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

Thursday, March 31, 2022

March Books

 I can hardly believe it's time for March books already! Let's see, this year I started playing Wordle, Quordle, and Octordle daily (well, since mid-to-late January). Andrew often enjoys helping me. 


Also, I've lost two great-uncles (grand uncles, if you prefer) this year on my dad's side. I went to the funeral for one yesterday. The other was mid-January.  


The Lady's Mine by Francine Rivers -- When Kathryn's stepfather handed her a one-way ticket from Boston to Calveda, California, Kathryn decided to make the best of this mine town filled with saloons, brothels, and many many men. As she learns more about her uncle City Walsh's life there, Kathryn decides to do things women aren't supposed to do: like start a newspaper and run a mine. Decent book. I like several of her others better.

Those Who Forget by GĂ©raldine Schwarz -- The subtitle pretty much says it all "my family's story in Nazi Europe -- a memoir, a history, a warning."  I saw this when I was in Asheville a couple months ago, and decided to check it out. Pretty interesting look at her family (both German and French sides) and various European nations and even the U.S. in the age of Donald Trump.

The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell -- After his wife Maya dies in a bus accident, a mysterious lady - Jane - visits Adrian which prompts him to search for answers concerning Maya's death. Was it just an accident or was Maya led to take her own life? Pretty interesting story.

Find Me by Alafair Burke -- When Lindsay can't get ahold of her best friend, Hope, after Hope's recent move to another city, she travels to her last location in an effort to find her.  Pretty good mystery type book.

This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel -- Natalie hasn't heard from her sister in more than six months. Kit went to some remote camp in Maine where no one is allowed to contact the outside world. Yet when Natalie receives an alarming email from someone in the camp, she goes to Wisewood to see what she can find out about her sister. Pretty good, if not a strange story.

Woman Last Seen by Adele Parks -- Detective Clements is called to the houses of two men with missing wives. Leigh left for her job, and the family never heard from her. Mark didn't report it until later because they had had a row, and he thought she was just sulking. Meanwhile Daan, the handsome Dutch husband, wonders where his wife, Kai, is. What's with these missing women? Is there a connection?

The Other Side of the Door by Nicci French -- Bonnie is a music teacher out for summer break, and agreed to play in a wedding in mid-September. She meets Hayden who agrees to play in the band made up of a ragtag group of people - a former student and his dad; her ex-lover of years; her best friend from her work; a guy who is interested in her. When someone in the band is murdered, Bonnie's days and nights get complicated. I'm almost finished reading all the books my library has by these authors.

56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard -- Ciara and Oliver meet in a small grocery store in Dublin, and go out for drinks just before Ireland and much of the world go on "lockdown" due to the covid-19 pandemic. Since the rules state that you cannot visit with other households, Oliver invites Ciara to move into his flat as it's much bigger and nicer. Both are trying to keep secrets which is hard when you are with someone nearly 24/7 - someone you barely knew before moving in together. Pretty interesting story.

Life of a Klansman: A Family History in White Supremacy by Edward Ball -- I saw this on Suzanne's post about the books she read last year. She had several that I noted to possibly read as I need to do more reading of nonfiction books occasionally. I found this at my library, and read it over a few days. I broke it up with a couple of the fiction books listed above. Read about white supremacy and then enjoy a bit of a mystery because real life is not pleasant. This book taught me quite a bit about New Orleans and Louisiana since the Lecorgne family (the author's great-something grandparents) entered the US there. Mostly the author followed the man named Constant Lecorgne (Polycarp Constant Lecorgne born 1832). This family - the Le Corgnes came from Brittany, France around 1814. I got bogged down at times with all the fighting in the streets, but mostly I "enjoyed" this book.

Send For Me by Lauren Fox -- A Jewish family leaves Germany for the US, but they have to leave their families behind. This alternates between Annalise working at her parents' bakery and later raising her child in Wisconsin. The author based this story on her own family history.

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki -- don't be like Andrew and misread her name and say MAJORITY Post. Ha. This is the story of the Post Cereals/General Foods heiress. Pretty interesting lady and life - or lives!  Really, it's more interesting than just cereals and frozen foods. (See her mentioned again below.)

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott -- Diane and Kit were friends for a few months their senior year of high school, but their friendship ended after Diane admitted her darkest secret which was too much for Kit to handle. Now, Kit is working in a lab, and the lab is granted funds for a study and Diane is brought on as part of the team. This book was OK.

The Accomplice by Lisa Lutz -- Owen and Luna have been best friends since college, and now they live a couple streets apart. When Owen's wife goes missing and Luna finds her murdered in a cemetery where they sometimes jog, everyone wonders who shot Irene, and why. An OK story, pretty good.

Agent Sonya: Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy by Ben Macintyre -- This is a book both Andrew and I noticed in our look around Barnes & Noble earlier this year, and independently of each other, we wrote this one down to get from our library. What an interesting lady this Ursula Kuczynski Hamburger Beurton turned out to be!  A German Jew who was anti-fascist and loved communism, Ursula worked for the Russians as a spy in China, Poland, Switzerland, England, and I may have missed a place or two. (See her mentioned again below.)

Countdown 1945 by Chris Wallace -- This is "the extraordinary story of the atomic bomb and the 116 days that changed the world" that Andrew got from the library and thought I'd enjoy. And I did. Wow, what a fascinating few months. This book begins with Harry S Truman becoming the President of the United States after FDR died in office and it follows him through some of the tedious dealings with Stalin and Churchill and later the new Prime Minister in Potsdam, Germany. Meanwhile in the US, we read about some happenings at Los Alamos, and even meet a young lady from Tennessee who got a job which she later found out helped create the atomic bomb. This is told in a very readable, fast-paced way, and I read it in about a day.  I admired the way each person on the mission did his job, and reading their reactions to what they did over Japan was super-interesting. I read this just after reading Agent Sonya, and as I read the Sonya book, I realized the atomic bomb was part of her spy story. (Klaus Fuchs is mentioned in both books with a lot more info about him in the Agent Sonya book.)  Also, interestingly enough, the book about Marjorie Post dealt with her time living in Moscow with her third husband, Joseph Davies, who was an ambassador for the US. He was mentioned in this book as he went to Potsdam as a special advisor to the President so that was a neat tie-in to yet another book I read this month. Sidenote:  I wonder what Paul Tibbets' mom thought about her son naming the first plane to drop an atomic bomb after her?

Death of a Showman by Mariah Fredericks -- I started reading this Jane Prescott series a few years ago, and I wish I remembered some of the other stories better as I read the newer books. Jane is a lady's maid for Louise Tyler, and when Mrs. Tyler is asked to invest in Leo Hirschfeld's new Broadway musical, Jane comes along to keep an eye on things. When the show's producer is found murdered, Jane goes through the clues in order to figure out who wanted him dead. Decent book. I'd like it better if I could remember the cast better. Oh, memory...!