The Library

Winter 2018-Spring 2019​

1.  King and Maxwell, David Baldacci 12.2018

Baldiacci never disappoints and this one features the PI duo of Sean and Michelle.  They find a young boy running in the rain in the dark and help him find his father who has been set up by a rouge former military guy who is trying to revenge his parents deaths.  Gripping story and a great summer read.



2.  Someone Knows My Name, Lawrence Hill 12.2018

Story based in truth about a young girl (Aminata Diallo) taken into slavery as a young girl from Africa to pre-revolutionary war United States.  Her love story with a young boy she gets to know on the slave ship and her travels from the south, to New York, Nova Scotia,(Where she helps to compile The Book of Negroes) back to Africa and then to England where she speaks on behalf of the abolitionists.  An educated woman she changes the minds of many that meet her.  A great book.  

Summer 2018

1.  The Alice Network, Kate Quinn

Historical fiction about two women, a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during WWI and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947.  The American joins the spy and her driver for an adventure driven by family and revenge.  Great book.

2.  The Storied Life of A J Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin

Fikry a book store owner who recently lost his wife, has his most beloved collection stolen.  He falls in love with a bookseller and his life take unusual turns.

3.  The Last Mrs. Parrish, Liv Constantine

Daphne and her husband seems to have the perfect life.  Amber, who comes from a small town is jealous and wants what Daphne has - but this is a classic be careful what you wish for story.  When Amber steals  Jackson away she gets what she deserves.

4.  A Street Cat Named Bob, James Bowen 

James Bowen finds an injured ginger street cat curled up in his hallway and he takes him in.  The relationship with the cat changes his life - tender story.

5.  Calling me Home, Julie Kibler

89 year old Isabelle McAllister develops a relationship with her black, single mom hairdresser, Dorrie Curtis.  When she needs to travel to Cincinnati for a funeral, she asks Dorrie to take her cross country.  As the two drive east, the elderly woman shares her life story which includes a 1930s love story in an era and locale that made the relationship impossible.

6.  An American Marriage, Tayari Jones

A successful African American couple are only married a short time when the husband is accused and convicted of rape.  He is sentenced to more than 10 years for a crime he did not commit.  This is the story of his life in prison; who he meets, how he survives and what happens to his marriage upon his release.  

7.  Educated, Tara Westover

At times harrowing and emotional, Educated charts Westover’s girlhood working in her father’s dangerous junkyard and helping her herbalist mother, never seeing a classroom or doctor. Constantly prepping for the End of Days, she was in thrall to an older, violently abusive brother and parents who told her she had been “taken by Lucifer” when she tried to speak out. As a teenager, she began to educate herself, eventually attending Brigham Young University, then Cambridge and Harvard. But finding herself through education would also cost her dearly; after a mental breakdown, Westover was forced to accept that to live the life she wanted she must sever ties with the parents she still loves.


25.  Beneath a Scarlet Sky, Mark Sullivan

This World War II love story takes place in Italy.  It follows Pino Lellaa 18 year old Italian who ends up a driver for a high ranking German general and spying for the allies.  In the process Pino falls in love with the general’s mistress’s maid Anna. The book tells the story of WWII in Italy and the love story between Anna and Pino.  Sad ending but loved the story.

24. Still Me, JoJo Moyes

Louisa Clark takes a job in the US taking care of a rich New York socialite.  Louisa still the kooky dressed, trusting soul learns to liv e and love in New York.  Thoroughly enjoyed reading as Louisa matures.

23.  Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Find, Gail Honeyman (bookclub)

This is a touching yet humorous story about a 30 year old woman who was injured in a fire as a child.  Story tells how she learns to accept what happened to her, live in the modern world and find friendship and acceptance.  Loved this story and the way the main character describes the world as she sees it.

22.  The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

The book is a dystopian novel where women have no control over their lives.  I found it frightening and did not like the ending.  Certain women are used to breed while the wives watch their husbands have sex with the breeders.  Lower class women have to do everything themselves – male point of view.  This is supposed to be a temporary state of affairs.  Very disturbing.

 21.  Among the Wicked, Linda Castillo 3.2018

Policewoman goes undercover into the Amish community to solve a murder and disappearance.  What they uncover is far more sinister.

20.  The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory 2.2018

The author tells the story of Anne Boleyn through the eyes of her sister Mary; her rise to being Queen in place of Katherine to her fall, being beheaded after not giving the King an heir.  She also includes Mary’s choice for happiness with a “nobody.”  The story provided great insight into England of the 1500s.  I could not put the book down.

​​19. The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas 2.2018  (bookclub)

Young black girl is in the car with a friend when they are stopped by the police and the innocent friend is killed by the police officer.  The story delves into the issues a black girl has in a white school and coping with the incident.  Difficult to read at times because of the black slang but very worthwhile.

18. Keep Me Posted, Lisa Beazley 2.2018 (bookclub)

Sisters decide to exchange letters as a way of reconnecting with each other.  Both have issues with their marriages.  The letters become public when there is a glitch with the “private” website.  Study of their relationship – I found it a bit trivial.

17. Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly 1.2018

Story of three women during WWII, an American socialite, a teenage Polish prisoner of war and a German doctor.   All of their lives come together when Kais (Polish) is sent to Ravensbruck.  This is a story of love and loss, torture and guilt.  Some parts were difficult to read but overall worthwhile.

