Five Spanish women operate a literary magazine in Madrid that is hanging on by a thread. When the British publisher sends his very proper son down to close things up and the madness begins. When the same proper Englishman goes missing it really speeds up but when a wonderful bumbling Spanish police inspector begins to investigate the disappearance the story goes into hyper speed. The delightful women are as warm as the Spanish sun and the quirky Brits who do their best to understand them and resist their charms. Can this group of determined women hold off the tide of unemployment and scandal? Will Inspector Manchego find his man and will Grandmother Remedios show everyone how to love? For lovers of Swedish Fredrik Backman's delightfully quirky lovable characters.
Imagine a group of oil company workers in the far reaches of the North Pole taking core samples from the permafrost when they accidentally mess up and extract a mega-virus that has lain dormant for thousands of years. Everyone falls ill and they have what could be a virus that has been unleashed on the rest of the world unless they can contain it. Scientists currently working on the AIDS virus are called in to analyze the virus and hopefully silence the alarm giving the company permission to go back to drilling. The author knows her stuff and it is the process of how scientists unscramble the mystery of this virus that is fascinating. With the polar ice cap melting and new viruses becoming a threat every day this book is not so much science fiction as it is not in the too distant future problem solving. Much like Michael Critchton books, this does go pretty deep into biomedical research jargon but it is not so much that the lay person can't understand what is happening. The story is a bit slow to start but by the end you are waiting for a sequel.
Watching Edie by Camilla Way
Twisty psychological banter with a healthy dose of "how well do you really know your friends" make this a one-sitting thrill ride. Edie is the girl who has it all even a bad boyfriend she is obsessed with, while Heather is the awkward girl with controlling parents who wants so badly to be around Edie and accepted. That was high school and now Edie is the newly single mom without any help caught in a dead end waitress job and living in a dump. She is about to lose it when who of all people comes to her rescue- Heather. While Edie loves being able to get her life back a bit the hold that Heather has on her and the baby is a bit disconcerting. The story jumps back and forth between Heather and Edie, past and present so the reader can get a better idea of their relationship. You will judge them both and change your mind about their friendship right up to the last page.
The Hike by Drew Magary
This is one of those books that is difficult to fit into a particular category. Ben is on a business trip when he decides to take a quick hike and enjoy the peace and quiet that he doesn't get when he is at home. A wrong turn leads him down a path that resembles a horror movie or bad video game. At every turn he finds a friend or adversary, a reward or a punishment. Ben is searching for "The Producer", the only one who can get him home. Interesting spin on not taking life for granted and doing what is morally good. It also can't hurt to be nice to crabs - you never know when you will need one! This is one of those books that can't help but foster a great discussion.
Josie and her kids Paul and Ana are on the lam - not really, but Josie is running away from a not too happy reality and they are getting as far away as you can from Ohio without a passport - Alaska. Needing to escape her dental practice, a lawsuit and her ex, she bundles up the kids and heads to Alaska where she rents an RV of questionable quality and drives off to have an adventure in the Alaskan wilderness. They stay in questionable trailer parks, along the side of roads, visit old friends and in between run away from giant forest fires, process servers and Josie's real and imagined fears.
Darkly funny from the odd characters found at every turn to the proof that five-year old Ana can destroy something at every rest stop to the tidbits of Paul's young but profound wisdom. You may see yourself in Josie. After all, who hasn't wanted to pack up everyone in the middle of the night and run away from home on a grand adventure?
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
I have to say up front that I didn't understand the science but was intrigued by the concept. Jason loves his wife and his life and goes out on evening to meet a friend only to wake up to a nightmare where his life is not his own and he is someone he does not know. He breaks out and travels in a time machine of his own design only to pop into various alternative realities. His alter ego is already taking over his life and now Jason must risk everything to get rid of the imposters and get his family back. Doorways leading to one nightmare after another await Jason. This thrill ride is full of scientific twists and turns no one can predict. After all, how do you fight for what you had when the person you are fighting is yourself? Bourne Identity meets Terminator - all Jason wants is his real life back. This thrill ride will have you questioning that feeling of deja vous.
Lo has the bad fortune of being burglarized right before she is due to cover a luxury cruise to the Fjords. Still jumpy to say the least she does not sleep well, even on those 1000 count sheets, and wakes to the sound of something or someone being dumped overboard. Then, when no one is missing and there is no evidence to prove her case, she begins to see threats telling her to lay off. Not knowing who she can trust from her colleagues to cruise staff does not help the situation. Deliciously twisted plot lets you wonder right along with her if she did witness something and if she will survive the cruise to tell anyone about it. The ocean is cold and deep and she is far away from help. This summer's "Gone Girl on a Boat" will have people talking.
Monterey Bay by Lindsay Hatton
Margot has traveled around the world with her eccentric father and now they have landed in Monterey Bay California where her father is investing in a cannery. It is the 1940's and the heyday of Cannery Row and this is where she meets Ed Ricketts, a biologist who will capture her heart and his band of supporters none more than the outspoken and disapproving John Steinbeck. Margot has an affair with Ricketts that creates a wedge between Margot and her dad but frees the rebel spirit in Margot. Margot works for Ricketts as a specimen artist and soon begins to love the bay and its inhabitants as much as he does and will work to see something lasting built in the form of the aquarium. As sure as the tides changing she will fight to win the love and respect of these two men all the while trying to matter in the rough and tumble world of Cannery Row.
The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone
A billionaire touches down in a jungle in Peru and jets out in a hurry minus a few of his passengers but with one notable stowaway- an ancient breed of spider long dormant has just woken up. They are in China, They are in the States and they are hungry for their favorite food - people. Warning! you will jump at the sight of ordinary spiders, you will feel phantom spiders crawling on you and you will read this book with all the lights on. As with all classic horror stories the threat is believable enough and the pace of the book is frantic. With a choppy writing style that lends itself well to the genre this is one that will stay with you even after you finish the last page
A young girl is raped and brutalized just steps away from the busy party she had left. To ease her suffering her parents decide to give her "the treatment" which blocks the memory of that traumatic event. The problem is that is doesn't completely take the memory of the violence away leaving Jenny feeling confused and depressed. The book's narrator is the family therapist who is working with Jenny's family and others who have had this experimental treatment.
As the memory comes slowly back to Jenny she begins to remember what could be important details that will lead to an arrest. For Jenny this may bring some relief to the pain she has been feeling but for others it may lead to a greater problem. The web of deceit and the cat and mouse game between the adults doesn't hide the fact that the person who is hurt the most is the one they are trying to protect. A bit slow to start despite the brutal rape in the beginning, the suspense leads up to a thrilling twist at the end.
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