Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague

From Margaret Mezzacapo

Title:  Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague

Author:  Geraldine Brooks

Question: A novel about the Plague?  How interesting could THAT be?

Answer: Pretty darn interesting.

Yes, when the author says “Plague”, she means “the big one” – the Black Plague that decimated Europe and changed history back in the 1600s.  Anna Frith is a normal, average woman living contentedly with her husband and children.  When her husband dies in an accident, she takes in a boarder to help make ends meet – and that’s how the Plague comes to town. The village is decimated and whole families are lost, and Anna finds herself in the role of taking care of those who are sickened.  Along the way, her independence and her capabilities grow to levels she never would have thought possible before having been put to this unwelcome test.  An interesting read that also illustrates how disease has changed history.

THE INFERNO

From  ADELE GRESSER

Title:  THE INFERNO

Author:  DAN BROWN

DAN WRITES ELABORATELY ABOUT A MYSTERY HAPPENING IN ITALY USING SITES IN ITALY.  INCORPORATED IN HIS STORY OF INTRIGUE AND DECEIPT IS HIS KNOWLEDGE OF DANTE’S INFERNO. ROBERT LANGDON, A HARVARD PROFESSOR WAKES UP IN ITALY AFTER BEING SHOT IN THE HEAD. HE HAS AMNESIA.HE DOESN’T REMEMBER WHY HE IS IN ITALY OR WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO KILL HIM.HE DOES SEEM TO REMEMBER DANTE ALGHIERE’S POEM “THE INFERNO” AND A LADY WITH LONG SILVER HAIR. THE THEME IS EARTHLINGS ARE OVERPOPULATING THE WORLD AND THE OVER POPULATION WILL DECIMATE EARTH’S BOUNTIES.  CLUES SECRET CODS, HIDDEN PASSAGES AND ANCIENT SECRETS ARE BROUGHT INTO PLAY.

Mama’s Italian Cookbook

From  Gina Scaglione

Title:  Mama’s Italian Cookbook

Author:  Love Food

My brother bought us this cookbook because he thought we would enjoy reading the stories that accompany the recipes. My husband’s family still lives in Italy and the book is supposedly written in Italy. Of course, my poor brother was duped. This book was not written in Italy. It is not even written by an Italian woman, as it is purported to be on the cover. In tiny little writing inside the book it says that the entire scenario was created by some guy somewhere in the US. Only in America:{

Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain

From  Sandi Rosenthal

Title:  Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain

Author:  Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubne

“Think like a Freak” challenges one’s current view of the world and shows how to approach life in a more creative way. This book addresses a few issues such as: how the three hardest words in the English language are “I don’t know” and how it should be okay to say these words, they share the story of Kobayashi, the guy who has won the Nathans hot dog eating contest held on July 4th, and how he became a professional food eater, “Nigerian scammers” who send email’s to millions of people throughout the world, and a few other stories that I found very interesting. I mostly enjoyed the author’s view of these situations. I highly recommend this book.