Don’t be turned off by the title—this is not a typical vampire novel. It reads like a secret dossier, or an FBI case file, of events leading up to the discovery of a new virus, and how the virus turns into an epidemic that threatens to transform culture, society and life as we know it. The chapters are made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, police logs, CDC reports, and legislative records. Vampirism is treated as a disease at first, caused by a virus very similar to Ebola, which causes changes in the blood and cell structure of humans “afflicted” with it. But as more people become “Re-created”—including politicians, religious leaders, and even Taylor Swift—the Gloamings (as they are known) begin to demand rights and accommodations which go as far as petitioning for disabled persons classification so they can use the ADA to support their cause. While the Gloamings are making their way into society, the question of their one and only food source—human blood—is sometimes overlooked. I found this book to be intriguing and thought-provoking. It stays with me—still coming up in my thoughts two weeks later. On a side note, I’m not a big fan of vampire stories, but there are two vampire novels I read many years ago that I very much enjoyed—Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, and Tim Powers’ The Stress of Her Regard.
“I need Owen to explain this. Because yes, I do know that Owen would never do that, but I also know Hannah would never lie about something like that.” That’s where Mara is stuck in this powerful realistic fiction novel that could happen today to anyone you know. Her twin brother is accused of sexually assaulting one of her best friends, and she has to figure out not only who to believe but how to handle being between two people whom she loves deeply. Blake writes an incredibly emotionally fraught novel, but for anyone who has gone through something like this or known someone who has, she really gets it right. In the end, Mara and her friend both find their strength and the power to move forward from trauma, with hope for the future.
The New Farm by Brent Preston is for anyone with an interest in the good food movement. While this memoir centers on the story of how the author and his wife left the urban life to create a sustainable and profitable organic farm business (no small task), it delves into issues concerning conventional industrial farming and the globalization of the food market that will give you food for thought (no pun intended). It certainly did me.
I love books that help you learn and make you laugh. This is one of those books. The Mushroom Fan Club has hilarious drawings of different types of mushrooms (mushrooms don’t have eyes or mouths, as the artist points out, but it’s more fun to draw them that way), the parts of a mushroom, and how you too can become a member of the Mushroom Fan Club, like me!
Set in a small town called King’s Abbott, the ever-so witty and peculiar Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, is asked to investigate the murder of a wealthy man, Roger Ackroyd.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd has all the elements of a classic whodunit mystery—small town, everyone knows everyone, and all the characters have something to hide. Agatha Christie scatters clues as to who the murderer is throughout the novel, and yet the final chapter is truly surprising and completely unexpected.
Dubbed the “Best Crime Novel of all Time” by the British Crime Writers’ Association, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is certainly one of Christie’s best, even the Queen of mystery listed the novel as one of her favorite “Christies”. This is a must-read for crime fiction lovers and Christie fans.
I was excited to read the new book in the Maisie Dobbs mystery series. Set in 1940, against the backdrop of Britain’s entry into World War II, Maisie is brought in to investigate the disappearance of a young apprentice working on a secret government war contract. As usual, the author brings history to life with a gripping mystery and the relationships of the characters providing an interesting human angle. I think that this book would be enjoyable to anyone who has read other books in the series, however, it is not necessary to have read the previous books to enjoy this one.