The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott

40953912

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This was a eerie story, told from the view of Ailsa Calder.  Ailsa has just inherited a house after her mother passes away, one that she hasn’t been back to for several years.

Once arriving, her plan is to sell the house and be back to her boyfriend in a timely manner, only to find out that she is the inherit of only half of the house.  The other half belongs to her father, who mysteriously disappeared without a trace 27 years ago.

Returning to her childhood home, she is also joined by her half sister whom she hasn’t really spent time with since Ailsa left for college.  Even with her sister there with her in the house, which has a name….The Manse….Ailsa cannot shake the odd feeling bubbling up inside.   It’s almost as if the house itself is watching her.  It also doesn’t help when other odd events start to happen, such as the fact that no animals will set foot in the gates of The Manse.

Ailsa soon meets her neighbors and a few other locals, whose parents were also friends with her father and mother.  Stories begin to emerge from the past that make Ailsa think she shouldn’t have come back at all.  Ailsa starts to realize that the house is trying to tell her something….something about her father.

I thought this was a great story that kept me turning the pages, wanting to find out what was going to happen next!  There were some elements of the story that I wish the author would have gave more light upon a tad more, such as the reasoning told of the house’s history as well as the part about ‘time’.  I won’t say anymore as it will give too much away!  Still a great book for anyone who loves a good eerie mystery!

Readers be prepared, The Manse has been waiting for Ailsa to arrive after all these years and it’s ready to show her the truth, even if it costs Ailsa everything.

 

*Giveaway on Goodreads* 

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/291355-the-missing-years

Expected publication: April 23rd 2019 

 

Advertisements

The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth’s Ultimate Trophy by Paige Williams

38743554

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This was a very interesting story!  Paige Williams tells the story of a man named Eric Prokopi and the dinosaur bones he sells, especially the bones of a Tarbosaurus or T. Bataar for short.

A T. Bataar is a very, very close cousin to the well known Tyrannosaurus, but T. Bataar skeletons are only found in Asia where they flourished about 70 million years ago.  Most bones of the T. Bataar have been found in Mongolia….and here is where the problem lies and a story appears…….

In 2012, a New York auction said they had a “superb Tyrannosaurus skeleton” for sale.  It was actually a ‘nearly’ complete T. Bataar, unearthed in Mongolia.  As the fossils sat on display, the winning bid was for over $1 million dollars and the man behind the bones – a 38 year old named Eric Prokopi.

Eric, a onetime swimmer who spent his teenage years diving for shark teeth, Prokopi’s singular obsession with fossils fueled a thriving business hunting, preparing, and selling specimens, to clients ranging from natural history museums to avid private collectors like actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

But there was a problem.  As the T. Bataar went to auction, a network of paleontologists alerted the government of Mongolia and an international custody began……..

I highly recommend this book!  Such an interesting story and history of the dinosaur trade, something we don’t really think about on a daily basis!

giphy.gif

The Night Visitors by Carol Goodman

39087704

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I really enjoy Carol Goodman’s writing!  The first book I read of her’s was fantastic, you can check out my review for that book by clicking here “River Road”.  Her style of writing is easy to follow and her stories keep you turning the pages and not wanting to put the book down!

In her newest release, “The Night Visitors”, we are introduced to Mattie.  Mattie is a social worker who lives by her self in her family’s home that is nestled in the woods.  One night she gets a phone call that a woman and child are arriving on a bus soon and they need her assistance.   Mattie doesn’t think much of the situation as she is always eager to help whenever she can and heads to the bus stop.  She is especially eager to help cases like these, victims of domestic violence.

Soon arrives Alice and Oren on the bus.  Mattie had planned to take them to a nearby safe house, but when they arrive she can’t seem to bring it to herself to take them there.  The boy, Oren reminds her of her own little brother who died when he was almost the same age as Oren is now.  Although Mattie is somewhat breaking their code of conduct and rules by offering them to stay at her own house, Alice and Oren also have a secret…….There’s a snow storm on the horizon as everyone gets settled in at Mattie’s house and soon another kind of storm is about to unleash, one that may be deadly…….

There are several twists and turns in the story that will keep you glued to these pages.  I look forward to reading more from Carol Goodman!  I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a thriller/mystery.  Carol’s stories get right into the excitement and mystery right away and I love that!  The only reason I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars is, I wish it was a tad longer or a few parts a little more dwelled upon, but it was still an excellent story!

