Wednesday, February 10, 2016

NO BAGGAGE


NO BAGGAGE, A MINIMALIST TALE OF LOVE & WANDERING
by Clara Bensen


I adored this book!  What a treasure!  Clara meets Jeff through OKCupid and on their first date they meet in front of the Texas State Capital Building in Austin, TX (which I have seen and it is truly a beautiful piece of architecture.)  They hit it off and three weeks later he asks her to join him on a grand adventure - traveling from Istanbul to London for three weeks sans luggage.  Clara surprises herself by agreeing to join him.  She chose a green dress and sandals and he chose lobster red pants and a striped shirt.  For twenty-one days they traveled with not much more than that with no concrete plans and no reservations.  They used the website "couchsurfing" and stayed in people's homes for free or in a hostel.  Their experience seems truly magical.  They were in eight different countries but experience these countries not as tourists but as locals.  They met many amazing and friendly people and everything just seemed to fall in place for them.  After reading this book, I just want to go to my closet, pick a pretty frock, grab my cell phone, a toothbrush and hit the road to anywhere with no plans and no agenda!  I want to be king of the road too!
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Monday, February 8, 2016

THE AFFAIR





THE AFFAIR
by Alafair Burke


I had a little trouble getting into this book at first but after a couple of chapters I was totally pulled in.  An attorney gets a call from her former fiance, Jack, who has been arrested in a triple homicide.  Because, she feels she knows him, and also still feels guilty for cheating on him when they were engaged, she takes on his case.  As more information comes her way, she starts to doubt her gut feeling that Jack has to be innocent.  The plot twists and turns sending the reader this way and that!  What a ride!  If you like suspenseful mysteries, you will gobble this book up!
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Friday, January 29, 2016

"A Week at the Lake"
by Wendy Wax


Emma, Mackenzie, and Serena met in New York City as young women, when Emma & Serena were actresses, and Mackenzie was a costume designer.  The trio vowed to return to Emma's family's home on Lake George for a week every summer, to reconnect and relax.  Five years have passed since their last trip together to the lake, and Emma now has a 15 year old daughter.  Emma has been keeping a secret from her two friends, and decides this summer she will share her secret.  Of course, things do not go as planned.  The attentive reader will figure out the secret long before the author begins dropping obvious clues.  Will the three women, now in their early 40's, be able to forgive and return for another week at the lake?  This is a  pleasant read. The characters are portrayed as genuine people, with all their strengths and their faults.  Those who enjoy reading about female friendships will enjoy this book.  It is available for check-out at the library.  Reviewed by Amy @ Harris-Elmore P.L.

CIRCLING THE SUN


CIRCLING THE SUN
by Paula McLain
 
The life of Beryl Markham is chronicled in this historical fiction novel.  In the 1920's four year old Beryl was taken to live in Kenya along with her parents.  Life was hard though, and after several years, Beryl's mom returned to England with Beryl's brother, leaving her alone with her father.  Beryl grew up in a wild and unconventional manner.  She spent only two years in school and spent much of her childhood hunting with the native people of Africa.  Her best friend was Kibii, from the Kisigis tribe.  Beryl was welcomed into the tribe and treated as one of their own which helped the loneliness of losing her mother and brother. A mother she wouldn't see again until she was in her twenties.  Kibii would remain her life long friend.  When Beryl was 17, her father went to live in Peru and Beryl was married off to an older neighbor.  This marriage proved unhappy and ended in divorce.  Beryl went on to marry two more times.  The only man, other than her father and her son, that she truly loved was Denys Finch Hatton but he remained elusive.  During her long life, Beryl remained adventuresome and unconventional, with gossip and speculation frequently following her.  She trained horses and learned to fly an airplane, making a twenty-one hour record-breaking flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
This book was a fascinating look into the life of a courageous and head strong woman.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Saturday, January 23, 2016

RIVER ROAD






RIVER ROAD
by Carol Goodman


Nan Lewis is a creative writing professor at the local college.  One night, after having a couple of glasses of wine at a party, she hits a deer during a snowstorm on her way home.  The next morning she wakes up to find out a young, talented student has been hit and killed at the same spot where she hit the deer and Nan is a suspect.  This  suspenseful novel takes many twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your chair!  It also has a great ending.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Thursday, January 21, 2016

WHAT SHE KNEW, A NOVEL



WHAT SHE KNEW
by Gilly MacMillan


This  beautifully written book was one of those suspenseful reads that are hard to put down.  A recently divorced mother and her eight year old son are taking the dog for a walk in the woods when he asks his mother if he can run ahead to the swing.  She ponders his question, then agrees.  When she gets to the swing he is nowhere to be found.  She searches frantically to no avail.  The police are called and the case hits the airwaves and the internet. Anyone close to the family becomes a suspect but the mother, in particular, is cruelly criticized in a weblog.   The author did a great job with her research and the reactions of the characters seem very true to life. MacMillan is also adept at  making the reader suspect different individuals as she weaves the story.  I totally enjoyed this taut novel!
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"West with the Night"

by Beryl Markham


Beryl Markham was the first woman to fly non-stop from Great Britain to North America.  This event occurs near the end of her memoir, published in 1936,  and that event is almost anti-climactic.  Beryl grew up in colonial Kenya, was living on her own at age 18 and training racehorses for a living.  She meets aviator Tom Black, falls in love with flying and earns her wings.  Beryl tells of running her flying business, carrying mail and supplies, and acting as a spotter for safaris. Her love for the country, animals,  and people is apparent as she describes an elephant hunt, training horses, and flying over the vast African landscapes.  But there is much that she leaves out of her memoir, including her three marriages, (her first marriage at age 16), several lovers, her son,  and what happens after her historic flight.  She led a remarkable life, and this fascinating, beautifully written memoir tells us just a little.  Reviewed by Amy @ Harris-Elmore Public Library.