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Books > The Book Salon ~~ July 2017

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 13230 comments

This the thread for general book discussions.

Tell us what you just read, are currently reading or plan to read. Tell us about your favorite author. Have you read some book news? Share it with the group. Anything related to books and reading, we want to hear all about it !

message 2: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 13230 comments Here are a few book suggestions from librarians around he country.

The Lying Game
by Ruth Ware
“Isa and her friends are boarding school misfits who are notorious for playing 'the lying game.' The more believable your lies, the more points you earn. A suicide at the school results in the girls being expelled under a cloud of suspicion. Fifteen years later, Isa hasn’t seen her three closest girlfriends in a decade, but one text will bring them together again to deal with their deadly childhood secrets. I could not put this atmospheric book down. This is definitely going to be a summer hit.”

Watch Me Disappear: A Novel
by Janelle Brown
“Billie is a beloved and loving wife and mother to Jonathan and Olive -- or so they believe. Her disappearance while hiking dredges up secrets about Billie’s radical past, doubts about how well either of them knew the woman around whom their lives revolved, and questions about whether Billie is even dead…or simply vanished. Hand this one to fans of domestic thrillers like The Woman in Cabin 10 or The Couple Next Door. They won’t be disappointed.”

The Marriage Pact: A Novel
by Michelle Richmond
“Newlyweds Jake and Alice are understandably nervous about starting married life together. So, when given the opportunity to join the exclusive group known as 'The Pact' -- whose stated goal is to keep married couples happy and together forever, they jump at the offer. However, things quickly take a sinister turn and readers will be hooked as Jake and Alice struggle to find their way out.”

Final Girls: A Novel
by Riley Sager
“When Quincy Carpenter survived a massacre while the rest of her friends were murdered, the press labeled her a “Final Girl” -- part of a group that consisted of two other women who were the only ones to survive their own tragedies. Quincy has no desire to claim this label and wants to move on. But when one of the final girls dies, and the other confronts Quincy, claiming that a killer might be targeting them, Quincy’s new life unravels. Readers will be invested in seeing if Quincy can retain her status as the last one standing.”

Down a Dark Road: A Kate Burkholder Novel
by Linda Castillo
“A once Amish police chief in a rural Pennsylvania town is faced with a dilemma. Her childhood friend has escaped from prison after being convicted of killing his wife. Kate still knows the Amish ways and after talking with the family and the community, thinks there might be something to Joseph’s story. Kate is caught in the crossfire between the “English” and the “Amish” and needs to solve this so her past won’t haunt her. Starts out with a bang and finishes just as rough.”

When the English Fall: A Novel
by David Williams
“When the English Fall offers a new perspective on apocalyptic fiction, written from the point of view of an Amish farmer named Jacob. Part insight into Amish culture, part dystopian novel, the story follows the days leading up to a solar storm and its aftermath. Jacob lives a peaceful life with his family. As events unfold outside of the community, he becomes witness to his English neighbors’ unraveling. Jacob and his family, already accustomed to a life without modern conveniences, must decide what course of action they will take, and what assistance they will provide to their English neighbors.”

The Almost Sisters: A Novel
by Joshilyn Jackson
“Leia finds her life is spiraling out of control. First she discovers she is pregnant from a one night stand, then she receives a phone call that her beloved grandmother is acting erratically. Meanwhile, she finds her stepsister in the middle of a marital crisis. Returning to her grandmother’s small hometown in Alabama to figure out the future, Leia is confronted by the past, including a dark family secret. This is a compelling story about love and family told with humor and charm. Jackson paints a picture of the South that is filled with affection but is also honest.”

The Wildling Sisters
by Eve Chase
“In 1959, the Wilde sisters spend the summer at Applecote, a country manor, with their aunt and uncle who are still reeling after the disappearance of their daughter Audrey. The spirit of Audrey is everywhere and the sisters’ close bonds are tested with secrets and jealousies revealed. Fifty years later, Jesse and her family move back to Applecote, hoping for a fresh start. Their transition is not smooth and they are swept up into the old mystery. A page turning, suspenseful novel with richly created characters, a twisting plot, and a gothic setting. A delicious, shivery tale!”

by Julie Garwood
“When Agent Liam Scott recruits a beautiful hacker, Allison Trent, to find a leak within the FBI, he uses her cousin’s criminal record as leverage. As they try to deny their growing attraction, the computer program Allison developed is stolen. Liam helps track down the thief while protecting her from continual harassment and attempts on her life. I genuinely enjoyed reading this novel. The whole book was tightly plotted and well written. This is a story I would highly recommend to romance readers, especially those new to the genre.”

