The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances by Ellen Cooney was definitely a change from my normal reading. Seeing the word dog in the title of the book is what initially caught my eye, but once I started reading I soon realized this was not a cute little dog story, but a tender story of broken people and broken dogs and how they help one another. It took a few chapters to get into the book, but I soon discovered that dogs and humans really are very much alike.
Summer is winding down and beach season is almost over. In a feeble attempt to hold on to those last days of summer I grabbed On the Rocks by Erin Duffy off of the new fiction shelves. The cover picture displays what looks like a tranquil afternoon spent on the beach, but this book was anything but tranquil. On the Rocks is a well written and highly amusing look at one woman's attempt to put her life back together after a very public breakup - via Facebook.
Being a true Southerner means keeping up appearances at all costs. As a result, many Southern couples put on pretenses and sometimes lead double lives. In The Stories We Tell by Patti Callahan Henry, Eve and Cooper Morrison are that golden couple, seemingly leading the ideal life as the cream of Savannah society. But, things are not always as they seem. This powerful novel about the value of truth focuses on the Morrison family and the one night that changed the dynamics of their family forever.
Here’s a debut novel for people who liked The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and the TV series BreakingBad. As in The Goldfinch, The Objects of Her Affection is set in the world of art and priceless antiques, and as in Breaking Bad, the main character turns to illegal activity to get money for her family. The story starts in 2005 and ends in 2007. Main character Sophie is married to Brian, a curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The family saga first introduced in The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs continues in The Beekeeper's Ball, the second installment of the Bella Vista Chronicles. Former celebrated chef Isabel Johansen is opening a destination cooking school focusing on local produce and products at Bella Vista, her family estate in the sleepy Sonoma town of Archangel. Isabel is a reserved, organized woman and seems so together, but when renowned journalist Cormac "Mac" O'Neill arrives on the scene he certainly shakes things up.
In the mood for some lighthearted poetry loaded with canine silliness? Classic Poetry for Dogs: Why Do I Chase Thee by Jessica Swaim will have you howling with laughter. This hilarious little book is a spoof on well-known poems from the point of view of canine authors like Elizabeth Basset Browning, William Shakespaw, Rover Frost, Edgar Allen Pug, and others. Some poems are a little bit naughty, but I suppose even sophisticated dogs enjoy down-to-earth humor.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin is a touching story about people who love books and about the people they love. A.J. is a middle-aged widower who owns Island Books on Alice Island, MA. He is quirky and prickly and still grieving for his wife Nic who died in a car accident. Things are not going well for A.J. His meeting with Amelia Loman, the new representative for Knightly Press, ends badly with A.J. ranting about the current state of publishing.
The life of business and power is not all it seems and Danielle Steel's latest novel gives an excellent example of the good and bad. Power Play runs two stories at the same time about powerful CEO's and the way they conduct their lives - one involving a hardworking devoted mother who sacrifices any type of personal life for her success, and the other a philandering, scheming man with no conscience who always seems to land on top. The way the two stories come together is excellently written.
I generally read print books, but sometimes I read an e-book. In this case the book that I wanted to read was not available in print here at the Fond du Lac Public Library, but it was available to me as an e-book through the Library from the Wisconsin Digital Library (Overdrive). I did a virtual check-out of Wicked Watertown: History You Weren’t Supposed to Know by W. F. Jannke published as a print book in 2010 and as an e-book in 2012.
Bestselling chick-lit author Jennifer Weiner goes a bit darker with her newest book All Fall Down, a compelling story about the price some people pay in the pursuit of having it all. Weiner tackles the growing epidemic in our society of middle and upper-class suburban parents who abuse prescription medication to cope with their overworked and overstressed lifestyles, yet writes this story beautifully and in a way that doesn't make you hate the addict or necessarily feel sorry for her either.