Staff Reviews

 

 

 

“Give me a room whose every nook is dedicated to a book.”

 

Breaking Wild

By Diane Les Becquets (Penguin Random House)

Amy Rae a distinguished bow hunter goes on a hunting trip one winter.  She is scouting an elk, find its, shoots it but the elk does not die.  She follows the tracks of this elk to kill it but becomes completely lost.  Pru Hathaway, a law enforcement deputy’s job is to find Amy.  She and her dog spend months searching clues, scant as they are, to find Amy. When all gives up, Pru cannot as she believes Amy is woods-smart and will survive.  Told in alternating voices, this book keeps the reader guessing right to the end.  Set in NW Colorado, one of this book’s characters is the terrain of the area. 


Celine

By Peter Heller (Penguin Random House)

Peter, a master storyteller and elegant writer, has written a marvelous story about an older PI, Celine who reunites family members.  Gabriela is looking for her dad who disappeared and was pronounced dead many years ago.  His body was never found and was presumed to have been eaten by a bear in Yellowstone National Park.  Celine and her husband Pete, borrow their son’s run-down camper and go on a journey through gorgeous countryside, meeting up with all sorts of funny, dangerous and unique characters on their search for Gabriela’s dad.  Celine reminded me of the wit of Sherlock Holmes.  Peter’s writing style is one which flows.  I felt as if I were traveling the back roads of Wyoming along with Celine and Peter.  Another great novel by this amazing author.


News of the World

By Paulette Jiles (Harper Collins Publishing)

Want a story with little violence, no sex and realistic characters, then this book is for you. Captain Kidd is bringing a young girl back to her family after being rescued from a Kiowa tribe who kidnapped her 4 years earlier.  Captain Kidd is a reader of news.  As he travels from Wichita Falls to just west of San Antonio, he stops at small towns to read from newspapers for 10 cents admission.  He and “JoHanna learn to trust each other as the journey lengthens.  The story of this friendship, the journey itself and the land make for an amazing read.


The Lucky Hat Mine

By J.v.L. Bell (Hansen Publishing Group)

Local author J.v.L. Bell has written a well-researched historical mystery fiction novel that takes place in the late 1800s in the Colorado Territory. Millie Virginia answers a wife-wanted ad and survives the perilous journey across the Great Plains to the mining town of Idaho Springs, only to find her intended husband in a pine box. Will she stay in this foreign territory where someone is trying to kill her as well? Will she try to solve her fiancé’s murder? Who can she trust in this mining town? Bell has left us hungry for more, so we’re hopeful it will become a series of books since we are attached to the characters and want to know more. It’s also a great read for book clubs and contains book club questions and topics for discussion at the back of the book.


Boys in the Boat

by James Daniel Brown (Penguin Putnam)

This non-fiction title grabbed me from the onset.  Set in Washington State and in Berlin, Germany, one learns about a crew team from University of Washington during the years up to and including the 1936 Olympics.  I enjoyed learning about the building of the shell of the crew boat, the coaches but particularly about the young men who gave their all to win the Olympic Gold Medal at the “showcase” Olympics of Hitler’s Berlin. 


 The Cellist of Sarajevo

by Steven Galloway ( Penguin Putnam)

Steven Galloway has written a very powerful first novel.  Set in Sarajevo during the four year siege and based on a true story, Steven puts the reader right in the middle of the conflict.  The reader follows four citizens in this battered city.  Emotions of anger, futility, desperation and love shine through the pages.  The generality of the story creates great discussion on war in general and one’s response to danger.  This book moved me as deeply as did Kevin Powers The Yellow Birds.


 Benediction

by Kent Haruf (Random House)

Kent has delivered another masterpiece of the eastern plains of Colorado.  Kent returns to the fictional town of Holt.  Dad Lewis is dying of cancer.  He is well-known in the town.  Kent develops his characters so deeply and fully that one is saddened completely by this novel.  A much more somber book from Plainsong but the reader comes to love and honor Kent’s display of fine literature.


 Remarkable Creatures

by Tracy Chevalier (Penguin Putnam)

Set in the 1800s in SW England, Tracy captures the time perfectly.  Mary and Elizabeth, women of different social status, become friends.  Mary, a poor lower class citizen of Lime Regis, has a gift for finding fossils.  Elizabeth, a transplant from London’s higher society quickly becomes addicted to fossil hunting.  These two women’s lives are portrayed in alternating chapters.  Themes of gender and social discrimination are well told as are the questions of extinction, evolution and religion.  Well-written historical fiction.