Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin



I’ve always wondered what happens to people who find their lives turned upside down after an unfortunate lack of judgment that lands them as the focal point of all the news, so I was attracted to this novel because of its description and because I enjoyed the author’s previous novel, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry.  Aviva Grossman, an ambitious Congressional intern, unfortunately, becomes involved in an affair with the married Congressman she works for who is an old family friend.  When the affair is revealed, The Congressman manages to come out of the scandal unscathed and captures re-election.  Meanwhile, Aviva who is scorned discovers she is pregnant.  Because everyone knows of the affair she finds it impossible to find a job, so she takes the drastic measure to change her name and start her life over in Maine as an event planner.  It was interesting exploring the different standards that are applied to women rather than men, how the mistake affects the family and the Congressman’s wife,  and the process of recovering from a past mistake.

Thank you to Edelweiss for providing a copy of this book for my honest review.


The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti


Wow. The psychological suspense in this book starts immediately with the ominous and mysterious falling of dead starlings in the Pennsylvania town where the story is set.  The writer of the journal entry in the opening pages also mentions having dealt the Tower Tarot card that same day.  The suspense proceeds full force.   It’s the same day a high school girl called ” the witch” disappears.  One of the beloved teachers and baseball coach has been accused of having an affair with the girl before her disappearance.  He claims he was just trying to help her with a bad situation.  His marriage has some issues because his wife feels he spends more time with the students than with her and their autistic son.  Many of his actions certainly look suspicious leading you to wonder whether or not he is innocent.   All the chapters alternate in time before and after the day the birds fell, and they alternate in telling the story from the various characters’ perspectives, dribbling out bits and pieces of information in each.The book has good, well-developed characters, and a great suspenseful storyline that keeps you turning the pages quickly to try to discover what has really happened.  This was my first Kate Moretti book, but it certainly won’t be my last.  Recommended.  This book will be published September 26, 2017.

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.


Driving Miss Norma: One Family’s Journey Saying “Yes” to Living by Ramie Liddle and Tim Bauerschmidt


I adored this book.  After recently losing her husband, ninety-year-old Norma discovers that she has uterine cancer. She refuses to undergo chemo treatments and radiation, and, instead, decides to enjoy her remaining days by accepting her retired son, Tim’s, invitation to join his wife, Raimie, and him on a cross-country tour in their RV.  Throughout this adventure, shy Norma blossoms and experiences things such as a balloon ride that she never would have tried previously.  Raimie describes their adventures in a blog, and soon Norma has a large following, meeting many people who welcome her, become fast friends, and offer her all kinds of kind opportunities.  I love the way Norma has embraced life and the portrayal of her growth.  The growth of the relationship with her son and daughter in-law is also heartwarming.  It’s a joke in my family that I love movies and books based on a true story, but this is one that I think everyone will fall in love with and find humorous, life-affirming, and uplifting.  Highly recommended.

Thank you to Edelweiss for providing a copy of this book for my honest review.



The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld


Madison is a girl who was five when she disappeared from the remote Oregon forests while her family was looking for a Christmas tree.  Three years later as a last resort the parents contact Naomi who is known as “the child finder”.  She has a knack and reputation for finding children who have gone missing.  She finds them although they aren’t always still alive.  The parents, though, are still hopeful after all these years that she was able to survive the rugged, cold Oregon outdoors.  Naomi also has a special calling to look for these children because she has a past herself.  Something bad happened to her as a child and she has no memory of it which haunts her, leading her to feel called to help these children.  The story is well developed and beautifully written as she goes on her search to find Madison.  The book will be published September 5, 2017.  This was just voted as a Library Reads selection for September.

Thank you to Edelweiss for the advanced copy in return for an honest review.




American Eclipse by David Baron


With the eclipse coming up on August 21, I wanted to be sure to read this book before then, and I’m glad I did.  Now I just wish I had planned ahead to go to a great viewing spot on August 21.  This engaging and well-researched book is full of information about the scientists and astronomers James Craig Watson, Maria Mitchell, and Thomas Edison during the total solar eclipse of 1878. Watson was trying to prove that a planet, Vulcan, did exist; Mitchell was proving that women could be outstanding scientists and forged ahead for women’s rights; and Edison was eager to test his new invention, the tasimeter, a device that measured heat.   The book primarily focuses on those three, but many other well-known and lesser-known figures of the day are also well-presented. It highlights an interesting time period for America where our country gained a lot of respect throughout the world for the astronomical and scientific endeavors.  Baron does a great job of developing and bringing to life the three main characters as well as the other characters, too, showcasing their struggles and triumphs.   As a female, I found it interesting that there was a widely held theory that women couldn’t be scientists because it would make them sick and barren.  “Fortunately, Mitchell and her success helped spur a study that dispelled that theory.  I would encourage you to rush out and read this before (or after if you can’t do it before) August 21.

Thank you to Edelweiss for providing me a copy of the book to read for an honest review.


Book Covers That Look Alike

During my days working at the library. I see a lot of book covers.  As a result, I started to notice that I thought a lot of them looked alike, so I started a fun little project of keeping a file of books I think look alike.  Naturally. a lot of the ones that look alike are because they are for books written by the same author, but often that is not the case. I’m sure it is often the same person creating them, but I still find it interesting. I thought it would be fun to occasionally post those to this blog.  I’d love to have some interaction going with this, so if you have some that you think are similar as well, please feel free to share.  Here is my first set of book covers to start this off: