Thursday, December 12, 2013

Book Review Thursday - 12/12

Still trying to catch up so here are 3 new reviews.
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan is an historical fiction novel about the affair between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney that occurred just after the turn of the 20th century. Mamah and her husband hired Wright to build them a house near his own in Chicago. Before the affair could start, Mamah realized she was pregnant with her second child and broke everything off and after the baby was born, she fell into a depression. Going to a Wright lecture pulled her out of the depression and Mamah and Wright began their affair. They shocked Chicago by running off to Europe together and Mamah left her children and husband behind. And then they both seemed shocked to learn that people had low opinions of that.

Really? In the early 1900's, they were shocked that their open love affair gave them both a poor reputation in the public eye? Yes, she may have been in a loveless marriage of convenience, but I never got the idea that she was forced into the marriage. And she seemed especially hurt that her kids felt abandoned when she, umm, abandoned them for 2 years to run off to Europe with Frank. She came off as incredibly selfish to me to be trying to "find herself" at her age with her responsibilities. And Frank was a turd. He was stringing Mamah along and who knows what he was telling his wife as she didn't divorce him until in the 1920's. And he had incredible issues with money and never paying anyone because "they should be honored" to be able to work for him and that should be enough. He may have had a great vision, but it seems he was a jerk in his day to day life. got Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman on Audible during a recent sale. The Netflix series is based on this book,  but since I don't have Netflix (big shock, I know!) I haven't seen the series and figured I would listen to the book and see what all the fuss is about. Right after college, Piper got involved with a woman who was a drug smuggler and she ended up delivering a suitcase of money one time. And then she and the woman break up and Piper moves across the country, gets a real job and goes about her life. Until her past and the Feds catch up with her and charge her because of the delivery.

Piper and her boyfriend, Larry, fight the charges and after years of dealing with the court and negotiating, Piper is sentenced to 15 months at a correctional institute in Danbury, CT. When she starts her time, she has a lot to learn about prison life, but she still seems to have a lot of support on the outside with lots of mail, packages of books, and regular visitors.

This was an interesting look on the federal prison system and how things operate. Piper ended up making herself useful to many of the prisoners when she got her job working in the electrical department and then in the construction or facilities department and was able to fix things. And since she had so much outside support, she didn't take anything for the help that she gave and it made her very popular. Towards the end of her incarceration, she took information from other prisoners to keep in touch and I would be interested to hear whether she has done that. Overall, it was an interesting book.
Taking the Fifth is the fourth book in the JP Beaumont series by J. A. Jance. A man is found near the Pike Place market and is stabbed with an object that may match the bloody stiletto found nearby. When Beau and Al try to notify the man's next of kin, they stumble onto a man who presumably has died overnight from complications from AIDS. When the body is moved, a brick of cocaine falls from beneath his pillow and Beau starts asking questions.

Another novel where Beau falls into bed with a woman who could possibly be involved with the murders. (Can't this guy keep it in his pants?) And there is pressure from his boss to keep things professional and find the murderer. A new slew of characters and some quick assumptions wraps this case up in a nice little bow.

What are you reading? :)

1 comment:

marcille said...

I really enjoy reading your book reviews. I read the book Loving Frank quite a while back, but came away with the same feeling that you did. He was a real jerk, and she was very selfish.