Archive for October, 2016

The Nix, by Nathan Hill

October 30, 2016

[Lesley]  One of the best books I have read in a long time. I loved how smart, funny, and insightful this book is as well as its willingness to be bold. The novel covers a lot of ground – Samuel Andreson Anderson’s childhood, his mother’s story, the Vietnam War and domestic protests, online gaming addiction, child abuse, estrangement, police corruption, and Norwegian mythology – but the story is small at its heart (the one story – wanting to be loved, wanting to belong), a story of a mother and son, but in telling it, the scope of this book is large — Is there any way to be “true” to yourself without being alone? what is the aftermath of abandonment, abuse, obsession? if we commit wrong acts in a world that is inherently wrong, who is at fault? Is anything true or is everything just one person’s perspective, or story, or a story told about them? Nathan Hill does a masterful job leading us through the story, back and forth in time and place, and always wryly shining a light on imperfection.

Find it on Libby/Overdrive!

The Nix - ebook

Escape Clause by John Sandford

October 20, 2016


This novel has everything you could want in a Virgil Flowers book. A plot with a couple of twists, lots of local Minnesota touches, humor, and great dialogue from some of my favorite characters. There’s even a little cameo from Lucas Davenport (yea!). This is the 9th book in the V. Flowers series and it hits all the high points.  Every time I read one of John Sandfords novels – I feel like I’m meeting up with a bunch of old friends and can’t wait to find out what they’re up to now!

Find it on Libby/Overdrive!

Escape Clause - ebook

Delicious by Ruth Reichl

October 12, 2016


This book starts as a simple story about twenty-something girl running from a tragic past and landing a job at a premier cooking magazine. But it quickly transforms into a mystery and character study with an incredible cast of quirky folks.  The history with WWII as the background was fascinating. The discussions about food rationing, and the subsequent recipes, was very interesting.  The letters exchanged between James Beard and a young girl were such a great part of the story. The story was unpredictable with its many fun twists and turns, and was a great read. (I actually listened to the audio of this and the narrator was great.)  I didn’t want this story to end.  Make sure you have some snacks ready as you read this – the food descriptions are amazing!

Available on Libby/Overdrive.

Title details for Delicious! by Ruth Reichl - Wait list

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

October 5, 2016


Lab Girl is a fascinating memoir by scientist (paleobiologist) Hope Jahren. It is beautifully written, and gives a vivid glimpse of what it is like to be a woman running an academic science lab. You feel her frustration at the constant struggle to obtain funding, the joys of her scientific discoveries, and her complicated and fascinating friendship with her friend and lab partner. She also offers a vivid picture of what it’s like to live with bipolar disorder, and how she navigates her work and motherhood and marriage. I particular love the way she interweaves the stories of the trees she studies into the story of her life. Highly recommend.

Find it on Libby/Overdrive

Lab Girl - ebook

Guilty Minds by Joseph Finder

October 5, 2016


Another great thriller from Joseph Finder. This the 3rd in the series with Nick Heller back at the helm. I really like Nick and think he is a great character, smart, street wise and always out to find the truth. Nick is a private investigator based in Boston and his latest case involves a person/persons who are trying to discredit a Supreme Court Justice. Thrilling and highly addictive, this is a real page turner.

On Libby/Overdrive

Guilty Minds - Audiobook

The Fireman by Joe Hill

October 4, 2016


The Fireman by Joe HillGood horror novel! It’s set in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where it becomes apparent that there is a world-wide outbreak of what is called dragonscale, an infection that creates mystical gold-flecked patterns on a person’s skin but ultimately burns the infected person to death.

Joe Hill, a local seacoast author, captures the adventure in this horror story, the humanity in an oppressive society and the heroism of a woman fighting to survive and protect those she loves against all odds. Disturbing and emotionally intense, this page-turner kept me mostly coming back for more (and reading all the way through the acknowledgements for a little extra surprise!). I hit a wall about half way through for a large section but was glad to get back into it.

I especially enjoy Hill’s use of witty language interspersed with the weighty plot. He throws in a cleverly placed reference to one of his previous novels as well for those who have read other works of his.

I recommend this book for readers who like a story that tells of a personal journey in a thrilling setting, such as The Stand or The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King, Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith, or The Constant Gardener by John Le Carre.

Available on Hoopla!

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

October 3, 2016


This is a memoir of life in Appalachia in the 20th Century and overcoming the odds. The style is accessible, candid and concise. The characters are relatable, flawed and complex. The tone of the book is serious and impassioned and it gives a strong sense of place. The book is fast-paced and covered lots of ground. I read it in one sitting.

On Libby/Overdrive

Hillbilly Elegy - Audiobook

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

October 3, 2016


This absorbing, character-driven novel draws you right in to the interwoven stories of the Keating and Cousins families. The focus is really on the lives of the children and how an affair between the mother in the Keating family and the father in the Cousins family changes their lives. The characters are vividly drawn and the writing is deceptively simple and very engaging. You never know what you are going to get with an Ann Patchett novel but it is always worth your time to find out.

Available on Hoopla!