Happy Very First Day of March! And welcome to this month's edition of The Book Review Club. On this day in 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order which established the Peace Corps. Today also happens to be National Horse Protection Day and National Pig Day. And I'd say that's about enough trivia for one paragraph! And now our book reviews! Interestingly, we have an abundance of reviews of non-fiction books this month. Enjoy!
by ELINOR LIPMAN (adult, romantic comedy)
Do you want to be charmed and entertained? Fall in love with a crew of quirky characters? Get tangled up in a twisty-turny plot? Yes? Then I have the book for you! On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman.
In a Nutshell: Our sassy thirty-something protagonist, Faith Frankel, buys a small 5 1/2 room quaint but rundown house with an unexpected history. This purchase somehow sets off a crazy chain of events. There's Faith's deadbeat fiancé whose idea of a ring is a piece of red wool that makes her finger itch. He's walking across America. I'm not exactly sure why. I don't think he knows either. Enter Faith's meddling mother, her father and his wandering eye, her snow-plow driving brother with a new relationship. And, and, and a perfectly delightful officemate named Nick. Now, toss in a murder and a few more zany characters. It's all just so amusing!
What I Loved: 1. This book is beautifully, perfectly, wonderfully plotted. The plotting is a work of art. 2. The dialogue is spot on to the point you feel you're right there with the characters, perhaps sitting at the kitchen table, sipping a cup of coffee with them. 3. Great humor. And lots of it. 4. The writing is so damned good. Here are a few of my favorite examples:
~"...Windexed at the first sign of a fingerprint..."
~"His next question, eyes never leaving a colorized Kris Kringle, was..." (character is watching Miracle on 34th Street)
~"One of the things I love about you is your doomsday outlook based on affection for whoever's at risk."
What I Didn't Love: I have to wait another year or so for the next Elinor Lipman novel!
Kirkus Reviews describes On Turpentine Lane as "warm, clever, a little silly, a lot of fun."
I'd say it's all that and more! Heartily recommended!
(Dear FCC: Bought it.)
And now....onto the rest of our reviews. Please click through. You won't want to miss a single one!
YOUNG ADULT FICTION BOOK REVIEW
Stacy Nyikos: THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon (contemporary YA)
ADULT FICTION BOOK REVIEWS
Stacy of the Cat's Meow: THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead
Tanya Sutton: BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty (contemporary women's lit)
ADULT NONFICTION BOOK REVIEWS
Alyssa Goodnight: TALES OF HISTORY'S BOLDEST HEROINES, HELLIONS, AND HERETICS
by Jason Porath (biography/folklore)
Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: THE BLUE SATIN NIGHTGOWN by Karin Crilly (memoir)
Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: BORN A CRIME: STORIES FROM A SOUTH AFRICAN
CHILDHOOD by Trevor Noah (memoir)
Margy Lutz: TIDE RIPS AND BACK EDDIES by Bill Proctor and Yvonne Maximchuk
Ray Potthoff: THE PATRIARCH by David Nasaw (biography about Joseph P. Kennedy)
Sarah Laurence: BECOMING NICOLE by Amy Ellis Nutt
Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!