The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec, recommended by Megan
Look to the Norse poems and all you’ll find of the giant/witch Angrboda are a few lines defining her as the mother of the beasts that would propel the beginning of Ragnarok. Gornichec takes those bare descriptions and turns them into 368 pages that humanize Angrboda, Loki, Skadi, and Hel – even Fenrir and Jörmungand. She weaves a story that dances with the Poetic Edda to fill in its blank spots, making the old stories of Norse mythology new and interesting again.
South of the Deuce by James L. Thane, recommended by Vicki
In the fourth of the Sean Richardson police procedurals, Richardson is summoned to investigate the murder of a young woman wrapped in plastic and clutching an expensive handbag. The ID in the bag is a woman’s found 40 years earlier in that park, the grandmother of the current victim and the first of four bodies discovered in the area. After Richardson is called to the scene of a second woman discovered murdered and dumped, he realizes he is chasing either a copycat killer or the predator is back to continue his carnage — and a third victim already is targeted.
A satisfying, no-frills narrative with an intriguing storyline and straightforward delivery.
Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger, recommended by Tracie
Krueger does it again and even better with Lightning Strike. The blend of the cultures and families in the small town of Aurora, MN on the edge of the Boundaries Waters is compelling and mystifying as the Liam, Cork’s father, tries to solve the death of a family friend. Cork is twelve years old and enjoying the Midwest summers of swimming, biking, newspaper route, hiking and wasting time with his friends when they find the body: murder or suicide?
Loved it! Did not want it to end!
Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona’s Wildlife, a Guide to When, Where & How by Bruce D. Taubert, recommended by Louise
There are probably almost as many frustrated wildlife photographers in Arizona as there are wildlife photographers in Arizona. Just when you get that duck in the frame and your camera focused, the darn thing swims away. Or flies away. Or dives under the water. Likewise with the other birds, mammals and bugs: who knew that butterflies fly so fast?
Bruce D. Taubert has written a delightful and helpful book for those of us who wish we could be better wildlife photographers. He begins with the basics of photography (apertures, ISOs, exposures), discusses appropriate seasons to find various wildlife and even outlines some legalities. The bulk of the book is organized by wild area. For each area, Taubert gives the best season and hours for finding your quarry, directions to get there, whether you can use a regular vehicle, whether there’s a hike involved and if so, how difficult it is. Interspersed are occasional tips for taking better photos (night photography, photographing flying birds, etc.).
The book is chock-a-block full of Taubert’s own lovely pictures. In fact, I like the presentation so much I’m going to buy my own copy; that way you can borrow the library’s copy.
Songs in Ursa Major by Emma Brodie, recommended by Karen
Songs in Ursa Major is an engaging story about music, love, self-discovery, and family. It offers a glimpse behind the scenes of the music industry in the late 60s and early 70s from a woman’s point of view, and how challenging it could be. Also, check out the accompanying playlist on Spotify while reading for some great music of the era.
Confession Club by Elizabeth Berg, recommended by Tracie
This was hilarious! A group of friends started out as a book club, which veers into Confession Club when they realized how much they needed it. The town is small, the members range in age, and the scenarios made me laugh out loud! The last half gets more serious as the members try to get their act together with decision making, goal setting and communication. My favorite member of the Confession Club was the local librarian – you will have to read the book to find out what she confesses!