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Batten down the hatches, the prediction for next week is cold, cold, cold. In keeping with the forecast, one of the bestselling books out is The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin. Based on actual and oral history, Benjamin tells the story that began January 12, 1888, when an unexpected snowstorm hit the Dakota territory and stranded children inside a one-room school. Benjamin is the author of two of my favorite books, Mrs. Tom Thumb and The Aviator’s Wife. Her books are always great stories with accurate, historical backgrounds. However, if you’re more interested in reading the non-fiction account, check out The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin. Jeanette highly recommends it.
I finished The Guest List by Lucy Foley and actually enjoyed it. While the rapidly changing perspectives bothered me, it was a first-rate mystery. In fact, in this story, I was really tempted to murder the guy myself.
Lilly just finished and loved All the Flowers in Paris by Sarah Jio. The story alternates between present day and World War II. The element uniting everything is the apartment in which both stories take place. According to Lilly, it’s a warm and thoughtful story filled with history from an occupied Paris. Sounds like a good one!
Jeanette found Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner a bit disappointing. Probably part of the problem was that the story is told in first person. In this one, a recovering alcoholic puts herself in danger when she searches for a Haitian teenager in a Boston neighborhood.
New in nonfiction this week is The Doctors Blackwell by Janice P. Nimura. In it, two pioneering women receive medical degrees and start the first hospital staffed entirely by women.
After reading all 16 of the Louise Penny books, I promised myself that I’d try to lay off the series books and read stand-alones for a while. Well, I failed. I am knee deep into In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming. It’s number one in the Clare Fergusson and Rus Van Alstyne mystery series. Clare is a former army helicopter pilot who has become an Anglican priest. Rus is the police chief in a small town in upstate New York. Since they’re murder mysteries, a body appears early in the book. We’re ordering this one for the library. If it continues to be as good as it started, we’ll get all nine!
Let me know what you’re reading and we’ll include that in our reviews. Happy reading!
Helen Thompson, Director - Mount Pleasant Library