Monday, June 4, 2018

THE LEMONADE YEAR




THE LEMONADE YEAR
by Amy Willoughby-Burle


The main character, Nina, is having a bad year.  She and her husband have split up, her teen daughter is barely speaking to her, the place where she works seems to be going under and then her dad dies.  Her dad is her sunshine and her compass.  Without him she is utterly lost. However, Nina does find out life hands you second chances.  The author does a wonderful job of sharing Nina's feelings and inner turmoil. I could totally relate to her.  I really enjoyed this book.  It is sad, funny, bittersweet, and hopeful.   
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Friday, May 4, 2018

THE NEUROSCIENTIST WHO LOST HER MIND




THE NEUROSCIENTIST WHO LOST HER MIND
MY TALE OF MADNESS AND RECOVERY
By Barbara K. Lipska with Elaine McArdle


Barbara Lipska worked as a leading expert on the neuroscience of mental illness.  In 2015 she was diagnosed with melanoma that ended up spreading to her brain.  Her frontal lobe began shutting down at which time she began to exhibit dementia and schizophrenia symptoms. As this occurred she lost the essence of herself and became an angry, confused individual.  Eventually with radiation therapy, immunotherapy and steroids to prevent brain swelling she regained her mind, although she lost the vision in one eye.  What is interesting about this, is she was able to remember her descent into "madness."  In this engrossing book, she describes her actions and how she felt at the time.  She has tried to talk to her family about what they remember from those several months, but since it was so traumatic for them, they didn't want to talk about it.  Not only is her story of recovery fascinating but so are the many facts about brains and mental health issues discussed in the book.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

THE SECRETS YOU KEEP


THE SECRETS YOU KEEP
by Kate White


I listened to this as an audio book borrowed from Hoopla.  I loved this book.  Kate White is an excellent author and I really enjoyed her writing style and use of language.  This is a murder mystery that takes place in a small town in New York. After the wife has a bad car accident she moves to the small town for the summer to live with her husband full time and recuperate. It is also the story of a woman trying piece together what caused the car accident, which is blocked from her memory but cause terrible nightmares. The couple have had a long distance marriage with the wife working in New York City and the husband working in the small town. Suddenly their small town is rocked by three murders!  The two threads of the story weave together in a twisting, turning story!
Reviewed by Mimi at Genoa Branch Library

Monday, April 30, 2018

GOAT CASTLE


GOAT CASTLE, A TRUE STORY OF MURDER, RACE, AND THE GOTHIC SOUTH
by Karen L. Cox
 
The author, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, delved back into a crime committed in 1932.  She found it a specifically interesting topic because the case offers a historical lesson on how the South's culture has changed since that time.  It also involves a derelict antebellum mansion so fallen into disrepair, it is hard to believe two people actually lived in the filth accumulated in the home from the goats and other livestock living in the home alongside the human residents.  The people living in this squalor were Octavia Dockery and Dick Dana.They constantly feuded with their neighbor Jennie Merrill.  Jennie would become incensed at her neighbors for the damage their goats did to her property.  One night, Jennie was murdered.  The city of Natchez, Mississippi was suddenly on high alert.  The townspeople wanted justice quickly.  In the Jim Crow South, justice for murder of white woman usually meant the conviction of a black person.  Even though many signs pointed to their guilt.  In fact, the twosome profited from their notoriety by charging a fee for people to tour "goat castle."   A young black woman named Emily Burns, who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.  Eight years after her sentencing, the governor of Mississippi released her.  
This book was quite interesting and enlightening.  It was sad how are black brothers and sisters were not accorded to same rights and privileges as white citizens.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

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