"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Thursday, October 31, 2019

October Books

Living Lies by Natalie Walters -- an OK book about Lane Kent and her battle with depression. She meets former military-now-police-officer Charlie Lynch just before Lane discovers a body in the woods. Not my favorite, but I do like that the author tries to portray the needs of those with PTSD and depression. 

The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith -- "the loves of Solomon" ; This book reminded me yet again how much I despise polygyny and don't admire Solomon or his father David very much.

The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher -- book 2 in The Inn at Eagle Hill series; this continues the story, but focuses more on Bethany and Naomi instead of Rose. Bethany really wants to meet her mom who abandoned the family when Bethany was little. Also, her brother comes back to town, and the Inn takes in a youth pastor, Geena, who is between jobs.

Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith -- these books are just sweet and make me chuckle. In this book we finally learn the name of the younger apprentice to Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and the fate of the tiny white van that has molded to Mma Ramotswe's traditional build...she loves it so!

The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels -- Robin Windsor is forced to live with her grandmother in Michigan after her powerful father, a US Senator, is arrested and convicted of treason. She invents a new identity for herself as she gets to know kids in her new high school. This book went from "then" to "now" as it told some of Robin's story with her friend Peter, and her bookshop. It was decent; nothing special.

Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline -- I'm nearly finished the original Rosato & Associates series; this one dealt with Mary revisiting some Mean Girls from her high school past as one of them Trish comes to Mary begging for help from her mobster boyfriend.

Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky -- I got this book in a little free library and picked it up the other day when I was out of library books. It was a very fast read; some books are just like that for me. Anyway, Dana and Hugh are excited about their first child's arrival, but are stunned when her skin color is much darker than their own. Hugh's family can trace their heritage to the Mayflower so Hugh wants Dana to investigate her biological father's side of the family to see where this African-American blood comes from. Because, ya know everyone is asking if the baby were adopted or if Dana had an affair - oh man!

Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris -- another story by this author based on a girl whom Lale (see her previous book) told her about. A story of a Jew from Czechoslavakia who ends up in a Soviet gulag near the Arctic Circle not long after the Russians liberate the concentration camp where she was held for three years. This is her story of life in the camp prison - and it's not as brutal as the Germans made their camps, but it's appalling nevertheless!  Oh, I just looked online to see if I could find a picture of the real Cilka, and found this story about some controversy with her husband's son.

A Perfect Silhouette by Judith Miller -- my mom read this book and said it was OK, nothing special, but I decided to go ahead and read it since one of the very minor characters is named Mr. Fuqua! Ha! I've never seen our last name in a book like that so that was pretty cute. Mr. Fuqua was an overseer of a division at Stark Mills somewhere in New Hampshire where Mellie Blanchard worked after her family (herself, sister, niece, and nephew) fell upon hard times. She meets a mechanic in the mill while doing her part-time evening work -  Scherenschnitte or paper cutting.  A decent, if not predictable book.

The Revealing by Suzanne Woods Fisher - the final book in the Inn at Eagle Hill trilogy; this one focuses a bit more on Naomi, the sister of Galen King, and Tobe as he returns home after an ordeal 

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center -- some things about this writing style - or maybe the character telling the story - annoyed me, but overall it was a cute story and an easy read. I enjoyed learning more about the life of a firefighter/paramedic especially from a woman firefighter's point of view. Good reminder about forgiveness here as well.

Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline -- I've finally finished all the Rosato & DiNunzio books that my library has! This one had Bennie and her evil twin, Alice, in it. Also, Mary was wondering about making partner at the law firm. A fast-paced book!

The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman -- pretty much a story of how losing your family and enduring the horror and aftermath of World War II drove this Jewish woman, Hannah, to the brink of madness. Hannah travels to Australia where she eventually meets and marries a farmer/mechanic Tom Hope whom she hired to fix up her bookshop. An OK book; a bit weird.

The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith-- another great story which made me chuckle in places; Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi travel to the Delta region as part of their investigation in finding a safari guide.

