Book Lovers

Toni Morrison

Frank Money has to take a trip. His younger sister, Cee, is not doing well and he has to travel from Seattle down to Atlanta, Georgia to help her get out of an awful situation. Being a veteran of the Korean War doesn’t offer Frank any solace as he has plenty of time to think along the way and plenty of time to ruminate on the losses he endured there and acts of violence he committed (even though he is trying to calm it in his relationship with Lilly). Being African-American in the 1950s isn’t great for a traveler, either, though he is able to make do with some friendly folks along the way. When Frank finally reaches Cee, she is in a bad way and the only thing he can do is bring her to the healing women in rural Lodis (which he had escaped by signing up for the Army). Along Frank’s journey, he finds many definitions of the word “home,” but none seemingly as strong or as eventually forgiving as the one that resides in his hometown. This story, by the Nobel Prize Winner Toni Morrison, is a quiet, ruminative novel and the audio is wonderfully read by the author. Highly recommended for readers of literary fiction.

Sep 21, 2012
The Viper
Hakan Ostlundh

A gruesome double murder has taken place and the Visby police department is on the case.  Can they find the suspected killer or is he/she another victim?



Sep 21, 2012
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Ben Fountain

Billy Lynn and the rest of the Bravo Squad are on a two week Victory Tour throughout the U.S. following a harrowing Iraq War battle that happened to be filmed by a TV crew. Billy’s squad is full of young men on leave who use bathroom humor, sexual attraction, and drink in an attempt to put the bad situation that is the Iraq War behind them. The real story here is the reaction the troops receive and the disconnect they feel  between themselves and the American civilians (most of whom adore them). And Hollywood wants to make a movie out of the battle or at least Bravo’s movie representative wants to make it happen (least of all to get his career back on track). Bravo’s biggest fan is none other than the Cowboy’s owner, Norm Ogletree, who has his own designs on how the movie will play out. Billy is also drawn to deal with strong familial ties and a love interest as the story progresses. This book will have you laughing to tears one minute and on the verge of them the next with its mix of humor and pathos. Check it out!

Sep 15, 2012
Midnight in Peking
Paul French

It may read like fiction but Midnight in Peking is all true.  This is the story of finding justice for the daughter of a former British consul whose murdered and mutilated body was found abandon in the seedier area of the city.  Paul French does a great job of delving into the life of foreigners living in Peking during the first half of the 20th century.  Using the backdrop of the Japanese invasion of China and the turmoil and violence that surrounded this period of Chinese history,  as it moved toward communism, French exposes corruption, incompetence and the general distrust existing among the Chinese and all others. 





Sep 12, 2012
The Time Keeper
Mitch Albom

Dor has always been fascinated by counting, especially of time.  His obsession of knowing about time leads to his punishment.  He is never to grow old and hear everyone's comments about time.  To become free he must find two people to help with their own fears about time.

Sep 6, 2012
Ashes to Dust
Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Over 30 years has passed since a valcano erupted and covered most of an Icelandic town.  Thora Gudmondsdottir has been hired by Markus Magnusson to prevent the archaeological dig of his house until after he retrieves a box from the basement.  Three corpses are also found in the basement and now Thora is trying to prove Markus' innocence.

Sep 4, 2012
Unholy Night
Seth Grahame-Smith

This re-telling of the story of Jesus' birth by the author of such historical re-writings as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is one great adventure story. Balthazar is the great thief of Judea, known throughout the land as the Antioch Ghost. He and two other thieves escape a beheading at the hands of the Romans and King Herod of Judea, only to happen upon the little town of Bethlehem and you know who. Balthazar wants to go one way and let Mary, Joseph, and the baby go another, but something inside him tells him to stick with them and protect them from the vicious Roman onslaught and evil Herod. As one would expect with a resume like Grahame-Smith's, there are several cringe-inducing scenes, but this story also has a lot of heart and should be credited for its worthwhile depictions of faith and family. The dialogue is even written in today's lingo, so it makes it fun to follow. A recommended read or listen (we have it on CD, too).

Aug 24, 2012
Po Bronson

This book explains some of the fascinating new research that is being done in the field of child development and how much of it is changing the way we traditioanlly thought was best for raising our children.  It turns out that praising children's abilities isn't what helps them succeed, but praising the effort they put into their tasks makes all the difference.  Many of the popular baby DVD's that are supposed to give children a head start are actually backfiring and decreasing their vocabulary growth compared to children who don't watch them.  You can also learn more about why children lie and just how critical getting the right amount of sleep is (even for teenageers) in order to do well in school.

Aug 16, 2012
Blind Goddess
Anne Holt

Although American readers were first introduced to Hanne Wilhelmsen in 1222, Blind Goddess is the first book in the Norwegian series.  Wilhelmsen and Hakon Sand investigate some related suicides and murders which imply a drug mafia.

Aug 14, 2012
a painting of an Upper Peninsula landscape graces the cover of Jim Harrison's latest novel
The Great Leader
Jim Harrison

In Harrison's latest, Det. Sunderson recently retired from his Upper Peninsula police work, but he can’t get the religious man named the Great Leader out of his head. Seems the Great Leader, or Dwight as he is known personally, has a thing for bilking wannabe believers out of large amounts of money and also for 12-14 year old girls. It’s on this last count that Sunderson especially wants to catch him. So when Dwight uproots his camp and moves it to Arizona and subsequently Nebraska, Sunderson follows with the help of a 16 year old neighbor girl who is an Internet whiz. This book is less of a mystery than it is a reflection on the relationship between money, religion, and sex (with some marital discord thrown in for good measure).  Part of the interest and fun of this book for me was the U.P. setting and Sunderson’s reflections on this and the personalities of our near northern statesmen and women. Sunderson is trying to be a better person; as long as he can catch Dwight, he can put it a lot of his failures behind him.

Aug 9, 2012

© 2023 William P. Faust Westland Public Library