Favorite Quotes

"My education was the liberty I had to read indiscriminately and all the time, with my eyes hanging out."

— Dylan Thomas

Reader's Link - December 2010 Staff Picks Archive

When Two Brothers Love the Same Woman


Title: Nemesis
By: Jo Nesbo

Harry Hole is not an unfamiliar detective inspector to many Scandinavian mystery readers in Santa Cruz. The redbreast (2006) begins with Harry and his partner Ellen on surveillance detail. Oslo happens to be the scene of an international summit meeting. The devil's star (2005) finds Harry taking on a murder case of a woman found dead in her flat. One finger has been cut off, and beneath her eyelid is a tiny red diamond in the shape of the devil’s star.

In Nemesis (2008), however, there is a haunting theme echoing throughout the book that two brothers loving the same woman was a recipe for tragedy. It is a story as old as human existence. Stefan and Raskol are two gypsy brothers who ran away to Norway and grew up together in a caravan. Tragedies have followed ever since they fell in love with the same woman, Maria. Lev and Trond Grette are two brothers who came from a middle class neighborhood in Disengrenda. In spite of the fact that they are from different racial groups and social strata, the latter pair did not escape the same tragedy either when Lev fell in love with Stine, his brother’s wife. Their fate was sealed the moment he declared to Trond his future plan with Stine.

By sorting through a labyrinth of superficial evidence, Harry manages to solve a series of suicide-revenge, and bank robbery-murder cases through the theme of two brothers loving the same woman. However, a cliff hanger is created after Harry lets go his nemesis during the police investigation and a new lead to the mystery of his partner’s death surfaces.

View similarly tagged posts: fiction,mystery
Posted by Hui-Lan on Dec. 30, 2010 at 9 a.m.
1 Comment

The Tale of a Literary Rat


Title: Firmin
By: Sam Savage

Firmin is the story of a rat--a literate, philosophical, and, yes, very melancholy rat. He is born, the runt of the litter, in the basement of a Boston bookstore, and from a very early age begins feeding his physical and intellectual hunger with the books that surround him. He lives on the edge of the human world, sometimes envious, sometimes confused, but always lonely and eager to communicate (unfortunately, due to the constraints of rat anatomy he is only able to master one sign language phrase: "Goodbye, zipper"). From the very first page Firmin is an appealing character--and this small but literary book will make you both laugh and cry.

View similarly tagged posts: fiction
Posted by fatorangecat on Dec. 23, 2010 at 9:23 a.m.

From a newsman's point of view

Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City

Title: Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City
By: Jed Horne

Like Goya's signature remark "Yo lo vi, I saw it…," Jed Horne, the metro editor of New Orleans' own excellent newspaper, 'The Times-Picayune', tells it like it really was, firsthand. He and his fellow news staff continued to report the news and serve the city residents in the middle of and throughout the unfolding chaos of Hurricane Katrina. When the city's telephone landlines stopped functioning and cell phones gave out, the TP news staff kept on posting updates of present conditions via electronic format (for a brief period only) and then resumed a daily printing of the paper. Throughout this book, he conducts interviews with Ivor van Heerden, the former deputy director of the LSU Hurricane Center, who reminisces about his many predictions and elaborates in detail the timeline of indisputable facts. The interviews with Dr. Kiersta Kurtz-Burke are particularly moving; treating the 450 plus patients in New Orleans' Charity Hospital with no electricity or power and a shortage of essential supplies. Mr. Horne's real strength as a reporter comes when he talks with the storm victims who sought shelter in the Superdome: How did they get here? What will they do now? After seeing all the horrifying images on television of American citizens stranded on freeway on-ramps pleading for help, I wanted to get a clearer understanding of the disaster and its heartbreaking aftermath. Reading "Breach of Faith" gives me a renewed respect for the journalism profession and for their dedication to reporting the truth. The 'Times Picayune' staff won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for Breaking News Reporting for "its courageous and aggressive coverage of Hurricane Katrina, overcoming desperate conditions facing the city and the newspaper."

View similarly tagged posts: non-fiction,history
Posted by pollockl on Dec. 9, 2010 at 8:21 a.m.

Book Kits

To help your book discussion group, we've gathered a collection of popular paperback titles and sorted them into kits which can be sent to you upon request.

Learn more... Browse titles...