Anne Z.'s blog

Review: The Lonely Hearts Book Club by Lucy Gilmore

This book was an utter delight from beginning to end. Easily my favorite read this year!

The Lonely Hearts Book Club can only be described as a love letter to book lovers. To the readers that feel they are alone until one day they stumble upon a book that takes them to another world, or a fellow reader who understands the magic of reading!
And it is a love letter to anyone that has ever felt true loneliness and how one book, one chapter, or even one sentence, can make you feel less alone. How one act of kindness seemingly unrelated, can change everything in a person's life. 
This is the story of a lonely librarian that does not realize how truly lonely she is until the cranky old man she verbally spars with over books every morning stops coming to the library.
It is the story of a grandson who made promises he is not sure he can keep. Who found in a group of strangers with little in common with each other a place where he can be himself, and less alone.
It is the story of a lonely mother who finds solace in books and cooking, and slowly but surely cannot see her life without this group that has gathered around her neighbor, the crankiest man she knows.
It is about a nurse/librarian/singer/writer afraid to pick a path.

Review: Forget Me Not by Alexandra Oliva

My first thought upon finishing this book was that it would make a fantastic movie!

The book tells the story of Linda, a gentle soul living in Seattle, alone and lonely. She spends most of her time locked up in her apartment with very little contact with the outside world. As the story progresses you find out why. Linda is a replacement child. Her mother found a way to 'make' her in order to replace her previous daughter that died. But Linda was not her, and could never replace her. So one day her mother just leaves.  Linda was left to raise herself at their walled-off property somewhere in rural Washington. Until one day, something makes her run, jump off the wall, and find a world that she didn't know existed and was definitely not ready for. 

Review: Dagger Eyes by Tarin Santos

Review by Amy Stoothoff

Tarin Santos started writing her young adult novel at age eleven. She dedicated seven years to
getting Dagger Eyes just right. It’s a great beginning to her writing career. She’s from Seattle.
It’s good to see new writers emerging in the Pacific Northwest. I like rooting for a homegrown
writer like Santos.

Review: Flat White Fatality by Emmeline Duncan (Spring Fair Attending Author)

Review by Amy Halvorson Miller

Ready for another shot of Emmeline Duncan’s Ground Rules mysteries? The third caffeinated cozy set in Portland will be out next month. If you’re new to the series, which includes Fresh Brewed Murder and Double Shot Death, no problem, as Flat White Fatality can easily stand on its own. (A “flat white” is two shots of espresso with a thinner layer of steamed milk than a latte, intense and creamy.)

Sage Caplin, our young coffee entrepreneur and sleuth is not only expanding her coffee cart and roastery business, but has also taken a side-gig at her boyfriend, Bax’s, video-gaming company. During a teamwork-building scavenger hunt, an employee of Grumpy Sasquatch Studio is found dead in Sage’s roastery nearby.

Review: The Girl who Fell Beneath the Sea

Review by Marin Mills 

It is my personal opinion that adapting a story for a new audience is just as valuable as creating something new, especially in the realm of mythology and folktales. While anyone can create a unique fantasy world, rewriting a myth for a modern audience creates a dialogue between the past and the present, especially for readers who are familiar with the original story. When done right, it allows the author to say something about both the past and the present. The Girl who Fell Beneath the Sea is one such story. Author Axie Oh takes a Korean folktale about filial piety and turns it into a novel about fate, choice, and the relationship between gods and men.

Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn

Review by Lisette Pietsch

In the midst of writing essays, reading required texts, and working, I don’t often have extra time
to spend reading for fun. When I first picked up Legendborn, (the first book in this series) I was
hoping to find the escape I needed. So far this series has been my favorite to be swept away in
and has been a great distraction when I needed a break from thinking about tests.

The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy

Review by Luanne Clark

I’m just going to put this out there. It seems that either you are a Cormac McCarthy fan or you are not. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground, fandom-wise. I fall into the first category. I haven’t read everything that he has written, but what I have read I have loved. Five of his novels have been made into movies, most notably No Country For Old Men (2007) and The Road (2009). If you are not familiar with McCarthy’s writing, perhaps you have seen one of these movies. If you have, or if you know Cormac McCarthy’s style, you know that his style is not one of unicorns and fluffy kittens. His writing is gritty and often gut-wrenching. The Passenger is no exception.

Our  main character, Bobby Western, is an intriguing man. Through flashbacks we learn that his father was a physicist on the Oppenheimer team and so he deals with residual “atomic guilt”. As a physics and mathematics phenom, Western  graduated from several prestigious universities with advanced degrees in mathematics and physics.  After college an inheritance allowed him to become a race car driver for several years in Europe. That career ended with an accident that left him in a coma for several months.  Oh yes, and he’s in love with his now deceased sister. We’re talking full-on romantic love. And though never consummated (not even a kiss) it is definitely reciprocated. How is that for an intriguing character? And yet, McCarthy is able to make us relate to Bobby Western and really care about his life and circumstances.

Review: God of Endings by Jacqueline Holland

Review by Lex Weber

“Death, to me, was tied inextricably to cherished things: to craftsmanship and poetry, to my father and to the beautiful things he made, and I couldn't help but feel some tenderness for all of it.” 

Colette LeSange is the director of preschool who has lost her immediate family, all except her vampiric grandfather who changed her as a young girl after she passed from a feverish disease. She has been living as an immortal for the past two hundred years. 

Review: The Farewell Tour Stephanie Clifford

Review by Irene M. Pearcey

I have read several reviews of the Farewell Tour by reviewers far more esteemed than myself. They
have interpreted The Farewell Tour as a statement about the struggles of a female singer, songwriter and
musician trapped in a world dominated by men. I found it to be more than that.

Review: Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton

Review by Marin Mills

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, by Kate Beaton, has remarkably little to do with actual ducks. Instead, Kate Beaton’s autobiography focuses on her experiences working in the Alberta Oil Sands. Her comic tells the story of why she got into the oil business and her experiences working in an isolated, male-dominated community, where workers’ health and safety are less of a priority than not getting sued. Beaton tackles the struggles she faced with uncomfortable honesty and surprising compassion, making this an unconventional biography well worth reading.