Here are some more book-a-days for your reading/listening/buying pleasure. If you missed last week’s, check them out here.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
This is a Russian fairytale. An amazing book, which is now going to be part of a trilogy.
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.
A Dirt Road to Somewhere by Romona Robinson
In this non-fiction title, Romona Robinson tells the story of her life journey from a backwoods Missouri town to an Emmy Award-winning anchor and reporter in Cleveland, Ohio. Sustained by her faith and family, she recounts the ups and downs of life along her road to somewhere.
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
This was well crafted. I especially liked the mystery within the mystery. An homage to classic whodunits set in an English country village.
Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites by Deb Perelman
Smitten Kitchen Every Day, by Deb Perelman, arrived in 2017 to please followers of the weekly Smitten Kitchen recipe email list and home cooks everywhere. With recipes ranging from breakfast, vegetarian dinners, meat mains, and mouthwatering desserts, this cookbook can satisfy almost every appetite. Perelman has an engaging writing style and tips throughout the book to put at ease even the novice cook. (“When you put the ingredients in, you will surely think, ‘This is too much onion!'” from One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes or “There is no one correct way to make pangrattato, only the way you like it. Nobody is going to know if you skip the parsley or try sage or thyme instead of rosemary” from Spaghetti Pangrattato with Crispy Eggs.) Fans of the 2012 Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and new home cooks alike will find easy, interesting meals with accessible ingredients to add to their repertoire. This cookbook has the word “unfussy” in the subtitle and means it! Recipes are explained well and easy to construct, regardless of your skills in the kitchen.
Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
When you think of Martha and George Washington, do warm and fuzzy thoughts of genial grandparents enter your mind? Maybe even the phrase “freedom-loving”? In 1789, George took up a new job… as first President of the United States. Things went smoothly for him and Martha concerning their domestic arrangements during the first two years, when the capital was in New York. But when the capital moved to Philadelphia, the couple was presented with a quandary… The laws of Pennsylvania granted freedom to any slave who resided in the state continuously for six months, and they had brought some of their slaves with them. Despite shuffling them in and out of state to ensure their legal captivity, some of their slaves were infected with the idea that freedom could be a real possibility. Ona Judge was the first of the Washingtons’ slaves to, in the speech of the day, steal her own body from the president. She ran away. Eventually, the Washingtons tracked her down to where she was living in New Hampshire. But despite their best efforts to lure or compel her to return, they failed. Force, illegal acts, deceit, nothing was too low to attempt. This book will open your eyes. It will open them to a deeper insight of a real man and woman behind the cozy, cartoon view of the Washingtons of mythology. It will also give you an unsettling view of a society where evil was seen as good, and good was seen as evil, by most people. But not, redemptively, by all. Above all, it will give you a great deal of respect for a woman named Ona Judge.
The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis
It’s not a 2017 publication, released in December 2016, but I went through it in 2017 and it was fantastic.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez
Julia struggles with the aftermath of her older sister’s tragic death and the depression that results from that loss and her disconnect from her parents and their expectations that she be the perfect Mexican daughter. She is smart and outspoken and the reader feels her pain. For older teens as there are mature situations including her losing her virginity and a suicide attempt. A coming of age novel that is raw and honest.
Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
Young Adult – Adult/ Epic Fantasy
This is the long awaited third book of The Stormlight Archive, an epic fantasy. Readers have waited since 2004 which is almost fourteen years for the “rest of the story.” The story line catapults the reader into a world ready to topple. It brings one into a massive complex world of Roshar. The author suggests that the reader enjoy a novella placed between books two and three. It is called Edgedancer. See brandonsanderson.com/cosmere for a longer explanation. The first book is They Way of the Kings and the second, Words of Radiance. Each book appears to be a free-standing adventure. Kaladin from Book Two was empowered at the close of Radiance. In Oathbringer the highlighted character is Dalinar Kholin. The author begins to peel away the shell of his character. It is done by returning memories unbidden from the ether. He comes face-to-face with who he was and must decide what kind of a man he wants to be. This is a key moment in the story and Sanderson is at his best here. Mysteries are answered and even more questions are raised. It is a wonderful journey for the reader. This is the author who completed Robert Jordan’s famous Wheel of Time series.
If the reader loves fantasy and a “chunky” book,” this is the series to tap into and enjoy.
Renato and the Lion by Barbara DiLorenzo
Youth – ages 0-12 – historical fiction
This ‘walk’ guides the reader through Florence, Italy – the author/illustrator pays attention to the details of the actual city and recreates it in watercolor form. The story is about a little boy who loves his city, playing with his friends, and walks with his father through the artful buildings and statues in the town. He is especially fond of a lion statue who makes him feel safe and seems to smile at him. The beautiful paintings in this book give light to this heartwarming story about family, friendship and confidence, even during times of change.
Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres
Ages 8 – 12 (middle grade fiction)
Stef Soto’s immigrant family was on a mission. Her dad loved to cook; he wanted a better job than painting buildings. The Soto family scrimped and saved until they had enough money to buy and operate a taco truck of their own. Having a dad who drove a taco truck was cool–at first. But now the kids are teasing Stef for having an onion-and-cilantro stench and calling her The Taco Queen. Stef wants to use her art to make a name for herself apart from the taco truck, but when city regulations threaten to close down Papi’s truck for good, The Taco Queen must step to the plate. This one’s a heartwarmer — characters with spunk, a plot that clicks engagingly along, and a narrator you’ll cheer for.