West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge
"It’s 1938. The Great Depression lingers. Hitler is threatening Europe, and world-weary Americans long for wonder. They find it in two giraffes who miraculously survive a hurricane while crossing the Atlantic. What follows is a twelve-day road trip in a custom truck to deliver Southern California’s first giraffes to the San Diego Zoo. Behind the wheel is the young Dust Bowl rowdy Woodrow. Inspired by true events, the tale weaves real-life figures with fictional ones, including the world’s first female zoo director, a crusty old man with a past, a young female photographer with a secret, and assorted reprobates as spotty as the giraffes." Okay, you might find it strange, but this is my kind of story!
The Push by Ashley Audrain
"Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had. But in the thick of motherhood's exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter... Or is it all in Blythe's head? Her husband, Fox, says she's imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well... But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth." While I'm thrown off by the unlikely combination of Blythe and Fox, this sounds creepy scary.
Outlawed by Anna North
"The day of her wedding, 17-year-old Ada's life looks good; she loves her husband, and she loves working as an apprentice to her mother, a respected midwife. But after a year of marriage and no pregnancy, in a town where barren women are routinely hanged as witches, her survival depends on leaving behind everything she knows. She joins up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang, a band of outlaws led by a preacher-turned-robber known to all as the Kid. Charismatic, grandiose, and mercurial, the Kid is determined to create a safe haven for outcast women. But to make this dream a reality, the Gang hatches a treacherous plan that may get them all killed. And Ada must decide whether she's willing to risk her life for the possibility of a new kind of future for them all." Well, that sounds weirdly wonderful!
The Liar's Dictionary by Eley Williams
Victorian lexicographer, Peter Winceworth's disaffection compels him to insert unauthorized fictitious entries into the dictionary in an attempt to assert some sense of individual purpose and artistic freedom.
In the present day, Mallory, is tasked with uncovering these mountweazels. "She also has to contend with threatening phone calls from an anonymous caller. As these two narratives combine, both Winceworth and Mallory discover how they might negotiate the complexities of the often nonsensical, relentless, untrustworthy, hoax-strewn, and undefinable path we call life." A book logophiles must read!
Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner
"Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman, a recovering alcoholic with more regrets than belongings. But she spends her life doing what no one else will--searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for. She is [now] searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months earlier. Resistance from the Boston PD and the victim's wary family tells Frankie she's on her own--and she soon learns she's asking questions someone doesn't want answered. But Frankie will stop at nothing to discover the truth, even if it means the next person to go missing could be her." Sounds like a tense read.
New Year, New You
Beyond Order: Twelve More Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
"In 12 Rules for Life, clinical psychologist and celebrated professor at Harvard and the University of Toronto Dr. Jordan B. Peterson helped millions of readers impose order on the chaos of their lives. Now, in this bold sequel, Peterson delivers twelve more lifesaving principles for resisting the exhausting toll that our desire to order the world inevitably takes." I think the subtitle of this book should be, "Relax...take it easy."
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
"James Clear, one of the world's leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results." I don't know about you, but I need this book!
Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality by Frank Wilczek
"Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek offers the reader a simple yet profound exploration of reality based on the deep revelations of modern science. With clarity and an infectious sense of joy, he guides us through the essential concepts that form our understanding of what the world is and how it works. Through these pages, we come to see our reality in a new way--bigger, fuller, and stranger than it looked before." Fascinating.
Growing Boldly: Dare to Build a Life You Love by Emily Ley
"Emily Ley has shown us how to give ourselves grace in Grace, Not Perfection, how to simplify our lives in A Simplified Life, and how to replace busyness with true connection in When Less Becomes More. Now for the first time, Emily draws on her own story of creating a highly successful business--and loving the process--as she teaches us how to move forward in our own vocations and serve others at the same time." Let's go for it.
Last Month, I urged you to read The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis, before watching the Netflix series. I'd read an article by someone who loved the book and felt the series didn't do it justice. Well, I read the book and watched the series and I have to say, I disagree with the critic. I found that his objections to the way Beth was portrayed were not at all based on truth. The series offered viewers subtext and depth of character lacking in the book. I felt the series was superior to the book, though it did add certain details that I found superfluous.
That being said, I enjoyed the book very much. I don't mind authors who tell stories in a detached, objective manner. But the descriptions of the chess games may lead most readers to nod off or start skimming. My recommendation: Read the book first, then the series.
The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis
My Goodreads rating: 4 stars
*Book descriptions taken from Amazon.com
Okay, time for the shameless plug. Scroll on by for more on words...