Showing posts from March 17, 2019

Review: The Last Year of the War

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would. It's exquisitely written, hauntingly poignant and emotionally draining. Have tissues ready when you're reading.

The story is told by Elise, who is now in her early 80s and in the early stages of Alzheimer's, as she sets out to meet her friend Mariko, who she has not seen since they were teenagers in the Crystal City, Texas, internment camp during World War II. Elise's parents were German immigrants; Mariko's were Japanese.

Despite the hardships the girls and their families suffered during their internment they managed to be teenage girls and do most of the things teenage girls do, including making a promise to each other that they would move to New York City together when they were 18. They lose touch -- except for a couple of letters -- when Elise's family is sent back to Germany and, later, Mariko's is sent back to Japan.

The …

World Poetry Day

It's World Poetry Day. Celebrate by checking out Beth Ann Fennelly's newest book “Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs.”

An excerpt:

I Come From a Long Line of Modest Achievers I’m fond of recalling how my mother is fond of recalling how my great-grandfather was the very first person to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge on the second day.

Comedy Center to Preserve Reiner's 'Dick Van Dyke Show' Scripts

The National Comedy Center in Jamestown will be preserving a piece of comedy history.
Legendary producer, director, writer and actor Carl Reiner today announced an initiative to digitally preserve his extensive personal collection of production-used scripts from "The Dick Van Dyke Show." The scripts for all 158 episodes, which are heavily annotated in Reiner's own handwriting, have been stored away since the series ended in 1966 and have never before been made available to a cultural institution for conservation or exhibition. The announcement came on Reiner's 97th birthday.



Review: The Tilted World

The Tilted World by Tom Franklin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautifully written with prose that made me feel the rain, hear the gunshots, taste the moonshine.

I love Dixie Clay's spirit. She married -- way too young -- a man who was handsome, charming, and well-to-do. But things aren't exactly what they seem with Jessie. At one point, after she learns he's a successful moonshiner, she talks him into letting her help him with the business. And she's very good at it.

But the revenuers are after Jessie. Ham and Ingersoll are both very likable and quirky.

Dixie Clay, who lost a baby of her own, ends up with someone else's baby. That whole series of events is sad, lovely, funny, and heart-wrenching all at the same time.

All of this is set against the backdrop of the Mississippi River flood of 1927. Parallels can be made with Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Maria because of the devastation they caused and the government response.

Co-author Beth Ann Fennelly (Franklin…


My #MondayMotivation is that the sooner I can get my work done the sooner I can get home and continue reading "The Last Year of the War" by Susan Meissner.

Review: Blood Oath

Blood Oath by Linda Fairstein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is not related to the novel but whenever I read an Alexandra Cooper book I picture Olivia Benson from Law & Order SVU. I know Coop is a blonde lawyer, not a brunette cop but I can't help it. Every time Mike calls Coop "blondie," I get confused for a nano second. Anyway ...

Alexandra Cooper is back at work full-strength after her kidnapping and the shooting death of her boss, and she's dealing with a few seemingly unrelated cases: A 10-year-old cold case involving 20-something Lucy Jenner; Judge Bud Corliss and his wife's domestic abuse claims; and her friend Francie Fain who mysteriously collapses and falls into a coma.

Lucy was sexually assaulted when she a teenager by someone who is involved in law enforcement in NYC, but it takes hours and hours of interviews and persuasion before Coop can get her to give up the man's name. The fact that Lucy is a habitual liar and a runaway with a criminal…