Book Review – Gone Girl

Gone Girl
A Review by Catherine H. Armstrong

After 64 weeks on Amazon’s list of Top 100 books, I finally got my hands on a digital copy of Gone Girl through SELCO.  I finished it just this morning and I can sum this novel up in three words:  OH!  MY!  GOSH!

Okay, so maybe three words aren’t enough.  I think I’d have to add:  WOW!  YOWZA!  YIKES!

Like most people, I love a really good suspense novel.  Unfortunately, so many these days have become too formulaic and predictable.  This is absolutely not the case with Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Flynn’s newest suspense novel takes the reader to the small midwestern town of North Carthage, MO.  Nick and Amy Dunne are transplants from New York, returned to Nick’s hometown to care for his terminally ill mother and Alzheimer’s afflicted father.  It’s not an ideal situation, but they’ve committed to making the best of a bad situation.

On the morning of their 5th wedding anniversary, Amy disappears.  All that’s left behind are signs of a struggle and clues that lead the police straight to Nick as the primary suspect in her presumed murder.  Through the horrific investigation, the evidence against Nick just continues to pile against him:  an extramarital affair; a secret credit card account, maxed out on deviant and violent porn DVDs; and even Nick’s own daydreams of smashing in his wife’s head.  But did he do it?

Gone Girl is nothing short of a surprising and twisted psychological thriller.  Just when you think you have everything figured out, another curve ball is thrown and a new avenue of twists and turns opens for the reader.  The end result is jaw-dropping disbelief.

This book is available at the Rochester Public Library in traditional and audio CD format.  It is also available through SELCO in downloadable e-book format.  For more information about this book, visit the author’s website by following this link.

Good News for Kindle Owners!

The wait is over! Kindle owners now have the option to download ebooks from the library’s digital collection.
Visit our website: to browse our collection, download books, and to view tutorials on how it all works.

Mark your calendar!
Thursday, October 20
eBooks and Downloadable Audiobooks
Meeting Room B    4:30 pm
Find out how to check out free eBooks for your eBook Readers (such as the Nook and Sony Reader) and downloadable audiobooks from the library’s collection. Register online, at the first-floor Fiction, Movies and Music desk or by calling 507-328-2305.

Kindle Reads

With all the excitement about several long trips and filling the Kindle with things to read, I have downloaded many books. As in MANY books. The vast majority were free books, but not the classics (I do have an archive of some of my favourites which I return to often). This time I found several titles of Zane Grey that I recall nearly verbatim! (My father is an avid western reader and we shared quite a few authors; I have also seen many a cowboy movie!) Then there were several of my favourites by Gene Stratton Porter – I was so thrilled when these were re-issued a few years ago thinking more people would read them. Nearly a local author! (Wisconsin, but also with an ecological message). I suppose in a way they were the Romance novels that I read, not being exposed to the Harlequin kind. Further back in time, I was astonished to find Thornton W Burgess on the Kindle! Old Mother West Wind stories. Reddy Fox, Old Mr Toad, and so many other long lost friends. I am definitely looking forward to becoming reacquainted with them after 40+ years! I have started to think of other books to look up too = some of my earliest scifi for example – John Wyndham. Anya Seton.
And then of course, there is the use of the iPad with the Kindle app. Trying to find ONE device that will function as lightweight portability to read, listen, access, etc. I hate to confess that I love the slide on the iPad instead of the Kindle. Most especially when reading non-fiction, or when re-reading old familiar tales. I was appalled at myself to be in the comfort of my own home, reading the Kindle though. Back to my books! I have so many that need reading! So  many  books have recently been published! Yet another list of 20… More details/reviews later!

Kindle options

I should have included the open door of the  helicopter in this shot! A new adventure every day!

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.” Johann wolfgang van Goethe author of the epic drama Faust. Goethe spent 50 years working on this two-volume masterpiece.

I spent nearly 10 hours in a plane over a long weekend, and of course was accompanied by my Kindle. I have so many books to share! I downloaded a dozen books, partly in preparation for longer trips, but also just to have them NOW. (The Library has a long wait on several new releases; still with a Kindle book, you can’t share it or give it to the library to shorten that waiting period).

But also several comments on word games. I downloaded the two new free games – Shuffle Row and Every Word and found them both fun. It does feel a little restrictive after using another favourite Chicktionary on the iPhone (now iPad/iPod) where I like reshuffling the letters to visualize the words faster. Several of my friends didn’t know there were these games available, so I thought I would include comment here!

An hour in the Library

I went into the Rochester Public Library yesterday to pick up several books (from my online search, after the first few chapters on Kindle), and walked out with an armload. There were  SO many new arrivals, fabulous displays (especially the wall of new additions to the collection, with most of the books facing out), and the carts of books that have just been returned……that I added another 5 books to my arm for checkout. I can only hope the weather keeps me indoors for a couple of days 😉 4 books in one series, a completely new author (French! historical fiction), a continuation of another series. I don’t know which one to read first! You will find the reviews here next week!

Kindle books

One of the many things I love about my Kindle is the free downloads of sample books – the first three chapters to see if you are going to be interested in pursuing the author/title. Another plane ride of over 3 hours, had me scouring the Kindle for the next new read! Of six samples that I had previously downloaded, five were definite “I can’t wait to read this” and four were just reserved on the library website! (One had a waiting list of 36 earlier patrons = The Passage by Justin Cronin, so I reserved his earlier work, which I was also unfamiliar with. Yes, the NYTimes book review of a couple of weeks ago alerted me, and many others,  to his book.)
Another book by Diana Norman which I had recommended previously, Taking Liberties, has a prequel “A Catch of Consequence” which includes one of the characters I was so curious about in Taking Liberties. No one seems to have that book, so it will become a Kindle order! I wish the Library had more of her titles; again in one of my last book clubs we were passing around her other series The Mistress of the Art of Death. Find them all full of wonderful historical detail.
Which brings me to one I am very excited about, but again, can’t figure out why the library doesn’t have this one either! Lauren Belfer “A Fierce Radiance” – which concerns the trial and error during WWII of making penecillin a useful antibiotic. After its discovery years before, no one could figure out how to make it available for ‘production’/ treatments. And with so many people injured in Pearl Harbor and the coming war, the need was enormous. The main character is a woman who lost her child to a staph infection; she is now a photographer and is assigned to document the scientfic process of trying to save patients/learn how to administer the drug. The writing was absolutely breathtaking, the characters were fascinating within the first chapter, and it is top on my list to read! It has been 10 years since her last book The City of Light about Buffalo NY. Her research is meticulous and the stories are intricate, believable, heartwarming and tragic.
I think I have found another fun series of (probably) victorian romance – by Deanna Raybourn. I could tell from the first few chapters that Silent on the Moor had a prequel, but it appears there are at least 5 of them! They were classified as mysteries, but the writing style felt more like Amanda Quick or Stephanie Lauren. They all have ladies who are free thinkers, acting against the constraints of society and with moral consciences. If the temperatures get back into the 90s I have something light to read!