Senior Book Break

December 12, 2023

Subject: Something that makes us merry or in a happy mood.

The Hollywood Jinx by Sariah Wilson

Our reader read this because she enjoyed The Chemistry of Love so much. It was decided that the author writes a Harlequin type book with one large exception. There is more wit and less heavy breathing … not really.  

A small-town needs money because of a crooked politician. The head of the committee for the annual festival is trying to make enough money to save the town. She invites Hollywood’s biggest heartthrob to it and surprise, surprise he accepts. Then the fun begins. When things get busy at home, this is a good escape, with a chuckle or two.

The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich

Alas, there will be no more Stephanie Plum and this introduces her successor. At the opposite end of Stephanie’s spectrum, Gabriela Rose is rich, glamorous and has it together.  Her business card reads “Insurance Fraud Investigator,” but she also recovers missing, lost or stolen items and is very successful. The book seems a bit “rushed” because it goes from all over the US to several South American countries, all with no jet lag. From New York to the jungle. Wild escapes, car chases, snorkeling into caves and having to put up with an ex-husband who has an interest in the matter. She has two books out so far with this character. Our reader will try the second book to see if she accepts the successor.

The Mad Woman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

The last Bronte relative, lives upstairs and has unusual secrets. A witty book very much enjoyed.

Nemesis by Isaac Assimov

In the twenty-third century pioneers have escaped the crowded earth for life in self-sustaining orbital colonies. One of the colonies, Rotor, has broken away from the solar system to create its own renegade utopia around an unknown red star two light-years from Earth: a star named Nemesis.
Now a fifteen-year-old Rotarian girl has learned of the dire threat that nemesis poses to Earth’s people, but she is prevented from warning them. Soon she will realize that Nemesis endangers Rotor as well. And so it will be up to her alone to save both Earth and Rotor. Drawn inexorably by Nemesis, the death star, they hurtle toward certain disaster. As usual Assimov is technical in his science. He has written 400 books. Our reader is trying to read them all (joke).

Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. It had been a dilapidated neighborhood of immigrant Jews and African Americans. Chicken Hill was where Moshe and Chona Ludlow lived, Moshe had a theater and Chona ran the Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. When the state came looking for a deaf boy to institutionalize him, it was Chona and Nate Timblin, the Black janitor at Moshe’s theater who worked together to keep the boy safe.
When the truth is finally revealed about what happened on Chicken Hill and the part the town’s white establishment played in it, McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community — heaven and earth — that sustain us. Our reader felt Mr, McBride is a very good storyteller.

This book is available at the Grover Beach Community Library

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harar

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one, homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?  Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we do now? This book was given to our reader when visiting family and friends on the other side of the US. Now they want his answer. Stay tuned.