The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner -- several months ago I found this author at my library, enjoyed the book I read, and kept reading more. Some were better than others; some I liked a great deal while a few were just a bit too dark or creepy, but still they were interesting.  My library just recently got two books by this author that they had not had despite this one being first published in 1998.  I thought it was great since I had heard some of this person's (Tess) story referenced in later books, but never found the book that told how she got there. Anyway, this book was terrible! I didn't like the mercenary character, former Marine J.T. at all. I know he tried to play the cruel - yet deep down heart of gold - drunk hiding sadness in his past, but I was not very sympathetic to him as told in this story. I just never warmed up to him, and even Tess wasn't all that great (though she was fine in later books.)  This book just was a near-total dud in my view, and I'm thankful it wasn't the first Lisa Gardner book I read or it likely would have been my last.

When We Meet Again by Kristin Harmel -- Emily Emerson receives a painting of a young woman who looks like her beloved grandmother who died not too long ago. While researching her grandmother's past, she finds out more information about German POWs who labored in Florida. A pretty good book.

The Choice by Robert Whitlow -- I found this at the Damascus, Virginia, little free library. It deals with the issue of abortion rights. The book begins with Sandy, a 17 year old high schooler, who finds out she's pregnant. She decides to put her baby up for adoption. Over thirty years later, she is teaching at her former high school when a student confides in her that she's pregnant. The school counselor strongly favors abortion while Sandy hopes the student will follow her step. Social liberals would probably not enjoy this book.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford -- Henry and Keiko were the only Asian-American students "scholarshipping" at a white school in Seattle circa 1942.  One would think they'd be natural allies against the racism, and they were, but there was a problem. Henry was Chinese, and Keiko was from Japanese heritage. And Henry's ultra-nationalist father despised Japan and the Japanese in the United States because of what "they" did to his home country. Henry and Keiko met while working in the lunch room and became friends much to Henry's parents' disappointment and downright hate on his father's part. Anyway...this book switched from the 1940s to about 40 years later when things from the Panama Hotel were brought out - things which some Japanese families had left behind when they were interred.  A pretty good story.

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith -- I have to keep reading these stories which are so good to break up the toughness of other books. Does this book finally have a wedding in it (the title hints at this anyway)? Who could be getting married...hmmm?

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton -- This wasn't the easiest book for me to follow, but I enjoyed the story pretty well. It dealt with a real-life character Truus Wijsmuller, a Dutch lady who traveled to Germany and Austria to save Jewish children from Nazis. I admire her so much. I was particularly struck by parallels to then-and-now refugees. While I don't believe Central American refugees are facing concentration camps and mass extermination at the same level that Jews, homosexuals, the disabled, and others were under the evil that was Germany under Hitler, I think many Germans were (or claimed to be) surprised and shocked that such things were going on then.  So maybe I am like those ignorant Germans and more is going on in those countries than we are lead to believe. I do hear of gang and drug/gun violence there which is tragic. Anyway, a decent book with some good, thought-provoking stuff for me. I wish I were so brave as Tante Truus.

There Was An Old Woman by Hallie Ephron -- I enjoy this author. Evie gets a call about her alcoholic mother. Her sister Ginger is tired of being the go-to daughter so Evie agrees to check on her mom. The house is a wreck and her mom is worse off this time than in the past. The next door neighbor, 91 year old Mina, keeps an eye on Evie and on the neighborhood. Such a charming character Mina is. Good story.

Never Let Go by Elizabeth Goddard -- a little too much "I've got to protect her" (ok, a LOT) for my taste, but I did finish this book about the genealogist detective Willow who teamed up with her ex-boyfriend who is now ex-FBI Austin McKade in order to track down a girl who was kidnapped 21 years ago. A few twists kept my attention and I might read the next book in the series...eventually.  Then again, maybe not.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware -- I enjoy these suspenseful books! This book starts with Rowan writing her story for an advocate whom she hopes will represent her as she's in prison for the death of a child in her care. She was a nanny in the Highlands to a couple of architects with a house that is half Victorian/half glass-and-steel, and completely bizarre since it's a smart house without a normal light switches.  Good story especially to finish up on Halloween!