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

Sunday, June 30, 2024

June Books

 Daughter of Mine by Megan Miranda -- Hazel returns to Mirror Lake for her father's funeral, and is surprised to learn that he left her the house. When two cars are found near her house and brought up from the lake during a time of drought, Hazel is shocked to recognize the second one as the car her mother drove - the one she thought her mom had taken years ago when she left the family.  Pretty good story.

One Perfect Couple by Ruth Ware -- I've noticed reality TV books have become more of a thing - or maybe it's just the books I've chosen, but in this one Nico talks his scientist girlfriend Lyla into traveling with a reality TV show. Nico hopes this will jumpstart his flailing acting career, and Lyla agrees to go. They end up on some remote island in Indonesia and while the place is beautiful, taping the show is odd. They also have to deal with a terrible storm and the aftermath of that isn't good.

The Widow Spy by Megan Campisi -- A fictional account based on true events. Kate Warne is a spy for Pinkerton detectives, and she's assisting in finding the cipher Rose Greenhow, a Confederate spy, has hidden. Pretty good.

It Had to Be You by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke -- This book revisits Laurie, Jerry, and Grace who, quite frankly, I'd forgotten about, but maybe I read about them before. There were a number of back story references that didn't really ring a bell, but maybe I just forgot those. Laurie looks into the unsolved murder of two wealthy people, a couple, who were murdered ten years before. Their twin sons were under suspicion for their murders, and they want to finally solve this.

A Mother Would Know by Amber Garza -- Valerie's adult son Hudson came to stay with her. She's been forgetting things; he needs a place to live after breaking up with his latest girlfriend. When a local woman is found dead, Valerie wonders if her son had anything to do with her death.

Night Falls on Predicament Avenue by Jaime Jo Wright -- Murders rarely happen in Shepherd, Iowa, however, the two murders on record both happened at the same house on Predicament Avenue. What's up with that? Effie (short for Euphemia) and Norah live in this town, nearly 100 years apart, and both are trying to find out what happened.

The Hunter by Tana French -- DNF ; I collected a fair bunch of names in this small Irish community, but even after 150+ pages, I couldn't get into the story enough to continue this long (over 450 pages) book.  One of the main characters is Trey, (short for Theresa) who is a fifteen year old.

Can't Look Away by Carola Lovering -- Molly and Hunter are trying for a second child which has been harder to conceive. Meanwhile Sabrina is a new person who has come to town, befriending Molly. What does Molly's former boyfriend Jake have to do with any of this?

The Wives by Simone Gorrindo -- An interesting memoir by a lady who grew up in a pacifist household who somehow ended up the wife of a soldier. The author and her husband Andrew are progressives  (she more than he) and atheists (he more than she) from California and later New York City, and end up living for several years in Columbus, Georgia, where they befriend fellow military and their wives. Although she never specifies which Unit her husband is part of, it's more "elite" than just the regular Army.  In this book she tells about their decision to join the military, friends she makes, fights they had about how things were, how Andrew changed, and so forth.

The Last Time She Saw Him by Kate White -- Soon after she sees her ex-fiancé at a friend's gathering, Jamie is found dead. Many are quick to rule it a suicide, but Kiki doesn't believe this and wants answers. Of course, she investigates!

These Tangled Threads by Sarah Loudin Thomas -- This "novel of Biltmore" includes places I've traveled to, but back about 100 years ago when Biltmore Village was a series of shops where you could order material from weavers and toys or frames from woodworkers.  Maybe you can still buy those things there in Asheville, but I usually go to the mountains to visit nature or family, and not so much for shopping so I don't know. But it was interesting reading about the flood since I do know that region is prone to flooding - the Swannanoa, French Broad, they even made a trek to Madison County, NC, looking for the person who designs such wonderful patterns.  That's basically the gist of this book - Lorna and Arthur looking for the mysterious weaver and for the girl, Gentry, who was part of the weaving school several years prior. Sounds rather boring, but it worked okay for the book, I guess!

Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera -- Lucy leaves her home in LA to return to her roots in Texas for her grandma's 80th birthday party. Meanwhile she's dealing with the story of her best friend Savvy (short for Savannah) who was killed five years ago. Folks always suspected Lucy did it, but the police were unable to prove it. Now a true-crimes podcaster, Ben, has brought it up again.

