Reader's Link - June 2011 Staff Picks Archive

Tips for Family Togetherness

The Family Dinner: Great ways to connect with your kids, one meal at a time

Title: The Family Dinner: Great ways to connect with your kids, one meal at a time
By: Laurie David

This book is full of great ideas for family togetherness at mealtime, including kid friendly preparation ideas, conversation topics, fun place settings, and even some great recipes. Featured along the way are tidbits of advice from Nora Ephron, Maya Angelou, Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, Jonathan Safran Foer, and many others. This a helpful and inspiring book for those seeking more quality time with family.

View similarly tagged posts: non-fiction
Posted by Abbey on June 30, 2011 at 8 a.m.
1 Comment

Seville Quartet

The Ignorance of Blood

Title: The Ignorance of Blood
By: Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson’s The Ignorance of Blood not only ends Inspector Jefe Javier Falcón Seville quartet, but more importantly, completes the full recovery cycle of the protagonist’s troubled life.

Javier Falcón’s troubled life is revealed in the first part of the quartet, The Blind Man of Seville (2003). While investigating the brutal killing of a leading restaurateur, Raul Jiménez, he discovers his famous painter father’s secret life and violent past connected with the victim. With the combined burden of the above discoveries, the stress of his job and an irreparable marriage, Falcón suffers from an emotional breakdown.

The Vanished Hands (2005; published in UK as The Silent and the Damned) is the second book in the quartet. A double suicide case brings Falcón again to an exclusive area of Seville, and a chance meeting with Consuelo Jiménez, the widow of Raul Jiménez. She has been suspected of murdering her husband.

The Hidden Assassins (2006) is the third book in which Falcón is assigned to investigate a mutilated and faceless corpse found on the municipal dump. Before he is able to start the investigation, a massive explosion in a mosque destroys an apartment complex and a day-care center, the possible work of Islamist terrorists. To complicate the cases, his ex-wife appears to be beaten to death by her new husband, Esteban Calderón, the investigating judge. Despite the media and political pressure, Falcón refuses to be swayed, but believes that all is not as it seems.

The Ignorance of Blood (2009), the final part of the quartet, is set in the wake of a terrorist attack on Seville. Falcón is determined to bring the real perpetrators to justice. But such determination exacts a high price to pay both professionally and personally: his closest friend, a spy Falcón controls for the Spanish government, has been blackmailed; his own lover, Consuelo Jiménez, suddenly finds her youngest son being kidnapped in a shopping mall; and, worst of all, he is ordered to resign from the police force, because of his persistent investigating methods. Not intimidated by either fanaticism or violence, Falcón adopts the most ruthless retaliation to realize his determination, bring home the kidnapped boy, and save the son of his closest friend. In the process he has also reinstated the former investigating judge, and unearthed the root of Jiménez’s family violence. He is now fully ready for more challenges in his life.

View similarly tagged posts: fiction,mystery
Posted by Hui-Lan on June 23, 2011 at 8:30 a.m.

Madensky Square - A year in the Life

Madensky Square

Title: Madensky Square
By: Eva Ibbotson

Eva Ibbottson was known to me only as an author of children's books. After her recent death I decided to try some of her books for adults. Madensky Square has the same charm as her fanciful books for young people.

Madensky Square takes place in pre-World War I Vienna. The Square is not only home to Susanna Weber, proprietor of her own dressmaking shop, but it becomes a character among the cast of characters who live and work there. There are other shopkeepers, the member of the boys' choir of the local church, the family with six young girls, a young musical prodigy, and the women who buy Susanna's creations.

Madensky Square is a place of romance and intrigue, life's small tragedies and coups. And we see it all through Susanna's eyes as she writes about the small events of everyday, her memories of the past, and her hopes for the future.

View similarly tagged posts: fiction
Posted by ogradyj on June 9, 2011 at 8 a.m.
1 Comment

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