Book Event

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel by Diane Setterfield is an exciting story that takes you into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths. The main character, Vida Winter, is a famous author who has secrets she has never revealed to anyone, but has told different versions of her life at different times. Ms. Winter has chosen Margaret Lea, a young authoress of biographies, to finally tell her true story.
Each chapter is so interesting and well developed that I only allowed myself a chapter a day to prolong the pleasure of this book. I felt as if Scheherazade was telling this wonderful story that needed to be slowly savored. It is a unique book from a first-time author. Try it!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Art of the Crime

The Art Thief by Noah Charney will make you wonder if the painting you are admiring in a museum is really the great masterpiece it purports to be or is it really a forgery made by a master craftsman? After reading this book, one would hard pressed to not be suspicious of the authenticity of the artwork in a museum. The author brings us into the world of art thefts and forgeries, where great masterpieces are cleverly stolen by knowledgeable and crafty thieves who may actually be respected scholars who are well versed in the tools and methods used in art theft and forgery. Charney assembles an intriguing cast of characters such as an eccentric art professor and a comical French inspector who always seems to be eating gourmet meals. Charney, who is an art scholar and consultant on the prevention of art crime, utilizes his experiences to create this fascinating tale. Charney mixes in true accounts of art crime in with his fictional tale, such as the still unsolved theft of thirteen works of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. After reading this novel, you will never look at a painting the same way again.

If you are interested in other novels about art thefts and forgeries, you might want to check out books by Aaron Elkins, Jonathan Gash, and the Vicky Bliss mystery series by Elizabeth Peters. In the future, I'll be reviewing a new book entitled The Forger's Spell, which is about one of the most masterful art forgers in history, Han van Meegeren.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Ties That Bind

The Seamstress by Francis de Pontes Peebles mixes the tales of Robin Hood with the mannered novels of Henry James to create a portrait of life in early 20th century Brazil. Two orphaned sisters are adopted by their seamstress aunt who teaches them the ways of sewing and couture. It is an inheritance that serves them well when one becomes a fine lady and one becomes an outlaw. The author interweaves her story of the lives of the sisters with fascinating Brazilian history that encouraged me to go to the encyclopedia and find out what was true and what was fiction. A must for historical fiction buffs!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Reader Services Joins the Blogosphere!

Welcome to the East Meadow Public Library's new Book Blog where you will find book reviews, new services, a calendar of our book programs and lots more. We're looking forward to your comments, questions, and suggestions. Hope you enjoy reading what we're writing!