Note to Shelf: March 2023

Created on March 6, 2023, 4:20 pm

Last Updated March 21, 2023, 10:36 am

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Marianne declares, "Of the myriad novels that have been written about WWII, My Father’s House by Joseph O’Connor is one that I am sure will be considered a standout. Loosely based on the true experiences of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty and a small number of compatriots who formed a group called the choir, O’Connor weaves a tale of how a very few people were able to save thousands of prisoners of war, partisans, and Jewish people from under the noses of the brutal Nazis who occupied Rome. The action heats up on Christmas Eve, 1943, the night of “Rendimento,” the planned escape to safety of as many as possible through secret passageways and tunnels leading from the Vatican where the refugees have been hidden. All the while, the Gestapo is closing in on the Monsignor and the choir. Masterfully plotted, eloquently written, gripping, and mysterious, My Father’s House is a true literary thriller."
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Jo shares, "The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams takes the reader into a cross-generational friendship that is forged by the joy of reading and the healing power of books. Seventeen-year-old Aleisha has a summer job at the library, but books are not her thing. Mukesh, a widower, lives a quiet life and struggles to understand his bookish granddaughter. Aleisha discovers a reading list tucked inside a book and decides to start reading each book, one after the other. When Mukesh visits the library desperate to find books to read to bond with his granddaughter, Aleisha knows just what to recommend him. Soon, the unlikely pair is reading, discussing, and escaping into the worlds of the books on the reading list. When Aleisha’s life begins to fall apart, Mukesh uses the "wisdom" gained from the books to see her through."
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Maria M. tells us that, "The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is set in the city of Barcelona, Spain in 1945 as the country recovers from a terrible civil war. Young Daniel, the son of an antique books dealer, is still mourning the loss of his mother when his father decides to share a secret place known as "the cemetery of the lost books" with him. When Daniel is only allowed to take one book, he chooses The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax, which becomes his constant companion. Daniel soon discovers that all of Carax’s books have been destroyed and the last copy of any Carax’s book is the one that Daniel owns. Suddenly, Daniel realizes that he is in danger. Carax has disappeared; he’s even feared dead. Daniel’s life turns upside down when he falls in love and becomes involved in a mysterious murder. The reader is taken into the deep, dark secrets of beautiful yet mysterious Barcelona. The story changes Daniel's life, and maybe it will change yours as well!"
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Jill loves this " intriguing mystery set in Victorian London. Lenna Wickes travels to Paris to consult a well-known medium who is well known for her talent of conjuring up the spirits of murder victims and helping solve their murders. Lenna visits the medium with a particular goal: to uncover her own sister’s murderer. When the illustrious London Séance Society invites the famous medium back to London, Lenna goes with her as an understudy. While setting up to solve a murder, they quickly discover they may be knee-deep in some nefarious goings on by this illustrious Séance Society. The London Séance Society is fascinating gothic tale with a sinister plot and a fun mystery for readers to uncover alongside these two strong women.
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Diane finds, "Full Bloom by Cathy Graham and Clinton Smith is an exquisite visual feast for those who appreciate beautiful gardens, floral arrangements, and table settings. These creative co-authors have expertly curated an array of stunning photographs that showcase the interplay of color, texture, and shape. The use of backdrops painted by Graham combined with the lush gardens and antique pieces creates a delightful palette of imagery that is both striking and harmonious. Quintin Bacon's photography captures the details of each setting with an expert eye for composition and lighting. His creative vision even crowns Graham in a green headdress in a stunning portrait. With poppies, Lily-of-the-valleys, lilacs, fruits, and vegetables, the book juxtaposes floral arrangements with pottery and even mannequins. Full Bloom is a vibrant, joyful celebration of life and the beauty that surrounds us.
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