Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Nevermore: Kendzior, Obama, Seinfeld, Hughley, Kepler, Morena-Garcia, Grunwald, Kendi, Koonz


Reported by Laura


            Our first book comes highly recommended. Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America by Sarah Kendzior is a well-documented book covering decades in the making of an autocrat. Ms. Kendzior is an experienced, well-traveled, bestselling author who has studied Trump for many years and eerily predicted the insurrection we recently saw at our Capitol. This book describes his main purpose as separating America and exposes many illegal acts and associations that were swept under the rug over the years. Definitely a must-read!


    Promised Land by Barack Obama is similarly recommended. Our reviewer felt that it was a wonderful book that showcased his personality. Beautifully written, the book covers each of his policies and explains how he made his decisions as well as the people he got involved. The book doesn’t just showcase Obama’s successes, but also admits his mistakes. Quite a contrast to the first book reviewed.


 On the lighthearted side, Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld is a treasure trove for anyone who is a fan of his comedy. Reading this book is like watching him perform; you can almost hear him saying the words. At times, laugh out loud funny. If you aren’t a Seinfeld fan, then give it a miss. If you are, don’t miss it.


   In the same vein, Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Years by D. L. Hughley is “told” by key political players from both sides of the aisle. This oral history parody is hysterical and D.L. Hughley’s comedic talents shine again. Our reviewer enjoyed it immensely.


    Lazarus by Lars Kepler is an intense thriller set in Sweden.  All across Europe, the most ruthless criminals are being murdered. At first, the police think that if a vigilante wants to help them do their job, then why stop them? But then the deaths get closer and closer to the investigators on the case and it appears that it might be the work of a serial killer who was presumed dead. The reviewer is enjoying the book, but having trouble keeping up with the large cast of characters with difficult Swedish names. Overall, though, an interesting read.


      Our next novel is a book that is magical, but also a horror story. In Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Noemi, a glamorous debutante is sent to help her newly-wed cousin at High Place, a gothic mansion in the Mexican countryside. Her cousin is begging someone to save her from a mysterious doom--claims that her husband is poisoning her and visions of restless ghosts. Noemi is unafraid, but soon finds that maybe she should have been. If you are interested in horror at all, this is a good book. (On a side note, this novel is being adapted into a limited series by Hulu).


     Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald is a time-traveling story set in Grand Central Station. Joe and Nora meet in 1937 in the midst of the depression. Joe is working as a leverman on the tracks and is thankful for a steady job. He sees Nora, dressed in a flapper dress from the 20’s and seeming completely out of place. It turns out, she was killed in a subway accident in the 20’s and returns each year to Grand Central Station. Despite the odds, Nora and Joe fall deeply in love and the book follows their love story as they meet, always at the station, time after time. The reviewer said it was a good book and recommends it.


            Our next reviewer hasn’t quite finished the book, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, but she is greatly enjoying it. The book stresses that many people say and believe that they are not racist, but that as long as we support racist policies and do nothing to change the shape of the world, we can no longer claim this to be true. The author uses experiences from his own life and concludes that all races are capable of racism and that apathy is one of its biggest foes. Definitely a book to encourage soul searching and a wakeup call for conscientious Americans during a difficult time in our political climate.


            Our last book is an older Dean Koontz novel (1985) written originally under the pseudonym Richard Page. The Door to December tells the story of a 3 year-old girl who is kidnapped by her father and used for experiments in sensory deprivation. This book delves into the paranormal, as most Koontz books do, and was recommended as a good book by our reviewer.

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