Robin Reads in the New Year. I finally do have some nonfiction coming up on my reading list.

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown I enjoyed this one much better than the DaVinci Code, although reading these two so closely together I did see a formula. Here is the formula for those who might wonder: Famous symbologist/professor Robert Langdon receives a phone call from some large and very important institution/organization about a mysterious death. Upon his arrival, he meets a woman who is a scientist (Kind of the inverse of the sterotypical arts/humanity = femininity and science/math = male, although I wonder if that was planned or just a convenient way to get a love interest in the story…) They investigate and the follow alot of clues hidden in architecture, art, etc. to the point where an important person to the story is revealed as the villain. How important? Well, you will have to read the book. Along the way, Robert Langdon and his Scientist romantic interest, will espouse various theories about religion, science, and art. If you enjoy mysteries and reading about art or religious/scientific theories and conspiracies, you would probably enjoy these in spite of the formula.

Colors Insulting to Nature by Cintra Wilson A quirky coming of age tale of a girl who believes she is talented and wants to be a star, in spite of the fact that her “talent” is questionable. Her mother is a train wreck of a stage mother (think if Divine were your mom) who starts her own theatre house, her brother becomes an agrophoric artist (and conversely famous), her father (a former rodeo cowboy) becomes a drag queen; still all’s well that ends well to a certain extent. She wanders through a lot of personas and subcultures along her way to adulthood, and the heroine is not the most lovable character, but I think that is part of the charm. The novelist does step inside the story at times to propel the story along or comment. At times, this is a little disconcerting, but I think overall it works with this novel. I enjoyed this book immensely and I honesty think this book would make a great John Waters movie.

Twisted by Jonathan Kellerman Hollywood homicide detective Petra Connor (a regular character in Jonathan Kellerman novels), has to solve two different murders. One appears to be a gang drive by shooting after a hip hop concert. The second, a possible previously unrecognized serial killing spree, of murders where folks brains are bashed out (literally). Is there a pattern to the second murder case as her mathematical genius intern suggests or is it just imagined? I like Kellerman’s mysteries/crime stories. I’m not exactly sure why except the characters are well written, and the stories are consistently good, and overall, his books do not feel quite as formulaic as some others in this genre.

The Undomestic Goddess: Books by Sophie Kinsella Samantha Sweeting should be on the top of her game. A lawyer at one of the most pretigious law firms in London, a nice flat, and all of the other trappings of success. She considers being overworked and scheduling her time in 6 minute intervals to be the sacrifice of being successful. On the day that she is to be made partner, a terrible financial &; legal mistake is found by Samantha. I “don’t make mistakes”Sweeting. Freaking out, she walks out of her office and ends up in the country where she somehow ACCIDENTALLY accepts a job as a housekeeper in spite of the fact she has no idea of how to cook, iron, or anything else required. Will she stay? Will she be found out? In spite of the fact that this book became a little too.. umm… sweet for me towards the end, a solid read.

To see all of my reviews & synopsis, click here.