Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Phil recommends "A $500 House in Detroit"

"A $500 House in Detroit: Rebuilding an Abandoned Home and an American City​" by Drew Philp is a fascinating true story of a young college grad who, with no job and very little money, purchases an abandoned Queen Anne home in Detroit with the intent of restoring it.  This is no small task given that the home lacks windows, doors, heat, water, electricity, and a working roof.  The comeback of Detroit has been much publicized but Philp's modest contribution to the cause is an interesting part of the larger story.  His steadfast determination in the face of rampant poverty, crime, racial tensions - and monumental home improvement challenges - is inspiring.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Ann recommends "The Girl Who Drank the Moon"

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill is the 2017 Newbery Award for Children’s Literature. It is a thoroughly enjoyable fantasy/adventure story with thought-provoking themes. This book was featured at one of our Extreme Readers Book Club, a book club for 10-12 year-olds. Many who attended described it as not only a good book, but a great book, and all said they would definitely recommend it to their friends.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Kathy recommends "Forgotten Country"

From the book jacket: “Catherine Chung’s unforgettable debut is a work of enormous talent and heart. A riveting, brutal portrait of  two sisters in crisis, the book examines the unspoken complexities of familial love and forgiveness, loyalty and betrayal, and renders an indelible haunting image of Korea.” This was a wonderful story. The sisters are trying to finish their educations, heal old family wounds, be a help to their mother while the father is in the final stages of cancer all while returning to Korea after being raised in the US.  They have all the problems of feeling like they fit in the United States and then in Korea as well.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Kara recommends "Every Note Played"

The latest novel from Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice, deals with the heavy topic of ALS.  I found it to be a great read for adult book clubs, as it lends itself to very good discussion.  I listened to the audiobook version and especially enjoyed that there were separate narrators for each of the main characters, Richard and Karina.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Celia recommends "My Year of Rest and Relaxation"

This is an odd and captivating book. The unnamed main character of My Year of Rest and Relaxation decides to spend a year in a drug-induced hibernation. She finds a psychiatrist who’s irresponsible with the prescription pad and sets about collecting a supply of mostly made up medications to keep her sleeping as long as possible. The plot, though necessarily slow paced due to the subdued nature of the narrator, is enriched with flashbacks of the strange and complex characters who have influenced her life and led to her making this decision. At times funny, at times dark, and overall filled with plenty of surprising moments, this book is an experience you won’t forget.

Recommended for adults.