I just read in the Science and health section of the Star Tribune that book readers live an average of 2 years longer than non readers. The Yale study found a similar (but weaker, gulp) association among those that read newspapers and periodicals.
Well, luckily, I read lots of books as well! Here are 3 short and sweet book reviews I created for Springtime in Magnolia. Including my newest review of The Dead Lands.
Read, live long and prosper!
The Dead Lands is first and foremost, a re-imagining of the journey West by explorers Lewis and Clark. This time, in a post apocalyptic future, the expedition is led by Mina Clark and Lewis Meriwether. These characters didn't earn my love or reading devotion throughout the book. They seemed one dimensional, leaning on the harsh side. But since they were on a journey of survival, they were written in a singular way. The characters had little time for anything but staying alive. My favorite character was the psychopath Slade. He collected odds and ends from unlucky victims and adhered them to his mannequin collection. Delightfully wacky.
But it was an enjoyable and expansive story. Inventive, interesting and wildly creative. The book begins in the dusty, captive world of the Sanctuary. Formally known as St. Louis. As the journey West unfolds, the reader flips back and forth between the struggle West and the trials of life in the militant Sanctuary. If you think Trump would be a bad president, the character Thomas, Mayor of the Sanctuary, would be ten times worse!
As an aspiring writer, I'll never forget the author's line, "...her teeth chattered a skeleton's song." That isn't an exact quote, since I couldn't find the passage. But the character was cold. And the sentence described it beautifully.
This book isn't for everyone. I read it because I don't have a particular or preferred genre. I love them all. And Benjamin Percy is a Minnesota author endorsed by Stephen King. You can't beat that.
I have to admit, the first thing that intrigued me about Michele Raffin's book The Birds of Pandemonium was the beautiful cover. It's really hard to believe how many exotic and dazzling bird species fly our skies and nest in our trees. I love to spot them in the jungles of Central America. But most of them live in places that only exist on my bucket list.
But not for Michele Raffin. On a whim, she rescued a dove by the side of a California road. No kidding. That is how it all started. We've all had that impulse. To save an injured animal. Or adopt a sad, abandoned pet. Michele took that impulse and ran with it. Now, her sanctuary is one of the largest in the country and she has rescued over a 1,000 birds. And many of the 89 species she has saved were threatened.
Well, all of that is admirable. But the real question of a book review blog is, "How's the book?" It is so charming. The reader wakes up with Michele and experiences the subtle, sweet sounds of bird chatter. Well, it is not always so soft and sweet. Sometimes it is demanding and deafening! And the birds, all 1,000 of them, have their own personality. You will discover that not every bird story has a happy ending. But you'll be glad you entered their feathered world for a little while.
It's a good read.
I brought the book Gone Girl with me on my last vacation. Well, it was so good that it was gone in a flash! But luckily the rental where we were staying had a pile of books. It was especially opportune since we were lodged in a remote area of Costa Rica. The Tico Times or a Spanish novella might have been my only other options.
Clearly this book was left behind by a female traveler. It definitely was not part of the home owner's collection. His stash seemed to be all male. Politics, John Grisham and obscure biographies. But this booked screamed, "Read me on the beach! I'll entertain you." And it was a fun and fast read. Just look at the cheery cover. That usually says it all.
I'd definitely take Elizabeth Noble on a vacation. I bet she is just as fun as her characters. But she would probably prefer I take one of her books. In this book we meet Natalie and Tom. Tom is trying to win Natalie's heart. So far, he's been unsuccessful. Then he proposes an unusual arrangement of dates that run the garment from A- Z. The first thing they do is Abseiling. What the heck is that? Well...
Abseiling (/ˈæbseɪl/ or /ˈɑːpzaɪl/; from German abseilen, meaning "to rope down"), also called rappelling, is the controlled descent of a vertical drop, such as a rock face, using a rope. Climbers use this technique when a cliff or slope is too steep and/or dangerous to descend without protection.
It was a fun book.