Monday, April 23, 2018

DEAD PEOPLE SUCK

 
DEAD PEOPLE SUCK, A GUIDE FOR SURVIVORS OF THE NEWLY DEPARTED
by Laurie Kilmartin 
 
 
Laurie Kilmartin lost her 82-year-old father in 2014.  Even though he had end-stage lung cancer, she couldn't imagine he would really die.  She still needed him.  I could totally relate.  My 87-year-old father died 2 months ago and I still needed him.  In this book, Kilmartin asks questions I have thought of as my dad lay dying and after his death.  She asks some serious questions but injects them with humor so that I found myself chuckling as I read.  I could totally relate to some of the death humor.  If you have recently lost a loved one, this may be the book for you; or maybe not.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book however.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library 

THE INNER LIFE OF ANIMALS

THE INNER LIFE OF ANIMALS
by Peter Wohlleben
 
 
Peter Wohlleben manages a municipally owned forest in Germany so has spent many hours observing the flora and fauna of the area.  In this book he enforces what I have always thought that animals have feelings and personalities.  He doesn't just base this theory on his observations alone.  He also backs it up with scientific studies.  He gives many examples of animals that feel shame, grief, joy, etc.  This book is very thought provoking and makes you think about animals in a whole new light.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Friday, April 6, 2018

I'LL BE GONE IN THE DARK






I'LL BE GONE IN THE DARK: 
ONE WOMAN'S OBSESSIVE SEARCH FOR THE GOLDEN STATE KILLER
by:  Michelle McNamara


Michelle McNamara is a fantastic writer.What could have been a very dry book is so well written it is hard to put down.  She has always been obsessed with trying to solve crimes and the crime that really piqued her interest was a series of sexual assaults and murders that took place over a time span of more than 10 years in California.  In 1986 the crimes stopped and police and detectives never cracked the case.  McNamara, who created the popular website True Crime Diary, was convinced she could solve the case.  She dubbed the killer as "the Golden State Killer."  Working with detectives and policeman who oringinally investigated the case, McNamara sifted through a huge volume of evidence and notes. Unfortunately, McNamara died suddenly in 2016 without solving the case or finishing her book.  The book was completed by her lead researcher a a close colleague.  Hopefully, this book will finally lead to the apprehension of this serial rapist/killer.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Monday, April 2, 2018

SOMETIMES I LIE





SOMETIMES I LIE
by Alice Feeney

Generally I love psychological thrillers, especially if they have a twist.  However, that being said, this book is so convoluted it was actually hard to follow.  It is written in first person in present time and also in diary entries from 1992.  It is just all very confusing and hard to follow.  The ending was a real let down.  
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library
 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

THE BRIDESMAID'S DAUGHTER





THE BRIDESMAID'S DAUGHTER
by Nyna Giles and Eve Claxton


Nyna Giles' was in line at the grocery store when she glanced at a tabloid and saw a photo identifying her mother, Carolyn, as a former Princess Grace bridesmaid but now living as a homeless person.  Nyna was in shock!  She vaguely knew her mother had lived in NYC when she was young and had become friends with Grace Kelly while they were both residents at the famous Barbizon Hotel.  To Nyna, Carolyn was just her mother.  She had never met Grace Kelly herself, although Kelly was her older sister's godmother.  Once Nyna saw the headline, she decided to do an in depth exploration of her mother's life.  Her mother had left Steubenville, OH after graduating from high school to pursue a modeling career in NYC.  Carolyn had worked hard and did establish a burgeoning modeling career.  When she was twenty years old she ended up meeting an older man and marrying him. Nyna had a difficult time aligning that information with the mother she had known growing up.  This is an eye opening but slightly depressing book about how untreated mental illness can end up ruining lives.  The author is the third daughter of her mother and has become an advocate for the mentally ill.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

EMPIRE OF THE SUMMER MOON


EMPIRE OF THE SUMMER MOON
by S.C. Gwynne


This book, which was published in 2010, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.  This is an important book which tells the story of the demise of the Plains Indians.  The Comanches are the main focus of the book, particularly Quanah Parker.  Parker was the last and greatest chief of the Comanche tribe.  His father was a Comanche and his mother was Cynthia Ann Parker.  Cynthia Ann had been kidnapped by the Comanches at the age of nine.  She married a Comanche and had three children, one of which was Quanah.  In her 30's, she was returned to her family but tried many times to escape back to her Comanche family.  Quanah was 12 and his brother was 10 when their mother was returned to her family.  They never saw her or their baby sister again.  
The Comanche war lasted forty years.  Because of the brutality and skillfulness of the Comanches in battle, settlers were fearful to settle in the American western frontier which slowed development in that part of the country.  Eventually, the end did come for the Plains Indians with the killing of the buffalo herds by the white settlers.  Once their food source was gone, the Indians were defeated and moved onto reservations.  Amazingly, Quanah was a success even on the reservation.  He acquired a large herd of cattle and built a large luxurious home.  He was unhappy with Indian schools and donated land and had tribesmen pay taxes to get a new school built.  In 1908 he became head of the school board for the district he had started.  He was also a leading religious figure in establishing the peyote religion among the Plains Indians.  He was always generous and would feed anyone in his tribe who was hungry.   

The author is quite skilled at making history come alive and bringing a greater understanding to the reader about the turn of events during this period.
Reviewed by Mimi @ The Genoa Branch Library

Monday, March 19, 2018

ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL

  
ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL
by Sarah Vaughan


Sarah Vaughan is an English author and the setting of this book is England.   Sophie Whitehouse, the main character, attended Oxford University, met her husband there and now is a married mother of two.  Her husband works as a junior Home Office minister and is a confidant of the prime minister's.  She is living the perfect life....until she isn't.  Her husband is accused of rape after a five month affair with his parliamentary researcher.  The papers and nightly news begin splashing the lurid details out into the public.  Sophia is  blindsided by her husband's infidelity and mortified by the public's curiosity into her private life.  Sophia believes her husband's story that he did not rape the woman despite a secret that she knows about his past.  Gradually though, Sophia's faith in her husband starts to slip.  What is true and what isn't?  This is a story of power, secrets, and retaliation.  I greatly enjoyed this book.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library