Hello, Sunshine: A Novel
by Laura Dave
“Sunshine’s entire world comes crashing down on, of all days, her birthday. What I love about Sunshine is that she exudes confidence even when she shows up at her estranged sister’s home with only the things that fit in her car. Sunshine formulates a plan and sees it through. She completely embraces the only job available in her new path to greatness. I found myself rooting for her from the very beginning and I couldn’t wait to read what she was up to next. I loved this novel. I’m a big fan of this author!”

message 3: by Shomeret (last edited Jul 04, 2017 10:17AM) (new)

Shomeret | 228 comments I thought I'd post about a biography that I just reviewed for July 4th even though it won't be available until September. It's called The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist by Marcus Rediker. The Quaker leadership considered him a dangerous radical when he first called for the abolition of slavery in colonial Pennsylvania in 1738. He was also a vegetarian and an animal rights advocate. See my review at

message 4: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3867 comments Shomeret, thank you for the introduction to this book. It's a good "hidden" history.

PattyMacDotComma | 365 comments Just finished Burial Rites, the breathtaking 2013 debut novel by gifted Aussie Author Hannah Kent. The depth of the characters, the intimacies of the life, the sweep of the Icelandic landscape = 5★ from me!
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
My review

message 6: by Barbara (last edited Jul 05, 2017 05:32AM) (new)

Barbara (Cinnabarb) | 1077 comments Shomeret wrote: "I thought I'd post about a biography that I just reviewed for July 4th even though it won't be available until September. It's called [book:The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became th..."

Benjamin Lay is certainly an admirable man....way ahead of his time.

message 7: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (Cinnabarb) | 1077 comments I finished Garden of Lamentations Garden of Lamentations (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #17) by Deborah Crombie by Deborah Crombie

In this 17th book in the series, married couple/Scotland Yard detectives - Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James - investigate separate cases. Gemma looks into the murder of a nanny and Duncan tries to uncover police corruption. Good mystery. 3 stars.

My complete review:

message 8: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 351 comments Good review, Barbara. I enjoy that series but haven't read this one yet....will look for it. Thanks.

message 9: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3867 comments PattyMac, thanks for the review and photos. They help illustrate how striking the book must be.

Barbara, that part about an abundance of characters would deter me. Those are my least favorite mysteries, as I'm confused when two characters have names that begin with the same letter!

message 10: by Dem (new)

Dem | 162 comments Thanks Alias, will check these out.

message 11: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (Cinnabarb) | 1077 comments Jill wrote: "Good review, Barbara. I enjoy that series but haven't read this one yet....will look for it. Thanks."

You're welcome Jill. :)

message 12: by Barbara (last edited Jul 07, 2017 07:35AM) (new)

Barbara (Cinnabarb) | 1077 comments Madrano wrote: "

Barbara, that part about an abundance of characters would deter me. Those are my least favorite mysteries, as I'm confused when two characters have names that begin with the same letter!

Me too. LOL
I think authors should be super careful about making up names for their characters.

message 14: by PattyMacDotComma (last edited Jul 08, 2017 11:34PM) (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 365 comments On 5 July 2017, I was told that The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins begins with "5 July 2013". So I figured that was an omen and started it.

Not a great omen, but not bad, as it turns out.
My review

message 15: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (Cinnabarb) | 1077 comments I finished The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir The Fact of a Body A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

This book, being touted as the 'must read' of the summer tells the true crime story of child molester/murderer, Ricky Langley; it also relates a tale about abuse in the author's family. To me, the two stories don't mesh that well, but it's a pretty good book. 3 stars

My complete review:

message 16: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (Cinnabarb) | 1077 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "On 5 July 2017, I was told that The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins begins with "5 July 2013". So I figured that was an omen and started it.

Not a great omen, b..."

I like your 'digressions' Patty :)

message 17: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3867 comments Your digressions were delightful, Patty. Your review finds me feeling good that i haven't read it. I saw the movie and wasn't intrigued, either.

Barbara, the book sounds as though the author really had two books there. Not appealing to me, however.

message 18: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 365 comments Madrano wrote: "Your digressions were delightful, Patty. Your review finds me feeling good that i haven't read it. I saw the movie and wasn't intrigued, either."

