Friday, February 19, 2010

bookfinds @ Kittling: Books

It's been a while since I've shared any of the books that have recently made it to my wish list. One thing I must improve upon is keeping track of where I heard about the book-- although it is usually from various newsletters I receive and not from fellow book bloggers. (I do pay attention to fellow book bloggers, but the vast majority of them focus on other genres than my favored crime fiction.)

Right now out of necessity I have two books going. It's unusual for me, but my strong sense of self-preservation came to the fore when I began reading Stephen King's 1,000+ page Under the Dome in hardcover. Just in case I'm lying in bed holding the book above my head, I thought it best to have a paperback on my nightstand. If I were to nod off in bed while holding Under the Dome, it might take me a month or two to heal before I could post again! Any way, let's get to the books I've recently added to my wish list:

The Italian Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone. This is the only book in today's post of which I remember the origin-- Lorin's blog, Arch Thinking. This book is a natural for me because I love Italian food, and I love using my slow cooker! "Michele Scicolone, a best-selling author and an authority on Italian cooking, shows how good ingredients and simple techniques can lift the usual "crockpot" fare into the dimension of fine food. Pasta with Meat and Mushroom Ragu, Osso Buco with Red Wine, Chicken with Peppers and Mushrooms: These are dishes that even the most discriminating cook can proudly serve to company, yet all are so carefree that anyone with just five or ten minutes of prep time can make them on a weekday and return to perfection."

The Janus Stone
by Elly Griffiths is another natural because I enjoyed the first book in the Ruth Galloway series, The Crossing Places, so much. "Ruth Galloway is called in to investigate when builders, demolishing a large old house in Norwich to make way for a housing development, uncover the bones of a child beneath a doorway - minus the skull. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? DCI Harry Nelson would like to find out - and fast. It turns out the house was once a children's home. Nelson traces the Catholic priest who used to run the home. Father Hennessey tells him that two children did go missing from the home forty years before - a boy and a girl. They were never found. When carbon dating proves that the child's bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is trying very hard to put her off the scent by frightening her half to death...."

Book of Souls by Glenn Cooper. "Former FBI Special Agent Will Piper solved—and survived—the "Doomsday Killer" case . . . and his reward was a forced early retirement. But the shattering truths he learned about the government's most covert operations won't let him rest—and now he's on the trail of a mysterious volume that's been lost for six centuries. This is the book that inspired Shakespeare and the prophecies of Nostradamus, and once Will gets his hands on it, his life will be worth nothing—his death sentence a top priority handed down from the very highest levels of power. Because there are some truths too dangerous for anyone to know—those that concern the future, world domination . . . and the end of everything." This will be released at the end of March.

On Deadly Ground by Michael Norman. I lived in Utah for three years, and I'm familiar with the area around Kanab, so this one caught my eye. "Mining interests and conservation forces clash in southern Utah. Shortly after J.D. Books, a new Bureau of Land Management law enforcement ranger, returns to his hometown of Kanab, the sheriff asks him to take a look at a crime scene. The bullet-ridden body of David Greenbriar, the head of the Escalante Environmental Wilderness Alliance, was found hanging from a beam in a barn used as an old west movie set, though it's clear the victim was shot elsewhere. A former cop who left the Denver police force under a cloud, Books soon locates Greenbriar's abandoned SUV, with blood traces on the door, near a trail head miles away. Greenbriar's wife's lover, a fellow EEWA member, emerges as the prime suspect, but Books has his doubts."

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. It would be difficult not to be interested in reading this book after taking a look at a blurb: "Henrietta Lacks was a mother of five in Baltimore, a poor African American migrant from the tobacco farms of Virginia, who died from a cruelly aggressive cancer at the age of 30 in 1951. A sample of her cancerous tissue, taken without her knowledge or consent, as was the custom then, turned out to provide one of the holy grails of mid-century biology: human cells that could survive--even thrive--in the lab. Known as HeLa cells, their stunning potency gave scientists a building block for countless breakthroughs, beginning with the cure for polio. Meanwhile, Henrietta's family continued to live in poverty and frequently poor health, and their discovery decades later of her unknowing contribution--and her cells' strange survival--left them full of pride, anger, and suspicion. For a decade, Skloot doggedly but compassionately gathered the threads of these stories, slowly gaining the trust of the family while helping them learn the truth about Henrietta, and with their aid she tells a rich and haunting story that asks the questions, Who owns our bodies? And who carries our memories?"

Have any of these books intrigued you? Which one(s)?


  1. The slow cooker one appeals to me! I bought The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks last week.

  2. I just finished and reviewed The Crossing Places. I loved it. So, when I realized that the next book, The Janus Stone, was available from Book Depository....well, let's just say it is on it's way to me.


    I missed the chance to attend a Rebecca Skloot event due to a (non) snow event in the Boston area last week. A friend picked up the book for me, though; can't wait to get into it.

  4. Put me on the list with the Italian Slow Cooker crowd!

    I also can't wait to read Henrietta Lacks.

  5. The Henrietta Lacks book has been popping up a lot in the last week or two. It is definitely on my list!

  6. The Stephen King intrigues me most but The Janus Stone sounds good.

    There is something so much more personal about "frightening her half to death"(The Janus Stone) than "world domination...and the end of everything" (Book of Souls). I prefer books that reach me on a personal, visceral level.

  7. Elly Griffiths has intrigued me - twice today!

    I visited Maxine and saw a very positive review of Griffith´s The Crossing Place. I went to put it on my list, and found out it was already there because Cathy had given it an A! So though I am not good at keeping track, I am getting better.

  8. Kathy-- I'll be interested in seeing your review of the Henrietta Lacks book.

    Kay-- Oh good! I'll be interested in reading your review!

    RCR-- I think the crock pot book is the winner this week! LOL

    Dawn-- I'm glad I live where there are no Snow Events!

    Beth-- Sounds like you have a copy, too.

    Lola-- It just sounds like a momentous book, doesn't it?

    Susan-- I'm really enjoying Under the Dome, but I'm tired of lugging the thing around. King should provide trolleys for his tomes! ;)

    "Scared half to death" touch me more, too, but sometimes I'm in the mood for something I won't take seriously... like a "world domination" one. :)

    Dorte-- Keep your fingers crossed. I've added several books to my wish list today, and since they're all from the same source, I may actually remember it when it comes time to write the post!

  9. I loved The Crossing Places and had no idea the second book in the series was out...have to check that out ASAP.

    And The Italian Slow Cooker..oh yes, I am another one that sound great to.

  10. Caite-- Absolutely! Ruth Galloway is such a wonderful character! I wonder if I've started a run on The Italian Slow Cooker?? ;)


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