Thursday, February 16, 2017

LILLIAN BOXFISH TAKES A WALK


LILLIAN BOXFISH TAKES A WALK
by:  Kathleen Rooney


This novel is loosely based on the life of Margaret Fishback who was the highest paid female advertising copywriter in the world during the 1930's.  She worked for R.H. Macy's company in New York City.  She also wrote poetry and had several books of poetry published.  The author of the is book, Kathleen Rooney, also chose to write this book as a love letter to New York City.  The novel takes place on New Year's Eve 1984.  Lillian is 85 years old and spends the cold New Year's Eve walking about New York City reminiscing about an earlier New York City and having some various encounters and adventures. If you enjoy historical fiction and New York City, you will enjoy this book.  I know I did!
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Monday, February 13, 2017

THE LITTLE BOOK OF HYGGE

THE LITTLE BOOK OF HYGGE, DANISH SECRETS OF HAPPY LIVING
By Meik Wiking


All of a sudden Hygge seems to be the buzz word!  I'm hearing it everywhere and wanted to know more.  Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen.  Denmark has consistently been ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world.  Danes deal with a lot of darkness and cold but they embrace it! According to Wiking, Danes spend a lot of time discussing hygge.It is about atmosphere and being with the people one loves.  It is a feeling of home and feeling safe and secure.  Here are some of the components of hygge.  Lighting is a important factor.  Candles are a must and can be found in offices, board rooms, and classrooms.  However, electric lighting is also important and Danes are very particular about lamps and their placement.  Fireplaces are another important element of hygge.  Let's not forget to mention food when we talk about hygge.  Cake or pastries and a hot drink are a must.  Hot drinks can include hot chocolate, tea, mulled wine or coffee - with coffee being the favorite.  Not surprisingly, casual and comfortable clothing is a must for proper hygge, with scarves being a must for men and women!  I was happy to learn that books are also integral for hygge, especially classics.  Read this short readable book to find how to get you cozy on!
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

MOMMY, WHAT'S THAT NUMBER ON YOUR ARM? A-6374


MOMMY, WHAT'S THAT NUMBER ON YOUR ARM?  A-6374
by Gloria Hollander Lyon


Gloria was born in Czechoslovakia and her original name was Zora.  When she was eight years old her town came under Hungarian rule and she was then assigned the name Hajnal (Hanci for short.)  She kept that name until she finally made it to the United States and took the American name Gloria.  The path her life took before landing her in America is heartrendingly tragic.  When she was 14 years old her family, along with other Jewish families, was rounded up by the Nazis.  They were put into cattle cars and taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau where everyone was branded and their head shaved..  There she was able to remain with her mother and sister until one day when Dr. Mengele pulled her out of a medical check up line and ordered her onto a truck.  A Hungarian guard that had been kind to Gloria in the past was there as the truck was loaded with the naked women that Dr. Mengele had selected.  He told them they were headed to the gas chambers but if anyone wanted to jump off the truck he would turn a blind eye.  Gloria jumped from the moving truck.  No one else on the truck had the strength or energy to follow suit.  For twenty four hours, Gloria hid in a culvert in the the middle of winter.  When she finally ventured forth she found a women's barracks and crept in.  A kind woman from Gloria's hometown was in the barracks and gave her coat to Gloria.  It was never discovered that Gloria had snuck into the barracks. In all, Gloria spent time in seven different camps over a 13 month period.  Eventually she was freed by the allies and after several years finally made it to the United States.  Years later, she discovered that some of her immediate family were still alive but trapped behind the iron curtain.  Gloria is a courageous and caring woman who never lost her ability to extend kindness to others.  She has spent the latter part of her life talking to many different groups of people about the horrors of the Holocaust, lest anyone should forget.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Monday, January 30, 2017

TRULY MADLY GUILTY

TRULY MADLY GUILTY
by Liane Moriarty
 
 
This novel tells the story of two couples.  The wives have been friends since they were kids, but it has been a lopsided friendship.  One couple has two children, the other is trying to have children.  One weekend they attend a neighbor's barbecue and a terrible incident occurs.  Everyone who was present has a different reaction and the book explores how these reactions affect the individuals and their relationships.  I did enjoy this book but I felt it took to long for the author to explain what incident had occurred.  For the first part of the novel you don't know what it is that happened and I felt annoyed trying to figure it out.  Still, I enjoyed the book and compulsively read it all weekend.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

EVELYN, AFTER





EVELYN, AFTER
by Victoria Helen Stone

I really enjoyed this book.  It hooked me right away.  The novel is  written in chapters that toggle between "before" and "after" a particular event occurred in Evelyn's life.  A call from her husband, asking for her to come an pick him up after a vehicle mishap, wakes her out of a deep sleep.  From that one phone call, Evelyn's life begins spiraling out of control.  What I especially liked about this book was the ending.  I thought I had the book all figured out, but the ending was something totally different.  This is a great book for indulging in escapism!  
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


"Christmas Bells" 
by Jennifer Chiaverini

I read this historical fiction novel just before Christmas, and found myself turning again and again to the poem of the same name, written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem is included in the front matter of the book, and it seems as relevant today as it did when it was written in 1863 during the American Civil War.  The story of Longfellow and his family is told in chapters which alternate with chapters of a modern family. Longfellow's son, Charlie, has run off to serve in the military, since his father will not allow him to enlist.  Charlie is wounded and brought home for a long recovery.  The story of the modern-day family is told though the eyes of a number of characters, as the children's choir practices for the Christmas Eve mass. They will be singing the carol that has been written using Longfellow's words.The father of two of the choir members  is on deployment in Afghanistan, and has not been heard from in several weeks.  Chiaverini captures the fears and anxiety of both families, but the novel ends on a hopeful note, wishing for "peace on Earth, good will to men."  Reviewed by Amy @ Harris-Elmore Public Library
"Emma" by Alexander McCall Smith

This adaptation of the classic novel by Jane Austen is another title  in the "Austen Project," in which contemporary authors update Austen's  novels by setting them  in modern times.  McCall Smith is an incredibly prolific author, with several series, such as the Sunday Philosophy Club and the #1 Ladies Detective Agency to his name.  In "Emma," he has faithfully retold the story of Emma Woodhouse, home from university and ready to arrange the lives of her family and friends-whether they need help or not.  Emma is so busy trying to tinker with others lives that she is remarkably unaware of her own feelings.  All the characters are true to their originals-fussy Mr. Woodhouse, boring Miss Bates, dashing Frank Churchill and pliant Harriet Smith.  While Austen purists may quibble with the adaptation, it is a gently humorous read, true to the spirit of the original, and may encourage readers to pick up Austen's novel.  I hope to soon read  "Available," the adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice" by Curtis Sittenfeld.  Reviewed by Amy @ Harris-Elmore Public Library.