Staff Picks

Here are some recent book reviews!

  • Book Review: “Snow, Glass, Apples”

    May 22, 2020
    Snow, Glass, Apples is Neil Gaiman’s chilling take on Snow White, told from the view of the “Evil Queen.” Gaiman originally published it as a short story in his 1998 anthology, Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions. He teamed up with illustrator Colleen Doran in 2019 to create a graphic novel version. ...
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  • Book Review: “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones

    May 15, 2020
    Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. They are settling into the routine of their life together, when they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy ...
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  • Book Review: “Dig” by A.S. King (2020)

    May 8, 2020
    Marla and Gottfried Hemmings have raised five children and find themselves wealthy in their retirement years after trading in potato farming for real estate development.  Each of their children has left the nest – and none of them come home any more.  Marla blames Gottfried; Gottfried blames Marla. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the story, five teenagers are ...
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  • Book Review: “City of Thieves” (2008) by David Benioff

    May 1, 2020
    During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen ...
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  • Book Review: “One Day” by Gene Weingarten

    April 24, 2020
    I am cheating a bit, because I haven’t quite finished this book; I am reviewing it because I am sure I will recommend it by the time I have finished. It’s a very good read. Whatever you do, don’t skip the introduction, in which Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Weingarten describes how he pitched the idea for this ...
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  • Book Review: “Gabriel Du Pré” Mystery Series by Peter Bowen

    April 17, 2020
    I lost a friend this month, a friend known to PFL’s lovers of mysteries: Peter Bowen, the author of the Gabriel Du Pré series set in Montana.  I met Peter decades ago, when I was at the University of Michigan. He once said, “I attended the University of Michigan ...
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  • Book Review: News of the World (2016)

    April 9, 2020
    In 1870, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd is asked to deliver a 10-year-old German girl back to her relatives in San Antonio in exchange for $50 in gold. He agrees. Johanna’s parents had been killed by the Kiowa when she was 6, but she was spared and raised as one of their own for four years. Facing a 400-mile journey ...
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  • Book Review: The Prydain Chronicles

    March 27, 2020
    I started The Book of Three, the first book in this classic fantasy series by Lloyd Alexander, with a great deal of skepticism. First of all (with the exception of the Harry Potter series), I am not fantasy fan. Secondly, the series involves five books, and when you have a reading wish list ...
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  • Book Review: Bread on the Table

    March 12, 2020
    I borrow every baking book we get here and this book by David Norman is my favorite since The Rye Baker by Stanley Ginsberg. They’re similar in scope and difficulty and each provides histories of the breads in each recipe. The difference is that Ginsburg’s book is exclusively rye while Norman’s tackles all sorts of ...
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  • Book Review: The Devil Made Me Do It!: Crime and Punishment in Early New England

    March 5, 2020
    “The Devil Made Me Do It!”: Crime and Punishment in Early New England, by longtime Bath resident Juliet Haines Mofford, is an excellent and informative read. The book provides detailed stories on the types of crime and the punishments applied in the early days of our country. Whatever the crime — public intoxication, infanticide, ...
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