August wasn’t good for much other than reading and I got through several so-so books followed by two pretty good reads. Then came the best of the month—Richard Osman’s “Thursday Murder Club.” People have been telling me for years—well, three—that I should read it and whenever I considered it, the book would be checked out or when I did see it, I had plenty of books already at hand. But finally the stars aligned and I ended up spending a weekend at Cooper’s Chase retirement village, a place where I would very much like to live. If it actually existed. And I was flush with cash.
But I digress. Part of me was kicking myself for waiting so long to read this utterly delightful book but perhaps it came to me at the right time. There are already two other books in the series with the fourth one due out September 19th, so I won’t have to wait a year for the next one (as long as they aren’t all checked out). The main characters—Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim—are likeable, human, and great examples of growing older with grace. I look forward to meeting up with them again soon.
Just as I was finishing that wonderful read, a package arrived containing a most highly anticipated (by me) advanced reader copy of the latest William Kent Krueger novel. His “Ordinary Grace,” is one of my Top 10 Favorites, so I was eager to dive into “The River We Remember” over Labor Day weekend.
I was not disappointed. This is one of the most beautifully written works I’ve read in a very long time. Taking place in Jewell, Minnesota during the summer of 1958, the book explores the town’s reaction to the murder of a wealthy, mean-spirited landowner that exposes long-held secrets and prejudices. It’s a story that speaks to some of the same issues we face today. I really, really liked this book—and including a Golden Retriever in the cast of characters was an added bonus.
On the surface, these two books appear to be nothing alike yet I can see some common themes, namely a sense of community, friends coming together to right wrongs, and forgiveness. Both of these reads get a ringing endorsement from me but also a word of caution: once you start them you won’t get much of anything else done until you get to the last page.
By Carol Ann Robb, PPL Reference Librarian