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The Books for Lunch Bunch Recommendations from March

(This article was published in the Oct. 15, 2020, Frankenmuth News.)

The October Books for Lunch Bunch has feedback for us on newer books that they’ve now had time to read and a host of other books that haven’t been featured before. And we have a “pro-tip” on using your Libby app that might be useful to you.

Sue B. readWicked Sister by Karen Dionne. She described the book as “spooky” which is a good thing for this kind of book, especially in October. A woman voluntarily spends 15 years in a mental ward thinking she killed her parents as a child. When she leaves, she heads to the family cottage in Michigan’s north woods and makes some discoveries, let’s say.

Sue P. readOne by Oneby Ruth Ware, another book mentioned here before but now has a local recommendation. No doubt Sue was attracted to the French Alps setting. This is also a suspense novel, an homage to Agatha Christie, as skiers trapped in a lodge by an avalanche disappear . . . one by one.

Deb recommendsBoots on the Ground, non-fiction by Elizabeth Partridge about the Vietnam War. She alternates the narrative featuring six American soldiers, one Vietnamese refugee, interspersed with American leaders and key events.

A few people were enthusiastic about Diane Keaton’s memoir, Then Again, and they aren’t the only ones. Such divergent publications as the New York Times, People, Vogue, and Financial Times among others have listed this book as one of the best of the year. Not only do readers get to know Keaton but also her mother, Dorothy Hill. Keaton envelops four generations and 100 years of family history in a fascinating book.

Small Kingdoms and Other Stories by Charlaine Harris is unique because it’s four longer short stories that are all linked and all feature protagonist Anne DeWitt, a school principal, and her alliance with the school baseball coach. As it happens, they both have a history in another field where one might have to dispatch an intruder in one’s bathroom and get rid of him before school starts or whatever else is necessary. The stories feature the double lives of the characters. (I’m intrigued.)

We have several Lisa See fans. Her book Dreams of Joy was recommended this month. It follows the stories of two sisters, Pearl and May, who try to find May’s daughter who returned to China to find her father. See writes historical fiction, setting this book in 1957, during Mao’s Great Leap Forward and a famine that killed, conservatively, 45 million people. See gets kudos from critics on her extensive historical research.

Ruth recommends reading Euphoria by Lily King. This book is about three anthropologists in the 1930’s working in New Guinea. They study the Tam tribe, an artistic and feminine dominated tribe. Expect a “romantic firestorm.” Margaret Mead is the inspiration for the book.

Susan and I both finished Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling). That’s almost a project at close to a thousand pages (each, not 500 for Susan and 500 for me). But we both think worth it. This is book five in the Cormoran Strike series – read in order to fully appreciate the characters.

Susan also recommends Dilemma by B.A. Paris who is sometimes known as the current Queen of Suspense. Adam is throwing a huge birthday celebration for his wife Livia’s 40th. Secrets are discovered but what to do with them? Is the absence of truth the same as a lie, as one review asks? Susan says this one “makes you think.”

Now for the promised Libby Pro-Tip. For those of us who download books using the Libby App, make sure that you check the app settings to get e-mail notifications when your time is almost up and when a book gets “returned.” But also notice that when a book for which you’re waitlisted becomes available, you can choose to keep your place on the wait list, decide not to download it when it becomes available, and name a date when you think you’ll be ready for it. This works great, I can attest, and manages your books so that you don’t have them arrive in a bunch.

See you at the Library!

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