Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Nevermore: Serling, Liberty's Blueprint, Invisible Code, Finfarran, Road from Coorain, Mary Shelly, Lord of the Mountain, Robert Browning, Stuart Woods, Geraldine Brooks, Dumpty

Reported by Laura

Nevermore was a fun time this week with a wide variety of books !

          The first book reviewed was The Twilight Man by Koren Shadmi. This graphic novel is a biography of Rod Serling, who is probably most remembered for The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery series. The reviewer found it to be a wonderful and very informative book. I will definitely be adding it to my reading list!

          Our next book was also a nonfiction offering, Liberty’s Blueprint: How Madison and Hamilton Wrote the Federalist Papers, Defined the Constitution, and Made Democracy Safe for the World by Michael Meyerson. The subtitle pretty much explains it all. The reviewer enjoyed the book and shared one of the quotes from James Madison, “If people were angels, we wouldn’t need this constitution.”

          The Invisible Code by Christopher Fowler was a very good, funny detective story. It covers the exploits of two very different detectives working for the Peculiar Crimes Unit. One is very logical, while the other uses supernatural ideas to solve crimes. This particular case leads them into the world of madness, codes, and the secret of London’s strangest relic.

          The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy is the first in the Finfarran Series. After a nasty divorce, Hanna Casey finds herself back where she started, living with her overbearing mother and licking her wounds. She restores a cottage left to her by her great aunt and takes a job as the local librarian. All goes relatively well until the threat of library closure jeopardizes her livelihood and she finds herself leading the community in a fight to save it. Our reviewer reported that the book was very good and she enjoyed it.

          Our next reviewer found The Road From Coorain by Julie Ker Conway to be a beautifully written book about Australia. This memoir tells of Ms. Conway’s beginnings growing up in the outback on a sheepherder’s ranch, the drowning death of her beloved father, the subsequent withdrawal of her mother into depression, and the resulting move to suburban Sydney. In later life, she becomes the first female president of Smith College, as well as a feminist and famous writer (this is her first memoir).

          The next offering was a YA novel, Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein. It was written like a journal by Mary Shelley and feels like a biography that details what life was like before and after the publication of Frankenstein. The reviewer was impressed with the extensive research that went into this novel.

          Lord of the Mountain is a juvenile book that feels more like a YA rendering. It is an especially relevant book for our area as it follows a young man who lives in Bristol, TN and is endeavoring to disobey his father by attending the Bristol Sessions. The reviewer had not finished the book, but was enjoying it immensely thus far.

          Poetry was up next. Originally having read Elizabeth Barrett Browning and being left cold, the reviewer decided to try Robert Browning. He read some, but not all of the book, and still found it lacked something. Some of the poems seemed tacky and he found a lot of the poetry to include double entendres. He felt the Italy poem read almost like a tour guide.

          In Contraband by Stuart Woods, Stone Barrington is enjoying some time off while cruising Key West on a yacht with his friend, the police commissioner. While they are enjoying the view, a plane crashes into the water. Thrown into investigating a smuggling operation; the evidence keeps disappearing. Metal cases contained in the plane disappear and then the plane itself. This was considered a good, easy read.

          People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, was a lovely novel and comes highly recommended. Based on a true story, it tells of Hannah, an Australian rare-book expert, who is hired to restore the famed Sarajevo Haggadah. As she works, she finds tiny artifacts in the bindings of the book and uses those to unlock the mystery of the book’s owners throughout history.

          Also by Geraldine Brooks, The Secret Chord was reviewed this week. This book covers the history of the Biblical story of David and Goliath. The author found it to be a lot about who killed whom, and although it was well-written, she didn’t enjoy it.

          Dumpty is a small book filled with political cartoons and satirical verse about President Trump and others in his administration. It is written by the actor, John Lithgow. Our reviewer found it highly amusing.

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