Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Nevermore: Jackson, Choo, Greene, Streever, McCrumb, Pearce, Ng, Charleson

Reported by Laura


 Nevermore read a wide variety of books this week from suspense to heartwarming to intriguing non-fiction. The first book of the day was the new Joshilyn Jackson book, Never Have I Ever. It came highly recommended! The story involves a woman named Amy who has a past she would like to keep secret. She marries the man of her dreams and inherits a step-daughter. Life is good, with the exception of the guilt she carries daily. Then one night at book club, a beautiful creature named Roux suggests they play a game, “Never Have I Ever” and tell a secret no one knows about them. This leads to blackmail and a multitude of uncovered secrets. Definitely worth a read.

          One book club member read The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo. Set in 1930’s Malaysia, this book follows the coming of age of a young girl who is an apprentice dressmaker moonlighting as a dance hall girl to help pay her mother’s debts. Her life becomes intertwined with a young house boy searching for his master’s finger that was lost in an accident many years ago. It must be found so that when his master dies, they can be buried together. This book is filled with a delicious mix of fantasy and magic, including men who turn into tigers and other mysterious happenings.

          Our next book, Nothing is Forgotten by Peter Golden, is an excellent story of a young NJ man raised by his beloved Russian grandmother. He begins a radio show as The Mad Russian, poking fun at Krushchev. This radio show is heard in Russia, not only by a young girl, but also by authorities who are unappreciative of the satire.  The grandmother ends up murdered and the grandson travels to Russia to learn more of her history, and hopefully, the cause of her death. This book gives great insight into the concentration camps of WW ll and explains a lot of what went on during this dark period of history.

          Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng was the next book reviewed. This book focuses on Mia, an artist and single mother, who rents a home with her daughter in a community reminiscent of a Stepford village. Until their arrival, the community seemingly is run perfectly with every house and life following the accepted pattern. Mia and her daughter’s lives become intertwined with the family from which they are renting and many surprises and stories within stories ensue. This book came highly recommended.

          Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene is a hilarious and intriguing story of Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman who is recruited as a spy. Set in 1959, this story follows Wormold as he pretends to recruit sub agents and makes up false stories to report. But then, the stories start to come true…

          Sharyn McCrumb is always an appreciated author at Nevermore. This week’s book was The Ballad of Frankie Silver. It follows the story of two separate 18 year-olds who are accused of murder in 1832. They both hide the truth for their own reasons. This book is recommended, but the reviewer felt it went on a little too long.

          Two nonfiction books by Bill Streever (who was born in Kingsport, by the way!) were reviewed this week. Cold was determined to be the best of the two. It was fascinating and informative, telling the story of how everything responds to climate, from the smallest bug to every human on earth. This book covers an entire year, telling about climate and how it changes through the months. Reading this book will change how you think about the world around you and all of the minute creatures below the surface; each reacting to climate in its own way. The other book by Mr. Streever was And Soon I Heard a Roaring Wind. This book is a scientific study of the history of wind and covers many areas, including the forecasting of weather. The reviewer found it very informative and would definitely recommend it.

          Another nonfiction book reviewed was When the Rivers Run Dry by Fred Pearce. This book was a look at the details of the water shortage crisis that threatens the earth. It was very informative, though frightening!

          Our last book was a very sweet, poignant story entitled Where the Lost Dogs Go by Susannah Charleson. This is the true story of the author’s dedication to lost animal search and rescue missions. It heartwarmingly reveals the transformation at the instant when an animal is reunited with its owner. A good read to warm the heart.

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