Any time Jeff Guinn releases a new book is a special occasion on this blog. I’m a big Guinn fan–thanks so much to Mary-Esther to introducing me to his books a few years ago. In the past, I’ve reviewed or profiled his books that span from Jim Jones to Bonnie and Clyde to the Pershing Expedition. I always know that a Guinn nonfiction book will be thought-provoking, well-written, and well-researched, and I think he particularly shines at historical true crime. He excels at examining the social and historical contexts that his subjects both shaped and were shaped by.
His latest book, about the Branch Davidians, their leader David Koresh, and the infamous standoff that unfolded at Waco thirty years ago this spring, particularly succeeds at this and is a fascinating read. Thanks so much to Julie for purchasing it for the library!
Continue reading “Jeff Guinn’s Waco: David Koresh, the Branch Davidians, and A Legacy of Rage”
Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For March, we’re looking at Little Women from Marmee’s point of view, a heartwarming tale set in the Yorkshire Dales (that’s not James Herriot), a gothic novel that should appeal to Silvia Moreno-Garcia fans, an anthology that’s all about joy, a historical mystery centered around the horse racing industry, a cookbook devoted to recipes from the Sea Islands, and an audiobook rendition of some classic Agatha Christie mysteries.
Continue reading “Book Buzz: Little Women Redux, Yorkshire Fiction, Eerie Residences, Joy, Horse Girls, Gullah Foodways, and Classic Mysteries”
Count Alexander Rostov is lucky to escape the tumultuous Russian Civil War with his life. When a Soviet tribunal sentences him to, essentially, house arrest in the Moscow luxury hotel he’s been living in, Rostov knows he’s been spared, but life as he knows it is still over. That is, until he meets an unusual little friend. . . .
Continue reading “Amor Towles’s A Gentleman in Moscow”
Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For February, we’re looking at four different romances (right in time for Valentine’s Day!), historical fiction that spans from the Civil War to World War II, a true crime memoir from a cold case specialist, and audiobook novels about turn-of-the-twentieth-century labor strikes in Colorado and the intersection of secrets and stories.
Continue reading “Book Buzz: Romances Galore, Dual-Timeline Historical Fiction, WWII Nurses, Serial Killers, Mining Mayhem, and Storytellers”
This year, our theme is “Walk A Mile In My Shoes.” The idea that you can’t understand someone (and shouldn’t judge them) until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes is a pretty common sentiment. And research has shown that reading fiction is one way to really get such a walk going. So, that’s what we are going to do this year: use fiction (and some nonfiction when we just can’t resist) to take walks in someone’s shoes. We hope you lace up those sneakers and join our journey. For February, we’re going to be looking at a growing issue in Carroll County–homelessness.
Continue reading “Walk A Mile In My Shoes: February”
Mallory Martin, like so many Ozarkers who leave the area as young adults, returns midlife. In her case, she leaves behind a broken marriage and a career as a legal nurse consultant in St. Louis to fix up her parents’ old farm and start a horse rescue. She loves the new life she’s carved out for herself in fictional Hillspring, Arkansas. Her rescue is not necessarily thriving financially, but she and the horses and her devoted volunteers get a lot out of it, and she has big plans for expansion, including offering riding lessons.
But it all comes crashing down when her neighbor–the snooty Albert, who runs a champion horse breeding barn–is found murdered and Mallory finds herself the chief suspect. Drawing on her own professional background, Mallory launches an investigation to clear her name, which brings her into conflict with the sheriff (her old friend from high school) and draws her closer to Albert’s surviving son. Along the way, she uncovers potential suspects ranging from unhinged other neighbors to Albert’s girlfriend, who may or may not be as bereaved as she wants to appear. What could possibly go wrong?
Continue reading “Amber Camp’s Canter with a Killer”
Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For January, we’re looking at a literary mystery set in the Florida wetlands, a novel that explores the fallout of an act of vandalism, modern sagas about Caribbean and Native American/Hispanic families, true crime about a falcon thief, and an audiobook about nice couples who may not be so nice after all.
Continue reading “Book Buzz: Marshy Intrigue, Wrecked Houses, Baked Inheritances, Modern Family Sagas, Avian Theft, and Thriller Audiobooks”
This year, our theme is “Walk A Mile In My Shoes.” The idea that you can’t understand someone (and shouldn’t judge them) until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes is a pretty common sentiment. And research has shown that reading fiction is one way to really get such a walk going. So, that’s what we are going to do this year: use fiction (and some nonfiction when we just can’t resist) to take walks in someone’s shoes. We hope you lace up those sneakers and join our journey. To kick off the series, we’re going to start close to home.
Continue reading “Walk A Mile In My Shoes: January”
Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For December, we’re looking at a family saga set on the cusp of WWII, a thriller about mysterious disappearances in an Appalachian resort town, a short story collection about veterans, a Western from Geronimo’s perspective, a history centered on Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, and an audiobook about a Chinese woman’s saga in the 19th century American West.
Continue reading “Book Buzz: 20th Century Family Sagas, Mysterious Thrillers, Short Story Collections, Native American Nonfiction, and Westerns Galore”
This is the last month of our spice club, but we’ve had quite a few patrons ask us about continuing the series. That’s not happening next year as we shift focus to a new theme, but that’s not to say we won’t potentially revisit it down the road. For those of you going through spice club withdrawals, maybe this DVD + book combination from Great Courses will do the trick.
Continue reading “Bill Briwa’s The Everyday Gourmet: Essential Secrets of Spices in Cooking”