Readers’ Blog

February/March 2018 Blog  (includes front cover pictures)

 
We want to hear from you. Please send a blurb about something you’ve read and want to share with CML.  Postings will be published monthly except over the summer. Next posting will be in April 2018. Send your recommendations to
jadelbergCML@gmail.com
This month’s blog has 11 entries from enthusiastic readers.  Try some of these selections.  Are you over the snow? Picture perfect can only go so far.  Take a break and enjoy the printed page.

Non-Fiction

Dinner with the Smileys: One Military Family, One Year of Heroes and Lessons for a Lifetime by Sarah Smiley (Maine Non-Fiction)

Maine syndicated columnist Sarah Smiley writes about her “project” during her husband’s 13 month deployment overseas. Dreading the prospect of that empty place at the dinner table, she decides to invite a special guest to dinner each week to share a family meal with her three young sons. Coaches, Senators, teachers, neighbors, artists, musicians, and more came for dinner over the course of a year. Heartwarming and up-lifting to read about great parenting and Sarah’s creative approach to a challenging situation.

Reviewed by Janet Adelberg

 Fiction

Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier (Historical Fiction) 

One of my all-time favorite books is Tracy Chevalier’s GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING…historical fiction about the Dutch painter Vermeer.  A wonderful read!  So, when I saw BURNING BRIGHT on the library window sill and that Tracy Chevalier had written it, I thought I’d give it a try.

Although I won’t move this book into the number one slot, ahead of GIRL…, I did enjoy it.

This story takes place in London in the later 1700s, which I found fascinating in itself.  Add in the grieving family who has moved to London from the country, the circus (!) and William Blake, and you have some page turning reading.  I recently saw the movie, “The Greatest Showman”, so the accounts of London’s  Astley circus. Although a century apart from PT Barnum…were of interest.

Thumbs up from this historical fiction enthusiast!

Reviewed by Bev Petell

Artemis by  Andy  Weir (Science Fiction/Mystery)

Intrigue.  Malfeasance.  Smuggling and Sabotage!

Mix these together, add a pinch of tongue and cheek, and place in the moon’s first colony.  Stud with an outstanding cast of characters, and you have an interesting thriller.

Join Jasmine(Jazz) Bashara in this romp around the colony of Artemis, you won’t regret it.

Reviewed by Bill Chellis

Deadly Trespass by Sandra Neily (Maine Mystery)

If you are a person that watches, listens to and smells nature in Maine, you will grasp this book intently.  If you know Canada Falls, Moosehead Lake, and the Baxter State Park area, you will identify with it and all that has happened in the recent past.  You will wish for a trip to the Maine North woods. The mystery here is how you could even put it down before the final page.

Reviewed by Steve Dodge

Still Me by JoJo Moyes (Fiction)

If you are a fan of JoJo Moyes, please read her latest book STILL ME.  According to the author, this is the last book in the trilogy about Louisa Clark, but who knows; maybe she will surprise us with another.   In this adventure, Louisa lives in N.Y.C. working as an assistant to the second wife of a wealthy entrepreneur Leonard Gopnik.  I dare not say much about the story because I don’t want to spoil it, but the twists and turns, heart break and comedy keep it moving swiftly across the 12 months of her expected time in N.Y.C.   And…don’t forget those bumblebee tights.   They will weave in and out of the story line along with letters from Will that he sent to his mom when he lived in the “city”….Thumbs up for a good read which you will not want to end.

Reviewed by Jill Howes

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes  (Historical Fiction)  

A fun fast read for fans of Downton Abbey.    This is a story of British culture, society and manners in 1841 London – full of great characters with upstairs/ downstairs intrigue and various plot twists.   Hard to put down.
Reviewed by Judy Danielson

Eva Moves the Furniture by Margot Livesey  (Fiction)

This novel is set in Scotland with the birth of Eva in 1920 and the simultaneous death of her mother of influenza.   Eva is raised in a small Scottish town by her father and overprotective, doting aunt.  She is accompanied throughout her life by a pair of invisible companions who shape her destiny in ways both helpful and harmful.   Eva ultimately becomes a nurse in WWII and later marries, but the “companions” never totally leave her. It is an unlikely ghost story and a gem for those who don’t even like ghost stories.

Reviewed by Connie Locashio Winthrop

Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini   (Historical Fiction)

An historical novel describing the life of Ada Lovelace – daughter of Lord Bryon and Anne Isabella Milbanke.    While much dialogue is fiction, the culture of the era and many accurate historical details are included.  Ada was highly educated, especially in math and science, as her mother was afraid of her “bad poetical Byron blood”, and she went on to eventually (decades after her death) earn the title of the first “computer programmer”.  Although overly wordy at times, this is extremely interesting and fun read.

Reviewed by Judy Danielson

The Birdwatcher ​by William Shaw (Mystery)

Yet another slightly depressed loner police officer – a loner with a horrible childhood memory. Someone we would probably try to avoid in real life – but we love them and find them so attractive in the mystery novel. The setting: the damp flat English coast dominated by a nuclear power plant. All perfect perfect perfect. And, by the way, well written with a great plot.

Reviewed by Jane Andrews

Celine: A Novel by Peter Heller (Mystery)

Celine is my idea of a perfect book.

Celine is a mystery but so much more. Elegant storytelling from this critically acclaimed author of The Dog Stars. One interesting note is that the protagonist is a boomer–a 70-odd year old pistol. Celine starts out in Brooklyn and ends up at Glacier National Park in search of an allegedly dead guy who vanished 20 years before. Compulsively readable, terrific plotting, and compelling characters. We can only hope there will be more to follow.

Reviewed by Janet Adelberg

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Contemporary Fiction)     

A well-crafted plot and absorbing tale set in Ohio in the 90’s by a young talented author. Hard to put down and a provocative look at a variety of issues dealing with class, race and status.
Reviewed by Judy Danielson