Our current display at the library features award-winning fiction and nonfiction books. Check it out. One of the award-winning authors on display is Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970. I have read and re-read his book One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich which is based on Solzhenitsyn’s experiences in a Soviet labor camp. This book made an impression on me. It is the story of an ordinary Russian, Shukov (Ivan Denisovich), who is in a prison labor camp in Siberia in January, 1951.
It is hard to believe the month of July is almost over. Much of my summer has been spent reading light, romantic and fun books, but to be good at reader's advisory you have to be willing to read out of your "comfort zone" once in a while. Tell Me by Lisa Jackson is about as opposite of light, romantic and fun as you can get. Both thrilling and terrifying, Jackson's latest takes you on a suspenseful ride filled with both venomous snakes and creepy characters. Reading this one made me want to sleep with the lights on!
Janet Evanovich’s latest Stephanie Plum series book, Takedown Twenty, is due to be published in November. While you wait, try Sophie Littlefield’s Stella Hardesty series. Stella is a middle-aged woman in Missouri who runs a sewing shop and is a vigilante on the side. She was abused by her now deceased husband and is an advocate for other abused women. She has romantic entanglements with Sheriff “Goat” Jones. Although the comedy is darker than in the Evanovich books, there are plenty of quirky characters and humorous situations in Littlefield’s fast-paced series.
Have you ever looked at a book cover and wanted to crawl right in and be part of the setting? That was my first thought when I spotted The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs. The cover pictures the perfect summer scene of a white, casually laid table with mismatched white chairs set among apple trees loaded with succulent looking apples. I could almost hear the bees buzzing around the beautiful pitchers filled with colorful wild flowers gracing the center of the table.
The lazy days of summer are finally here. Time to grab that sunscreen, beach chair and umbrella and relax with the perfect beach read. My top choice for this summer is Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews. Set on the sunny beaches of Florida, it has the perfect combination of romance, mystery and comedy. Though it is a tale of divorce and betrayal, the author tells it with her trademark humor and mixes a bit of revenge and sweet justice in for good measure. This one is chick-lit at its best.
Robyn Carr is one of those contemporary romance authors I just never get tired of reading, and her new book The Wanderer is an amazing start to her new Thunder Point series. I loved her long running Virgin River series, and I am happy to report this new book had all the elements I have come to expect from this author - small town charm, quirky characters, wonderful romance, and a little mystery thrown in for good measure. As the story line progressed and I met each character, I found myself identifying them with people I know, or know of, in real life.
There are 2 recently published books with the title Life after Life. One is by Kate Atkinson, and the other is by Jill McCorkle. Both deal with death and how we choose to live the life we have. The book by Kate Atkinson has a British slant and centers on one character that is born and dies repeatedly and is a blend of historical fiction, alternate history, and literary fiction. The book by Jill McCorkle is set at a North Carolina retirement home and centers on the characters that live, die, work, and visit there.
A memoir by award winning journalist and Boston Globe writer Brian McGrory, Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man is a moving and funny account of one man's journey from bachelor to husband and stepfather, aided by a menagerie of pets - including a cute baby chick who turned out to be a rooster. As a self-proclaimed animal lover, I found myself shedding a tear one minute and snorting with laughter the next as I read about the author's transition from a city dwelling, globetrotting single guy to a life in the suburbs as a family man.
Gilead is a quiet, reflective book about things of the heart and spirit—forgiveness and the relationship between father and son. John Ames is an elderly pastor in the small town of Gilead, Iowa in the 1950s. He had a son late in life and is writing down his thoughts and memories for his son so that his son will know about his family and heritage. Pastor Ames is the grandson and son of preachers. His grandfather had been a fiery abolitionist preacher before the Civil War and his father a pacifist preacher. His best friend is Robert Boughton, also a pastor in Gilead.