February 2020 Book Discussions

In February, the book groups will be discussing two titles set in December, but in very different climates: the hot Australian outback and an upstate New York snowstorm. Take your pick and join us; copies of both books are available for checkout at the Circulation Desk.

The Tuesday Evening Book Group will be discussing The Lost Man by Jane Harper at 7:00 pm on February 25, about a rancher who seems to have everything but is found dead by a lone headstone in the summer heat. My earlier review is here.

The Crime Readers will meet at 7:00 pm on Thursday, February 20 at Home Run Inn Pizza in Darien to discuss In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming, the first book in the Clare Fergusson mysteries series. The Crime Readers are co-sponsored by the Indian Prairie Public Library. Optional dinner is at 6:00 p.m.

Happy reading! Brenda


The Rise of Magicks

The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts

When a publisher announces a one million-copy printing of the conclusion to the Chronicles of the One trilogy, it’s fair to expect an awesome sequel to Year One and Of Blood and Bone. Some reviewers found this book to be brilliant, compulsively readable, and fully satisfying. I found this book to be not as fast-paced or as satisfying as the earlier books, though still enjoyable to read. Fallon Swift, born in the first book and trained to lead in the second, now travels the country finding small groups of people who have survived and thrived after the Doom, gathering troops for her battle against evil villains. Twins Duncan and Tonia are foretold to help Fallon in the final battle, back in Scotland near a stone circle. Fallon finds time for romance, and gets advice from her mother Lana and Lana’s friends, who have larger roles in the first book. I enjoyed reading about life in post-apocalyptic communities more than the battle scenes. Definitely start with the first book, and read this one to find out what happens to everyone who made it through the Doom and settled in charming New Hope, Virginia.



Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Most people in this future utopian society are content, but are their lives still meaningful? Death and old age are now reversible conditions, except for those gleaned by an order of scythes. Feared and celebrated, scythes can grant a year of immunity. Teens Citra and Rowan are selected to be apprentices to Scythe Faraday, but only one will be chosen to be a scythe. This is a unique, astounding blend of philosophy and high-octane adventure. First in the Arc of a Scythe trilogy, this book is deservedly popular with teens and adults. The sequels are Thunderhead and The Toll.

Lady Takes the Case

Lady Takes the Case by Eliza Casey

An enjoyable historical mystery set in 1912, suggested for fans of Downton Abbey. A house party at Danby Hall in Yorkshire is planned to introduce Patrick, Lord Avebury’s son, to young American heiress Annabel Clarke. A poisoning during a formal dinner party casts suspicion on Patrick, an amateur botanist. Patrick’s sister, Lady Cecilia, teams up with Annabel’s maid Jane and her inquisitive cat Jack to help solve the mystery. Very likeable main characters, a picturesque setting and a clever mystery make for a satisfying cozy, although the pacing is rather leisurely in the beginning. This is the first book in the Manor Cat series by a pseudonymous award-winning author, with Lady Rights a Wrong to be published this June.



Chilling Effect

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes

In this entertaining debut space opera, Eva Innocente, captain of the small cargo ship, La Sirena Negra, has a cargo of psychic cats but no buyer. Then Eva learns that her sister Mari has been kidnapped by an intergalactic crime syndicate known as The Fridge and she is being blackmailed in a piracy scheme that might be connected to an archaeological find. Her crew, including attractive engineer Vakar, wonder what Eva’s got them into, with each mission more dangerous than the last. Full of adventure and humor, yet often poignant, this science fiction novel is a good readalike for Becky Chambers. The audiobook is very well narrated by Almarie Guerra, especially when Eva, who has Cuban roots, swears eloquently and often in Spanish. Ultimately, Eva has to decide what she stands for, and whether her crew or her family are more important. Intriguing aliens and a variety of planets make for a fast-paced and fun read. Eva’s next adventure, Prime Deceptions, will be published in September.



January 2020 Book Discussions

The Tuesday Evening Book Group will meet at 7:00 p.m. on January 28 to discuss Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts, a biographical novel about Maude Gage Baum, whose husband wrote The Wizard of Oz. Finding Dorothy is a Library Reads pick, and I’m one of many readers advisors who nominated it. Here’s my earlier review, which I shared with the author at a book signing.

The Crime Readers will meet at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 16 at Home Run Inn Pizza in Darien to discuss the Japanese crime thriller The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino. The Crime Readers are co-sponsored by the Indian Prairie Public Library. Optional dinner is at 6:00 p.m.

Copies of both titles are available for checkout at the Circulation Desk.