Books I Read Summer 2001 and around that time…

Books I Read Summer 2001 and around that time…

Updated 2-4-2002 URL is /books/sum01.html

Books I Read Summer 2001 and on through mid-November  2001

I am learning to use Microsoft Front Page. Thus this page has formatting errors galore. Please be patient!


Kotlowitz, Alex……..There Are No Children Here

Follows two little brothers in a Chicago Housing Project for a number of years. Words fail me. Everyone should have this book. Every page is worth a day’s thought and a year’s action.

DeLong, Candice……..Special Agent True story, female FBI agent and profiler,  when women weren’t wanted. I bought my own copy even before I finished reading the library copy!

Ryan, Terry……………..The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, or How My Mother Raised 10 Children on 25 Words or Less

A family in the 50s…. Written by a daughter of the woman who saved her family in the 1950s and 1960s by winning prizes. Fascinating if you like families…. or if you ever had a mother. Don’t miss this!

Gilborn, Alice………..What Do You Do With A Kinkajou

Fascinating for any animal lover, but it’s about horses more than the kinkajou. A wife and mother takes in too many strays during her whole life, and regrets few of them. Interesting study of a family, as well as a pageturner about animals.


Max Allan Collins……………The Pearl Harbor Murders

…………..Majic Man (Secy. Forrestall and Roswell, New Mexico)

” ” ” ………… Stolen Away (A Novel of the Lindburgh Kidnapping)

” ” ” …………Damned In Paradise (the Massie case and trials in Hawaii)

I’m so delighted to discover this writer. His historical novels are dead on accurate. Sometimes I think writers this bright are on a higher plane of evolution from the rest of us mortals. It’s painless to learn history from Collins. For instance, I had not heard of the Massie scandal in Hawaii, its effect on the rights of various races, the struggle between the military and the Territorial government. I look forward to reading his Titanic and Hindenburg books and others.

Reichs, Kathy………………Fatal Voyage

We had Fatal Voyage checked out from the library before 9-11-01. Tells of a North Carolina plane crash in which the bodies are very difficult to identify and the reason for the crash is desperately important to determine. The main character, Temperance Brennan, is a forensic anthropologist. But when she finds a foot from a body that can’t have been on the plane, she uncovers a second deadly plot. This is the fourth book of the Temperance Brennan series. The author is one of the top 50 forensic anthropologists and is a professor as well as a disaster response expert.

Reichs, Kathy……………Deadly Decisions

In comparison to her Fatal Voyage, this was easier to enjoy because it wasn’t about a plane crash. It’s about outlaw motorcycle gangs in Montreal, and if you don’t think you would be interested in that, you’re mistaken. So long as you can handle to gore, this is a terrific read. I won’t ever look at a motorcycle the same again. Check this out!

Reichs, Kathy…………..Death Du Jour

An arson investigation with twin baby boys. A sister with emotional problems and another Sister possibly ready to be canonized. Setting in Montreal in March…. Remember that ice storm??? This is a must read. Another complete winner from Reichs.

Harris, Charlaine……..Shakespeare’s Landlord. First in series, A++

” ” ………Shakespeare’s Christmas. Terrific

” ” ……….Shakespeare’s Trollop. Excellent mystery series

Speart, Jessica……..Black Delta Night

        Mystery series, unlikely plot, great characters.

Evanovich, Janet…….Three To Get Ready…… forgettable; good supporting characters, if I recall. Mystery.

Quittner and Slatalla………Flame Wa (about computer crime) I forgot it already. Tedious. Mystery

Gorman, Ed ……………..The Day the Music Died

I’ve forgotten it but it was great fun reading it. Mystery

” ” ………………Wake Up Little Susie (Lots of references to

James Dean.) I forget the rest of it. Delightful to read though. Mystery.

DeLoach, Nora……..Mama Cracks a Mask of Innocence
The “African-American Miss Marple” solves another murder. This series is a delight. It is rare to find a mystery that breaks the mold. Keep DeLoach on your “must read” list.

Grafton, Sue………..I Is For Innocent, M Is For Murder, etc.

                    I’m rereading this series and enjoying it even more than the first time around, but I can’t remember which is which after I finish a few. Delightful.

Muller, Marcia…………Games To Keep The Dark Away

Sharon McCone solves a murder with roots going way back and a cast of weird ducks. I have a shelf full of Muller which I will mull over this winter. Tough P.I.s end up on top!

Goldberg, Leonard……………Deadly Exposure This novel reads like a screenplay, in that I can only picture the action up on a huge screen. The tension is high as a group of top scientists struggle to find why a mysterious organism, found in an iceberg with outer space debris in it, is causing a world-wide epidemic. Murders. Strong characters. An interesting read since, in real life, the news is filled with the new idea of anthrax in the United States.

Cornwell, Patricia Daniels…………Post Mortem Aha, the library has the first Kay Scarpetta novel! Most all the characters are introduced in this fine mystery, with little niece Lucy, only ten years old, solving problem after problem with her computer skills. Five women have been raped and murdered, but is it by the same man? The city wants to deny that, but the press won’t buy the lie. Skullduggery, chicanery, trampled women’s rights, ten-year old genius genes and plot twists galore. If you haven’t read Cornwell, you might as well start at the beginning, for these books are all great.

