Recently read favorites include fantasy, history and thrillers

Good Reads1 copyBy John Hoover
©The Chester Telegraph — 2014

If you’re a reader, a person who thinks there’s nothing better than losing yourself in a good book, you most likely have found that each new book has the potential to be the best book you ever read. We call those our “recently read Good Reads” because we know that, while the book we just finished was really wonderful, the next book we read may well replace it in our affections. This month the staff here at Misty Valley Books was given the opportunity to review their most recently read Good Read and the results are quite amazing.

Spirit of the PlaceLynne starts off  with The Spirit of the Place ($16) by Samuel Shem. Shem, author of The House of God (read by thousands of medical students) has written a novel that moves you beyond belief. Dr. Orville Rose, an expatriate doctor, is called home at the death of his mother who has willed him money and her house if he lives in the house (where he grew up) for a year and 13 days. … Orville does and learns what it really means to heal and be healed.

Bill’s choice is The Transcriptionist ($24.95), a debut novel by Amy Rowland. Bill says, “Rowland is an editor at the New York Times Book Review and will be a New Voice 2015 at Misty Valley Books.  It is the story of Lena, the woman who, Transcriptionistalone in a room high in the newspaper’s tower, transcribes dispatches from all over the world. She gets personally involved in one of the stories, involving the lions at the Bronx Zoo. This is also an observant portrait of the workings of one of the world’s most powerful newspapers, a thinly disguised NYT.”

Slip of the KnifeSlip of the Knife ($13.99), by Scottish author Denise Mina is Amanda’s choice. It’s “a murder mystery set in Glasgow whose central character is a slightly overweight, cigarette-smoking, single-mother reporter named Paddy Meehan.  When a good friend is found murdered, she begins to suspect that the police investigation is covering up key elements of the case. Several shady characters lurk on the periphery, and she begins to worry about the safety of her young son.  It’s definitely a page turner, and the best book I’ve read this summer!”

Making the CorpsAt this point, we’d normally have a review of a book by Kim but she says, “My summer has been so crazy busy that I haven’t had the time to read anything so I asked my sister, Dawn, a librarian in Manchester, N.H., to substitute for me.” Dawn’s choice is Making the Corps ($16), by Thomas E. Ricks.  “Military journalist Ricks follows one class of recruits through boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., and into its first year as Marines.  Through their stories, we get an understanding of the history of the Corps, and an insider’s glimpse into what actually makes: The Few, The Proud, The Marines. It also explains the different philosophies between some of the branches of military and exactly what these guys (and girls) go through at boot camp.”

LavendarJory’s pick is The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender ($17.99), by Leslye Walton. “As Ava, and many generations of women before her realize, ‘love makes fools of all of us.’ This whimsical retelling of four generations of Lavender women is the best Young Adult magical realism I’ve read all year. I wouldn’t call it a page-turner, but I’d call it a stay-with-you-forever.”

MagiciansSylvan Groth, the newest member of our staff, has chosen Lev Grossman’s Magicians Trilogy. “When we met Quentin Clearwater, in The Magicians ($16), Quentin was heartbroken by longing for Fillory, the setting of his favorite childhood fantasy books. In The Magician King ($16), he gets the chance to rule, lose and eventually save the country that turned out to not be fantasy. In The Magician’s Land ($27.95), the immature and self-involved character finally becomes a worthy hero. This series is worth picking up — the satisfying conclusion healed a part of me that’s been broken since I finished C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle.”

I Am PilgrimSeveral months ago Amanda mentioned I Am Pilgrim ($26.99) by Terry Hayes as being on her “to read” list. Intrigued, I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. I Am Pilgrim is the story of an agent called out of retirement to track down and stop a terrorist before he infects thousands in the United States with a strain of smallpox resistant to any vaccine. The only thing the Pilgrim has to go on is a brief telephone call from Afghanistan to a seaside town in Turkey captured by a top-secret listening program. My kind of thriller!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeGood Reads

About the Author: After a 35-year career as a high school social studies teacher, John Hoover and his wife, Sally, retired to Vermont. He lives in Windham where he serves as a Justice of the Peace and Library Trustee. He works part time as a book-seller at Misty Valley Books, is active at St. Luke's Episcopal Church and sings in several choral groups.

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.