Readers’ Blog

Winter Blog 2019 (includes front cover pictures)

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This month’s blog has 13 entries from enthusiastic readers.  Try some of these selections.  Take a moment to sit back and enjoy a world away.


Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis   (Biography). This is a fascinating true story about a young American woman starting a written correspondence with C.S. Lewis. Their initial topics centered around religious questions, but soon roamed into many thoughts about how to live an honest life and how to deal with life’s quandaries. She travels to England to do research on a book she is writing, but also to meet and talk directly with Mr. Lewis. Friendship and love evolve on many levels. Many cultural and ethical issues are touched on in this book, and I highly recommend.

Recommended by Judy Danielson

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Biography). An unforgettable true story told by a young woman who grew up in a survivalist’s home on a mountain in Idaho. Her ignorant father considered himself the head of their “church.” Her odyssey is sometimes tough to read but impossible to put down. When her brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara’s curiosity was piqued. How she got to BYU–setting foot in a classroom for the first time at 17– is astonishing.

Recommended by Janet Adelberg


The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish  (Fiction). Kadish weaves together the stories of two compelling British women living centuries apart. Ester Velasquez lived in London’s Jewish community of the 1600s, while Helen, a 21st century historian, is researching the period by studying a newly-uncovered collection of unique and mysterious documents. Ester was taken in by a learned but blind rabbi, who employed her as a scribe only because a man was not available. For a woman of the 1600s to be literate in several languages, and a deep thinker as well, was unheard of. The great plague of 1665 affected Ester’s life in many ways, as did the dangers inherent in being a Jew, but it is her correspondence with philosophers of the day (using a male pseudonym) that drove her to deceive the rabbi, whom she respected deeply. The mysteries surrounding Ester’s life are what compel Helen to wrestle with her own demons (and some irritating academics). I put aside household chores to keep reading this one!

Recommended by Jane Davis

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Contemporary Fiction) This jewel of a book examines notions of family, friendship, loyalty, and duty among other lofty considerations.  Is it a mystery-who are these strangers in town upsetting the perfect prescribed existence, or is an unusual coming of age story? Yes. Yes.  Any story that keeps me guessing right up to the last chapter is worth spending some time with.

Recommended by MJ Cowing

The New Iberia Blues by James Lee Burke (Thriller).Very graphic violence in a deep South murder mystery.  Good read if the violence doesn’t bother you.

Recommended by Steve Dodge

The Wife Between Us by Greer Henricks and Sarah Pekkanen (Fiction). I just finished reading, THE WIFE BETWEEN US, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.  I bought it at the First Saturday Sale February 2nd.  It was definitely a good winter read, a page turner about marriage and betrayal with a gripping plot and fascinating characters, with an ending that was definitely a complete surprise.  To quote Stef Schmidt, of the Water Street Bookstore, “Easily the best book of the ‘girl’ genre that I’ve read since GIRL GONE.”  The copy I bought at the Library Sale was withdrawn from the Beebe Library in Wakefield, MA., but I’m happy to share it if the Cary Library doesn’t own it.

Recommended by Jill Howes

 The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey (Fiction) Set in Scotland in the 1960’s, Gemma was born and orphaned in Iceland, then sent to live with a kind uncle and less-than-kind step aunt.   When her uncle dies, the aunt ships her off to boarding school as a working scholarship student where she is both student and servant and is miserable.   Eventually becomes an independent young woman and takes a position as an au pair in the beautiful and remote Orkney Islands.   Characters enter and leave her life as the book moves on.  The book is a modern variation of the classic Jane Eyre and although most reviews on the computer were positive, one Bronte reviewer found it “tepid” in comparison.   I enjoyed it and accepted it as written without trying to make comparisons.

Recommended by Connie Locashio

How it Happened by Michael Koryta (Thriller) Like the shifting tide this Maine coast thriller has undercurrents that tow you away then smash your expectations.

Recommended by Steve Dodge

The Aviator’s Wife  by Melanie Benjamin   (Historical Fiction) The story is told from Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s point of view about her life as the wife of world-famous Charles Lindbergh.   Anne was a shy girl who was usually out-shown by her older sister and flamboyant parents, her father an ambassador.  Anne meets Colonel Lindbergh at her parents’ home when she is a senior in college shortly after his famous solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927 when she is a senior in college.    They are later married in a headline making wedding and are constantly hounded by adoring fans of Charles. Before they have children, they spend much time together in flying adventures with Anne becoming the first female licensed glider pilot. Once children arrive and especially with the horror of the famous kidnapping of the “Lindbergh baby”, life is not as kind. Charles is away a great deal and he seems to be torn between requiring public adoration and the need for privacy. As the book unfolds, we see he is not the man the public (nor his wife) want him to be.  As one friend said, “he was a bit of a louse”!         One on-line reviewer says “the story is a vividly imagined novel of a complicated marriage”. I found it an interesting read as I knew little of Anne Lindbergh and only superficially about Charles.

Recommended by Connie Locashio

Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci (Thriller)The Grand Canyon, a missing tourist, a mule found stabbed to death with the letters J.K. carved into its hide, FBI agent Atlee Pine to investigate PLUS a Russian nuclear bomb.  Climb aboard for this ride.

Recommended by Steve Dodge

An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten (Mystery Fiction/Humor)This Swedish author is hilarious here, featuring an irascible 88-year-old criminal, known only as Maud, who 1) pretends to be doddering and confused and 2) really does steal canes and walkers to do her dastardly deeds. There are 6 short stories in this book and one is stranger than the next–but highly entertaining.  The library has just acquired the first in a crime series featuring DI Irene Huss.

Recommended by Janet Adelberg

Crossing Places to Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths (Mystery) The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries-Titles in the Set: The Crossing Places, The Janus Stone, The House at Seas End, A Room Full of Bones, A Dying Fall, The Outcast Dead, the Ghost Fields, The Women in blue, The Chalk Pit, The Dark Angel. I am always looking for another mystery or mystery series to read. I have found them through television shows such as Masterpiece Theater’s Lord Peter Wimsey and through Shetland. I have picked them up at bookstores because they were written about subjects that interest me; herbs, tea, wine. I have read them because they happened in places I like from Eastport, Maine to Iceland. But this fantastic series came through a Book Club member’s recommendation.  She recommended “The Crossing Places” by Elly Griffiths which we read and discussed at a monthly Book Group meeting. I really enjoyed that mystery set in the marshes near Norfolk, England.  Ruth Galloway is a forensic archaeologist who assists the police including the married Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson with whom she is romantically entangled.

The people are interesting and what Ruth Galloway can learn from bones is fascinating.  The mysteries are intriguing.  And there is some history thrown in. I  subsequently read 9 more including the Dark Angel that I just finished recently. The Stone Circle is due in May. This series is among the books you have to remind yourself to close the book, turn off the light and pick it up again tomorrow night.

The Cary Memorial Library has all but The Dark Angel which Janet is ordering. And she will get the new one when released.

Recommended by Cynthia Pelliccia

Tailspin by Sandra Brown  (Thriller)An emergency delivery flight–or an orphan drug– through impossible weather becomes more treacherous with sabotage and attempted murder.  Another thriller from a master.

Recommended bySteve Dodge