This summer we had a reading club for adults at the Wells County Public Library. I decided to catch up on the Young Adult and Young Teen books of recent years. I was once again impressed with the maturity of the themes and the excellent characterization available in that genre. I read from June through mid-August, half the time so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

Here is what I do remember:

Young Adult and Young Teen

Davis, Jenny……Sex Education Eerie, A+++ a YA

” ” ……..Checking On The Moon Sweet, Young Teen. Jenny Davis is a super writer. She teaches this age group in real life.

Nixon, Joan Lowery….. Land of Hope

(an Ellis Island book, YT) very worthwhile. Three very different young women meet on an immigrants boat to Ellis Island. They grow in understanding and in gumption as they spend many weeks together. Also shows the inhuman conditions in steerage.

Platt, Randal Beth……..The Likes of Me

            A part-Chinese albino 14 year old girl in a logging camp in 1918 runs away to Seattle where she                  becomes a fortune teller, the toast of the town. Young Adult. Awesome. Worth buying in hardback. Very historical. Good characterization, believeable plot. Endearing.

Burgess, Melvin……….The Baby and Fly Pie

In post-apocalyptic London, trash-picker children find a small kidnapped baby. Gripping, suspenseful beyond imagining….    A+++ YA

Kessler, Cristie……… No Condition Is Permanent

about a 14 year old girl whose researching Mom takes her to Sierra Leone for a year. Plot deals with female circumcision problem. Well worth reading. Young Adult

Neufeld, John…………… Almost A Hero

Perplexing book about a middle schooler volunteering with homeless people, meaning well but getting into deep water. YT. I recommend this.

Napoli, Donna…………Stones In Water Polish children conscripted into forced labor during WW II. Breathtaking, haunting YT book. A must read.

Matas, Carol……Everyone should read and own these YA books dealing with WW II children.                     

Greater Than Angels features young people trying to escape to Israel after WW II.

After The War Young people making a life in Israel after they survived WW II. Astounding.

The Garden The same people, surviving in Israel after WW II

In My Enemy’s House

Hieyilmaz, Gaye Smiling For Strangers

deals with a Polish girl forced to be a maid for years during WW II in a German Officer’s home. Too good to be summarized. Another must read for school age and adults. YA

Cushman, Karen………..Catherine, Called Birdy

            Catherine is a 14th century teen, and you think you have problems? She hates domestic niceties and yearns to be a scholar, but her father is determined to marry her off. The ideal way to get history into the minds of students, and a great read for adults. Birdy is a total delight. YT

Wells, Ken……..Meely LaBauve

Meely (named Emil) copes incredibly well with a father seldom home, a mom who died and a world in the Louisiana bayous that suits him to a T. A YA book, it was my favorite of all this summer. We learn a lot about Cajuns and their lives in Meely LaBauve. Ken Wells has another book just out, Junior’s Leg.  Read it soon!  YA

Williams, Lori Aurelia……….When Kambia Elaine Flew In From Neptune

This YA deals with how a kid whose best friend is being sexually abused can help her, in the face of all aridity in the adult world. Excellent. Belongs in every library.

Alphin, E.M………… Counterfeit Son

This was okay, about a young man who passes himself off as the long-lost child of a couple. Or does he? Sort of contrived. YA

Quarles, Heather…….A Door Near Here

            Small girl is obsessed with C.S. Lewis, wanting to go to Narnia. Sad.Very sad. Well written and worth reading. Good sibling interaction. YA

Marsden, John………Letters From The Inside

You never know, when you get a pen pal, how it can affect your life and hers. Eerie, excellently done, shattering ending. YA but we all need to read this. I hope Marsden writes more in this vein.

Holt, Kimberly Willis……….When Zachary Beaver Came To Town

Fascinating plot and characters, as local teens befriend a side-show performer whose promoter took a powder. Should become a classic.

Rodowsky, Colby………Julie’s Daughter

Parent-child conflict. YA. I forget what it was about. Maybe adoption.

Easley, Mary Ann……..I Am The Ice Worm

A great book, deep, perfect. Improbable, but what the heck. Young teen survives a plane crash and fends for herself in an Alaskan native village. Her adventures change her personality from whining teen to maturing young woman. YT

Tomey, Ingrid…….The Queen of Dreamland

A good YA but I have forgotten everything about it three months later, when I thought to make these notes.

Matcheck, Diane………The Sacrifice

                            The excellent story of a high school boy who accidentally kills someone in a car crash, and is told by the victim’s mother to go to the four corners of the continental United States and build a monument in each place. The story alternates with his activities and the stories of the people affected by his creations.  YT

Duffy, James………..Missing

A great read until the abrupt, inexplicable ending. YT

Creech, Sharon………….Walk Two Moons
YT I marked Very Good but cannot remember it now.

Kurtz, Jane……..The Storyteller’s Beads

Superb, teen escaping Afghanistan. Heart-stopping YA book. Even more relevant since the war has started.

Maguire, Gregory……….. Oasis His father died. Very good characters and  plot. YA                                            

Nolan, Han……A Face In Every Window

                    Anguish at moving to a new city, a new house, a new lifestyle… Sound  familiar? Excellent book for YAs and well worth reading for the rest of us.    Parent-child conflict, adolescent misery.

Turner, Alan………Third Girl From The Left

                    YA I marked it “good” in my private notes but I have forgotten it already.


These pitiful excuses for reviews are by Sandra Weinhardt,

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