The Only Woman in the Room is an historical fiction novel about the legendary actress, Hedy Lamarr, who was much more than a beautiful face – she also invented a torpedo guidance system. Lamarr’s story is fascinating, but I’m not quite sure this novel did it complete justice. Continue reading
Infidel is Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s 2006 memoir and tells of her remarkable journey from impoverished Somalia to the Dutch parliament. It’s also about her intellectual and spiritual journey, as her mind was broadened by Western ideas and she began to question the Muslim faith that is so deeply ingrained in Somali culture. Continue reading
In The Good Lord Bird, we get an inside (although fictional) view of abolitionist John Brown’s violent crusade against slavery in the Kansas Territory and subsequent raid on Harper’s Ferry in the years leading up to the American Civil War. It’s told from the perspective of Henry, who was a ten-year-old slave when he was liberated by Brown and then rode with his “army” for four years, including to Harper’s Ferry. Continue reading
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is the story of Addie, who has lived 300 years because she sold her soul to the devil in exchange for freedom and more time. An unexpected part of the deal is that no one, not even her parents, remember Addie, leaving her to grapple with the curse of not being able to leave her mark on the world. Continue reading
Novels set during the American Civil War can be educational as well haunting and tragic. It’s a compelling mix of qualities that, in the right authors’ hands, can produce satisfying stories that are hard forget. Continue reading
The Daughter of Time is a novel, written as a police procedural, that attempts to clear Richard III of the murder of his two young nephews, also known as the princes in the tower. It’s a fascinating and very convincing denunciation of the process used to record history as well as a strong case for the defense, but was Richard III innocent? It’s still open for debate. Continue reading
With Anxious People, Fredrik Backman, who also wrote A Man Called Ove, delivers another poignant and insightful novel about what it means to be decent (albeit “anxious”) people. He even threw in a few plot twists that took me by surprise. Well done, Mr. Backman! I’ll even forgive you for making me cry. Continue reading
It’s time for the annual updating of the Reader Recs page. This page contains a list of books recommended by my wonderful blog readers and is a constant reminder of how much reading I still need to do.
This year we added 40 more books to the list, bringing the total to 207. New additions are in the top section, followed by the older book recommendations.
I hope you’ll use the Reader Recs page to help you find your next read. Here’s the link to more than 200 book recommendations.
In The Girl in Green, an American soldier and a British journalist try to save an Iraqi girl from violence in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm. Over twenty years later, they reunite in Iraq after seeing the girl’s doppelganger on some news footage. The Girl in Green is a sharp-witted commentary on the absurdity and futility of conditions in the war-torn Middle East. Continue reading
There’s no doubt William Shakespeare’s plays have staying power. More than 400 years after his death, young people still study his work in school. I was introduced to the Bard in high school when I read Othello for one of my English classes and I was pleased to see my daughters study Hamlet their Junior year. Continue reading