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April 6, 2020

3/19/2020 7:30:00 AM
Books to keep you entertained in quarantine
Terri Schlichenmeyer
Book Reviewer

Hunker down. That's what you'll be doing for the immediate future: trying to stay well or get well or just waiting. You've had enough TV and the pantry's as clean as it'll ever get, so maybe it's time to find something to read. Why not try one of these great books.....

FICTION

If you're a fan of unusual thrillers, look for "Please See Us" by Caitlin Mullen. It's the story of two dead women who have not yet been found in their marshy grave. But they know what's going on, and they know they won't be alone for long. Oh, and they know who killed them. Also, thriller fans, get "Journey of the Pharaohs" by the late Clive Cussler and Graham Brown. If you've ever read a Cussler book, you know what you're in for!

"The Love Story of Missy Charmichael" by Beth Morrey is a sweetheart of a book. It's about a 79-year-old woman who's largely alone; her children are scattered or estranged and she's old enough to believe that reflection on her past is all she has left. And then she meets a dog....

The fan of historical fiction will love having "Westering Women" by Sandra Dallas on the sofa. It's the story of a young seamstress and her small daughter, both of whom travel with a caravan of other women to answer the call for "eligible women" out west in the 1800s. Adventure, love, action, can you resist?

NON-FICTION

Music fans will love hunkering down with "The Beatles from A to Zed" by Peter Asher. It's an easy-breezy book on the Fab Four, but indirectly - which means you'll get some little-discussed, little-known tales that fans will need to know. Here's another book that's perfect for the music fan: "She Can Really Lay It Down" by Rachel Frankel, a book about music's female rebels and rockers. Or look for "1973: Rock at the Crossroads" by Andrew Grant Jackson, a book that's part history, part music history, and all perfect nostalgia.

For the reader who loves a good true-medicine tale, try "The Open Heart Club" by Gabriel Brownstein.

Written by a man whose life was saved by cardiac surgery when he was just a small child, this book looks at heart surgery in the distant past and what's being done to cure the heart now. Another book to look for, whether you're thinking it's time to quit smoking, you're fascinated about why anyone would start, or you're just plain in need of something different is "The Cigarette: A Political History" by Sarah Milov.

The reader who hates the fact that church has to be missed will enjoy having "The Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History" by Andrew T. Walther and Maureen H. Walther around. It's a large, beautiful retrospective on the "K of C," its contributions, and many of the leaders who influenced the Knights through the decades.

Sports fans, there's no doubt that you're feeling bereft without your favorite team on TV, so why not pick up a sports book instead? One like "Games of Deception" by Andrew Maraniss. It's the tale of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the United States' first Olympic basketball team. Another book for the sports fan is "The Eighth Wonder of the World: The True Story of André the Giant:" by Bertrand Hėbert and Pat LaPrade. It's a tale of wrestling, and the real man who made it fun to watch.

If this quarantine is compounded by loss, look for "Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief" by David Kessler. It's a book for healing that takes things just one step beyond conventional grieving.

If you're already tired of the same old meals, look for "Meals, Music, and Muses: Recipes from My African American Kitchen" by Alexander Smalls. There's really only one thing you can say about it: yum.

TRUE CRIME

True crime fans will want to have "Highway of Tears" by Jessica McDiarmid in their laps while being quarantined. It's a deep look into a tragedy: along a highway in British Columbia, officials have discovered dozens of murdered Indigenous women and girls through the decades. How this happened, what is being done about it, it'll keep you on the edge of your seat. Also look for "The Lost Brothers" by Jack El-Hai, a missing-boys mystery that's nearly seven decades old but still a very active case.

Here's one to whet your True Crime whistle: "Assassinations: The Plots, Politics, and powers Behind History-Changing Murders" by Nick Redfern. The title says it all... except "you'll like it." Another book you'll like: "The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia" by Emma Copley Eisenberg, the story of a crime that impacted an entire geographical area.

If you've always wondered what it might be like to be in a high government crime-fighting position, then you'll want to read "The Unexpected Spy" by Tracy Walder with Jessica Anya Blau. It's the story of Walder's years with the FBI, the CIA, and the life of one woman inside the world of taking down terrorists.

And if you've always wondered how crime-fighters do their work, then look for "American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI" by Kate Winkler Dawson. It's a book about the man who helped set the stage for the way forensics is done, even today - and that includes the things he got all wrong.

BIOGRAPHIES

Biography fans take note: "The Less People Know About Us" by Axton Betz-Hamilton is one you'll want to read. It's a tale of stolen identity and betrayal, family turmoil, and a perpetrator you won't believe. Another bio to find: "My Time Among the Whites" by Jennine Capó Crucet, who writes of being a Latinx woman in a world that's mostly Caucasian.

It's always time to hunker-hunker down with some burning love, and "Elvis Through the Ages" by Boze Hadleigh is the book you want. Filled with pictures, quotations, and tales of The King, it's great if you're so lonely, baby. Here's another book about a king (to-be): "King Charles: The Man, the Monarch, and the Future of Britain" by Robert Jobson is all about William's father, the man who's next in line to the British throne.







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