Oh, thanks, madrano! Very kind and I'll match you - I won't see the movie, and you won't read the book. :)

message 19: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 365 comments Ginny Moon is an adopted, autistic teenager - a real handful who can't explain what she wants to her frustrated (nervous!) Forever Family. Benjamin Ludwig has given a unique voice to the voiceless in this terrific book.
Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
4.5★ - My review

message 20: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3867 comments It's a deal, Patty. (This is re. Girl on the Train.)

message 21: by Jon (new)

Jon | 406 comments Finished A Constellation of Vital Phenomena and absolutely loved it. The novel takes place during Russia's intervention in Chechnya and it reminds me a lot of Catch-22. It's a book that examines the horrors of war, yet is full of off-kilter dialogue and darkly funny humor:

“’Let me tell you a story,’ the brother said, holding his cigarette like a conductor’s baton. ‘When I was a child I had a pet turtle, whom I named after Alu because they shared a certain – how can I put it – bestial idiocy. Once I went to Grozny with my father and five of my brothers for the funeral of my father’s uncle, and we left so quickly I hadn’t the time to provide the food for Alu the Turtle. My brother, Alu the Idiot, had a fever and stayed home with my mother. In a moment so taxing on that little intellect that steam surely shot from his ears, Alu the Idiot remembered to feed my turtle. He caught grubs and crickets, likely tasting them before he gave them to my beloved crustacean. Since then Alu the Idiot has grown into a Gibraltar-sized hemorrhoid, but when he was a child he used the one good idea his life has allotted him to feed my turtle, and because of it, you get a second favor.’

‘Turtles aren’t crustaceans,’ she said.

‘Excuse me, half crustaceans.’

‘They’re full-blooded reptiles.’

The brother gaped at her. ‘You should hear yourself. You sound ridiculous.’

‘A turtle is one hundred percent reptile,’ she said. ‘I imagine even Alu knows that.’

‘Don’t insult me. Everyone knows a turtle is a crustacean on its mother’s side.’

‘Explain that to me,’ she said, shifting in the seat as the car spun in circles.

‘A lizard fucks a crab and nine months later a turtle pops out. It’s called evolution.’

‘I hope your biology teacher was sent to the gulag,’ she said.”

message 22: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 13230 comments Jon wrote: ‘I hope your biology teacher was sent to the gulag,’ she said.” "


I am no fan of Catch -22. I've tried the book twice and the movie once and couldn't bear more than 15 minutes of each. However, that is some funny dialogue from A Constellation of Vital Phenomena.

message 23: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (Cinnabarb) | 1077 comments Love the turtle story!

message 24: by Jon (last edited Jul 11, 2017 07:25AM) (new)

Jon | 406 comments Alias Reader wrote: "I am no fan of Catch -22. I've tried the book twice and the movie once and couldn't bear more than 15 minutes of each. However, that is some funny dialogue from A Constellation of Vital Phenomena.

The movie was absolutely horrible, but Catch-22 is one of my favorite books and one of the very few that I've read more than once. That's probably why I liked A Constellation of Vital Phenomena so much. Mixing pathos and comedy is a highwire act and Marra is able to pull it off. He's also an exceptional writer and he has a knack for a well written descriptive phrase.

message 25: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 365 comments Madrano wrote: "It's a deal, Patty. (This is re. Girl on the Train.)"

Wish we had a "Like" button like other social media!

message 26: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 365 comments Also love the turtle story! And I need to re-read Catch-22 to see if I like it as much all these decades since I first read it.

message 27: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (Cinnabarb) | 1077 comments I finished Ghost Gone Wild (Bailey Ruth, #4) by Carolyn G. Hart Ghost Gone Wild by Carolyn G. Hart.

In this cozy mystery, 'ghostly emissary' Bailey Ruth Raeburn is sent to Earth to help a young man in trouble. When a murder occurs, she has to clear an innocent man. Fun, humorous story. 3 stars

My complete review:

message 28: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3867 comments It sounds like a fun book to read, Barbara. Neat review, too.

message 30: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 13230 comments Nice reviews Barbara and Dem. Thanks so much for sharing.

message 31: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 13230 comments History and Current Events

He Calls Me by Lightning: The Life of Caliph Washington and the Forgotten Saga...
by S. Jonathan Bass
In 1957 Alabama, a traffic stop ended with an African American veteran's being accused of killing a white policeman. Caliph Washington was convicted in several trials, but each conviction was overturned. Later, Governor George Wallace stayed his execution numerous times. Vividly depicting Washington's life, the questionable convictions, and the Jim Crow atmosphere surrounding the case, He Calls Me by Lighting offers an eye-opening critique of the racial disparities in American criminal justice.

Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth
by Holger Hoock
According to historian Holger Hoock, the American Revolution wasn't only a conflict over principles, but also a violent civil war whose legacy historians have only recently recognized. In Scars of Independence, he carefully assesses how this violence affected everyone: Patriot and Loyalist civilians, military personnel on all sides, Native Americans, and free and enslaved blacks. Hoock's balanced and accessible historical analysis includes explicit descriptions of atrocities, which may be disturbing to some readers. Library Journal calls the book "as fascinating as it is enlightening."

Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon
by Jeffrey Kluger
In Apollo 8, acclaimed science writer Jeffrey Kluger provides a you-were-there reading experience as he recounts the preparations that culminated in the first manned flight to the moon. Drawing on his interviews with crew members Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders, as well as the NASA Oral History Project and other records, Kluger enriches the personal and technical details of the mission with facets of the Cold War-era politics that spurred the race to the moon. Space flight aficionados won't want to miss Kluger's "laudable storytelling" (Publishers Weekly).

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
by Richard Rothstein
In this thoroughly researched analysis, housing policy expert Richard Rothstein traces the development of America's restrictive residential codes back to the early 20th century. He shows that modern segregation is built on overlapping local, state, and federal laws -- not just on prejudice-based social customs. Whether you're looking for a comprehensive review of law and policy or an accessible discussion of the history, you'll find The Color of Law both informative and sobering.

Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of Bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State
by Ali Soufan
Identifying the primary goals of different terrorist leaders, antiterrorism expert Ali Soufan explains how radical Islamists think. Drawing on both unclassified reports and his own knowledge from working in the FBI, he reveals that al-Qaida cells have continued to grow and organize, so that they again represent a significant threat. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews notes that Anatomy of Terror offers a lucid account of this "dizzying scenario of violence."

****** Focus on: Crime

The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World
by Anthony M. Amore
Confidence scams, forgeries, and theft plague the world of art, costing museums and legitimate private owners millions of dollars. In The Art of the Con, security expert Anthony Amore (head of security at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum) explores instances of art fraud and theft, details specific methods, and examines the mindset of certain victims. Fans of both art history and true crime accounts will be enthralled and may want to follow up with Robert Wittman's Priceless or Ulrich Boser's The Gardner Heist.

Anatomy of Injustice: A Murder Case Gone Wrong
by Raymond Bonner
In Anatomy of Injustice, Pultizer Prize-winning journalist Raymond Bonner chronicles the murder conviction and appeals of an African American handyman in Greenwood, SC. After Edward Lee Elmore was convicted of killing an elderly widow, death penalty appeals specialists tried to show that the investigation was negligent and Elmore's trial representation was ineffective (among other things). However, 22 years passed before his execution was finally blocked. Bonner's powerful narration will engross those interested in the death penalty as well as true crime buffs.

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can...
by Marc Goodman
In this accessible discussion, cybersecurity expert Marc Goodman details the current vulnerability of convenient devices (such as baby monitors, GPS, and online calendars) and describes the near-future potential for cybercriminals or governments to paralyze our lives. Though Future Crimes includes reassuring information on minimizing Internet risks, this is a sobering report for anyone who uses Internet-connected devices.

Long Mile Home: Boston Under Attack, the City's Courageous Recovery, and the Epic...
by Scott Helman and Jenna Russell
Near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, two improvised bombs exploded, killing three people and injuring hundreds. In this gripping account, Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe reporters Scott Hellman and Jenna Russell depict the responses of those most closely involved -- marathon officials, first responders, hospital workers, the injured, and the families of those killed. They portray the hunt for the bombers and its conclusion, and they also bring to life the resilient Boston community in the subsequent weeks and months.

Little Demon in the City of Light: A True Story of Murder in Belle Époque Paris
by Steven Levingston
During the late 19th century, people wondered whether hypnotic subjects could be induced to do something contrary to their moral beliefs. In Little Demon in the City of Light, author Steven Levingston relates the case of Gabrielle Bompard, who seduced and killed a wealthy Parisian, claiming at her trial that she was innocent because she had been hypnotized. This compelling account will mesmerize 19th-century Paris enthusiasts, historical true crime aficionados, and anyone interested in early forensic science.

message 32: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (Cinnabarb) | 1077 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Nice reviews Barbara and Dem. Thanks so much for sharing."

You're welcome Alias :)

message 33: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (Cinnabarb) | 1077 comments Madrano wrote: "It sounds like a fun book to read, Barbara. Neat review, too."

Thank you Madrano :)

message 34: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3867 comments Good books listed, Alias. I see two are about African Americans who were wrongly convicted and their long struggle to correction.

message 35: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 13230 comments Popular Culture

Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life
by Jonathan Gould
"(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay." "These Arms of Mine." "Try a Little Tenderness." Even if you don't think you know Otis Redding, you most likely know his songs. And fans will know that 50 years ago, Redding performed at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, bringing him to a much wider audience. But by the end of the year, Redding's life had been cut short by a plane crash. This detailed biography, which traces Redding's short life and career, is "fabulous" (Library Journal).

Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones...
by Keith Law
In Smart Baseball, ESPN senior baseball writer and statistical analyst Keith Law takes on traditional baseball stats and explains why new ways of analyzing baseball are better than the old, inefficient ways many fans are familiar with. From weighted stats to who should or shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame, Law makes compelling (and often entertaining) arguments that are sure to prompt plenty of inter-inning discussions among fans.

Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World
by Rob Sheffield
There are plenty of biographies and histories of the Beatles as a group and as individuals; this is something different. Rob Sheffield, author of Love is a Mix Tape (and creator of many actual mix tapes) instead offers an homage in many acts. In essays that reflect on why the Beatles became so popular (and why they still resonate today), Sheffield focuses on the emotional connections we make to music. If you grew up with the Beatles or your parents passed on their love to you, Dreaming the Beatles will be a treat.

This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare
by Gabourey Sidibe
Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe starred in Precious and now has a role in the popular television show Empire, but this book is really about Sidibe herself rather than her accomplishments on screen. Raised by a subway singer and a polygamous father, she is open about her sometimes strained relationships with her parents, the expectations her family had of her when she met with some success, and even her embarrassing fanfiction writing. Read it for a well-written biography of a confident, insightful young woman -- who just happens to be a star.

The Cake and the Rain
by Jimmy Webb
A superstar songwriter in the 1960s and 1970s, Jimmy Webb shares his path to the high life. The son of an Oklahoma preacher, Webb arrived in L.A. a teetotaler (which didn't last long), and ended up being the youngest inductee into the National Songwriters' Hall of Fame. Frank and sometimes gossipy, this memoir drops names left and right, making it an excellent choice not only for Webb's many fans but for those interested in the machinery of music-making in the '60s.

******** Great Books You Might Have Missed

I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual
by Luvvie Ajayi
Blogger and activist Luvvie Ajayi is obsessed with pop culture (witness her blog,, taking on everything from the Met Gala to House of Cards) -- but she's also interested in the ways that people interact with each other. The essays collected here range from topics like social media etiquette to why things like racism, homophobia, and misogyny haven't yet disappeared. Witty and insightful, these essays might make you laugh, but they'll also make you think.

Moscow Nights: The Van Cliburn Story
by Nigel Cliff
At the height of the Cold War, a young pianist from Texas wowed a Moscow audience and won the first International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition -- though Russian officials were reluctant to give the prize to an American. His win, at a tense time in the two countries' histories, is the center of this book, which details both Van Cliburn's passionately musical life and the drama of the Cold War. Cold War buffs and music history aficionados alike won't want to miss this "rousing" (Kirkus Reviews) life story.

Fields of Battle: Pearl Harbor, the Rose Bowl, and the Boys Who Went to War
by Brian Curtis
Ever since 1902, the Rose Bowl has been played on New Year's Day in Pasadena, CA -- except for one year, when the bombing of Pearl Harbor forced officials to move the game (played between the Oregon State Beavers and Duke's Blue Devils) to Durham, NC. In this fascinating history, author Brian Curtis tells the story not only of the game itself, but of the lives its players went on to lead, especially on the battlefields of World War II. For fans of Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken, this is worth a read.

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction
by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is already a bestselling author; can you imagine what will happen now that his epic novel American Gods is airing on TV? This, however, is his nonfiction, a collection that mixes cultural and literary criticism with thoughts on art, music, and the origins of science fiction and fantasy. (He also staunchly defends reading, libraries, and librarians.) Erudite and witty, reading Gaiman's essays is almost like having a dinnertime chat (we wouldn't really know, but we imagine he'd be a great tablemate. We might be biased.).

Citizen Kane: A Filmmaker's Journey
by Harlan Lebo
Written in commemoration of Citizen Kane's 75th anniversary, this book describes how Orson Welles -- a movie-making neophyte -- won unprecedented control over the film. It also explores the roles of Welles' collaborators, discusses who really deserves credit for the script, and traces William Randolph Hearst's efforts to prevent the film's release. Though many other books on the subject exist, this one has been called "a gold mine for fans" (Kirkus Reviews).

message 36: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 365 comments #WeNeedDiverseBooks Tania Duprey Stehlik's picture book, Violet, has brightly and inventively illustrated kids, by artist Vanja Vuleta Jovanovic.
Violet by Tania Duprey Stehlik
I shared several illustrations - great addition to libraries! 4★
My review

message 37: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 351 comments I am looking the the Citizen Kane book. The film and the story around it are fascinating. I have read a couple of other books about it but this one may fill in some of the gaps and dispel some of the myths.

message 38: by PattyMacDotComma (last edited Aug 20, 2017 05:10PM) (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 365 comments The pen is mightier than the sword plus a picture's worth a thousand words equals Amnesty's letter-writing campaigns plus this picture book for all ages, Letters to a Prisoner by Amnesty supporter Jacques Goldstyn.
Letters to a Prisoner by Jacques Goldstyn
Wonderful illustrations (I shared a couple) and visual story. 5★
Due out in September, so pre-order for schools and groups!
My review:

message 39: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 13230 comments The Glass Castle: A Memoir

The award-winning bestseller—soon to be a major motion picture starring Oscar winner Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts.

