Category: Highly Recommended

November Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews

I spent a lot of time this month participating in Nonfiction November, so I thought instead of the usual monthly wrap-up I’d post some mini-reviews instead. These three books address issues related to science, religion, and the intersection of the two. I recommend all three.  The Story of More by Hope Jahren (audio by the author):…

Authors I’ve Discovered This Year

This post is about some of my favorite new-to-me authors in 2020 (so far). I focused more on fiction than nonfiction, with a couple of exceptions. I’ve read some excellent nonfiction this year, like Rachel Louise Snyder’s No Visible Bruises and Garrett Graf’s The Only Plane in the Sky, but here I’ve chosen books that…

Review: Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

I couldn’t be happier that Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet won this year’s Women’s Prize.  I love O’Farrell but I worried that this book couldn’t live up to my expectations, after all the rave reviews.  It absolutely did. Hamnet is about William Shakespeare, though he’s never actually named in the book. It’s 1596, and 11 year old Hamnet…

Review: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but I ended up finding it both fascinating and moving. I knew it was about a true-life group of people in the Appalachians with blue skin, and it was also about the historic Packhorse Librarians, women who delivered library books on horseback to families in the…

Review: Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon

This was a fantastic historical novel about World War II that is even greater because it is nearly all true.  Author Lawhon gives us the story of real-life hero Nancy Wake, an Australian who serves as a British special operative in World War II, working with French resistance fighters. As with many historical novels, Lawhon…

Review: The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

If you’re trying to avoid thinking about the pandemic, this will NOT be the book for you. Otherwise, it’s another fantastic novel from Emma Donoghue, author of Room and The Wonder. This is a historical novel set in Dublin in 1918 during World War I and the devastating influenza pandemic. Julia Power is a 30-year old nurse in…

Review: Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

To date, David Mitchell hasn’t written a book I didn’t like, and this one is no exception. In fact, it will be one of my favorites because of its subject matter.  I don’t always fully understand Mitchell’s work, especially the horology storyline that runs through his most recent books.  But I love the way he…