The Beekeeper’s Apprentice: or On the Segregation of the Queen (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes # 1) by Laurie King
If you’ve read any Flavia de Luce mysteries (Alan Bradley) featuring an extremely precocious 12 yr old (of course I have and enjoyed J ) you will be well prepared for this series featuring Sherlock Holmes and equally precocious 15 yr old Mary Russell who happens to reside next door to Sherlock in 1915 Sussex where he has retired. Murder and mysteries ensue.
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
Set in 1930’s British controlled Malaysia and told in alternating voices. Ji Lin is a smart young woman who would love to go to college which her stepfather considers ridiculous so instead she works as both an apprentice dressmaker and a dancehall girl to pay off her mother’s Mahjong debts. 11 yr old Ren has worked as a houseboy for a dying doctor who asks Ren to reunite his lost finger with his body after he dies. A task he must complete, according to tradition, within the 49 days after the old man’s death. As the days go by, each of their lives begin to converge.
The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
In a small CA college town, students begin falling into a comatose sleep. The condition spreads to health care workers, parents who have come to be with their children, and town’s people until the government quarantines the entire town. This read like a Twilight Zone episode and I was really into it (any of you surprised by that declaration?), but the ending was eeh and too philosophical. Now judging from the run Random did on this book, I’m guessing they would disagree.
We Own the Sky by Luke Allnutt
A break your heart story that is so beautifully written that I am recommending it despite. Rob Coates has it all – a creative programming job he loves, a great wife, and then the long waited for special little boy. After that world has come tumbling down, he turns to photography to connect to what he’s lost.
The book site describes it as “A triumphant story of a father and his little boy—and a love that knows no limits.” Absolutely wonderful read – have Kleenex nearby.
Travel Light, Move Fast by Alexandra Fuller
As with her first book “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight” and all but 2 thereafter, this is a memoir. In this case, of her father who died fairly suddenly in Budapest – the city he called the poor man’s Paris. Before he died he began telling his daughter the secret to life and Fuller has, once again, done a stellar job of retelling of that life to us. Her father was quite the character and there are several laugh out loud parts as well as Fuller’s own take on grieving. A couple quotes to look for:
“Travel light…Move fast…When you’re all the way down to the bone…tobacco, tea, and mosquito net; that’s all you need.” Or his take on computers which he could not believe needed to be replaced every 12 years. “Humanity’s reached a whole new low”. Or when he nearly froze in a duck blind in Quebec and he was forced to be sober for 12 hours.
Big Sky by Kate Atkinson
Ahhh, after digressing with Life after Life and A God in Ruins, Ms. Atkinson has brought back our policeman turned detective, Jackson Brodie. In this new case, Jackson is thrown into the world of child slavery and sex trafficking. There are a few lighter moments as he deals with his less than interested in the world son and an aging Labrador. As suspenseful as before – I for one, am glad Jackson’s back.
Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kerns Goodwin
Historican Goodwin presents us with four presidents – Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson – and how they overcame tremendous obstacles, calling on the qualities that gave them the strength and perseverance to do so even in the face of strong opposition. Eventually asking the question: Does the leader make the times or do the times make the leader?