The Glass Castle
A Memoir
By Jeannette Walls
In theaters August 11, the new film based on the perennially bestselling, “nothing short of spectacular” (Entertainment Weekly) memoir from one of the world’s most gifted storytellers.

The Glass Castle is truly astonishing—a beloved memoir that has lived on the bestseller list for more than six years.

“Walls has joined the company of writers such as Mary Karr and Frank McCourt who have been able to transform their sad memories into fine art.” —People

“Extraordinary.” —Time

“The kind of story that keeps you awake long after the rest of the house has fallen asleep.” —Vogue

message 40: by Julie (new)

Julie (JulieLill) | 1222 comments Alias Reader wrote: "The Glass Castle: A Memoir

The award-winning bestseller—soon to be a major motion picture starring Oscar winner Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts.

The Glass Castle
A Memoi..."

About time- the author did such a great job on her book- looking forward to see how the movie turns out.

message 41: by Alias Reader (last edited Jul 14, 2017 09:04AM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 13230 comments 10 hot books you won't want to miss this summer

Don't fill up your beach bag just yet. Save space for these hot new summer books. Whether your taste runs to mysteries, romance, humor or sports, USA TODAY's Jocelyn McClurg has you covered.

I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons
1. I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart (37 INK/Atria, non-fiction, on sale now)

What it’s about: In this memoir, the funnyman recounts his rise to the top from hardscrabble beginnings, making jokes along the way.

Why it’s hot: Hart has conquered stand-up and movies (his hits include Think Like a Man and The Secret Life of Pets), so why not publishing?

Magpie Murders
2. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (Harper, fiction, on sale now)

What it’s about: In a modern twist on the English manor house mystery, a London book editor investigates the suspicious death of one of her best-selling crime authors.

Why it’s hot: This Agatha Christie-inspired homage arrives a few months before a new, star-studded film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express pulls into theaters this fall.

The Identicals
3. The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown, fiction, on sale now)

What it’s about: Estranged adult twin sisters, raised separately after their parents’ divorce, must decide whether to reconcile when their father dies.

Why it’s hot: Take the summer setting (The Identicals hops between Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard) and the plot device of feuding sisters, and you’ve got the recipe for another Hilderbrand beach hit.

Kiss Carlo
4. Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani (Harper, fiction, on sale now)

What it’s about: In 1949 South Philly, an engaged World War II vet (now a cab driver) finds himself suddenly smitten with the Bard and Calla Borelli, who runs the local Shakespeare troupe.

Why it’s hot: “A delightfully sprawling comedy full of extended families,” says Kirkus Reviews.

But Seriously
5. But Seriously by John McEnroe (Little, Brown, non-fiction, on sale now)

What it’s about: The brash tennis star (now mellowed a bit) is ready to volley again in this sequel to his best-selling 2002 memoir You Cannot Be Serious.

Why it’s hot: In his second career, McEnroe has proved to be a champion tennis analyst, and his new book arrives as he’s calling Wimbledon for ESPN and the BBC.

Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures
6. Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures by Ben Mezrich (Atria, non-fiction, on sale July 4)

What it’s about: Real-life thriller goes inside the Harvard lab of geneticist George Church as he and his team attempt to “resurrect” the extinct Woolly Mammoth.

Why it’s hot: Mezrich has a flare for the cinematic: His book The Accidental Billionaires became the acclaimed movie The Social Network, and Fox has snapped up film rights for Woolly.

The Late Show
7. The Late Show by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown, fiction, on sale July 18)

What it’s about: Young LAPD Detective Renée Ballard — a new Connelly character — is banished to the night shift after filing a harassment complaint against a supervisor, but that doesn’t stop her from pursuing risky cases during the day.

Why it’s hot: Connelly’s Harry Bosch novels are the inspiration for the Amazon series Bosch, and his most recent Bosch novel, The Wrong Side of Goodbye, hit No. 1 on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list.

Sour Heart
8. Sour Heart: Stories by Jenny Zhang (Lenny, fiction, on sale Aug. 1)

What it’s about: This debut collection of short stories about young women in New York City has a definite Brooklyn hipster vibe.

Why it’s hot: Sour Heart is the first book from Random House’s new Lenny imprint, run by Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner of Girls fame.

Mrs. Fletcher
9. Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta (Scribner, fiction, on sale Aug. 1)

What it’s about: A placid divorcee becomes obsessed with an X-rated website, while her jock son struggles with the gender wars waging at his college.

Why it’s hot: Perrotta’s often-satirical suburban tales include Election, Little Children and The Leftovers, the basis for the HBO series.

