Reported by Ambrea
Like Full Dark, No Stars and Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams collects the author’s most recent short stories, as well as several which have never been published. Full of eerie, wonderfully compelling stories, Bazaar of Bad Dreams allows readers the opportunity to sample King’s writing and immerse themselves in a series of worlds that are unusual, strange, and sometimes scary. Our reader initially became interested in Bazaar of Bad Dreams after listening to an interview with Stephen King on the Diane Rehm Show on January 1, 2016—and, of course, she’s very glad she picked it up. The stories, she said, were all very interesting. Admittedly, one or two didn’t hold her interest, but she found that she enjoyed the book overall and she highly recommends it to all loyal readers of Stephen King.
Our readers also explored Those We Left Behind by Stuart Neville. Seven years ago, Ciaran Devine—who earned the moniker of “schoolboy killer” when he was only twelve-years-old—murdered his foster father and, along with his brother Thomas, earned several years in prison. Now, with his sentence coming to an end, Ciaran is set to join Thomas back in Belfast, and DCI Serena Flanagan has her doubts. Although Ciaran confessed to the brutal crime, Flanagan believes the young man was only a scapegoat and she fears that once he returns to his brother’s clutches, Ciaran might find himself in even deeper trouble than before. Those We Left Behind received excellent reviews from our Nevermore reader. An already ardent fan of Stuart Neville, she called his book both captivating and intensely riveting. “I absolutely loved this book,” she said, and she was very glad she’d had the opportunity to read Neville’s newest novel.
Next, our Nevermore readers looked at How to Read the Solar System: A Guide to the Stars and Planets by Chris North and Paul Abel, hosts of BBC’s hit television series The Sky at Night. As both astronomers and authors, North and Abel help readers explore the solar system around us, as well as offer insight into the distant past where myths once explained the universe. Although small in stature, measuring just over 500 pages, How to Read the Solar System was an extraordinarily good book because not only provides insight into science, but human understanding and history as well. Our reader was especially fascinated by North and Abel’s survey of the planet Venus, allowing him the opportunity to learn about one of the brightest objects in the night sky and Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor.
Here and Nowhere Else: Late Seasons of a Farm and Its Family switched gears and brought our Nevermore readers back to earth—to rural New England, specifically—in Jane Brox’s award-winning memoir. As her father struggles with his waning health and her brother fights with a desperate drug addiction, Brox returns to her family’s farm to help them work the land and keep a legacy alive. Our reader found Here and Nowhere Else to be a very moving, very informative book. Brox has a beautiful style of writing that makes even the most mundane things, such as tilling soil, picking fruit, and remodeling her old house, riveting, and her memoir is full of wisdom and insight into New England farming. Although Brox’s book comes highly recommended, it might be more enjoyable for readers who have experience with New England.
Last, one of our Nevermore readers dived back into Susan Vreeland’s work and discovered The Passion of Artemisia. As a woman of the Renaissance, Artemisia Gentileschi had a great talent for art—and, undeterred by the dictates of tradition, set out to become a painter. Vreeland weaves an intricate story of loss and love, passion and genius, as one woman fights to balance her life as a daughter, wife, and mother, and her incredible career as a seventeenth-century artist. Our Nevermore reader said she enjoyed Vreeland’s novel, finding it both informative and incredibly detailed; however, while she likes historical fiction, Vreeland focuses heavily upon art history and cultural movements. She said if a reader is interested art and history, then The Passion of Artemisia is an excellent choice.