Book Review

Book Reviews: April 2017

It seems unreal that it’s already the first of May. I swear, time goes faster and faster every year. Before I know it, Summer Reading will be coming around the mountain and my life will become a blur until August 1st. But truthfully? I can’t wait! This year promises to be the best Summer Reading Program yet – even if the graphics are terrible. (And that’s the adult program link by the way.) So in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the few weeks of calm before the storm hits. I have a couple of great reads lined up to enjoy that I’m really looking forward to. And now that I have more free time in the evenings, I’m hoping to get caught up on my reading goal for 2017! With the promise of longer summer nights ahead, I’m sure I’ll be spending many an hour enjoying the sunsets with a book in hand. Here are a few great reads to add to your summer reading list!   

The Great Zoo of China

The Great Zoo of China

by Matthew Reilly

One of my favorite patrons recommended The Great Zoo of China and I quickly requested a copy. While it’s not the best written book I’ve ever read (this guy uses waaaay too many “must haves” – as in, “it must have been sixty feet high!” “it must have been the brightest!” – and exclamation points to the point it was seriously irritating) but the story moves. I would compare it to Jurassic Park, except with dragons. And that about sums it up in a nutshell. Shit gets real, real fast and it doesn’t stop until the very last page. The best part is the main character is a bad ass herpetologist (one who studies amphibians and reptiles) chick who rocks. If you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller, with a tinge of science fiction, definitely give this one a try.

The Wages of Sin

The Wages of Sin

by Kaite Welsh

When I was browsing the pages of books on order on our website, I stumbled upon this book and immediately hit the request button. I didn’t care what it was about, when I read that title, I was hooked. In researching for my latest WIP, I’ve used quite a few newspaper accounts. One such article was in regard to the trial that took place after the untimely death of Clara Sutliff, the older sister of my main character (and 2x great-grandfather, William Sutliff), these words appeared at the bottom of the article in quotes. I assumed it was a Bible quote, and it is, and it’s one that’s left a bad taste in my mouth whenever I think about it or see it in print.

But I absolutely devoured this book. It’s set in Edinburgh at it’s University of Medicine in 1892, the year that women were first admitted. Sarah Gilchrist is determined to become a doctor, and support herself in a time when many of her peers were coming into society with hopes of making a prosperous  match. Since being forcibly sent away from her home to live with distant relatives following a scandal, Sarah has little desire to become the pretty plaything to a wealthy husband. She volunteers at a clinic for the poor where she meets a young woman named Lucy who is pregnant and desperate. Lucy leaves the clinic in a rage as the physician’s offer little in the means of help, and a few days later, her body arrives as a cadaver in Sarah’s medical class. Determined that there is more to Lucy’s death that meets the eye, she delves into the back alleys of Edinburgh’s brothels and opium dens as she tries to find Lucy’s murderer, Sarah’s journey eventually leads her into the dirty underworld of body snatchers. Dun dun dun!

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette

by Evelyne Lever

Since selling and moving into my temporary abode now means my commute is often doubled –  especially in the evening – and so I’ve decided to press pause on the Hamilton soundtrack which I’ve been listening to NON-STOP! (Hamilton pun right there!) and checked out this title on audio. I really didn’t know much about Marie Antoinette other than the beautiful movie by Sofia Coppola, and the World Civ class I took in college that discussed the French Revolution. I found this biography extremely interesting. The tragic story of a woman who really could do nothing right. If she involved herself in politics, she was considered a traitor who placed Austrian interests before France, and if she avoided politics she was considered aloof and snobbish. I felt an enormous amount of empathy for her and for all the trials of her life

Spain in Our Heats

Spain in Our Hearts

by Adam Hochschild

I picked this one up after talking with a coworker who said that Hochschild is her favorite author. His book, To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion 1914-1918 has been on my radar to read for a few years and I will no doubt be requesting it soon. I found this book extremely difficult to read, only in the fact that I knew the outcome. The author does a tremendous job in relating history through personal stories of people who lived it. I was fully emerged in their lives, and at times, felt as if I was at their side, my stomach in knots. I found myself in near tears at the end of one chapter when they were heading off to the front and the how eager he was at the time, but in hindsight, had he known that most of his fellow comrades would be killed he would’ve felt differently.

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1 thought on “Book Reviews: April 2017”

  1. I sometimes visit the library that my grandmother would bring me for books and its nice to see such a beautiful person at the front desk who enjoys helping the public.

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