Y is for Yesterday
10. Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton (Marian Wood Books/Putnam, fiction, on sale Aug. 22)

What it’s about: P.I. Kinsey Millhone is drawn into a disturbing case involving murder and a sexual assault at an elite private school.

Why it’s hot: Grafton fans are counting down the days, and the alphabet, as her beloved series nears “Z.”

message 42: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3867 comments I liked Magpie Murders very much and practically sped read through it, so can endorse that one from the "hot" list. The new character in Michael Connelly series sounds good, too.

message 43: by Jon (new)

Jon | 406 comments About 3/4 through The Underground Railroad. It's good, though Whitehead makes a few interesting choices in telling the story. For example, the Underground Railroad is literally just that: an underground, hidden railway line with tracks and trains that ferries runaway slaves throughout the south.

message 44: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 13230 comments I will be reading
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
for my library group that meets on August 10.

If anyone has an interest in doing a Buddy read or Group read for
Book Nook Cafe with this book for August let me know.
Amazon synopsis

Never more relevant than now, this national bestseller will challenge all who believe that “it can't happen here.”

“A terrific political novel . . . Sinister, vivid, dreamlike . . . creepily plausible. . . You turn the pages, astonished and frightened.” — The New York Times Book Review

In an extraordinary feat of narrative invention, Philip Roth imagines an alternate history where Franklin D. Roosevelt loses the 1940 presidential election to heroic aviator and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh. Shortly thereafter, Lindbergh negotiates a cordial “understanding” with Adolf Hitler, while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism.

For one boy growing up in Newark, Lindbergh’s election is the first in a series of ruptures that threaten to destroy his small, safe corner of America–and with it, his mother, his father, and his older brother.
---------------- Review

"What if" scenarios are often suspect. They are sometimes thinly veiled tales of the gospel according to the author, taking on the claustrophobic air of a personal fantasia that can't be shared. Such is not the case with Philip Roth's tour de force, The Plot Against America. It is a credible, fully-realized picture of what could happen anywhere, at any time, if the right people and circumstances come together.

The Plot Against America explores a wholly imagined thesis and sees it through to the end: Charles A. Lindbergh defeats FDR for the Presidency in 1940. Lindbergh, the "Lone Eagle," captured the country's imagination by his solo Atlantic crossing in 1927 in the monoplane, Spirit of St. Louis, then had the country's sympathy upon the kidnapping and murder of his young son. He was a true American hero: brave, modest, handsome, a patriot. According to some reliable sources, he was also a rabid isolationist, Nazi sympathizer, and a crypto-fascist. It is these latter attributes of Lindbergh that inform the novel.

The story is framed in Roth's own family history: the family flat in Weequahic, the neighbors, his parents, Bess and Herman, his brother, Sandy and seven-year-old Philip. Jewishness is always the scrim through which Roth examines American contemporary culture. His detractors say that he sees persecution everywhere, that he is vigilant in "Keeping faith with the certainty of Jewish travail"; his less severe critics might cavil about his portrayal of Jewish mothers and his sexual obsession, but generally give him good marks, and his fans read every word he writes and heap honors upon him. This novel will engage and satisfy every camp.

"Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear. Of course, no childhood is without its terrors, yet I wonder if I would have been a less frightened boy if Lindbergh hadn't been president or if I hadn't been the offspring of Jews." This is the opening paragraph of the book, which sets the stage and tone for all that follows. Fear is palpable throughout; fear of things both real and imagined. A central event of the novel is the relocation effort made through the Office of American Absorption, a government program whereby Jews would be placed, family by family, across the nation, thereby breaking up their neighborhoods--ghettos--and removing them from each other and from any kind of ethnic solidarity. The impact this edict has on Philip and all around him is horrific and life-changing. Throughout the novel, Roth interweaves historical names such as Walter Winchell, who tries to run against Lindbergh. The twist at the end is more than surprising--it is positively ingenious.

Roth has written a magnificent novel, arguably his best work in a long time. It is tempting to equate his scenario with current events, but resist, resist. Of course it is a cautionary tale, but, beyond that, it is a contribution to American letters by a man working at the top of his powers. --Valerie Ryan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

