Beth's Book Review

September 11, 2020

Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland (Simon & Schuster, 2020)   Month and Year: August 1926 Event: At the age of 21, the tenacious Trudy Ederly, a 1924 Olympic gold medalist in the 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay,  became the first woman to swim across the English Channel.

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Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump, Ph.D. (Simon & Schuster, 2020)   I admit it. I couldn’t wait to get my copy of Too Much and Never Enough by President Donald Trump’s niece, Mary Trump. Mary, whose father, Fred, was Donald’s  ...

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Retro Review The Source by James Michener, 1965.    It is nearly impossible to describe the scope of The Source, a remarkable historical novel by James Michener. Nearly 1000 pages long, the rich details about the evolution of humanity, from the days of the cave dwellings till the modern ...

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If It Bleeds by Stephen King (Scribner, 2019) Stephen King’s fiction is alluring to his “Dear Readers” because King reveals much of his personal memories in his writing; childhood mischief, favorite comic books, and authors he considers worthwhile reading. King presents nightmares any author ...

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The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni (William Morris/Harper Collins, 2020) In writing a contemporary novel in the Gothic tradition, it is impossible not to compare aspects of great Gothic novels that have come before. The excellent, new book, The Ancestor, by Danielle Trussoni fits the description ...

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Retro Review The Green Years by A.J. Cronin (Little, Brown and Co., 1944) The first review I wrote for the TAPinto franchise was When Books Went to War by Molly Guptil Manning. The book explained how the librarians in the United States held book drives to send reading material to the men on ...

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The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben. (Grand Central Publishing, 2020)   A feral child, a missing teenage girl, and a wise-cracking, sharp-tongued television criminal attorney, and her teenage grandson, Matthew, are the central characters of Harlan Coben’s newest best-seller, The Boy from ...

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The Good Neighbor by Cathryn Grant (Inkubator Books, 2020)  Recently I was at a doctor’s appointment and my physician asked if I had read anything good lately. Then she offered a tip to read The Good Neighbor by Cathryn Grant.  The Good Neighbor starts off with an intriguing Prologue. In ...

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Food for Thought: Food History & Science Cooking Techniques  by Mark Vogel.   ( 2020). Are you suffering from cabin fever, having  been on “lockdown” for a week, facing a future of being housebound for who knows how long? I have a suggestion to help you pass the time in a productive and ...

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The Good Neighbor by Cathryn Grant (Inkubator Books, 2020)  Recently I was at a doctor’s appointment and my physician asked if I had read anything good lately. Then she offered a tip to read The Good Neighbor by Cathryn Grant.  The Good Neighbor starts off with an intriguing Prologue. In ...

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The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown, 2018)   Who is “the perfect couple”in Elin Hilderbrand’s novel The Perfect Couple. Is it Greer Garrison Winbury, famous mystery author, and her husband, Tag, the owners of the Summerland estate on Nantucket? Is it the Winbury’s son, Benji ...

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Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham  (Doubleday, 2015)   Quirky lawyers as protagonists make for fun reading if they are three-dimensional and believable. Take Mickey Haller, “the Lincoln lawyer,” from Michael Connelly’s series. Haller, a defender of bottom feeders like drug lords, bicycle gang ...

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Chaos: Charles Manson the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties. John  O’Neill and Dan Piepenbring  (New York: Little Brown, 2019). It took me three weeks to read Chaos:Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties. Although fascinating, with its detailed analysis of the ...

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Retro Review: Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk (Doubleday, 1955) A coming of age story, set in 1933, Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk is a novel that still speaks to us. Written in 1955, Wouk’s strengths are in his character development, themes, and elegant prose. What is especially ...

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The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware (Scout Press, 2019)   “3rd September 2017 Dear Mr. Wrexham, I know you don’t know me but please, please, please you have to help me.”   With this intriguing opening, Ruth Ware launches her fifth  novel, The Turn of the Key, a mystery reminiscent of ...

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 In my last review of Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates, I wrote that Ms. Oates had died last year.  Ms. Oates is alive and well. This is an error that needs correction, and apologies go to Ms. Oates for the error.   Tidelands by Philippa Gregory (Atria Books, 2019) What separates Tidelands ...

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Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (Dial Press, 2019) On a road trip to Florida in 2000, my husband asked me what I was reading that was causing me to laugh out loud. “I am reading a new book by Sophie Kinsella called Confessions of a Shopaholic,” I replied. “Shauna gave it to me to read.” ...

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Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates (Harper Collins, 1995)   In the study of deviant behavior, there has been a continual debate over what causes people to be evil. Is it their upbringings by parents who abuse them? Or, are sociopaths just born bad? There are all kinds of arguments on both sides of ...

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America’s First Daughter  by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie (William Morrow, 2016)   Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, was a complicated man. The narrative of America’s First Daughter, told in the voice of Jefferson’s adoring daughter, Patsy, gives us ...

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Thou Shalt Not - Production by Thinkery & Verse   On September 16, 1922, the bodies of an Episcopal priest, Edward Wheeler Hall and a member of his choir, Eleanor Reinhardt Mills, were discovered in a field near the New Brunswick-Franklin Township border. The bloody, butchered bodies ...

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Law and Disorder by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker ( 2013)   The premise of Law and Disorder by John Douglas, long time FBI profiler and his long time writing partner, Mark Olshaker, is this, “Whenever theory supersedes evidence, and prejudice deposes rationalism, there can be no justice.” ...

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Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarity (Flatiron Books, 2018)   The title of Liane Moriarity’s 2018 novel, Nine Perfect Strangers, is quite clever as it is a double entendre. The nine people who gather at Tranquillum House have never met before; they are, in fact, perfect strangers to one ...

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