Readers’ Reviews of Favorite Books

I updated the blog “Oh, It’s All About The Books, ‘Bout The Books, ‘Bout the Books” to include favorite reads that have come in the last few days.

Here are comments that were included with the books listed, carrots to get thee to the library, the Kindle, the independent bookstore.

Any murder mystery by Anne Perry including The Thomas Pitt series:  You never know who dunnit until last 5 or 4 pages, then you have to go back and re-read them just to make sure. Informative about life in England mid 1800s on. You don’t necessarily have to read them in order.

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande : Nonfiction; medical / end-of-life issues. Best book I’ve ever read on this subject!

Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins: Fascinating and beautiful novel set partly in Knoxville/ Oak Ridge. This is a book I’d never want to miss; best novel I’ve read this year; superb writing. She breaks the rules but does it expertly.

Barefoot to Avalon by David Payne: This memoir is exceptional–the best memoir I’ve read this year, along with Amy Tan’s The Opposite of Fate. But of the two, if you have to choose, don’t miss this one. Incredibly honest and engaging from Page 1 to the end.

Hellhole by Gina Damico:. Max accidentally opens a hole to hell from which a Demon named Burg crawls out. Listening to this story REALLY makes it even more awesome.

Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming: If you don’t know Cumming, figure it out. He’s a fabulous actor. The best part, you don’t need to know who he is to enjoy his memoir. (and I’m not usually a fan of the genre)

Fairest by Marissa Meyer: This is a sort of prequel to the Lunar Chronicles where we learn about the early life of ultimate bad guy Queen Levana (truly, read the other 3 books first). You know how sometimes, you feel empathetic to the bad guy because of how she/he grew up? You think you might find that with Levana…. Meyer’s series contains such an artistic web of storylines.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman: Gorgeous writing and story and completely heartbreaking.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: Masterful storytelling and beautiful writing and story.

Trampoline by Robert Gipe: Hilarious, lyrical, and heartbreaking all at once. Tennessee boy (now in Harlan) done good.

A Cup of Light  by Nicole Mones: An expert appraiser of fine Chinese porcelain, with an encyclopedic knowledge of her topic and a fascinating technique for remembering facts, is sent to Beijing to authenticate a large collection of rare pieces. As she works to evaluate each fragile pot, she begins to realize that no matter how perfect some seem, the possibility exists that they are forgeries. A mystery with an interesting historical/factual back story,

Aqua Alta by Donna Leon: (So far Bill and I have inhaled at least twenty of Leon’s Brunetti mysteries – she has undoubtedly created one of the most intelligent, engaging characters ever)

As Venice braces for a winter storm and rising water, Commissario Guido Brunetti finds out that an old friend has been savagely beaten at the palazzo home of her lover, the reigning diva Flavia Petrelli. (This one also involves the forgery of rare Chinese porcelain).

Brunetti’s Cookbook by Roberta Pianaro: Among their many pleasures, Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti novels have long been celebrated for their mouth-watering descriptions of food. Multicourse lunches at home with Paola and the children, and then there’s the coffee, the pastries, the wine, and the grappa…

In Brunetti’s Cookbook, Donna Leon’s best friend and favorite cook brings to life these fabulous Venetian meals. The recipes are joined by excerpts from the novels, four-color illustrations, and six original essays by Donna Leon on food and life in Venice.

Mary Coin by Marisa Silver:  This is a novel based on the Dorothea Lange’s photo, “Migrant Mother.”

The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan:  History of several women who worked at Oak Ridge/ Secret City from 1942-1945. I suggest this read for everyone who lives in Knoxville. Lot of history.

The Given Day by Dennis Lehane: This is a story of three individuals from across the states. A baseball player, factory worker and a police officer. How their paths cross. Some history mixed with fiction. Good read.

The Brass Verdict by Mitch Connelly Thriller about how an attorney catches the bad guys using private investigators and police.

Published by Judytwiga

I am a freelance writer and photographer who enjoys living close to the action in Knoxville, Tennessee. In the 1980s I created and published Zoo Connections, an international networking publication for non-animal zoo departments. Jobs over the years include working with the developmentally disabled, night front desk at a motel, assistant in development and membership at the NC Zoological Society, Customer Relations manager at Regal Entertainment Group, census enumerator, concessions at University of Tennessee, house cleaner, substitute teacher, sitter for children, houses, and pets. Freelance work at Knoxville News Sentinel and KnoxZine. Contributor to A Knoxville Christmas (2008,2007), and articles for the North Carolina Zoo website. Interested in anything except humorless people and politics. Enjoy reading, Scrabble, Catan, camping. I hold dear family (human and animal), friends, Kenya, Sunset Beach, NC and the Keys.

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