August 02, 2015

July 2015

A little surprised at the diverse list we have for our summer reading:

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
Seveneves - Neal Stephenson
By the People - Charles Murray
Leviathan - Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson
Lost Sandusky - M. Kristina Smith
The Sword of the Lictor - Gene Wolfe
Words Without Music - Philip Glass
Sand County Almanac - Aldo Leopold
Top Secret Twenty-One - Janet Evanovich
Retire Smart Retire Happy - Nancy Schlossberg
Revitalizing Retirement - Nancy Schlossberg
Everybody Sees the Ants - A.S. King
Handsome Man's Deluxe Cafe - Alexander McCall Smith
Funny Girl - Nick Hornby
Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce
Everything I Never Told You - Celeste Ng
Go Set A Watchman - Harper Lee
Silent Night - Stanley Weintraub
Ghost Map - Steven Johnson
All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
A Good American - Alex George
The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion
Deep Down Dark - Hector Tobar
Light Between Oceans - M.L. Stedman
Flight Behavior - Barbara Kingsolver
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Lisa See
Same Sky - Amanda Eyre Ward
Rhino with Glue-on Shoes - Lucy Spelman
Monkeys on the Interstate - Jack Hanna
Range of Motion - Elizabeth Berg
Why isn't My Brain Working - Datis Kharrazian
West of Sunset - Stuart O'Nan
Dreams of Joy - Lisa See
Shanghai Girls - Lisa See
The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah
Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay
My Life in the Cleveland Zoo - Adam Smith
Lobster Chronicles - Linda Greenlaw
Lost Sandusky - M. Kristina Smith
At Home with Madame Chic - Jennifer Scott

From Mary Lou in MD:

Booknotes Laura August 2015

Mia King, Good Things (2006). Deidre McIntosh is the famous star of Seattle’s “Live Simple” TV show about cooking and life style. Then, with no warning, a bitch named Marla launches a competing show, heralded with a vicious ad campaign attacking Deidre as well as her show. Deidre’s show is cancelled and her best friend and roommate decides to move in with his boyfriend. She has a spectacular wardrobe and a flashy car, but no savings, no income, no place to live and no idea how she is going to survive. An attractive stranger offers her his country home as a retreat until she gets her life on track and she finds herself in a remote cabin a few miles from the tiny town of Jacob’s Point, near Lake Wish in Eastern Washington. The Wishbone CafĂ© and its owner Lindsey become central to Deidre’s life and recovery. Lake Wish has unexpected magical powers and the handsome stranger provides the novel’s love interest as well as its main mystery.

Tracy Chevalier, The Last Runaway (2013). In 1850-something Honor Bright leaves her Quaker community in Dorset to immigrate to America with her sister Grace, who is going there to marry a shopkeeper in a Quaker community near Oberlin, Ohio. When Honor arrives in Ohio after a dreadful voyage she learns that some of the local women are assisting fugitive slaves, while a rakish man on an impressive horse employs himself as a slavecatcher. The slavery controversy is very heated. Honor does not understand why her new family is hostile to her and forbids her to do anything to assist runaway slaves. She struggles to fit into her new life while remaining true to her Quaker conscience. This novel presents a vivid account of the personal, social and political struggles surrounding the slavery issue.

Jean Zimmerman, The Orphan Master (2012). This novel is set in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (Manhattan) in the 1660s. Edward Drummond, posing as a grain merchant, has traveled there as a spy in the service of King Charles II to seek out regicides who have taken refuge in the New England colonies and to evaluate the Dutch fortifications in the event of British attack. He soon meets Blandine van Couvering, a vibrant and independent young woman who is a savvy trader in furs and other goods. She also is an orphan, long befriended by the local orphan master, one Aet Visser. Several young orphans have been brutally murdered and others have disappeared. Witchcraft is suspected. At one time or another, Edward, Blandine, and Aet fall under suspicion even as they attempt to identify the murderer. There are many other colorful characters, the historical setting is fascinating, and the plot is engaging.

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