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The Bones of Giants by Yoon Ha Lee
Candy and Me by Hilary Liftin
Color is Everything by Dan Bartges
The Dancers' War (in by N. K. Jemisin
Dolphins at Daybreak (Magic Tree House #9) by Mary Pope Osborne
Fairy Hunters, Ink. by Sheila A Dane
Falling into the Sun by Charrie Hazard
Fat Tuesday by Sandra Brown
The Frequency of Souls by Mary Kay Zuravleff
The Goddamned Tooth Fairy by Tina Kuzminski
Goldilicious by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann
Haunted (Mediator #5) by Meg Cabot
Horrible Harry and the Green Slime by Suzy Kline
Hunchster by Matthew Hughes
I Spy School Days by Jean Marzollo
Icarus Saved from the Sky by Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud
I'd Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts by Larry Wilmore
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare by G. K. Chesterton
A Matter of Feeling by Janine Boissard
The Navajo (True Books) by Alice Osinski
The Night Villa by Carol Goodman
No Elephants Allowed by Deborah Robinson
On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck
The Others by Lawrence C. Connolly
Painting the Invisible Man by Rita Schiano
Precious Jeopardy: A Christmas Story by Lloyd C. Douglas
Real Sofistikashun by Tony Hoagland
Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
The Secret of the Pink Pokémon by Tracey West
The Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright
The Sky Rained Heroes by Frederick LaCroix
Synarchy Book 1: The Awakening by DCS
The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène Du Bois
The Wild Wood by Charles de Lint
Winter Walk by Ann Burg

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Painting the Invisible Man: 10/19/09

"Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, 'Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.'" (p. 110). This Emerson quote best sums up the central theme of Painting the Invisible Man by Rita Schiano. It's a roman à clef about a writer who in the course of researching her novel begins the painful process of investigating the truth behind her father's 1976 death.

The novel begins with the head shot of Amy Tan talking to Anna Matteo, telling her to write! Anna has been struggling for seven years to write a novel and has reached the point where she's procrastinating more than she's writing. The odd experience of having an author's photograph talk to her spurs her back into writing but she's not sure of the direction it is taking her.

Most of the book ends up focusing on Anna's childhood, her relationship with her father and the clues that she might have missed as a child that he had mob ties. I'm not normally a fan of mob stories. So often they seem over written and full of cliches. Perhaps because Rita Schiano was drawing inspiration from her own life, the events and characters seemed plausible. Underneath the crimes, they were still people and not just cookie cutter mobster characters.

In some of the reviews I've read there are complaints about the ending – that it's not tight enough. I like the way it ends. It ends by folding in on itself, thus connecting with the magical realism elements that pepper the present day events.

I received the book from the author for review and have since bookcrossed it.

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