The Keeper of Hidden Books by Madeline Martin -- This book was OK... seems a variation of many books I've read about Nazis banning and destroying books while librarians worked to save some of those books. This story takes place in Warsaw so it was interesting to read about the German occupation of that city. I took note of Zofia saying she knew her Polish history and the last time her country was occupied, it was for 123 years!  Meanwhile Janina is her best friend, a Jewish lady who is forced to live in the ghetto.

Between Two Trailers by J. Dana Trent -- A memoir of a lady who grew up in Indiana and North Carolina in a family full of drugs, mental illnesses, and interesting characters. The author is now a minister and teaches at a community college in Wake County, NC.

Lethally Blond by Kate White -- Another Bailey Weggins mystery; this time Bailey is asked to help locate a missing actor, the friend of her former love interest, Chris. Bailey makes a gruesome discovery in upstate New York, and tries to find out what happened to Tom.

The Call to Serve: the Life of an American President by Jon Meacham -- Apparently the text of this book is taken from another book this author wrote about George Herbert Walker Bush, but he incorporated those words into this book which is mostly pictures, and, therefore, a pretty fast read for me. The text is interesting and the captions as well.  Really enjoyed this book I found at the library last week. 

Stuff I shared in a private group about this book:

I was at the library with Andrew recently, and saw this book about the life of George HW Bush which was full of big pictures and some text. I decided to check it out, and this morning I read through about half of it. Since a lot of it is pictures, you can make good progress. 😉
Anyway, his family often called him Poppy, he even signed letters home from the military this way, and Barbara referred to him as Poppy in a letter shared in the book.
He had one older brother who was named for their father, Prescott, so George was named for his mom's father who was named George Herbert Walker. (She was Dorothy Walker.)
George the grandpa was known as Pop, so George Herbert Walker Bush (the future 41st president) was nicknamed Poppy or Little Pop.
I read the letter he wrote home to his parents when he had to parachute out of the plane he was flying in World War II, and it was fascinating. Sadly, the two men with him died, and their deaths stayed with him throughout his life. He floated in his raft for over 3 hours until a submarine picked him up. It was cool reading the caption about that. A seaman swam out to get him, and they took him on board. He was a bit bored on the sub so he took over the job of censoring the letters servicemen wrote. The book noted that Bush had a privileged life, and reading these letters gave him a perspective of "ordinary" people.
Interesting to me, too, is that the navy sent him to Chapel Hill, NC, for part of his training. I think it was the course to become a pilot.
I shed a tear or two when I read about his daughter Robin's months-long battle with leukemia. I think she survived 8 or 10 months after the diagnosis; she was three and their second child (first was Bush 43 who said he believes he developed his wittiness and penchant for trying to lighten up heavy moments at that time in order to cheer up his mom during those dark times.) They said the physician was usually upbeat, but she was misty-eyed when she gave the family the diagnosis in Texas. Robin was sent to the north for treatment, but it didn't work. I doubt they had as good treatments then as they do now.
By the way, Robin was named for Barbara Bush's mom Pauline Robinson Pierce.

An Appalachian Summer by Ann H. Gabhart -- When Piper learns about the frontier nursing service in the mountains of Kentucky, she decides to spend her summer as a courier to the nurses who treat folks living in Appalachia. This, instead of attending parties, dances, teas, and dates during her debut season. Meanwhile will Braxton Crandall wait for her return? And what about her buddy Jamie? 

One Way Back by Christine Blasey Ford -- A look at the woman who came forward to share her experience with a Supreme Court nominee who is now a justice. A quick read. 

A Very Inconvenient Scandal by Jacquelyn Mitchard -- Frankie returns home to Cape Cod thinking there is a family emergency only to find the reason she was summoned is that her father is getting married again... in like a few days. Frankie's mom died suddenly several months back, and Mack just can't live without an adoring woman except this time, it's someone that makes Frankie cringe. This book was possibly better than ^ that sounded. I like reading about Frankie's job as a photographer - one who seeks to take pictures of aquatic life. So cool! 

No comments: