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Staff Reads — August 11, 2015

Book
What is the staff reading this week?

Pat O. and others: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins; In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume; Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee; A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler; At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

Jan: “I’ve had fun with a newly discovered mystery series Orchard Mysteries by Sheila Connolly. They’re about Meg, a transplant from the banking world of Boston, who finds herself the owner of an apple orchard in Granford, Massachusetts. Of course, the bodies pile up and she helps solve the mysteries. It’s loosely based on the actual town of Granby just outside of Amherst, so anyone with connections there will enjoy these (plus there are yummy recipes included!) Titles read so far: One Bad Apple; Rotten to the Core; Red Delicious Death; A Killer Crop; Bitter Harvest; Sour Apples; Golden Malicious; Picked to Die“.

Laura: “The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore: The author of this memoir discovers that a man close to his age, who is also from Baltimore, and has the exact same name, has been arrested for a terrible crime. He reaches out to the other Wes Moore, who is in prison, and through interviews, he tries to determine how two men who share some of the same background can have two very different fates. This is a very important read, especially in light of recent events in our country. The repeated line, “The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his,” continues to haunt me.
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee: I tried very hard to keep an open mind about this book. To Kill a Mockingbird has been a favorite of mine since I was 14 years old, and for a period of several years, I read it annually. The controversy surrounding this sequel, or notsequel since it was allegedly written first, was enormous, and I didn’t want to ruin my memories of either the beloved classic or Atticus Finch as a social crusader. The good news is that the To Kill a Mockingbird’s legacy is pretty much in tact. The reason? Go Set a Watchman is largely forgettable. It touches on two important themes, the reaction of those living in the South to the changing racial relations and integration, and becoming disillusioned with a childhood idol (in this case, Jean Louise/Scout’s view of her father). However, it doesn’t succeed at telling a convincing story well, and the book just reads like an overly long short story written for an expository writing class. Had To Kill a Mockingbird not existed, my guess is this book would have ended up on a fast track to the remainder table at a bookstore.
Re Jane by Patricia Park: This very loose retelling of Jane Eyre is the story of Jane Re, the child of a Korean mother and an alleged American GI Father. When her mother dies, young Jane is sent to Queens to be raised by her maternal uncle and his family and she is slated to work in the family grocery store. While the Jane Eyre allusions are clever, I think this book works better as a stand alone. I appreciate the exploration of living as an immigrant in the United States from multiple perspectives, Jane’s understanding of her Korean culture, and the complexities of friendship and family relationships. One does not need to know Bronte to appreciate this book.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova: Nothing I can say will do this beautiful book justice. Alice is a brilliant Harvard professor who slowly starts to realize that something is wrong, and has to face the terrible truth that she has early onset Alzheimer’s. Told from the first person, this book allows the reader to experience Alice’s worry and confusion. I read this book in one setting and cried openly by the time I was finished. It’s been a long time since a book affected me in that way.”

Louise: “The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Schwartz: This compulsively readable book about an Ultra Orthodox young woman’s wedding day was long listed for the Booker Man Prize. Eve Schwartz is an astute observer and a wonderful writer. We feel the pain, the joy, the innocence, the victories and defeats of the well drawn characters in this book. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys women’s fiction and anyone who is interested in learning about people of different faiths. I am waiting to hear more from this writer. This is one of those books that draws you in so completely, you are said when it ends. Believe it or not, I recommended this book to a guy who also liked it. Gentleman, don’t be shy!
The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout: Most of you probably know Elizabeth Strout’s book Olive Kitteridge which won the Pulitzer Prize. This is on my to read list. I started with The Burgess Boys. When the novel began, I said to myself, “Oh no! Not another political novel fraught with social commentary.” One of the young protagonists, Zach, has apparently left a pig’s head in the mosque of his small town in Maine. This is the crisis that moves the novel forward.
This book is much deeper and richer than I expected. The setting alternates between Brooklyn, New York (with a small stint in Saint Kitts), Connecticut, and Shirley Falls, a small town in Maine where Susan still lives with her son Zach. The Burgess boys, Jim and Bob, both have become lawyers. They are called in to help Susan in her time of need.
The siblings share a terrible secret from their childhood. During the familial crisis with Zach, much is revealed about the three siblings, their childhood, their adult years, and what can happen in families. This is a really well put together novel that I recommend to anyone who loves good writing about family life, it’s upheavals and its complexities.”

Gerry C: “The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant audiobook read by Linda Lavin: I loved listening to this book. Linda Lavin was perfect for the Jewish grandmother telling her granddaughter about her life adventures, loves and heartbreaks.
The Stranger by Harlan Coben: Coben never disappoints and his latest stand alone book is no exception. So many twists and turns in this story and always a surprise ending. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, something changes.
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See: I really enjoyed this book about a Chinese family’s struggles during the war in China and there lives once they arrived in America.
Dreams of Joy by Lisa See: This is the second part of Lisa See’s Shanghai Girls. I couldn’t get through this book. I found I disliked the character Joy but may finish the book eventually just to see how it ends.
Hounded by David Rosenfelt: I love listening to all of David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter books. They are light mysteries with a touch of humor. The reader is phenomenal and I often find myself laughing out loud.
The Burning Room by Michael Connelly: Another great mystery by this author.
Last One Home by Debbie Macomber: Reading Debbie Macomber is like a gathering with friends.
Gathering Prey by John Sanford: Latest book in his Prey series. This is the first book I have read in this series. Really enjoyed the characters in this series. I’m thinking I should read some others.
Paris Match by Stuart Woods: Never got any further than the first disc. Woods writing over the years has deteriorated. The dialogues and story lines are lackluster and sometimes stupid. For a few years I have wondered if someone else is writing his books because the great stories he wrote in earlier years are not there any longer. I think I have read my last book by Woods.
I am currently reading Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews. So far the characters are fun and the story has a bit of humor. It is going to be a great beach read for me next week!
Vera Set 4: We really love the two main characters in this BBC series. The stories/mysteries keep you engaged and entertained.
St. Vincent starring Melissa McCarthy and Bill Murray: Instead of a comedy this story was a nice change for McCarthy and Murray. I would recommend it.”

Virginia:Lost Girls by John Glatt (non-fiction): A well-written true crime book about the 3 girls who were kidnapped off the streets of Cleveland and held captive for a decade by a sadistic monster. I’d already read Michelle Knight’s (one of the captives) personal account of the torturous decade in her book ‘Finding Me’ but this book had more details of just what was happening with the families of the lost girls, never knowing if their daughters had been murdered or if they were still alive. Sometimes I wonder why I like to read true crime books. For all of the violence and horror there are wonderful examples of bravery and compassion, of perserverence and courage in the face of catastrophe and evil.
Sign Wave by Andrew Vachss (fiction): I really enjoy Vachss’ writing but I have to admit I did not understand this book at all. This is the third book in a series about an assassin named Dell who settles down in a small town in Oregon with his wife. But as far as I can tell Dell is psychotic. Why else would he take an off-hand remark and obsess over it to the point of cold calculated paranoia? Nothing really happens in this book but Dell’s machinations as to how he will protect himself and his wife from an imaginary threat culminating in Dell committing two murders of two men who are never proven to be guilty of anything. I also did not understand the final paragraph of the book. Which is too bad because the writing is excellent but the whole point of the book is meaningless.
Predator One by Jonathan Maberry (fiction): The saga of Captain Joe Ledger continues in this edge-of-your-seat violent thriller. Not only are all the usual characters back but old enemies once thought dead reappear to cause death and destruction on a mighty scale.Do I understand the tech talk and the computereze? No way. But that didn’t spoil the story for me. When computer programs that rule the military hardware go beserk and start destroying submarines, aircraft carriers, and jets and renegade drones destroy a baseball stadium on Openning Day & take out the Golden Gate bridge, it isn’t long before the President on Air Force One becomes part of the terror as his aircraft comes under sinister control & heads straight for the heart of NYC. The violence is quite gruesome but that’s what you have to expect when Joe Ledger is involved.
Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell (fiction): This is the sequel to Morrell’s first book about Thomas DeQuincey, opium addict and well-known author in Victorian England, fictionally portrayed as a shrewd detective of London crime, first appearing in Morrell’s book ‘Murder as a Fine Art’. The book is very well-written and it is certainly a thrilling read but the story is so far-fetched that it is unfortunately totally unbelievable. Despite the fact that I enjoyed the book, I didn’t believe it for a moment. Disbelief can only be suspended so far. Despite my inability to buy into the book’s premise of an assassin planning to murder Queen Victoria as an act of revenge, I read it compulsively. DeQuincey makes an excellent protagonist.
Ultimatum by Dick Wolf (creator of TV’s Law and Order) (fiction): The third in the series of Jeremy Fisk thrillers would have been a quick jolting read but for the fact that it is so full of surveillance technology that half of the time I did not know quite what was happening. Apparently NYC is a hotbed of surveillance systems which are used by good guy Fisk in an effort to combat the drone murders by a madman who wants to free an Edward Snowdon type whistleblower from incarceration. Meantime, a hitman is using his own tech secrets to draw a bead on Fisk. If high tech is your thing, you’ll love this book.
Anatomy of Evil by Will Thomas, a Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewellyn mystery. (Fiction): Ah! Another Jack the Ripper Victorian London thriller. This one involves Thomas’ enquiry agents from previous Barker and Llewellyn novels. This book focuses on the underworld of Whitechapel where the Ripper struck and most likely lived. The upper echelons of the various London police departments and the rival chief detective inspectors who fought politically over just who was responsible for the lack of progress in uncovering the identity of the Ripper clash as the Ripper’s crimes mount up and terrified citizens and sneering newspapers scream bloody murder. Of the many suspects, I was not actually convinced of the guilt of the man Thomas selected as the most likely culprit but he tells a rousing tale of cat and mouse in the filthy alleyways of the slums and in the grand palaces of Queen Victoria.
Deadline by John Sandford (fiction): Sandford has two main characters whose stories he develops annually : Lucas Davenport of the ‘Prey’ series and Virgil Flowers in his own series with occasional reference to his boss (Davenport). In this Virgil Flowers thriller Virgil gets caught up in the crime of dognappering in rural Minnesota. Dogs are being stolen to be sold to labs to be killed in medical experiments. But along the way Virgil collides with the murder of a small town reporter who was investigating the criminal activities of the local school board which has been skimming money from the school budget for years. Virgil has to jump from one case to the other as he scours the woods for the missing dogs and hunts down the school board’s hired killer. Sandford writes his books in bite-sized paragraphs so it is hard to put his books down.
Constant Fear by Daniel Palmer (fiction): Jake Dent is a survivalist nut waiting for the end of the world. He has taken over the hidden tunnels of the prep school where he is the janitor, stocking them with food, gear and weapons, preparing for the end of civilization. He lives in constant fear training his teenaged son to be ready for the end. What he does not know is that his son and his son’s friends have hacked into a bitcoin account and stolen 200 million dollars from , it turns out, a Mexican drug cartel. Suddenly Jake’s son and the boy’s best friends are held hostage by brutal bloodthirsty cartel members who want their money back. The only trouble is, someone has used their computer to steal the money from the teens. Now Jake has to enter the tunnels to find the teenaged hostages and defeat the cartel as the end of Jake’s world looms. A great read.”

Hannah: “Trying to read Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine“.
Hannah is also reading The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown three times a day!

Jeanette: “Watching the Mystery Series on DVD Midsomer Murders – only on Series Ten – a long way to go!
Also watched Broadchurch Series 1 – working on Series 2
Oxygen [sound recording] / by Carol Wiley Cassella: Cassella writes a good story – this was about about the life of a well respected anesthesiologist’s life – after a child she is treating dies. – A debut novel looking forward to more.
Gemini [sound recording] / Carol Cassella: Second novel by author – enjoyed this one too! Another medical mystery.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society [sound recording] / Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows: Loved this book wasn’t really into history in school – this was an interesting peek into what some went through after the War.
The Candy Bombers [sound recording] : the untold story of the Berlin Airlift and America’s finest hour / Andrei Cherny: Another book that made me realize I should have liked history when I was young; this was a very interesting history lesson about Berlin’s struggle after WWII – when the Russians held one side of the city and the rest of the allies tried to negotiate with them. A small band of Americans help West Berliners survive by airlifting food to them. The drops started with candy drops for the children!
Dali & I : The Surreal Story [sound recording] / Stan Lauryssens: I knew Dali was weird this proves it and beyond!
I Must Say [sound recording] : My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend / Martin Short: Enjoyed listening to this book – gave me a chance to relive some of Martin Short’s characters as he acted them out on the recording.
One liners on Two Lines by Rita Wolfson: Author is from Waltham. A Fun book – the idea for the book came to the author during a difficult time in her life.
The No A**hole Rule [sound recording] : [Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One that Isn’t] / Robert I. Sutton: Was expecting more based on the title but all I could think of was -Ya da Ya da Ya da!”
The Birthday Party : a Memoir of Survival / Stanley N. Alpert: (Another Book I actually read instead of listening to). A gripping memoir about federal prosecutor Stanley Alpert who was kidnapped from the streets of Manhattan, on his birthday, and held for ransom. He was terrorized but finally let go. His level head and good memory brought his captors to justice.

Celebrating the Library’s 150 Years

The Library is celebrating our 150th Anniversary this year!
Come see a display highlighting some our important milestones. These include the original building design, the old Sears Gallery, the South Branch, the old card catalog, the big renovation in 1994, our Director Tom Jewell and more. Check it out by the Waltham Room on the first floor.

This Week’s Best Seller Lists — July 26, 2015

Here are the best seller lists for the week of July 26, 2015:

In The Library by Charles Simic

In The Library

for Octavio

 

There’s a book called

A Dictionary of Angels.

No one had opened it in fifty years,

I know, because when I did,

The covers creaked, the pages

Crumbled.  There I discovered

 

The angels were once as plentiful

As species of flies.

The sky at dusk

Used to be thick with them.

You had to wave both arms

Just to keep them away.

 

Now the sun is shining

through the tall windows.

The library is a quiet place.

Angels and gods huddled

In dark unopened books.

The great secret lies

On some shelf Miss Jones

Passes every day on her rounds.

 

She’s very tall, so she keeps

Her head tipped as if listening.

The books are whispering.

I hear nothing, but she does.

 

More about Charles Simic

A photo of Mr. Simic. The only correction I have to the poem is that he should have called the librarian Ms. Jones!

Reserve the book here

posted by Louise

This Week’s Best Seller Lists — June 7, 2015

Here are the best seller lists for the week of June 7, 2015.

This Week’s Best Seller Lists — March 15, 2015

Here are the best seller lists for the Ides of March!

Waltham Annual Listings Online!

The Library’s latest addition to the Internet Archive is now online. The city’s annual lists of voters, or Annual Listings, are available now from 1867 through 1973; more recent ones will follow later. Since these are arranged by ward and precinct they are often consulted in tandem with the city directories. Early editions of the listings did not have street indices, like the directories did. The listings give important bits of information such as age, previous residence and political party affiliation. For the link to the listings on Internet Archive go to https://archive.org/details/walthampubliclibrary. You can also discover a lot of our other local collection, such as Waltham High School Yearbooks and City Directories. Don’t forget to also visit our page on the Digital Commonwealth to view our map collection. Thank-you to the Boston Public Library Digital Services Team for their amazing help with this project.
posted by Janice

This Week’s Best Seller Lists — March 8, 2015

Here are the best seller lists for the week of March 8, 2015.

This Week’s Best Seller Lists — February 8, 2015

Here are the best seller lists for the week of February 8, 2015.

What Are We Reading? January 27, 2015

Welcome to a long overdue “What Are we Reading?” Just in time for a snow day!

Marie: Marie is reading Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olsted by Justin Martin. “Great book. An amazing life.”

Janice: “I’m currently reading, or more precisely drooling over, the new coffee table book The Writer’s Garden by Jackie Bennett. This is a lavishly illustrated love affair with icons of literature and the gardens they adored. How about a fantasy trip to William Wordsworth’s ‘Dove Cottage’ in Grasmere in England’s Lake District, where he got his inspiration for his famous poem ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’?”

Pat A:

  • “I am currently reading: Mind over Medicine by Lissa Rankin,MD. It is about how our bodies have the innate ability to heal and how we can control this with the power of the mind.”
  • “I have just started the novel Mambo In Chinatown by Jean Kwok.”

Virginia:

  • The Lazarus Curse by Tessa Harris
    “This British historical mystery is set in the 1780’s where Dr. Thomas Silkstone, an American colonist far from his Philadelphia home, works as an anatomist (surgeon) in London. This is the 4th in the series & it was good enough that I am going to read the first three & am looking forward to the publishing of the fifth later this month. The Lazarus Curse sees Thomas working for the Royal Society cataloging fauna and flora for a disastrous voyage to Jamaica which led to the deaths of the physicians on board. But the real interest of the Royal Society is news of a potion which awakens the dead & restores them to life. But the main theme of the book is the abject cruelty of slavery. (Slavery was not abolished in England until 1809.) Thomas finds himself embroiled in a revolt that is simmering in the household of a wealthy plantation owner by his servants. The mystery story is a little short changed as the story of the rich man’s slaves becomes the focal point of the book. It is well-written & very atmospheric.”
  • Jack the Ripper and the Case for Scotland Yard’s Prime Suspect by Robert House.
    “The title pretty much says it all. Unlike most Ripper books this one goes into the history not only of London in 1888 when the Ripper struck the slums of Whitechapel but of the immigrants who had flooded the area. It is one of these immigrants who the book fingers as the real Ripper, a young man who had spent years in one of the country’s horrid insane asylums. This is a much more reasonable and likely choice of just who the Ripper was although for years people have preferred a Ripper who had royal connections. The authorities who were assigned the task of uncovering the identity of the Ripper never came out & said who they suspected but papers & old police files from the head of Scotland Yard are used here to identify the suspect who was never caught.”
  • The Good Luck Cat by Lissa Warren
    “This short compact book tells the story of the author’s father’s cat Ting. When her father’s serious heart condition worsened Lissa felt he needed a cat knowing that owning a cat can improve the lives of ill people. Ting did just that for years. But when her father died Lissa found that Ting had a serious heart problem & was rushed to Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston to receive a human pacemaker, a tricky usually unsuccessful operation. Not only did Ting survive but soon after Lissa discovered that she herself was suffering from MS & Ting was there to comfort her. This is a book for people who love cats, who love to observe their secret ways, their sweet natures.”
  • Grail Knight by Angus Donald
    “One of the highlights of my winter is the yearly publication of Angus Donald’s superb series about Robin Hood & Alan Dale. This is the 5th in the Outlaw series. The year is 1200, a year after the death of Richard Lionheart & the beginning of the reign of the much-maligned King John of England. The story is told by Alan Dale who in this book agonizes over his pregnant wife Goody who lies near death. Robin convinces him that the only thing that will save her is possession of the Holy Grail. Alan’s manor at Westbury has been burned to the ground by an old enemy & it is believed that this enemy holds the Grail. Time for another knightly adventure filled with blood and gore. Just what I needed in the dark of winter!”

Jeanette:

Lisa: “I’m reading Everybody’s Got Something, a memoir by Robin Roberts. Although the writing is somewhat choppy, I am finding the stories about her life, her family’s lives, and her personal battles with illness inspirational.”

Laura:

  • 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino
    “I really enjoyed this new novel about about a group of loosely connected people two nights before Christmas in Philadelphia. Characters include a school teacher, her third grade student (who’s a wannabe jazz singer in honor of deceased mother), a police officer, and the owner of a jazz club where everyone’s stories culminate in the middle of the night. This book is a good fit for those who enjoy alternating points of view and flashbacks.”
  • The Love Boats by Jeraldine Saunders
    “Regular readers of this column may remember my confession in the last installment about binge watching the 1970’s and 1980’s television show, The Love Boat. I recently discovered that the initial idea came from a memoir from a former cruise director. Jeraldine Saunders exaggerated (well, lied) about her knowledge of foreign languages, bingo, bridge, and cruise ship horse racing in order to land a job as a hostess, which led to her becoming the first female cruise director in the world. Fans of the show hoping to find Gopher, Captain Stubing, and the rest of the gang will be disappointed, but readers may be amused by Saunders’s various anecdotes about quirky passengers, vaguely inappropriate crew members, and things that can go wrong. The late 1960’s, early 1970’s social norms regarding treatment of women and casual sex was occasionally hard to read in a 2015 context, and I can’t decide if the book makes me excited to take another cruise or want to completely avoid the industry.”
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: Ebook version
    “I feel as if I’m the last person in the country to finally read this book. Did Nick Dunne have something to do with his wife, Amy’s disappearance (and possible murder)? Nick relays his story and it becomes obvious that he’s not the most reliable narrator. This mysterious creepy book was a fast read, but just as I still can’t decide if The Love Boats has turned me off to cruising, I still can’t decide if I enjoyed this popular title. There were some moments that I found so completely absurd that I couldn’t help laughing.”
  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave (audiobook)
    “This haunting book is extremely harrowing as it tells the story of Little Bee, a Nigerian woman who was pursued and tortured and witnessed the murder of her sister. The two sisters’ lives intersect with a British couple, Andrew and Sarah, on a Nigerian beach setting the scene for a future relationship for Little Bee and Sarah. I enjoyed this extremely gritty book, which alternates between Sarah and Little Bee’s points of view. I would have preferred it had the book stayed with Little Bee, rather than Sarah, as I found the former’s story much more compelling.”
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
    “A teen novel about Grace, who is fascinated with the wolves behind her house. She is especially fascinated with the wolf with the yellow eyes who saved her when the others attacked her as a young child. It turns out that the wolf is Sam, who becomes human in the summer. Sounds ridiculous, but this is an extremely descriptive and intriguing novel which even has a bit of a dark comic side.”

Maureen:

  • Just finished reading Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok.
    Mambo in Chinatown is about how the life of a twenty-two year old Chinese woman is transformed when she becomes a professional ball room dancer and dance instructor. Clumsy 22-year-old Charlie Wong , whose father is a famous noodle maker, toils away night and day as a dishwasher in New York City’s Chinatown. Her mother, once a star dancer for the Beijing Ballet, passed away when Charlie was 14, and she has spent the years since looking after her younger sister, Lisa. Lisa encourages Charlie to apply for a job as a receptionist in a dance studio, as Charlie works long hours at the restaurant her whole body aches and she is drained of any energy or enthusiasm for life.. Keeping it a secret from her father she applies and gets the job and what follows is a wonderful transformation from ugly duckling to swan. Charlie realizes she may have inherited her mother’s talent!
    A modern day Cinderella story and a big Thank You to (WPL staff member) Nancy Dent for this recommendation!”
  • “Currently reading The Secret Place by Tana French, the fifth book in the Dublin Murder Squad series
    St. Kilda’s School, an Irish boarding school, which is brimming with teenage girls serves as the setting for this mystery.it was here over a year ago that a 16-year-old boy, Chris Harper, from a neighboring boys’ school was murdered. His killer remained untraced, and the case remained unsolved. When Detective Frank Mackey’s daughter, sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey, shows up one morning at the police station with a postcard that reads, “I know who killed him,” the cold case takes a dramatic turn. The case is reopened and the hunt is on to find the killer. Well written and very hard to put down.”

Louise:

  • “Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin: This is a fantasy saga novel that is packed full of adventure, intrigue, betrayals, romance, violence and excitement. Not only that, but all of this is encased in a world in which: dragons may or may not be extinct, there is such a thing as magic, and there are forests galore. In this world, beheadings are possible, Kings and Queens are not always rational, and if you are the child of unwed parents, you get a raw deal. This book is excellent for anyone who wants to be swept up in a world that is totally different from the one we inhabit. No Starbucks, no malls, no GPS, no apps. Give it a whirl if you haven’t already. I can not comment on the HBO series but I am hearing great things.
  • This Town by Mark Leibovich: This is an insider’s guide to Washington D.C., the machinations, the intrigues, the desire to see and be seen. Mr. Leibovich is very cynical and witty and provides lots of real life examples of what is really going on in this town. The parties, the lobbyists who are not lobbyists when it is inconvenient, the blogs, the tweets, even what is served at the parties (including networking opportunities). If you want to laugh while you cry or cry while you laugh, I recommend this book.”
  • “The Plot To Save Socrates by Paul Levinson: I am listening to this one on audiobook. The plot seems intriguing; using time travel in an attempt to save Socrates from that nasty death by hemlock. We learn about the magic time travelling chairs that take our main characters up and down and all around history. I don’t know why but the book makes me a bit dizzy. Still, the idea of time travel is entertaining and it is lovely to hear Socrate’s reaction when he is fast fowarded to the far future. If you try this one, let me know what you think. This book is part one of a series.”
  • “The Snow Queen by Mercedes Lackey: This is a wonderful book for every grown up who loved reading about fairy godmothers as a girl. This is actually book four in a series (Tales of The Five Hundred Kingdoms). Aleksia, the fairy godmother who lives in the Northern Kingdom (read cold and snow filled), is very busy doing good works. She relies on her little brownies (not the chocolate kind, the elfin type), who help with cooking and housecleaning. Her incredible library is staffed by a very brilliant and dedicated dragon. Trouble is afoot. A snow queen wannabee is doing all manner of evil deeds including but not limited to: killing people, freezing plants and animals, putting ice in the heart of those to whom she is attracted. Aleksia has to put a stop to this. She also has to help get one of the victims of this bad magic back into the arms of his mother and his betrothed. If you want a delightful, creative, imaginative, all around fun story, this is the one for you. Furthermore, it’s part of a series so there is more to enjoy.”
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