Southern Discomfort, by Tena Clark
Non-Fiction / March 1, 2019

So many books come across my desk, but this one really caught my eye. I had no idea who the author was, but I knew this non-fiction story would be interesting. Tena Clark is a lesbian growing up in Mississippi during the 1950’s and 1960’s. That would probably be enough to fill a book, right? Now add in a cheating father and an alcoholic mother and we are really in for a story. Overall I thought it was really about the power of love and family, albeit very flawed love and family. Even made me shed a tear or two at the end. And I learned a bit about growing up in the Southern USA. An informative, endearing story of living your truth and finding the strength to be who you are meant to be. Well done Tena Clark.

Will’s Red Coat
Non-Fiction / December 4, 2018

Will’s Red Coat by Tom Ryan made me cry. In a good way, if that’s possible. It is a non-fiction recounting of a dog’s last years and how the author helps this abandoned dog trust and love again.  I enjoyed this quick read on many levels. The authors discussions of patience and simplicity and how they fit in with end of life can apply to us all.  A must read for animal lovers.

Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence
Non-Fiction / April 8, 2018

Some titles just say “read me,” so I do. Dear Fahrenheit 451, a non-fiction book by Annie Spence, is one librarian’s collection of thoughts on books from Frog and Toad Storybook Treasure (love me some Frog and Toad) to The Hobbit (never read it), The Crucible (endured it in my 9th grade literature class) to the Harlequin Romance Novel section (no judgment from me, I’ve read them.) Written in short letter form, it is funny, sharp, and entertaining to read her thought process on whether she will keep a copy of a certain book or send it to the book sale or discard pile. How long will this title last in my library? We have 6 copies on paper, 3 of those are large print, and one digital copy. Thankfully our SSP branch owns one of these copies, they keep everything.

What the Dead Leave Behind by David Housewright
Fiction , Non-Fiction / February 9, 2018

The fact that author David Housewright is living somewhat locally, in relation to me, is what originally caught my eye about this novel. In fact, the cover art of What the Dead Leave Behind depicts a park that is somewhat of a local landmark.  The book starts off quick, with retired police officer McKenzie being asked to investigate an unsolved murder.  Which, of course, he does. As readers we follow along as characters are introduced and secrets revealed. I did manage to follow McKenzie’s path, although I have decided I would be a terrible detective, as nothing seemed to provide any clues to the murder to me. Good thing the author had that all under control.

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Non-Fiction / September 12, 2017

I just finished Killers of the Flower Moon. Perhaps the rumor of Osage blood running through my family tree made me pick it up. Or perhaps I am just intrigued by this recounting of real life murders and the fact that I had never heard of them. Either way, a chilling read of multiple murders of the Osage in Oklahoma and the men who investigated them.

London Under by Peter Ackroyd
Non-Fiction / September 2, 2017

London is a fascinating city, above and below. Peter Ackroyd’s nonfiction book London Under caught my eye and turned out to be worth the time. Crypt’s, sewers, ruins, the Tube, and bomb shelters. The author goes over these and more. And there is as much going on below ground as above. A good read for anyone who has traveled to London or history lovers alike.

Dig If You Will The Picture by Ben Greenman
Non-Fiction / July 11, 2017

I knew I had to read this book. I shelved it one day in May, but instead of filing it by number, I set it as a face out to get it more attention. The artwork on the cover is eye catching and I live in an area of the country that is familiar with Prince.  After Prince’s tragic death there has been a lot of interest in his work.  I mainly see his music CDs coming and going.  But I wanted to know more about the man behind the music.  This book digs into his rise to fame and his music genius. I learned more about the music scene in Minneapolis and how Prince had control of much of it. I have to say the reading was sometimes difficult for me. I am used to fiction and this book digs deep into topics Prince wrote about in his music; things like sex, sexuality, and religion. Not a light read for me. As I read I waited for an answers about Prince’s death. The author discusses the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office autopsy report that determined Prince died from an accidental overdose of Fentanyl, a synthetic opiod a hundred times more powerful than morphine.  People close to…

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

I read this in the Young Adult version for a book club I am in and it proved to be a good read and even better discussion. Just so you know, this is a non-fiction book, but it reads more like fiction. It centers around a group of University of Washington crew members who travel to the 1936 German Olympics.  A lot of the story is moved forward through the eyes of Joe, a young crew member who was abandoned by his family around age 15.  Joe is big and tough, and he manages to somehow use both brains and muscle to go to college. His determination and grit are incredible.  Match him up with a group of similar boys and you have magic. So, in closing, if you are looking for a story that will inspire both young and old, this might be it.