Readers’ Blog

Summer Blog 2019 (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 Fall 2019. Send your recommendations to
jadelbergCML@gmail.com
This month’s blog has 15 entries from enthusiastic readers.  Try some of these selections.  Take a moment to sit back and enjoy a world away.

Non-Fiction

Destiny and Power by Jon Meacham  (Biography)The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush is an intimate story of an American hero who may well go down as the best one term president in our history.  Drawing on personal interviews and on the private letters and diaries of President Bush, Meacham brings life to the Bush family while highlighting the foreign policy strengths of 41.  While serving as the VP in the Reagan administration, Bush established strong diplomatic ties with the Mikhail Gorbachev and other Russian leaders  and is believed to have been instrumental in the fall of Communism.  Despite these accomplishments, Bush was determined to never draw attention to himself, giving full credit to President Reagan.

Candidate Bush tried to keep his campaigns free of any negative attacks about his rivals but he will forever be remembered for his “read my lips” comment.  The budget deficit forced him to reverse his promise on taxes.  With full knowledge of how damaging this reversal would be, his humility and integrity caused him to say, “I’ve got to do what I think is right.”  A reader cannot help but note the stark contrasts to today’s politics.

The Bush clan moved to Texas from Connecticut but George Herbert Walker Bush always called Maine their home.

Reviewed by James DiRenzo

Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in its Darkest, Finest Hour by Lynne Olson (20th Century History)What an eye-opening read this was. I knew so little about how the United States got into WWII–the bombing of Pearl Harbor, right? In part, yes. Lynne Olson is a gifted historian and tells the riveting story of Edward R. Murrow, Averell Harriman, and John Gilbert Winant– three men whose connection with Winston Churchill (professional and otherwise) had world-changing impact. Each individual fascinating in their own right.  Also, the extended years of misery for the citizens of London, not only for the war years but years into the 1950s when strict rationing continued–was a shock to read about. Sadly, American policy contributed to this.

Now I know why there are so many requests whenever Lynne Olson has a new book published. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Janet Adelberg

FICTION:

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton (Historical Fiction) This book is a fascinating blend of romance and historical fiction that brings the current Cuba into focus.    Learning more clearly both the history and evolution of Cuban conflict was empowering for me, and I had a hard time putting this down.

Reviewed by Judy Danielson

A Borrowing of Bones by Paula Munier (Mystery) Meet Elvis, the military trained bomb sniffing dog. Elvis must adjust to citizen life in rural Vermont without his best friend and partner, Sergeant Martinez, felled by sniper fire on the battlefield in Afghanistan.  But soon Elvis uncovers explosive situations of the human kind; he must use his investigative skills and Belgian shepherd strength in helping to solve some heinous violent crimes.

Oh yes, there is his new handler and partner, Mercy, who was the fellow soldier and fiancee of Captain Martinez. And of course that handsome Fish and Game Warden Troy and his Search and Rescue dog, Susie Bear…

I give this book 5 paws!

Reviewed by Chris Jones

News of the World by Paulette Jiles (Historical Fiction) I understand that this book was the topic of one of CML’s Brown Bag Book Discussions. If you missed it then, as I did, I highly recommend that you pick up the book and read this entertaining, engaging and touching story.  I fell in love with the relationship which develops between this unlikely pair – an elderly man and an orphan who had been captured by, and lived with the Kiowa Indians for  four years,  who are brought together in “the old west.” I found the historical reflection on the lives of children kidnapped by Native American tribes to be fascinating. I honestly hated for the book to conclude.

Reviewed by Susanne Spalding

Jeeves and the King of Clubs by Ben Schott  (Fiction/Humor)A new book celebrating P.G. Wodehouse, the original author of the comic characters – Jeeves and Bertie Wooster.    This is light reading, though hilarious and full of British satire and wordplay.    References at the end detail many words and phrases credited to Wodehouse, which are part of our everyday lexicon.   Be prepared to laugh out loud!

Reviewed by Judy Danielson

Spirit of Steamboat by Craig Johnson A life flight through a blizzard in a WWII B-25. Saddle up and ride with Sheriff Longmire across the wild west.  A heart-warming adventure Christmas story like none you have ever read.

Reviewed by Steve Dodge

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain (Fiction) I just finished reading, THE SILENT SISTER, BY Diane Chamberlain, which I purchased at a Saturday Sale at the Cary.   The story begins after the death of Riley McPherson’s father, Riley being one of the main characters.   She travels “home” to settle the estate and sell the family home.   The author grabbed my attention immediately with the cast of characters, Riley, her brother who is a recluse, and her dead sister Lisa.   The plot unfolds with so many twists and turns that after a while it is hard to keep the events straight, but I couldn’t put the book down, and read it quickly.  The end of the book ran out of steam and collapsed, and there was no real resolution for many of the characters.   That said…it left me to my own imagining of this family and their future.   I don’t know if I would recommend this book, but, it certainly kept my attention, and I will read more books by Diane Chamberlain.

Reviewed by Jill Howes

Paris Was the Place by Susan Conley (Fiction/Maine Author)Paris was the Place by Susan Conley is a perfect summer read. A story of love, loss , friendship, trust , betrayal and hope, it explores how best laid intentions can have far-reaching consequences and will have you thinking deeply about the present day topics of immigration and asylum-seekers. With the City of Lights providing the backdrop , you’ll find this book hard to put down. Paris Was the Place is this summer’s featured book in the statewide ReadME program. (Will be discussed at Brown Bag Book Group Monday July 8, 12:30)

Reviewed by Kathy Brown

Ghost Fleet by PW Singer and August Cole (Fiction/Thriller)What would happen if someone turned off all of the electronics? And then the US was attacked?  Ship out with the Ghost Fleet and find out.

Reviewed by Steve Dodge

Circe by Madeline Miller (Mythology)This book was amazing! It’s fit for all ages 11 and up, as it has some mature themes. Circe contains a considerable amount of background information in Ancient Greek mythology, including extra info about the Minotaur and Scylla.

Reviewed by Annalise Cowing  (8th grade reader)

A Fatal Obsession by James Hayman (Fiction/Thriller/Maine Author)Detective Sergeant McCabe of the Portland ME pd heads to NY to find his niece believed abducted by “the Starstruck Strangler.” A thriller with off Broadway mixed in.

Reviewed by Steve Dodge

The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd (Historical Fiction)An historically accurate story (with fictional dialog and personalities) describing a very spirited 16 year old girl in the 1730s near Charleston, SC. She is able to run several plantations by herself.    Through much tribulation she ends up introducing indigo to the Carolinas, which in turn greatly impacts the fortunes of the south, and the revolutionary war.    I’m ready to visit the Museum of Charleston and learn more!

Reviewed by Judy Danielson

Evergreen by Thomas Torrington (Fiction/Wayne Setting) Bud Marshall grows up in Wayne, ME raised by his grandparents. This is a story of love, tragedy, and life’s journey. Sometimes we hurt those we love the most.   I think you will enjoy this journey with Bud told by a local author.

Reviewed by Steve Dodge

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict (Historical Fiction) Mileva Maric Einstein met Albert Einstein at the Polytechnic in Zurich in 1897. They fell in love imagining a bohemian life where they would share a lifetime of scientific studies defying the traditions of the times. What could possibly go wrong? Intriguing, provocative and to some extent heartbreaking as Mileva’s brilliance was overshadowed due to (it appears) Albert’s appropriation of her scientific work. Fiction? Yes, but based on extensive research and letters. Hard to put down.  I will be finding other titles by Marie Benedict.

Reviewed by Janet Adelberg