Recent Reads

Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman (2001).  At the start of the book, Ethan and Jorie Ford have a too-perfect marriage and too-perfect family that includes their preteen son, to the point that Ethan is even a local carpenter and firefighter hero who seems to have saved almost half the town, one way or another. What happens after 12-year-old Kat calls into one of those most-wanted TV shows to report the man she knows as Ethan, her next-door neighbor who also happens to be the father of her best friend, as the perpetrator of the rape and murder of a teenage girl fifteen years earlier?  Told in alternating viewpoints, the novel follows the impact on various characters, not just "Ethan," Jorie, and Kat, but also Jorie's best friend, Kat's older sister, and Jorie and Ethan's son.  Likely intentional, the one character I found never fully revealed was Ethan.  If you like Hoffman's descriptive style and grasp for drama and emotional extremes, this book is for you.

Classic Krakauer:  Mark Foo's Last Ride, After the Fall, and Other Essays from the Vault by Jon Krakauer (2018).  Seven magazine articles from Krakauer, author of the books Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, and Under the Banner of Heaven, published for the first time in one collection.  He has a habit of writing vivid portrayals of interesting people and places, ones rarely covered as effectively by others, if at all, and these essays don't disappoint.

Never Sweeter:  A Dark Obsession Novel by Charlotte Stein (2016).  Part of the Dark Obsession trilogy, but can be read as a standalone.  Letty is terrified to find Tate, star wrestler and one of her high school bullies, in her class at college.  When Letty and Tate are assigned as partners for a paper on sex in the movies, Letty could never imagine how much her life will change.  Can Letty and Tate really be friends, and possibly even more, now, or does Tate have hidden motives for his change in attitude?  Stein's characters are always unusual, and they come together in seemingly mismatched romantic pairings that actually work perfectly.

Ascent into Hell by Fergus White (2017).  White tells the story of his two-month quest to climb Mt. Everest.  Written in a very approachable style, the book provides vivid details of the toll of climbing--mentally and physically--and the dynamics of being part of a team of individuals.

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