Tibetan Peach Pie by Tom Robbins

Tibetan Peach

Reviewed by Marcy (Library Staff)

Hilarious, entertaining, and I’m admiring of the risks and rewards of the author as he back tracks the events of his life. It doesn’t matter where you were born or where you end up. Life has its adventures with all its humor and intrigue. Robbins grew up in Appalachia during the Great Depression and lived on the West Coast during the sixties’ psychedelic revolution. He has quite the way with words which cause the reader to follow in the footsteps of his timeline with ease. If you are 50+ you will find the times written about brought alive with his humor. A must read.

Located in Adult Nonfiction (813.54 ROB)

Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore

SecretsLighthouse

Reviewed by Pat Plamann (Library Staff)

I was drawn to this book immediately knowing it is set in the most enchanting, beautiful area of Ireland I’ve seen: Connemara. Montefiore’s setting and character descriptions made me feel I was back in Ireland! It’s a light read, but the family relationships of the Irish shine through. It’s a little mystery, a little romance, a little supernatural and worth curling up with and transporting yourself to the old sod!

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC MONTEFIORE)

Flyover Lives: A Memoir by Diane Johnson

FlyoverLives

Reviewed by Katy Zignego (Library Staff)

You might not know Diane Johnson’s name, but I’ll bet you a Coke you know her work. A novelist, biographer, and essayist, she is best known for writing screenplays, including The Shining and the film adaptation of her novel Le Divorce.

The structure of her memoir is novel (pun kind of intended), because it encompasses not only her own life but also the lives of several of her ancestors. Johnson says her inspiration for this book was a French friend’s offhand comment that Americans have no sense of history. So she sets out to explore at least her own family’s small corner of history and discover how her forebears’ lives shaped her own. The first half of the book deals with flamboyantly named ancestors (Franceway Cossitt?!) battling disease, bears, and endless winters to cling onto their patches of land in Canada and, later, Illinois. The reader gets rather attached to these odd folks and their struggles, and one can sense Johnson’s warm regard for them as well. To the extent that a collection of anecdotes can be said to comprise a history, she handily refutes her friend’s diss.

The second half of the book is Johnson’s memoir of her own life. I suppose I was expecting her to continue the historiographic mood and dwell on the role of family and homeplace in her own development, maybe even carrying it on to her children and musing about her place in the continuing generations. But her telling of her own story is much more straightforward, without the ties to larger historical themes. Though her experiences as a Sixties divorcee in London and a jet-setting Hollywood screenwriter are interesting in themselves, her remembrances feel detached from the stated purpose of the memoir.

I have found a similar problem in some (third-person) history books: as the action moves closer to the present, it gets a little out of focus. Maybe that’s why the old rule was that history is what happened 50 or more years ago. And maybe that’s why this generational memoir doesn’t quite work. I love the concept, I love the family history, and I at least like the personal memoir. But the first and second halves of the book should get–how do I say?–Le Divorce.

Available through the CAFE library system.

Hope’s Boy by Andrew Bridge

HopesBoy

Reviewed by Pat Plamann (Library Staff)

The love of son for his mother, and mother for her son carries them both through a decade of separation. Andrew is denied all but the most basic care in a loveless foster home.  However witnessing his perseverance and success in both his studies and his attempts to reunite with “Hope” makes this an amazing read.

Located in Adult Nonfiction (362.73309 BRI)

 

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