Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson -- pretty good story set in the Netherlands during World War II, and also the modern perspective as told through Ava Drake's eyes.
Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France by Karen Wheeler -- I think my mom found this memoir in a Little Free Library box and I decided to read it before passing it along to others. This London-based author was visiting a friend when an opportunity arose for her to buy a fixer upper in rural France - and she did. I enjoyed reading of her social life there, meeting interesting characters - both French and English - and the things she did those first couple of years there.
Once a Midwife by Patricia Harman -- my mom recently read this Hope River Novel, and despite not having read any of the prior books (which probably told the stories of Bitsy and a few other characters mentioned in this book), I read this one. Daniel and Patience Hester live in Liberty County, West Virginia, around the time much of the world is at war. Daniel is a respected vet, and Patience delivers babies. Both work on their farm. When America enters the war, the Hesters' lives change. Pretty good story. I'll look for more from this author.
Devil's Corner by Lisa Scottoline -- One of the earlier books my library has by this author. Vicki is an Assistant US Attorney working on cleaning up the streets of Philadelphia which has a crack cocaine problem. Not my favorite of her books, but pretty good.
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald -- some people probably enjoyed this little tale of a young Swedish woman who travels to a small town in Iowa to meet her elderly pen pal. Sadly, the pen pal died before Sara arrived, and Sara has to figure out what to do with herself in the small town she's planned to stay in for her two month holiday. Sounds pretty cute, but I really didn't care for this book much at all. Still, I did read it all, and I liked the Meet the Author section at the back of the book.
Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini -- half the book was about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow around the time of the US Civil War, and the other half was a contemporary story revolving around a music teacher and her accompanist and part of the children's choir at a Catholic church in Boston. Pretty good.
Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans -- part memoir, part poetry, just some beautiful reflections on her life and that of the Church. A lovely book by an author who left the world too soon. I know young people die all the time, but I still have a hard time believing that happened to her!
What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin -- Kelly Lund was convicted of killing a friend's father 25 years before, and now she's out of prison and the book flashes from today (where yet another murder has taken place, and Kelly is suspected) and flashbacks to the story from those years when she was friends with Bellamy and Vee. Pretty good.
Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke -- a good story about a teacher whose mother recently died, a mother with whom she'd had a troublesome relationship. When Hannah goes to Germany to meet a grandfather she never knew anything about, she learns more about his dealings during World War II. Alternately we learn of Lieselotte's time during the war, and get clues to why her time in America was so difficult.
Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline -- a recent book by this author; not as much lawyer-based as her earlier works, but this story is about a group of wealthy kids in a development who witnessed a tragic accident that still haunts them twenty years later. As told through the eyes of Allie, Sasha, Julian, Kyle, and David. Pretty good.
The Body by Bill Bryson -- this "guide for occupants" covered bits about the skin, brain, lungs, so on and so forth. An enjoyable, informative read. I was often thinking how "fearfully and wonderfully made" we all are even if the author credits "a happy accident" for most of it.
As Long As We Both Shall Live by Joann Chaney -- A man and his wife go hiking and only he returns. The story is that his wife fell over the cliff and disappeared into the roaring river. Twenty years prior, Matt was married to a woman who died in suspicious circumstances. How do the police detectives connect the two? Pretty good story!
The English American by Alison Larkin -- Pippa Dunn always knew she was adopted, but didn't realize her biological parents were from the United States until she happened upon a box of important papers while looking for (what Americans call) Scotch tape in her parents' room. Years later Pippa finds her birth mother, an artsy type from Georgia, and later is introduced to her bio father. This book was decent, but not a favorite. Parts of it were interesting to me - like the differences in the English and Americans: what we call things, how we react, what emotions are permitted (or not), what words are usually said (or not). But the storyline itself was not exciting to me though I'm sure others will find it charming.
Her by Harriet Lane -- The only redeeming thing about this book was that it was relatively short (261 pages). The same day/event is told by two characters, Nina and Emma, who happened to meet and somehow keep crossing paths. One is a devil with a sweet face, and I didn't really enjoy this book all that much, but I did finish it hoping for some resolution that failed to come.
Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke -- This book was just ok, and it felt like it dragged on and on. Granted, I'm reading during Covid-19 Social Distancing times, and am super-distracted by Facebook and news stories, but I just never really got into this story about a young man, Michael, who left England with Owen on the Titanic. Only one of them arrived safely to the U.S., and it just went on from there in a way that did not capture my attention very well.
No Book but the World by Leah Hager Cohen -- The book begins with Ava heading out of town with hopes of visiting her brother who was recently jailed and charged with the murder of a twelve-year-old boy. Her brother is different, though her parents rejected testing and labels so they never took him to anyone to tell them Fred was autistic or whatever. In fact, her parents subscribed to unschool schooling although Ava rejected that and was allowed to attend public school after awhile. This book also has perspectives from Ava's husband, best friend, and Fred himself. Pretty good story.
Daddy's Girl by Lisa Scottoline -- an exciting adventure with law professor Natalie who is asked to teach at a local prison. While there a riot occurs and Nat witnesses the last words of a fallen correctional officer. As she puzzles out what this man means in an effort to help his wife, Nat finds herself charged with murder and running from the law! Fast-paced book!
Women's Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home by Megan K. Stack -- The books begins with the author doing one last assignment as a reporter for the LA Times before quitting to write books and have a baby. She and her husband are living in Beijing, and Megan is encouraged to do what every expat does: hire a nanny and housekeeper because they are so cheap. Later, Megan and her family move to India where she repeats the process. Only later does her husband suggest she write about this experience. Parts of this writing irritated me, but mostly I enjoyed her recounting of three nannies/housekeepers (certainly don't call them "maids" as her husband did!). This was an interesting way to learn more about the ladies who take jobs for richer women and women who leave their own children behind to be raised by grandparents. Good book.
Goodnight June by Sarah Jio -- a rather cute book pretending to be the inspiration behind the hugely-popular children's book of a similar name. June travels to Seattle after she inherits her beloved aunt's bookstore. There she is sent on a book scavenger hunt to find out more of her Aunt Ruby's secrets.
Two Steps Forward by Suzanne Woods Fisher -- (this book title makes me want to ask if you say FOR werd or FOE werd (or something else) for the word 'forward'?) -- I somehow skipped book 2 in this series (The Deacon's Family), but went ahead and read the third one since I was quickly gathering books before my library closed. Jimmy Fisher is back in town, and he offers to help the recently-widowed Sylvie around the farm. Also, Izzy and Luke want to help mothers who think they must abort their babies by opening a baby box for no-questions-asked surrender at the fire station.