Barbara V's blog

On the Shelf: Stay

If you’re in the mood for a well-written novel filled with delightful characters, including a German Shepherd named Joe, then I highly recommend Stay by Allie Larkin....

On the Shelf: Calling It Quits: Late-Life Divorce and Starting Over

“Some gave the usual reasons: “He traded me in for a trophy wife younger than our daughter,” or “We had nothing in common anymore,” or “I couldn’t take his (fill in the blank – gambling, drinking, womanizing).” But I also heard a lot of stories from men and women who I thought lived comfortable, contented lives in financially secure marriages and who said that they didn’t care what the future might hold, that they divorced because they could not go on living the same old life in the same old rut with the same old boring person....

On the Shelf: The Last Time I Saw You

If you’ve read my blogs, you know how much I’ve enjoyed reading really good books written by first-time-published authors. I also love “visiting” with “old friends” like Elizabeth Berg.
 
I was introduced to Berg by Oprah (not personally – oh how I wish!) and by a good friend, who thought I’d really enjoy Berg’s Oprah book club selection, Open House. I’ve been a fan of Berg’s ever since, not only because she’s a wonderful writer, but also b...

On the Shelf: The Season of Second Chances

The seduction began with the title (I so love “second chance” stories), the cover art and a good review. Mix in a middle-aged college professor protagonist, a small New England town and an old Victorian house in desperate need of repair, as Diane Meier has in The Season of Second Chances, and I’ve added the book to my “must read” list.
 
Not only the house needs restoration in Meier’s wise and witty (albeit a bit wordy) debut novel. English professor Joy Harkness and town handyman Teddy Hennessy prove that everyone of every age can benefit from a little renovation in their lives. I liked the college town setting and I loved the house. In fact, the house was my favorite character....

On the Shelf: Split Image

I rarely read books written by men. I’d rather read a character-driven story than a plot-driven story - no surprise to those who have read my blog. It’s been my experience that most male authors focus more on plot than characterization. One exception to the rule: Robert B. Parker.
 
I have not read Parker’s Spenser novels, but I’ve been a big fan of the books he wrote featuring Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall, especially the most recent ones that (finally!) brought Jesse and Sunny together.  I was saddened (on many levels) to learn of Parker’s death in January at age 77 – I thought of how many stories he must have had left to write, and I thought about how much I wanted to read one last “chapter” in the Jesse/Sunny saga....
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