Sunday, 2 June 2013

Sunday June 2, 2013 Reading Outside Your Comfort Zone

I have spent the last few months recuperating from a broken leg. People often asked if I was bored, but being an avid reader I was not. One of the best things about the experience was having lots of time to read. Kind friends brought me a steady stream of books, including some I never would have chosen myself.

Reading outside your comfort zone can be enlightening, I have learned! While I hope you don’t have a broken leg, I do encourage you to ask a friend, or a friendly Library staff member, to choose some books for you – you just might be surprised to find a new favourite author or genre. Here are some of the books I enjoyed the most.

The prisoner of Brenda: Curses, nurses and a ticket to Bedlam by Colin Bateman

Although this is Book 3 in a series, it stands alone quite nicely. The main character has two passions: mystery books and detective work. He also has some major unresolved personal issues, a sweet girlfriend and a new baby. When approached by two different people to solve the same mystery he dives right in, disregarding the law, good manners and social niceties. The snappy dialogue and Scooby Doo-like crime fighting combine to make this book funny and engaging.

The Other Woman’s House by Sophie Hannah

Have you ever poked around a real estate Web site looking at pictures of other people’s houses? That’s what Connie, the main character in this book, does one night when she can’t sleep. Then she sees a dead body in one picture. She wakes her husband to show him, but the body is then gone. This startling event kicks off the story of Connie and her husband, who has always seemed a bit out of sorts. Connie manages to work her way through to the truth, in spite of how much is stacked against her.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

This book reminded me of the DaVinci Code as it focuses on solving an ancient mystery, involves a secret brotherhood and employs an independent sleuth. A young man gets the night shift job in a seemingly quiet, rather odd bookstore. He is instructed to make detailed notes about the few customers. Soon he realizes the bookstore is much more than it appears. The books hold clues to a secret code, and the customers all belong to a secret organization. The young man just happens to have a girlfriend who works at Google and is willing to use the mega company’s super computing power to help solve the mystery.

I enjoyed tracking my reading using the social reading Web site: Once you have logged 20 books, GoodReads makes suggestions for you. You can also connect with friends, share reviews and ratings and join discussion groups on GoodReads.

Joanna Aegard

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