Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Nevermore: Broadchurch, Sociopath, First Ladies, Appalachian Railroads, Spool of Blue Thread, 4th of July Creek

Reported by Candess and Ambrea

This week in Nevermore, members explored a variety of books, including Broadchurch by Erin Kelly and Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E. Thomas.

Broadchurch was first on the roster.  Based on the 2013 television series of the same name, Broadchurch follows the story of Ellie Miller as she investigations the murder of an eleven-year-old boy found on the beach, the son of one of her dearest friends.  Between dealing with the buried secrets of her small Dorset town and the sudden appearance of a disreputable Scottish detective, Alec Hardy, Ellie deals with her own sense of loss and struggles to discover the murder before it’s too late.  Our Nevermore reader considered it “very good,” engrossing and intriguing like the television show.

Likewise, our other Nevermore reader found Confessions of a Sociopath:  A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight to be an interesting journey.  Part memoir and part psychological exploration, M.E. Thomas’s novel details how the author deals with her disability and, more importantly, thrives despite it.  Our Nevermore reader called it, “Very interesting” - and worth reading if one is interested in uncovering the characteristics of a sociopath.

Another book our Nevermore reader read was First Ladies: Presidential Historians on the lives of 45 Iconic Women by Susan Swain (and C-SPAN).  Based on a series of episodes by C-SPAN in which preeminent historians and biographers discussed the lives of the presidential first ladies, First Ladies  dives deeper into the world of the president’s wives - their dreams, deeds, aspirations, and efforts - and exploring these “fascinating women who survived the scrutiny of the White House, sometimes at great personal cost, while supporting their families and famous husbands - and sometimes changing history.”  Nevermore readers gave it a very positive review, saying it was definitely worth reading, especially if one enjoys history.

Conquering the Appalachians by Mary Hattan Bogart followed next.  Bogart’s book chronicled the construction of the Western Maryland Railway and the Clinchfield Railroad as it went over, around, and even through the Appalachian Mountains.  Based on the journals, records, and photographs of William Cary Hattan, the civil engineer who built large portions of these railroads, Conquering the Appalachians is an up-close and personal look at the individuals who built these railroads and the impact they had on the regiion.  According to our Nevermore reader, “We should never discard these books!  Put them in the young adult section so that our young people have an idea of the history of the railroads and what it meant to our county!”

Last but not least, A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler was discussed.  According to our Nevermore reader, it was absolutely wonderful.  Following the lives of the Whitshanks, all four generations of them, A Spool of Blue Thread chronicles family life - the ups and the downs, the good and the bad, the secrets and the shared memories - at its worst and at its best.

One of our Nevermore mentioned 4th of July Creek by Smith Hendrson, in which social worker Pete Snow becomes involved in the case of an eleven-year-old boy, nearly feral from neglect, and his survivalist father, and called it an interesting read.  Although still working on reading this book, our reader received great praise from a family member who claimed, “There is an astounding, life-changing ending” to uncover.

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