Currently ReadingBoston and the Civil War / Barbara Berenson – my talented friend Barbara has followed up her successful Walking Tours of Civil War Boston with a book that reveals to Revolutionary War-obsessed fans that Boston was actually the hub of a second revolution that ended slavery. My mother has a friend who is a descendant of William Lloyd Garrison so I was always aware of the role of the abolitionists – this provides a close look at those "dedicated to ending slavery and honoring the promise of liberty made in the Declaration of Independence."
Country of Broken Stone / Nancy Bond - Next week I am heading to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to visit Fort Louisbourg, the setting of Bond’s Another Shore, which shows what a big fan I am of this talented Massachusetts author. Somehow I had been unaware of this book, set near Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, about a girl dealing with a new stepmother and stepsiblings. Bond is gifted at making historical places seem magical.
In preparation for the Starz adaptation, I reread Outlander / Diana Gabaldon, which is just as amazing as when I first snagged an ARC on my last day at Bantam Doubleday Dell in 1991 (and after numerous previous rereads). Of course, that meant I had to reread Dragonfly in Amber (despite all the library books waiting for me), and I just reclaimed my copy of Voyager (book 3) from my mother. Here is a link to the forthcoming miniseries - I have put away my usual skepticism because it really appears to be a good and respectful production. The production company has really chosen actors who look the part, even if Jamie's hair isn't as red as I expected.
The Eyre Affair / Jasper Fforde – a belated thank you to Sessalee Hensley who gave me a copy of this book when it was brand new. Somehow I got distracted; perhaps I found the beginning slow or maybe I was in the middle of law school exams. However, once it got going I was completely captivated. I would describe it as the Phantom Tollbooth for grownups, and what higher compliment could there be?
We Were Liars / E. Lockhart – which I liked but did not love. Intriguing but ultimately too much prolonged melancholy and the ending seemed abrupt. I didn't like the characters and maybe I just don’t care for unreliable narrators. I prefer her Ruby books and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau but admire her for trying something new.
I’ve Got You Under My Skin / Mary Higgins Clark – predictable but this was a good book to listen to on CD during a stressful week because it was extremely repetitive (you would think she was writing a Dickensian serial) and undemanding. However, the characters were mostly unlikeable and the killer unconvincing. Not one of her best.
(Outlander image copyright to Starz)