If you knew you were dying, what would you do? What would you see? Who would you spend your last year with? Susan Spencer-Wendel faced these decisions at forty-four years old when she was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - Lou Gehrig's disease - an irreversible condition that systematically destroys the nerves that power the muscles. She shares her story in Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living With Joy.
Set in rural Manitowoc County mainly during 1994-1995, Mourning Hours tells the story of what happened after teenager Stacy Lemke disappeared in an early March snowstorm. Although in the end the mystery is solved, the story is more about how her disappearance affected the Hammarstrom family and the community. The tone of the book is tense as the strain on the family causes their lives together to come apart. Paula Treick DeBoard’s details of life in rural Wisconsin ring true, and her characters are realistic and believable.
Remember the old saying "you can't go home again"? Well, it certainly does not apply to Liza Palmer's newest book, Nowhere but Home. Though it is about trying to return home to a life left behind, the author takes some very serious subjects and manages to weave them into an emotional tale that is even lighthearted in some ways.
Here is an adult book for people who liked the Hunger Games and Harry Potter series. Bone Season is set in the year 2059 in an alternate history version of England. Two hundred years ago there was an influx of clairvoyant people who can connect to the aether--the realm of spirits. England is controlled by a totalitarian organization called Scion which is trying to eradicate clairvoyants. The main character is nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney who is a rare type of clairvoyant called a dreamwalker.
The beach scene with the cute little dog in a sweater might make you think it is a light beach read. Take my word for it, The Widow Waltz by Sally Koslow is anything but. It is a story of a wife and two daughters trying to move on after the death of their husband and father. It is hard enough to lose a loved one, but what if you discover the loved one you are grieving was not the person you thought they were, and the life of luxury you have been living is all based on lies?
What? William Shakespeare and Star Wars? Yes! Ian Doescher, with the cooperation of George Lucas, has written the story of the original Star Wars movie, A New Hope, in iambic pentameter in the style of a Shakespeare play. The language is fun to read with plenty of “thou” and “prithee” among the references to “droids” and “hyperspace”. It’s not really such a stretch to put Shakespeare and StarWars together. Both the Star Wars movies and Shakespeare’s plays are epic tales with villains and colorful supporting characters.
Don't let the size of this little book fool you. The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen may be small, but it is loaded with complicated relationships and numerous twists and turns. A group of four college friends reunite for a fully-paid trip to Jamaica with their spouses, courtesy of Dwight Glass, the "nerd" of the group, who struck gold with his dot com business.
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!