Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Nevermore: Beans, Dogs, Collapse, The Body, Turtle Moon, At Risk, Wolf Pack

Reported by Laura

            The Beans of Egypt, Maine by Carolyn Chute was the first book reviewed and the reader disliked it so much she didn’t finish it. These eleven stories center around God-fearing Earlene Pomerleau’s obsession with the Bean family that lives next door. They are a poverty-stricken, incestuous tribe that one might imagine living in a sardine can trailer in the backwoods of nowhere. The book follows their saga as Earlene becomes entangled in their lives. This is an older book from the 80’s and not recommended, however, the book was made into a movie.

            W. Bruce Cameron’s A Dog’s Promise is the third book in the Dog’s Purpose series. It continues the story of Bailey from A Dog’s Purpose. This time he is joined by another special dog, Lacey, who helps him fulfill his purpose over several lives. The reader felt it should have been classified as a Young Adult book, though she did enjoy it and find it fun.

            The next book was written by academic and popular science author, Jared Diamond. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed chronicles what caused some of the greatest civilizations from the past to collapse and how we can learn from them. The reviewer found it interesting, but a hard read.

            Our reviewer found The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson not as fun as the other books he has written, but still very good. This offering explains how the human body works and its amazing ability to heal itself.

            Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman felt a bit like Faulkner to our reviewer and she enjoyed the book as she does most by this author. Lucy Rosen is a divorced mother of a troubled teenage son who moves to Verity, FL in the month of May. May in Verity is drenched with oppressive heat, and true to Hoffman’s genre, supernatural occurrences abound.  Trouble begins in earnest when another divorcee who lives in the same complex is murdered and Lucy’s son disappears along with the murdered woman’s baby.

            At Risk is another Alice Hoffman book reviewed this week. It is the tragic story of Amanda, an 11 year old gymnast who develops AIDS following a blood transfusion from a minor childhood surgery. The book tells how this tragedy affects the entire family, the astronomer father, photographer mother, and younger brother who is a budding biologist. As expected, many in the community and school overreact and want nothing to do with Amanda or her family. She is many times not allowed to compete in competitions and life as they know it ceases to exist. Thankfully, a friend who interprets dreams is able to help the family through this difficult time. Our reviewer recommends it as a very good book.


The latest in C. J. Box’s Joe Puckett series is Wolf Pack. The reviewer found it true to the storyline as this latest offering involves a series of incidents where a drone has been causing elk and deer to stampede to their death. When Joe begins to investigate, he and his youngest daughter, Lucy, and her boyfriend end up in the direct path of a Mexican cartel.

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