From Andrea Kalinowski
Author: Edeet Ravel
The Cat by Edeet Ravel is an inside look at the torturous path to recovery from grief. It is a fictitious work but the author so clearly paints a picture that you are drawn into the mother’s agony and suffering. The protagonist is a divorced woman, raising her sole child, a boy, out in the countryside when he is killed by a motorist. Elise, the mom, after the tragic loss of her son, contemplates ending it all. The only thing binding her to this plane and this miserable existence is her son’s beloved feline, Pursie. You feel the wretchedness of Elise’s condition and cheer her as she takes stumbling steps back into the world of the living. She pays a psychiatrist to help her deal with the overwhelming epistolary response to her son’s death. The doctor wades through and selects a few letters, which he feels, do not minimize or negate the trauma Elise has suffered. An inside look at grief, sorrowful but well-written and worth the read.
From Ellen Druda
Author: David Browne
Fire and Rain: the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor and the lost story of 1970
1970 was a pivotal year for me too, so I was really looking forward to enjoying this behind –the-scenes look at some of my favorite musicians from that time. Browne does a good job of interweaving the groups’ careers and personal lives, how they intersected and splintered, and rose and fell. Despite my affection for the subject matter and time period, I found the writing a bit dry. Not much fire and rain, but an interesting read if you remember the year.
From Virginia Pisciotta
Author: Pam & Chuck D. Pierce
The rewards of simplicity : a practical and spiritual approach
Given the popularity of the Hoarder’s TV show, there is no shortage of books dealing with handling clutter. This book goes beyond (but does include) the usual helpful suggestions for getting rid of excess stuff, taking a broader and deeper view of the things (not always material) that clutter and complicate our lives. The book is written from a spiritual point of view and the authors (both ministers) use both Scripture and their own experiences to teach others how to simplify all aspects of their lives and free themselves from the anxiety that often comes with cluttered and complicated lives. The last paragraph in the postscript sums the book up nicely, “Simplification is not about making life easier. It is about clearing away the cobwebs that obscure our vision. It is about choosing that ”good part” and discarding the rest. It is about being free from the distractions that keep us from truly knowing and fellowshipping with our families, our friends and our God.”
From Andrea Kalinowski
Author: Susan Mallery
Susan Mallery has started a new series set on fictional Blackberry Island. The first is Barefoot Season which is followed by Three sisters. The location is the only thread of continuity which makes these books perfect summer reads since they can be read in order or as stand alones. Barefoot Season revolves around the complicated parent-child relationship and how the effects can be felt among childhood friendships. Michelle and Carly were the best of friends until Carly’s mother ran off with Michelle’s father. Now Michelle is a returning veteran and in order to run the inn that is Michelle’s inheritance, the friends must iron out the hiccups in their relationships.
In Three Sisters, we return to Blackberry Island but on this visit, three unconnected women must resolve issues separate from each other. The newest homeowner on Blackberry Island is running from a wedding, while the homeowners on either side have their own emotional disasters to unravel and surmount. Deanna Phillips, with her OCD disorder and mental anguish leftover from her mother, fears her husband is on the verge of an affair while Boston King, an artist, cannot seem to accept the loss of her son. Boston endlessly renders her son’s image in all sorts of mediums. These three women, brought together because they live next door to each other, bond and with that bonding, manage to provide the impetus for each of them to resolve their issues. Both were entertaining reads and a little bit more because of the strength embedded in the female characters.
From Andrea Kalinowski
Author: James Lasdun
Give me everything you have : on being stalked
I just finished reading a suspenseful, frighteningly true story. Give me everything you have : on being stalked by James Lasdun is an English professor’s memoir, of sorts. He was attempting to mentor a potential author who misread his laudatory comments and assumed, incorrectly, that he was romantically interested in her. Being a published writer himself, the student attacked his honorability with accusations of plagiarism and sexual misconduct. She avowed that the professor stole her work and with the help of unknown persons, published it to acclaim. With the advent of social media, it was quite easy for the student to further persecute her professor. She managed to hijack different forums where the professor was a presence and subvert his postings. This hijacking of the professor’s postings, in addition to causing stress, managed to tinge his professional dealings with a hint of shadiness. A scary read since it is all too easy to imagine this scenario being played out endlessly all over the world, sometimes with dire consequences. Stalking is a very serious issue on both sides of the coin, the stalker’s and the victim’s.
From Margaret Mezzacapo
Author: Ronald D. Brown
Dying on the job : murder and mayhem in the American workplace
This is the worst book ever. The premise is interesting, but this book makes watching paint dry and grass grow seem scintillating. It’s written in the style of a sociology term paper, complete with footnotes every other word. The author also has the strange habit of repeating anecdotes. You’ll read one account and two pages later it’s repeated, sometimes almost word for word, and they weren’t always that great the first time.
I do not recommend this book, unless you’re the kind who thinks, “ It’s got to get better” as you read along. Trust me – it doesn’t.
From Rosemarie Jerome
Author: Jillian Stone
A Lesson in Chemistry
In 1887 London,” forensics” is a new science being used to fight crime. Archibald Bruce is the Director of the Crime Laboratory for the Criminal Investigations Division of Scotland Yard whose typical day is spent collecting and testing evidence, dealing with explosives and creating new devices. In his spare time he is a Professor of Chemistry at the university where he meets Fiona Rose. Archie finds love, rescues Agent Phineas Gunn and becomes entangled in a mission to stop an arms dealer from supplying weapons and explosives to anarchist factions throughout Europe and the Americas. Readers familiar with the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series will be familiar with Archie who is an important character, but not one of the major characters. I am glad to learn more about him and hope that he becomes the focus of a future novel. The titles in the series are: “An Affair with Mr. Kennedy” bk 1, “A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis” bk 2 and “A Private Duel with Agent Gunn” bk 3. This exclusive Kindle eBook is available on our circulating Paperwhite Kindle.