16. The Camel Club, David Baldacci 1.2018

Story about 4 “odd” guys who meet each week to discuss potential corruption in the government.  At one meeting they see a murder which is being covered up by government employees.  They figure out the who and why.  Captivating.

15. Everyone Brave is Forgiven, Chris Cleave 1.2018

Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished and signs up at the British war office to volunteer during WWII.  She is assigned a teaching post. Tom Shaw heads the school district and is not drafted but friend Alistair Heath enlists.  This is partly Tom and Mary’s love story with the war getting in the way.  Set in 1939-1942 WWII London and Malta.  

14. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, Jean Lee Latham 1.2018

1776 story about Nathanial Bowditch and his desire to learn.  He recalculates navigation tables and discovers a new way to calculate lunar navigation based on three points in the sky rather than waiting for the moon to line up with a particular star.  Describes why a boat log is called a log and why we call distances knots.  This is a teen book with some good messages.  Sailing by ash breeze – means working for what you get.  Ash wood was used to make oars that were used to pull a boat when it was becalmed.

13. Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate 12.2017

This is the story about the Foss children who were capture off a Mississippi shanty boat, taken from their parents and held in an orphanage under terrible conditions.  The story tells of sisters who were separated, then find each other, develop a relationship and how their children become aware of the terrible past that there parents and grandparents had to live through. Based on true story of the Tennessee Children’s’ home Society.

12.  Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz 12.2017 (bookclub)

Publisher of murder mysteries (Susan Ryeland) becomes involved herself in a murder mystery when the author of a successful murder series (Alan Conway) is found dead in a sleepy English village.  Atticus Pund a German investigator comes to help them solve the mystery.

11. Sheer Abandon, Penny Vincenzi  11/2017

Three British girls meet when they are eighteen and traveling the world.  One gets pregnant and has the baby on her own in an airport restroom.  Many years later their lives intertwine.  Kate wants to find her mother.  This is the story about the lives of the three women and their loves along the way.

10. No Place Like Home, Mary Higgins Clark 10/2017

The book is a mystery thriller about a young girl who accidentally killed her mother and wounded her stepfather.  Twenty years later her husband buys the house where the incident happened for her as a surprise birthday gift.  She is shocked to be living in the house where she has so many unhappy memories.  Who is responsible for the vandalism of the house soon after they arrive?  Who is responsible for the three other murders that occur after they move into the house?  There is a big twist at the end that I did not expect.

9. The Honest Spy, Andreas Kollender 10/2017

World War II story about a German who spies for the United States.  This is the story about how he defies the Germans and deals with being a traitor to his own country but lives by what his father taught him, “do the right thing”.

8. The Designer, Marius Gabriel 10/2017

World War II story about an American girl in Paris who divorces her philandering writer husband and becomes a fashion writer herself.  She meets the world of fashion design and becomes an integral part of it.

7. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng 9/2017 (bookclub)

Photographer and her daughter move to Shaker Heights and rent a house from Richardson family, a long time Shaker Heights family.  Story surrounds the connection/relationships between children and their parents, teenagers developing relationships, honesty and art.  I didn’t like the ending but enjoyed the book.

6. The Marriage of Opposites, Alice Hoffman 9/2017

Most of the book is set in St Thomas.  Young girl (Rachel) is married off with an arranged marriage which comes with three children to save the family business.  Then widowed she finds the man of her dreams who is related by marriage, so the Jewish elders rule it is not a sanctioned marriage.  They marry anyway.  The story deals with struggles against the norms, many inter-racial  relationships, friendships and Rachel’s longing to live in Paris. Rachel’s son is an artist and also deals with many fo the same issues that his mother had to deal with many years prior.  Great book – highly recommend

5. Faithful, Alice Hoffman 9/2017 (bookclub)

Story about two girls who are in a car crash where one walks away unhurt and one is left in a coma  The story deals with how the one who was unhurt deals with the guilt and learns to love and let others love her.

4. Eligible, Curtis Littenfeld   8.19.2017

This is a modern day Pride and Prejudice with Liz and the Bennet family in Cincinnati.  Darcy is a brain surgeon and Ham is transgender but he Mr Bennet has the same wit and Mrs Bennet is concerned about marrying off her 5 daughters.

3. Before I go to Sleep, S J Watson

Another trading library book – and guess what?  Read it before but still enjoyed it a second time.  Girl loses her memory due to a traumatic event.  She starts to work with Dr Nash and records her day to day activity – which helps her to remember.  Does she have a child? What was the event that caused the trauma?  Is Clare really a good friend? Slowly she realizes and finds love again. 

2. Second Nature, Alice Hoffman

Picked this up at the trading library in Fairport and read 7/8ths of the book before I remembered that I had already read it.  It is a great summer read even though I didn’t like the ending any better the second time.  Love story about a three  year old boy who was left in the wild after an airplane crash where there was thought to be no survivors.  Story is about how he learns to live and love among humans, the good and the bad.

1. The Summer Before the War, Helen Simonson

Pre-World War I story about a young women (who is determined not to marry) who comes to a small town in England to teach.  Story surrounds one extended family and how they survive the war.  Also speaks to the treatment of refugees, women and Gypsies in this time period.  Compelling story somewhat sad and predictable ending.  Good read – I enjoyed the book.

Rina, Leslie, Susie and Sheila during last year's book club sail out on Lake Erie, summer 2015.

Goodbye dinner -

Several members of the book club met at the Cedar and Fairmount Barrio for dinner prior to our leaving.  Dinner was great and so was the company.