Biography via objects

An Archaeological Biography of the Garrity Family in Presque Isle, Michigan by Sophia Stuart; 2018; 115 pages; a manuscript copy of Sophia Stuart’s Masters Thesis, given to me by Sophia; 4/18/18-4/19/18

Why did I read this?  I have always been fascinated by lighthouses and the people who cared for them, prior to automation and I know the author.

Presque Isle, Michigan, (not to be confused with Presque Isle, Maine) is on the upper northeast part of the Michigan mitten, on the western shore of Lake Huron.  The Garrity family manned the Presque Isle lighthouse for over 70 years, with at least two different generations living there.  Sophia used items from two different spots that were excavated on Presque Isle to ascertain somethings about the family.  It was an interesting way to find out a family, it would be interesting to see more biographies augmented by artifacts.

What is with the title of the review?  Some of what Sophia discovered about the Garrity family was discovered through the items that were excavated from around the lighthouse.

10/10

 

my favorite

The Amish Quilter by Leslie Gould & Mindy Starns Clark; 2018; $14.99; 336 pages; Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR; 978-0-7369-6294-0; Provided by the publisher for review; 4/16/18-4/18/18

Why did I read this?  One half of the author team is a friend of ours and I like the authors writing, they are good storytellers.

Linda is the youngest daughter of an Amish family, a perfectionist and a straight edge rule follower.  She puts the other Amish folk to shame with her ability to judge others and herself when it comes to following the rules.  She finds herself confronting some facts that challenge her perceptions of the rules and of those closest to her.  In doing some genealogical research she discovers even more about balancing truth and justice.  She also tends to assume too much and speculate too much.  She is an amazing quilter who perfectionism even mandates how she quilts, she is creative but only in a certain way.  As she is confronted by new truths in her life and as her relationships grow with her family and with her beau the truths she learns about life also expands her creativity.

Grade 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  I really enjoyed the way the authors talked of art here and the word pictures they painted of paintings and quilts were quite moving.  r

 

an mos that only one person can fill

The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer; 2018; $28.00; 416 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-1-4555-5952-7; checked out from Multnomah County Library, St. Johns; 3/15/16-3/18/18

Why did I read this?  Because I really like Brad Meltzer and what he writes.

Zig is a mortician at the most important mortuary in the United States, the mortuary at the Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Maryland.  The mortuary there is responsible for the bodies of those killed in combat in the U.S. Military, they take great care in preparing those bodies for the families.  One night he receives a body from Alaska that brings memories of his late daughter flooding back.   He notices that there is something there that should be missing.  That takes him all over the eastern United States and back in time to a simpler life.   The mystery involves false identities, large amounts of cash and Harry Houdini and his bluebook.    It is an engaging mystery that is very intriguing with all the historical background.

Grade- 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  MOS is Army speak for Military Occupational Specialty, the MOS for Army Artist in Residence can only be filled by one person at a time.

What now?

Hellbent, An Orphan X Novel by Gregg Hurwitz; 2018; $26.99; 406 pages; Minotaur Books, New York, NY; 978-1-250-11917-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, North Portland; 2/5/18-2/7/18

Why did I read this?  I have been reading Gregg Hurwitz for the last 20 years and love his writing and try to read everything he writes.

Evan Smoak was the best in the Orphan plan, known as Orphan X, he witnesses the death of his handler and friend at the hands of the current head of the Orphan program.  He finds a message from his handler and discovers a washout from the Orphan program as he is being tracked by the head of the program and at the same protecting innocents and being the Nowhere man.  Evan tries to preserve his life outside the program while being hunted and hunting.  The story continues at a mile a minute pace, never dragging and always exciting.  Several new characters are introduced and we find there is corruption to the highest levels of the United States government.

Grade 10/10

 

what would you do?

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland; 2018; $26.00; 286 pages; Ballantine Books, New York, NY; 978-5247-9702-7, checked out from Multnomah County Library, St. Johns; 2/3/18-2/5/18

Why did I read this?   I found a really good site, The Real Book Spy, that reviews thrillers and makes recommendations.  This is a debut novel that was highly recommended.

The main character is a married CIA analyst with 4 kids who works on the Russia desk.  She has developed an algorithm that lets her find Russian sleeper agents in the United States.  She gets into the computer of one of the handlers and is clicking through the pictures of his agents and recognizes one of them, her husband.  The story would end suddenly if she turned him in so she begins to rationalize doing other things.  Her life takes several turns that seem amazing and unlikely.  There are twist that will throw you for a loop.  I didn’t like the non linear structure of the story.

Grade 6/10