Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Current Favorite Fiction Reads

I'm currently reading 2 fiction books - I frequently read 2 at a time! I've always enjoyed a good mystery and I have discovered 2 authors to add to my favorites. The first is Jodi Picoult. She received the 2003 New England Book Award for fiction and the American Library Association's Alex Award for My Sister's Keeper. She has 11 previous bestsellers as well.

The first book of hers that I read was Vanishing Acts - it tells a story about a woman, who owns a search-and-rescue business discovers she may not be who others have been telling her she is. Lots of twists and turns. 418 pages - but I couldn't put it down - read it in 3 days! There's even a section in the back with 18 questions / topics for discussions if you're in a book club - very clever!

Well, because I enjoyed that one so much, I picked up another of her books titled Plain Truth, which has a story set in Paradise, Pensylvannia - Lancaster County. Which, by the way, is the county where my mother-in-law lives - smack dab in the middle of Amish Country. This book is another great suspense novel - 405 pages, also with questions / topics for discussions. A story about an dead infant found in an Amish barn, and a big-city attorney who has some former roots in the area, who is called upon to live in the Amish community while she defends the young Amish woman who is accused of the infant's murder. An interesting integration of two worlds! I may finish THIS book in 2 days!!!

I had no idea, about the book's setting until I began reading the book. Because I've visited this part of the country, I could really invision the setting. Here is a photo that Paul took on his last visit to Leola. Here's a photo looking across the fields from Paul's mother's home, in the direction towards the Amish farms. The Hof family headstone (center) is where Paul's grandparents are burried - they were from Germany. Because of their heritage, they became friends with many local Amish families.

This photo (also taken by Paul) was taken just down the road from our home in Petaluma - Even though we live in the city limits, we're not far from a little country experience as well!

The other author I've enjoyed lately is Alexander McCall Smith - author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, set in Botswana, Africa. This is a series of 6 (each approx. 225 pgs - easy to read in one afternoon). I've read the first, and am currently reading the second in the series, Tears of the Giraffe. These books are a fast read - and very fun and whitty - you'll fall in love with the the detective, Precious Ramotswe, the sensible and cunning owner of the agency. Each book has several mysteries for Precious to unravel.

To see more of Paul's photos of the Petaluma or Amish countryside, visit our Flickr site. Happy reading, photo viewing and . . . get out to see the country!!!

Quote for the day:
That image of the countryside being a threatening place still exists. People continue to resist the challenge of learning about aspects of life they don't understand. Mary Wesley

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