“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke,
Spring is here, at least by the calendar, and our snowbirds are starting to return. We numbered 14 and there are still a few that haven’t broken away from their southern nests. Now I don’t blame those who won’t be back till May because they missed out on our April blizzard. That is why I have used a shelf of pastel books for the opening image. I am sick of looking at piles of snow. I am craving green, and birds and sun and blue skies and tulips and crocus. Well, you get the idea. Before I get to our books I have to mention the author that was reported on. Linda decided to do a throwback from her childhood, Carolyn Keene. It made all of us smile, even the guys because they were thinking of their own throwback…The Hardy Boys. So here’s a vintage Nancy Drew cover before we get started.
2. Robicheaux by James Lee Burke (2018) 447 pages. In this 21st book in the series – set in the Cajun environs of south Louisiana – Dave Robicheaux is involved in investigating several killings and an alleged rape.
3. Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West by Tom Clavin (2017) 384 pages. This book is more than the history of the Earp and Masterson brothers, it is also the history of Kansas and mostly of Dodge City. The author gives a brief history of the discovery of the West from the Spanish and the French to Lewis and Clark. But the primary focus of the book is the period from 1870 to 1880s in Dodge City.
4. Book of Harlan by Bernice McFadden (2016) 400 pages. During World War II, two African-American musicians are captured by the Nazis in Paris and imprisoned at the Buchenwald concentration camp.
5. The Child by Fiona Barton (2017) 448 pages. When an old house is being demolished in London, the body of a small child is found buried. The story is told from the POV of three separate women, one reminded of a terrible tragedy, one with a dark secret and one an investigative journalist.
6. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (2018) 346 pages. If you could know the exact day of your death, would you want to find out? If you did find out, how would knowing that information affect how you lived your life? These are the questions at the heart of this book.
7. Lithium Jesus: A Memoir of Mania by Charles Monroe Kane (2016) 152 pages. “ In a memoir that blends engaging charm with unflinching frankness, Monroe-Kane gives his testimony of mental illness, drug abuse, faith, and love.” –Goodreads
8. Origin by Dan Brown (2017) 461 pages. Robert Langdon ( Da Vinci Code) is on another adventure. Our reviewer said if you are looking for good writing forget Dan Brown. But if you want a damn entertaining book with crazy puzzles, stunning secrets and shocking conspiracies then this is perfect. Don’t analyze, just have fun.
9. Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (2018) 435 pages. Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier. His PTSD, an undiagnosed condition in 1974, takes a toll on him and his family.
10. Arrowood by Laura McHugh (2016) 270 pages. A haunting novel about a young woman’s return to her childhood home—and her encounter with the memories and the family secrets it holds.
11. Green Earth by Kim Stanley Robinson (2015) 1088 pages. This huge SF novel, is assembled from a three-book series that came out in the mid-2000’s. The author decided that the work, about science, technology, politics and global climate change, would read better if combined into a single book, and brought up to present day science.
12. Don’t Wake Me at Doyle’s: The Remarkable Memoir of an Ordinary Irish Woman and Her Extraordinary Life by Maura Murphy (2004) 404 pages. Not as compelling as Angela’s Ashes, but still an enjoyable autobiographical account of life in a poverty-stricken home in Ireland.
13. The Disappeared (Joe Pickett series #18) by C.J. Box (2018) 400 pages. Wyoming has a new, highly unpleasant governor who tasks Pickett with finding a missing British businesswomen. Meanwhile, Nate Romanowski drags Joe into another case on behalf of a group of falconers. Good addition to the series with a wild end.
14. Fascism: A Warning by Madeleine Albright (2018) 304 pages. A personal and urgent examination of Fascism in the twentieth century and how its legacy shapes today’s world,