During his long career, Roth has shown himself a master at creating fictional doppelgängers. In this stunning novel, he creates a mesmerizing alternate world as well, in which Charles A. Lindbergh defeats FDR in the 1940 presidential election, and Philip, his parents and his brother weather the storm in Newark, N.J. Incorporating Lindbergh's actual radio address in which he accused the British and the Jews of trying to force America into a foreign war, Roth builds an eerily logical narrative that shows how isolationists in and out of government, emboldened by Lindbergh's blatant anti-Semitism (he invites von Ribbentrop to the White House, etc.), enact new laws and create an atmosphere of religious hatred that culminates in nationwide pogroms.Historical figures such as Walter Winchell, Fiorello La Guardia and Henry Ford inhabit this chillingly plausible fiction, which is as suspenseful as the best thrillers and illustrates how easily people can be persuaded by self-interest to abandon morality. The novel is, in addition, a moving family drama, in which Philip's fiercely ethical father, Herman, finds himself unable to protect his loved ones, and a family schism develops between those who understand the eventual outcome of Lindbergh's policies and those who are co-opted into abetting their own potential destruction. Many episodes are touching and hilarious: young Philip experiences the usual fears and misapprehensions of a pre-adolescent; locks himself into a neighbor's bathroom; gets into dangerous mischief with a friend; watches his cousin masturbating with no comprehension of the act. In the balance of personal, domestic and national events, the novel is one of Roth's most deft creations, and if the lollapalooza of an ending is bizarre with its revisionist theory about the motives behind Lindbergh's anti-Semitism, it's the subtext about what can happen when government limits religious liberties in the name of the national interest that gives the novel moral authority. Roth's writing has never been so direct and accessible while retaining its stylistic precision and acute insights into human foibles and follies.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–When Charles Lindbergh, Republican candidate in the 1940 presidential race, defeats popular FDR in a landslide, pollsters scramble for explanations–among them that, to a country weary of crisis and fearful of becoming involved in another European war, the aviator represents "normalcy raised to heroic proportions." For the Roth family, however, the situation is anything but normal, and heroism has a different meaning. As the anti-Semitic new president cozies up to the Third Reich, right-wing activists throughout the nation seize the moment. Most citizens, enamored of isolationism and lost in hero worship, see no evil–but in the Roths' once secure and stable Jewish neighborhood in New Jersey, the world is descending into a nightmare of confusion, fear, and unpredictability. The young narrator, Phil, views the developing crisis through the lens of his family life and his own boyish concerns. His father, clinging tenaciously to his trust in America, loses his confidence painfully and incrementally. His mother tries to shield the children from her own growing fear. An aunt, brother, and cousin respond in different ways, and the family is divided. But though the situation is grim, this is not a despairing tale; suspenseful, poignant, and often humorous, it engages readers in many ways. It prompts them to consider the nature of history, present times, and possible futures, and can lead to good discussions among thoughtful readers and teachers.


“A terrific political novel. . . . Sinister, vivid, dreamlike . . . creepily plausible. . . . You turn the pages, astonished and frightened.” — The New York Times Book Review

“Huge, inflammatory, painfully moving. . . . Far and away the most outward-looking, expansive . . . book Roth has written.” –The Washington Post Book World

“Roth’s most powerfrul book to date. Confounding and illuminating, enraging and discomfiting, imaginative and utterly–terrifyingly–believable.” -- San Francisco Chronicle

“Once again, Philip Roth has published a novel that you must read–now . . . . A stunning work.” –The Christian Science Monitor

“It’s not a prophecy; it’s a nightmare, and it becomes more nightmarish–and also funnier and more bizarre–as is goes along. . . . [A] sinuous and brilliant book, with its extreme sweetness, its black pain, and its low, ceaseless cackle.” –The New Yorker

“Ambitious and chilling. . . a breath-taking leap of imagination. . . . The writing is brilliant.” –USA Today

“Intimately observed characters in situations fraught with society’s deepest, most bitter ten

message 45: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (Cinnabarb) | 1077 comments I finished The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld The Dark Net Inside the Digital Underworld by Jamie Bartlett by Jamie Bartlett

This non-fiction book provides an overview of non-mainstream internet sites, including thing like: online supermarkets for drugs; child porn; white supremacists; cam-models (people who 'perform' online); etc. Interesting, but not as 'secret' as I expected. 3 stars.

My complete review:

message 46: by Jon (new)

Jon | 406 comments Starting Kipling's Kim

message 47: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 365 comments Not such a fan of this one, but others may enjoy it.
Fever Dogs: Stories by Kim O'Neil
Fever Dogs Stories by Kim O'Neil
My review

message 48: by Jon (new)

Jon | 406 comments NPR just gave this one a great review Meddling Kids. The blurb makes it sound pretty fun:

"For fans of John Dies at the End and Welcome to Night Vale comes a tour de force of horror, humor, and H.P. Lovecraft. The surviving members of a forgotten teenage detective club (and their dog) must reunite as broken adults to finally solve the terrifying case that ruined them all and sent the wrong man to prison. Scooby Doo and the gang never had to do this!"

message 50: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 365 comments South Australia became home to popular Scottish-born rocker Jimmy Barnes whose autobiography is in two parts. The first is Working Class Boy
Working Class Boy by Jimmy Barnes
Scottish slums to SA migrant hostels was frying pan to fire!
My review

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