Staff Reads March 17, 2017

Book Projector Treble Clef

Jan: I read Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann.
In the 1890’s oil was discovered at the Osage Indian reservation in Oklahoma, making the tribal members extremely wealthy. What followed those residents was a terrifying era of unexplained murders which the local “lawmen” were unable to solve. Only the efforts of the Justice Department’s newly formed unit, the Bureau of Investigation, later the FBI, were able to bring justice to the victims’ families. This book is a tale of incredible greed, corruption, incompetence and discrimination in the Old West-no John Wayne here! You’ll probably never be able to watch a Western in the same light again!



Mary V.:

  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena: This is a suspenseful story that kept me interested almost to the end. There are a few pages at the the end which could be deleted and make it better. I hated that additional ending.
  • The Phantom Passage by Paul Haller: This is an old-fashioned mystery in the style of Erle Stanley Gardner or Agatha Christie. My brother, James, recommended it to me and I enjoyed reading it. He read everything else he could find in library by this author, but one is enough for me.
  • The Knife Slipped by A. A. Fair: This book was written about 1940, supposedly the second in a long series of Cool and Lam mysteries. It has been missing and has now been republished. A. A. Fair is Erle Stanley Gardner. I didn’t like it well enough to look for more of the series, but may do so when I can’t find anything else.
  • Agatha Christie’s Closed Casket by Sophia Hannah: I really enjoyed this new Hercule Poirot mystery. Since Agatha Christie died in 1976 at the age of 85, she did not write it, but the author was true to the Hercule Poirot character and I did enjoy reading it.
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders: This was the worst book I have ever read. Many times I was ready to stop reading it, but I thought it might get better. It didn’t. It is supposed to be a novel about President and Mrs Lincoln after the death of their son, Willie in 1862. Even though it is a novel, the author inserted his footnotes into the text which was very distracting. Also, it is mainly conversations among the dead in the cemetery and the dead peoples’ s attempts to help Willie transition into the next life. There are hundreds of holds on this book because anything with the Lincoln name is popular. I will be interested in someone else’s opinion about this book.
  • Crooked House by Christobel Kent: This is a spell-binding book about a young woman who survived the mass murder of her mother, brother and sisters thirteen years ago. Her father survives the assault and is accused of the murders.She is forced to return to the town where the deaths occurred. While there for a wedding she searches for answers to what actually happened.
  • The Story of God Season one: This documentary on DVD is narrated by Morgan Freeman. He travels all over the world to find answers to many age old questions such as creation. He meets and has discussions with many different people with different religious views. If there is a season 2, I will watch it.
  • The Cedar Creek Sessions Music CD by Kris Kristofferson: A new release by Kris Kristofferson and he sings some of his classic songs. Since he is now eighty years old, he does not sound the same. He is still touring which I find amazing.


  • The Life & Songs of Emmylou Harris (MUSIC CD) ,a tribute album to Emmylou with a great selection of artists.
  • Manchester by the Sea: Tough movie to watch but Affleck did a good job. You really felt his devastation, loneliness and complete disconnect from his hometown community and friends.
  • All the Way: Bryan Cranston does a tremendous job portraying LBJ and the struggles he faced in his first year in office. The supporting cast was fantastic, it was uncanny how much Melissa Leo looked like Lady Bird.
  • Hell or High Water: I was really surprised by how good this movie was. Basically I would watch Jeff Bridges in anything and be happy. A clever plot sprinkled with humor.
    Chris Pine and Ben Foster are two downtrodden, yet very committed brothers, who turn to bank robbing to save the family land. Jeff Bridges is a Texas Ranger on the verge of a reluctant retirement and he is determined to get to the bottom of these robberies.

Nancy D.:

  • Currently reading Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson. A murder thriller that takes place in Boston. The action grabs you pretty much from the start. It involves multiple points of view, which adds richness and depth to the story. I’m liking it so far!
  • I See You by Clare Mackintosh. Her second novel after her smashing first one I Let You Go. I was really looking forward to this thriller, because her first one hooked me from the first page and wouldn’t let go. I was somewhat disappointed in this one. It was slow to draw me in, and a lot of the characters annoyed me. But it did have a couple good twists at the very end.
  • The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers. I loved this novel about a wife accused of murdering her baby during the waning years of the Civil War in the South. Great story, many wonderful characters, and the language beautifully evokes this turbulent time period.
  • The Girl Before by JP Delaney. Really good thriller that takes place in a very unusual rental building with even more unusual rules.
  • The River at Night by Erica Ferencik. Another great adventure/thriller placed in the wilds of Northern Maine. I highly recommend this one.
  • I’m currently listening to Damaged by Lisa Scottoline. I didn’t realize it was part of a series involving a lawyer named Mary Dinunzio, but it seems like it can stand alone. In this story, Dinunzio takes on the case of a 10 year old boy whose sole guardian, his grandfather, comes to her saying his grandson ( who has dyslexia) is being bullied and abused at school in Philadelphia. The case gets more involved when the grandfather dies and the boy is accused of committing the crime and is declared dangerous. Dinunzio takes the boys side and fights to become his temporary guardian. I want to like this story, but I have to admit Mary Dinunzio is beginning to annoy me. She seems much too gullible and naive.
  • The Trespasser by Tana French. Loved this London-based murder mystery. Lots of twists and turns, and very good character development.
  • I recently saw Arrival with Amy Adams. As others have mentioned, it’s a thinking person’s UFO story with a heart and soul. I really liked it although I didn’t completely understand the time jumps (very nonlinear). Perhaps that’s the point.) I’d love to discuss it with someone!!!

Pat A.:


  • All our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai: This is one of those time travel stories in which the main character (Tom) goes back in time, makes one small change which ends up drastically changing the present. Think you’ve read or watched that premise one too many times? You haven’t. The twist here is that we are living in the altered timeline. The original timeline was a world full of flying cars, cleaner air, and more efficient productivity. Tom, though, was a man whose beloved mother was killed in a freak accident and who shared a distant relationship with his father. His (unintentional) change created a lot of problems for the world, but also exposed some of the problems in the original world. I devoured this book and read it fewer than two days. It was witty and sarcastic but also extremely emotional. I often laughed and cried at the same page. The book is a cautionary and hopeful look at the world where we reside. I would suggest this as a readalike for The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson.
  • The Book of Joy: Last Happiness in a Changing World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams: This lovely little book was written under the backdrop of Desmond Tutu traveling to Dharamshala, India to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday. Their wisdom, love, and amazing senses of humor come through so much in this volume. I wanted to hug the book when I was finished with it.
  • Moana: The latest Disney movie is a lot of fun. Moana is the future chief of a South Pacific Island about 2,000 years ago who sets off to find the demi-god Maui to return the heart of Te-Fiti in order to ensure her people’s survival. Newcomer (and 16 year old) Auli’i Cravalho does an amazing job as the title character. Her stint on the Oscars in which she still continued performing without even pausing after getting hit on the head by accident, proves that she is the consummate professional!

Stephanie: The Sign Will Say Weehawken by Charles Vallely: I rarely read poetry. Maybe a glance at the new Billy Collins or a recent compilation of Emily Dickinson’s, but this book really took hold of me. From the minute I opened it up, I was entranced by the imagery and emotions that spilled out of the page and into my heart. Even the title has made a vivid and lasting imprint on my mind. The author alas, has passed and this will be his final work. Please pick up this book. It is a national treasure.

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