 

 

In Search of the Canary Tree: The Story of a Scientist, a Cypress, and a Changing World by Lauren E. Oakes

39324259

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This was an interesting book about a Scientist who has a little bit different view on the changing of the climate.   Lauren Oakes spent years studying one tree species and this is her adventure and the conclusion she came to along the way!

At one point, Lauren ended up in Alaska to hunt for the dying tree species called the yellow cedar.  In some places she discovered that with the changing weather, these trees were dying off and not growing back at all.  She interviews locals who uses these trees to make a living.  It was interesting to hear why these locals thought the tree population was declining, some said logging and some said climate change.

Now, I know there is a lot speculation and negative talk about climate change, which is why I really liked this book.  Lauren actually discovers that there is a resiliency of forgotten forest, some that are flourishing in the wake of the changing temperatures.  Some plants are thriving and growing in this circle of life and the people around them are creating new relationships with the emerging environment.

So yes this is in part a story about how climate change is effecting the plant life, but it’s also a lesson in resilience of plants, people and the natural world.

FfVonI.gif

 

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

39507318

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The fire pulled back from the southeast section of the building and curled up in the northeast stacks, where it glowered angrily, feeding itself book after book, a monster snacking on chips.

Susan Orlean did a fantastic job writing this book.  When this epic fire happened, not many around the states had even heard about the ordeal because also around that same time – Chernobyl happened.

 

“On the morning of April 28, 1986, a fire broke out at the  the Los Angeles Public Library.  As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?” – via Goodreads

“The Library Book chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.” – via Goodreads

Susan’s witty writing leads you on a journey of  more than just books—but about a tragic fire that impacted more lives than you could imagine!  She adds science and insight to the aftermath of the fire as well as the fire itself from doing extensive research for this book.  I highly recommend this book to all!!

……..because here is the home of our oldest and best friends—-Books.

The 1986 Los Angeles Public Library Fire from ARchive LAPL on Vimeo.

More information about the LAPL fire: https://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/blogs/lapl/april-29-marks-30th-anniversary-1986-fire

 

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Book-Club32051912

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This was our pick for March at our Book Club!  I really enjoyed this book!  It is based on a true story of The Alice Network, a real-life group of female spies in France during World War I.

The Alice Network tells the story of Charlie St. Claire in present day and then bounces into the story of another woman Eve Gardiner’s past.  Charlie is pregnant and is on her way with her mother to ‘take care of her little problem” when she decides now is the time she is going to break free.  She is hoping to find her cousin Rose who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war and now is perfect opportunity.  Charlie heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

In Eve’s story, she is itching to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the “Queen of Spies”, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose.  Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth…no matter where it leads.

I usually have trouble when a story flips between two people’s stories, but I had no trouble with this one!  I’m glad this author decided this story needed to be brought to light again.  It’s fascinating to discover it’s based on a real woman, Louise de Bettignies or Alice Dubois and her story heroism and courage.  I highly recommend this book!!!!

Lily Dale: The True Story of the Town that Talks to the Dead by Christine Wicker

579002

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Lily Dale is a real town in New York, although it is far from your average community.  When Lily Dale was founded about 120 years ago, even Susan B. Anthony was a guest.

In the town of Lily Dale, lives several Spiritualist and Mediums.  On day reporter and author Christine Wicker discovers this strange town and is determined to understand it’s ‘secret forces’ – human or otherwise.  In the book, she follows three visitors: a newly bereaved widow; a mother whose son killed himself; and a beautiful, happily married wife whose first visit to Lily Dale brings an ominous warning.

Christine is a skeptic.  Are the people of this town really able to see into the other-side or are they just out to make a buck?  Investigating a movement that attracted millions of Americans in the 1800s and now barely survives, Christine moves beyond the mediums’ front parlors and into the lives that tourists never see. She follows the mediums to a place where what we know and how we know it is the greatest mystery of all.

This was an interesting book and look into this odd society that actually exists today.  If you look at Lily Dale on Google Maps, each house is even labeled with what Medium is currently living there.  The author herself finds answers that she didn’t even know she was looking for.

I find it fascinating to read about the walks of life that go to Lily Dale to find peace, hope or the chance to talk to a loved one who has passed to the other-side.  Now, a few years ago I read a book called “Beware the Night” by Ralph Sarchie…..if you read that, you might think twice about trying to contact the other side!  Either way, this was an interesting book that unveils the truth behind some of these Mediums who sometimes do trick you or use lighting to fool you….others….well, I’ll let you be the judge of that!