Subject:  Research or a book that you enjoyed on a rainy day

The sun was shining and several who had stayed home during the rainy weather returned.  Everyone had read during the rains and our reviews ranged from what we had read to what we intended to read, local authors we had picked up on, ideas of things to read from other reviews.  I think you could say we discussed books in general, and then got down to specifics.

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

This book is about the Spanish Flu, which did not begin in Spain, but was highly contagious and a huge problem.  A family of five came to America shortly before the outbreak.  It is a story of loss, survival and hope. Our reader recommends this author.

This book is available in the Grover Beach Community Library

Crooked River by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

These authors have collaborated on many books together, some mysteries, some supernatural, some trilogies in various locals.  They are good for a rainy day as they hold your attention and keep it. Agent Pendergast is a repeat subject who is called from vacation to Sanibel Island, Florida where dozens of shoes are washing up on the shore with severed feet in them.  Who are the victims, who did it?

This book is available in the Grover Beach Community Library

Lost City of the Monkey God by Preston Child

This is nonfiction about the discovery of a lost city in Guatemala. When the discoverer’s return they find they have contacted an unusual disease. Very interesting.

Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain by Charles Leerhsen

About the renowned chef of the TV hit Parts Unknown. A formal review will be done in the Blog “By The Beach” on the Grover Beach Community Library website soon.

This will be donated to the Grover Beach Library when the review is done.

The Secret Love Letters of Olivia Moretti and Our Italian Summer, both by Jennifer Probst

The books are related to each other in that they involve the three sisters who find a hidden stack of love letters after the death of their mother. They see a side of their mother that they did not know and how they trace back her life, eventually going to Italy to seek an answer to their questions.

Farewell To Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James Houston

The true story of a Japanese American family that had a fishing business in Long Beach, CA that lost all when sent to an Internment Camp during WW II.

This book is in the Young Reader Nonfiction Section at the Grover Library

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCort

A memoir up to the age of 19. The father drank and the children went hungry.  A sad life with Irish Catholic humor and pathos.

This book is available at the Grover Beach Community Library

Front Runner by Felix Francis

This book is by the son of renowned writer Dick Francis, he co-authored several books with his father and after his father’s death has written four by himself. He follows in the Steeplechase mystery genre with success in our reader’s eyes. A racing investigator has a meeting with a top jockey who has a secret but ends up dead before being able to confess. Race fixing and lots of intrigue.

One of our readers was unable to attend but sent her report via an email which I am sharing.

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

Written as though it was a memoir and so much of it was historically correct that I went to Google to find Marian, the narrator, and her brother Jamie. They are fiction, but her historical facts are so relatable that you feel like you should remember her. It’s over 700 pages, and I hated for it to end. These are twins born in a time of great change and turmoil.  They are twins born to a reluctant/absent mother and absent father. Marian becomes quite the flyer in early times of flight. Great Circle is a flight around the earth over the poles that Marian attempted with her navigator Eddie.  How they get there is the story. Highly recommended.


Fran Strauser