Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Finds 5-8-2009


Here are my finds this week!


Dark Places by Gillian Flynn


I found this book from Cerebral Girl's blog.

I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.

The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club . . . and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.

As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.





The Likeness by Tana French


I found this one through Shelf Awareness.

The haunting follow up to the Edgar Award–winning debut In the Woods

Tana French astonished critics and readers alike with her mesmerizing debut novel, In the Woods. Now both French and Detective Cassie Maddox return to unravel a case even more sinister and enigmatic than the first. Six months after the events of In the Woods, an urgent telephone call beckons Cassie to a grisly crime scene. The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used. Suddenly, Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, more importantly, who is this girl? A disturbing tale of shifting identities, The Likeness firmly establishes Tana French as an important voice in suspense fiction.




Red Orchestra: The Story of the Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler by Anne Nelson


Found in my monthly BOMC guide.

In this unforgettable book, distinguished author Anne Nelson shares one of the most shocking and inspiring–and least chronicled–stories of domestic resistance to the Nazi regime. The Rote Kapelle, or Red Orchestra, was the Gestapo’s name for an intrepid band of German artists, intellectuals, and bureaucrats (almost half of them women) who battled treacherous odds to unveil the brutal secrets of their fascist employers and oppressors.

Based on years of research, featuring new information, and culled from exclusive interviews, Red Orchestra documents this riveting story through the eyes of Greta Kuckhoff, a German working mother. Fighting for an education in 1920s Berlin but frustrated by her country’s economic instability and academic sexism, Kuckhoff ventured to America, where she immersed herself in jazz, Walt Disney movies, and the first stirrings of the New Deal. When she returned to her homeland, she watched with anguish as it descended into a totalitarian society that relegated her friends to exile and detention, an environment in which political extremism evoked an extreme response.

Greta and others in her circle were appalled by Nazi anti-Semitism and took action on many fronts to support their Jewish friends and neighbors. As the war raged and Nazi abuses grew in ferocity and reach, resistance was the only possible avenue for Greta and her compatriots. These included Arvid Harnack–the German friend she met in Wisconsin–who collected anti-Nazi intelligence while working for their Economic Ministry; Arvid’s wife, Mildred, who emigrated to her husband’s native country to become the only American woman executedby Hitler; Harro Schulze-Boysen, the glamorous Luftwaffe intelligence officer who smuggled anti-Nazi information to allies abroad; his wife, Libertas, a social butterfly who coaxed favors from an unsuspecting Göring; John Sieg, a railroad worker from Detroit who publicized Nazi atrocities from a Communist underground printing press; and Greta Kuckhoff’s husband, Adam, a theatrical colleague of Brecht’s who found employment in Goebbels’s propaganda unit in order to undermine the regime.

For many members of the Red Orchestra, these audacious acts of courage resulted in their tragic and untimely end. These unsung individuals are portrayed here with startling and sympathetic power. As suspenseful as a thriller, Red Orchestra is a brilliant account of ordinary yet bold citizens who were willing to sacrifice everything to topple the Third Reich.




All the Living by C.E. Morgan


I found this in my monthly BOMC guide.

An astonishing novel that seizes the heart, and sets age-old conflicts against modern life. All the Living has the timeless quality of a parable, evoking a time and place with such beauty and power that it is unforgettable.

It’s a hot, dry summer and a young woman travels to Kentucky with her lover, Orren, to the isolated tobacco farm he has inherited after his family dies in a terrible accident. As he works through the drought, Aloma struggles to find her way in a combative, erotically charged relationship with this taciturn man. Her growing friendship with a local charismatic preacher further complicates her sense of lonely dissatisfaction as she grapples with the eternal question of whether it is better to fight for freedom or submit to desire.

Excerpt:
At first she could see his figure only as a dark shape and the sun firing on the watch on his right arm as he turned the wheel. Then when he was finally before her, braking and leaning in slightly under the shade of the visor to pull the keys from the ignition, she found the broad contours of his face and the color of his skin, much browner than the last time she had seen him, the day after the funeral three weeks ago when he came down to the school and sat beside her and set a question to her. He said, You’ll come up? And she said, Yes, yes. And it don’t matter if it’s all out of order like it is? And she shook her head and took his blanched face in her hands and kissed him, and that had struck her later as an odd reversal, he usually being the one to reach out and pull her to him.

What great books did you find this week?? Stop over at Should Be Reading and share yours!

12 comments:

Heather J. said...

Red Orchestra sound very interesting - thanks for sharing!

gautami tripathy said...

I am going to look out for Red Orchestra!

Come find this!

Mary said...

I still need to read In the Woods (which is patiently waiting on my shelf). These look good!

bermudaonion said...

I just got Dark Places yesterday and it does look good!

Heather said...

Michael from the Books on the Nightstand Podcast said that Dark Places was a book worth reading and his partner, Ann, said Gillian Flynn's other book, Sharp Objects, was also a good read.

Jess said...

Dark Places got a great review from Entertainment Weekly ... fantastic find.

Ashley said...

The first book sounds amazing!

♔ jessica.marie said...

Oh I am also attracted to the Red Orchestra, I may have to add it to my tbb (to be bought) list :D

avisannschild said...

Dark Places sounds really creepy! The Likeness is definitely on my TBB list too (to borrow Jessica Marie's term), and Red Orchestra sounds fascinating!

Jo-Jo said...

Dark Places sounds way too scary to me, but Red Orchestra sure seems intriguing. My Friday Finds are here.

Staci said...

I've got to get my hands on Dark Places!!! Thanks for posting about ti!!

Anna said...

You know Red Orchestra is going on my to-read list. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

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