Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is the most powerful, touching, thrilling, page-turning, adrenaline pumping book I have read in some time.  

Theo Decker is only 13 when he loses his mother in a tragic terrorist attack on a museum.  The book could have become mired in this incident, but it does not.  It tracks Theo, who finds himself alone in the world after the tragedy and who, in many ways, remains that way for the rest of his life.  He floats between existences with the wealthy family of a friend in Manhatten to time with his no-count father and his loser girlfriend in Las Vegas.  Theo makes a friend for life in Vegas in the Ukrainian immigrant Boris, and he finally finds a home with antiques-restorer Hoby back in New York City.

Still, the explosion at the museum guides his life from that moment forward.  A chance encounter with a beautiful girl, the dying moments of an elderly man, and a small painting Theo takes from the museum all impact his life from that moment on.  He suffers, battles addiction, and falls to the depths of shady antiques dealing and the underworld of stolen art.  Still, Theo perseveres and shines from time to time.  

You will not soon forget these characters or this story.

The Bones of Paris: A Stuyvesant & Grey Novel

I bought this expecting it be a Mary Russell novel.  I was only disappointed for an instant because this novel is fabulous.  Set in Paris during the artistic explosion that followed the first world war, Stuyvesant is searching for a missing girl but stumbles into a mystery that is much larger than he imagined.  Mixing real people, such as Man Ray and Earnest Hemingway, with a cast of fascinating totally fictional characters, the novel keeps you guessing and totally engaged to the very end.  Beautifully written with an eye for detail, this is a thoroughly enjoyable read. I would highly recommend this book.
Great Little Gifts to Knit cover

Great Little Gifts to Knit: 30 Quick and Colorful Patterns by Jean Moss is a wonderful resource for more experienced knitters.  If you're still struggling with the concept of purl, this isn't the book for you, but if you have mastered the basic stitches, you will find lots to love in this little volume.  It contains a wide variety of patterns with great designs for babies, women, men, the home, and even the family dog. Some patterns utilize beads or specialty yarns, and put a new twist on several traditional forms such as mitts and the bolero. Beautiful color illustrations motivate the knitter to start casting on right away.  Directions are simple and easy to follow. An appendix of techniques is illustrated and easy to follow. This would be a nice addition to the more experienced knitter's collection.  

I would write more, but I feel the need to start one of these projects right now!