Friday, June 30, 2017

June Book Report

Summertime...and the reading is easy - or at least, eases up. Only eight books read this month.

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher about her time making Star Wars and subsequent life always being known as Princess Leia was about what I expected. An okay read, but I liked Postcards From the Edge better.

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. I finally got on the train. Compared to Gone Girl, but Gone Girl is so much better.

The Winds of Change by Martha Grimes. Reading through the Richard Jury series and enjoying them.

Brakus by J. B. Millhollin. Jeff is my former attorney and, like my brother, has, in retirement, become an author. I love mysteries and wasn't sure what to expect from this author's first book. I thought it started a little slow, but I was hooked before long, and I did not figure out the ending! Good job, Jeff.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill was my least favorite read this month. Orphans fall in love as children. Leave the orphanage and lead separate lives before reconnecting as adults in Montreal.

The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve. I will always read anything Shreve writes. This is one of my favorite books this month. Set against an actual happening in 1947 Maine. After an unusually wet spring, a dry, hot summer leads to a catastrophic fire season along the coast.
A young mother saves her two children by lying with them in the ocean. Her husband is away helping fight the fire and is reported as missing and presumed dead. She miscarries the baby she was carrying, but must forge a new life for herself and her other children. She gets a job and falls in love with the pianist to whom she rents a room. He leaves for concert performances and her very badly burned and abusive husband returns.
Excellent writing and storytelling about resilience and doing what one has to in order to survive.

Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout is my other favorite book this month. As with Shreve, I will read any and all written by Strout.
This book is a companion to her 'My Name Is Lucy Barton' and consists of a series of short stories about the characters from that title. The stories intertwine enough that the book reads somewhat as a novel.
As one review states: "Explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others." I really like books like this and Strout's writing is the best.

The Old Wind Shades by Martha Grimes is the next in the Richard Jury series. I did not like this one as well only because of the subject matter.

If July is as hot and humid as usual, it will be another great month of reading.

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