By Linda Sargent
“Hereafter” by Tara Hudson, HarperCollins Publishers ($17.99)
This book grabs your attention immediately. Amelia – a ghost – knows she can do nothing to save Joshua as he fights for his life, trapped underwater in a sinking car. When he manages to free himself from the automobile, he can’t figure out which way is up. Amelia is shocked and surprised to realize he not only sees her, but can feel her touch as well.
Amelia wanders in limbo, knowing her first name and that she drowned in the river, but she encounters no one else like herself. She has a recurring nightmare in which she relives her drowning and wakes up gasping for air, lying on her grave. No one, until Joshua, has been able to hear or see her.
When she encounters Joshua again, she is thrilled to have someone to talk to, and begins to spend time with him. To her dismay, his grandmother can also see and hear her, and, convinced that Amelia is evil, does everything to keep Amelia and Joshua apart.
As Joshua and Amelia grow closer, they begin to discover strange facts that relate to Amelia’s death and the dark mystery that surrounds the bridge where so many people have died. This book leads the reader to ponder if there can truly be love after death, and the Oklahoma author definitely puts an interesting spin on the plot.
“Tabloid City” by Pete Hamill, Little, Brown and Company ($26.00)
In the world of printed tabloids, the name of the game is all about chasing the story. This novel centers around the murder of a wealthy socialite and her secretary, the cop who investigates the killing, a hedge fund manager who allegedly flees the country before being publicly disgraced, an Iraq war veteran seeking revenge, and an angry extremist who is plotting a major catastrophe. The story successfully connects these seemingly random people and events.
In the midst of chasing the story, newspapers and journalists are faced with the decline and demise of their print industry. With the rising costs of ink and paper, owners are being ushered into the electronic world, forced to either let employees go or train them on technology to gain a wider audience.
While worrying about their jobs, the characters must connect pieces of the puzzle to understand how some lives are unraveling and others are being put back together.
When Rose McKenna volunteers to be a lunch monitor at her daughter’s school, she has two objectives in mind: first, to become a part of the school activities, and second, to see if her daughter, Melly, is being bullied, as she has come to suspect.
One day, Rose observes three classmates making fun of Melly. When Melly runs off to the bathroom in tears, Rose approaches the girls to speak to them about their actions. The lunchroom has emptied except for the three girls – Amanda, Danielle and Emily. Before Rose can make any headway talking to them, there is a tremendous explosion in the cafeteria, filling the room with fire and heavy smoke. When Rose comes to, she sees Danielle running out of the cafeteria. She is then faced with a dilemma – does she get Amanda and Emily to safety, or rescue her daughter?
After making sure Amanda and Emily are safely evacuated, Rose goes back inside to free her daughter from the bathroom. Melly suffers from smoke inhalation and is taken to the hospital, and Rose is satisfied that all the children have exited safely from the school. Her relief soon turns to horror, however, when Amanda’s mother reproaches Rose for rescuing her own daughter rather than saving Amanda, who is in a coma in serious condition.
Rose is soon chastised by other parents, the school and the community. Everywhere she turns, she is shunned, her computer contains hateful emails, and there are malicious posts on Facebook.
Finally, she decides to get to the bottom of the fire, and soon discovers something quite unexpected.
“Betty White – If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t) by Betty White, Penguin Group ($25.95)
Betty White is an 89-year-old icon in the entertainment world. She is an author, actor, comedian, advocate for animals, and commercial success. In this book, Betty dishes on friendship, romantic love, sex, aging, fans and more.
Using wit and wisdom, Betty talks about men – her one true love, Allen Ludden, as well as her ongoing crush for Robert Redford, and her humorous story and comeback by George Clooney at an awards show.
Down to earth and straight to the point, Betty White’s positive outlook on life is reflected in the pages of this enjoyable book.
Tina Fey, head writer, executive producer and star of “30 Rock,” pens a funny book about her life, which may be called many things, but definitely not boring. Whether or not you are a Tina Fey fan, this book will make you laugh in places, or at least bring a smile to your face.
Fey is a no-nonsense person and claims “you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.” This book is probably not for young adults (language), and may be questionable for men as she delves into subjects like breastfeeding, her first OB /GYN visit, and her pursuit of physical beauty (NOT). She is very honest, makes no excuses, and tells stories of the interesting life she has led. Most women will be able to relate to her experiences.
She tells of her honeymoon ordeal, when the cruise ship they were aboard caught fire, and had to turn around and make port. Her husband, who hates to fly, was only able to make the flight home with the grace of “calming” pills.
Her career was moving along, mostly as a writer, when the McCain/Obama campaign hit the airwaves and people started commenting on her resemblance to Sarah Palin. While she had done a few sketches on Saturday Night Live, her portrayal of Palin took her to another level.
If you need something lighthearted to read by the pool, pick up this book.