September Picks

Mawer, Simon (2018) Prague Spring. Little Brown. In the summer of 1968, the year of Prague Spring, students James and Ellie set out to hitchhike across Europe. They decide on a whim to visit Czechoslovakia where Alexander Dubcek’s “socialism with a human face” is being proclaimed. Meanwhile cynical diplomat Sam is monitoring the unravelling situation through… Continue reading September Picks

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August Picks

Tyler, Anne (2018) Clock Dance. Knopf. In 1967 Willa is a schoolgirl coping with her mother's disappearance, in 1977 she is a college co-ed receiving a proposal of marriage, in 1997 she is a young widow, and in 2017 she responds to a call for help from a stranger. This latter life decision is impulsive.… Continue reading August Picks

July Picks

Westover, Tara (2018) Educated. Hutchinson. Tara Westover's memoir is a coming-of-age struggle for survival. Tara was raised in a fundamentalist Idaho Mormon family, the youngest of seven. Her father's "End of Days" faith isolates the family from the community. He gives no credence to government, doctors, dairy products or schooling, instead puts his children to work… Continue reading July Picks

May-June Picks

Robertson, Catherine (2018) Gabriel's Bay. Black Swan. In Gabriel's Bay Robertson has created a whole community, an amalgam of beachside small town New Zealand, aka 800 Words. Kerry is on the run from a failed wedding, and takes a job in Gabriel's Bay to begin again. Along the way he becomes involved in the fabric… Continue reading May-June Picks

April Picks

Henderson, Susan (2018) The Flicker of Old Dreams. Harper. Mary Crampton has spent her whole life in Petroleum, a small Great Plains grain town. She lives a quiet introspective life and works as an embalmer for her father's mortuary business. Petroleum has been crumbling for the past 20 years, ever since the grain elevator killed… Continue reading April Picks

March Picks

Matthews, Jason (2013) Red Sparrow.  Simon & Schuster. Former ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited as an intelligence agent, and a seductress, by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and as her first assignment she is tasked with operating against ambitious young CIA officer Nat Nash. Nat handles the American's most important Russian mole. As Dominika… Continue reading March Picks

February Picks

Isaacson, Walter (2017) Leonardo Da Vinci. Simon & Schuster. A comprehensive biography of an artist and creative genius who was obsessed with knowledge. Leonardo was a "man without letters" and a "disciple of experience". Anatomy was his abiding specialism but his natural curiosity led him to pursue 'enthusiasms' across multiple disciplines. He was insatiable in his imagination, a perfectionist,… Continue reading February Picks