recuperating in a hospital bed, she meets the remarkable Father Jack Devlin. With his compassion and love, Maggie once more finds her faith and a reason to live.

For the past eighteen years, Maggie has devoted herself to the man who saved her life. But now Father Jack, the beloved if controversial priest in the small town of Hebron Falls, Massachusetts, is accused of having done terrible things to altar boys many years before. At first Maggie is convinced that the accusations are only lies brought out by Father Jack's enemies. Yet as she sifts through the memories of her life with Father Jack, doubts begin to emerge: Could she have been blind to a darker side of her friend all these years? And when new information surfaces regarding the unsolved murder of a young altar boy with possible links to Father Jack, her faith is once again put to the test. Maggie must search her memory and her heart to help her decide what to believe. The Blind Side of the Heart poignantly captures one woman's struggle to remain loyal to a friend while at the same time she is forced to examine her conscience to arrive at the truth.

10 comments:

  1. Wow, I have The Blind Side of the Heart on my shelf. I read about it a few years ago and bought it, put it on the shelf to read later, and promptly forgot about it. I just checked and found it. Thanks for the reminder :)

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  2. I really enjoyed the Millet collection. I read it shortly after the Pulitzer announcement. I hope you pick it up soon!

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  3. I haven't heard of any of them. The Blind Side of the Heart esp sounds good.

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  4. You always find the best books to share with us! Both of these look very interesting, and I thank you for sharing them!

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  5. I want to read The Blind Side of the Heart by Michael C. White.

    Here is my Friday Find: Never Let You Go by Erin Healy

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  6. Wonderful "finds", Diane. Have a great weekend.

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  7. Great finds ... I'm most intrigued by "Love In Infant Monkey."

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  8. You always seem to find really interesting books...have you been processing some great reads at your job lately????

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  9. The Blind Side of the Heart sounds really good and it's got a great cover as well. Great finds Diane.

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  10. I would like to see what you think of the Blind Side of the Heart. It sounds different.

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