The Olio Folio

Books Reviewed

The Devil’s Rooming House By:M. William Phelps

Similar to Devil in the White City in the way it follows a crime along with a historical event. I was dissappointed that it dropped the heat wave a quarter of the way through and concentrated only on the crime. I wanted to read more about both. This story follows Amy Archer-Gilligan, the most prolific female serial killer. Amy’s story is the inspiration behind the hit broadway play and movie “Arsenic and Old Lace.” An interesting mix of the crime and the relentless research by one journalist who broke the case. Add this one to your list if you like historical true crime. ( )

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May 15, 2010 Posted by | History, True Crime | Leave a comment

Waking Samuel By: Daniel Coyle

I was not thrilled with this book. I did not connect with any of the characters, except maybe, Tom. He had the most admirable qualities although Sara did towards the end of the book. I think Samuel was not a mystery but the author was trying to turn it into one. The book was trying to go in too many directions which made none of them interesting. ( )

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Fiction/Literature | Leave a comment

Miracle Life of Edgar Mint By: Brady Udall

A truly intriguing novel. A great look at life of those affected by horrific tragedy. Edgar faces so much adversity and loss in his life,” he even loses his illusions that make people lives bearable.” This novel is great storytelling; filled with humor and heartache. It is filled with quirky characters from Dr. Barry Pinkley to Art Crozier, to Edgar himself. I great read and a great book for bookclubs. ( )

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cottage For Sale, Must Be Moved By: Kate Whouley

LOVED IT. A quaint memoir about, a woman, a cottage, the PennySaver, and the joys of life. Kate lives in a small house and knows she needs more room. She comes across a small cottage resort that has placed all of its cottages for sale. The only hitch, they must be moved. Kate falls in love with one small cottage and realizes this will take care of all her needs. After a lengthty run-around, her adventure comes to fruition. The cottage, the move and all the quirky folks she meets along the way make this novel come to life. I wanted to be there along with her throughout the process. For women who want to show their independence, this is a memoir for you. Filled with so much emotion. Truly a wonderful read. ( )

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Reader By: Bernhard Schlink

This story is a haunting love story which takes place in Nazi Germany. The characters are compelling even though you may not like them. Michael is a 14 year boy who falls for a woman who later must reveal a dark lie ot be sentenced to prison for life. Morals are questioned and the complexity of this relationship comes to life with Schlink’s great writing style. I had recommended this book to several people before it became popular with the movie. An interesting look at another aspect of this time in history. ( )

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Fiction/Literature | Leave a comment

The Reading Group By: Elizabeth Noble

This was our first read when we started our bookclub and I must say I was not impressed. I could not really relate to any of the characters. When discussing we tried to talk about which of the ladies we most like and we all had a rather tough time with this. I was not a fan of the writing style either. I know I will not pick up another book by this author. There are far better books about women and bookclubs. ( )

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Fiction/Literature | Leave a comment

Shipping News By: Annie Proulx

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book. The setting, the characters all come to life is such a vivid portrait. I love reading about that part of the country anyway and this novel made it come to life. The characters covered such a wide spectrum, some you loved and some you hate, but you still want to know about them. THe chapter heading are quite humorous, they are taken from various books about knots and mariner jargon. As usual Proux comes through again. A great read!! ( )

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stone From the River By: Ursula Hegi

Fabulous book, great author. I will read anything she writes as she has the magic of words. This novel was so hard to put down, I was drawn in by the characters and the settings. Trudi loves to unearth people’s secrets and then use these stories where she sees fit. Trudi does not however, reveal her own secrets or stories. Trudi survives a tragedy when she was 14 years old, and the novel will reveal how this tragedy affects her and shape her throughout her life. Hegi takes us on a journey with Trudi into WWII and the Germans overtaking the small town of Burgdorf. Read this book!!! It is wonderful ( )

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Fiction/Literature | Leave a comment

Tallgrass By: Sandra Dallas

Having never read anything about this part of history I found this novel quite interesting. The historical aspects of the novel were well researched and the story built around Tallgrass is a thriller of sorts. The book is also a coming-of-age story about Rennie, a thirteen year old girl, who lives in the town of the internment camp. We read this book for our book group and it gave us many issues and themes to discuss. ( )

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Fiction/Literature | Leave a comment

Starvation Hieghts By: Gregg Olson

I enjoyed this book as did the other members of our book club. Our biggest criticism was the middle of the book. It seemed as though there was alot of “filler”. This was something that I was not aware of and I was intrigued by the story and the fact that such a clinic would exist. It seems that there has always been “doctors” who are willing to prey on desperate people. The author is a great writer, it is reminiscent of Devil in the White City (which is much better) in style, as you feel you are reading historical fiction rather than nonfiction. The characters come to life as did the Pacific Northwest. I liked the addition of the flashbacks as it brought different light into the story. This is a great book for a book club discussion as many issues arise that can spark interesting conversation. ( )

May 15, 2010 Posted by | History, True Crime | Leave a comment