Month #2 of Reading Challenge

I  don’t want my readers to think that I have abandoned my self-imposed challenge to read at least 4 books a month throughout 2017. I posted a pretty extensive report of the books I read in January. I don’t have the time or energy to post as detailed a commentary on the books I’ve read in February and March, but here is Part 1 of my two-month lapse. Thanks for your patience!

  1. Hearts in Suspension, by Jim Bishop with Stephen King This was a birthday gift from my bookstore boss. I was surprised and delighted to receive it… and doubtful as to whether I’d like it or not. I’d heard that it was comprised mostly of essays by old friends and teachers who knew Stephen during his days at the University of Maine. I thought the book would be of regional and scholarly interest, for a very limited audience. Fortunately, I was wrong. The thick tome not only contains essays by Steve’s college professors and buddies, but a lot of words from King himself, as well as his novella Hearts in Atlantis, in its entirety. It made me feel as though I’d lived through the tumultuous 1960s myself!

King Cover 2.jpg


2.  Misery, by Stephen King  Most of us have seen the movie with Kathy Bates and James Caan. If you found the movie terrifying, but have not read the book, be prepared to be even more horrified, chilled, repulsed and even traumatized by the novel. NO movie can ever capture the intricacies and grisly details of any of King’s original books.. especially since so much of the text is (literally and figuratively) mental.



3. The Buffalo Blizzard of 1977, by Timothy W. Kneeland, A local history book, mostly photographs, but also full of of fascinating historical facts about the world-stopping upstate NY snowstorm of 1977. The title is misleading, as the book also mentions other areas affected by the storm, including my home city of Watertown.

Feb reads


4. Annie Oakley Comes to Watertown, by Garmon Lord This one falls loosely into the “historical fiction” category, as it’s 95% a true story about the sharp-shooting legend and the time she really, truly brought her awesome skills to the eager Watertown masses (WOW!). Lord takes the liberty of including an endearing short , fictional story about his Grandma as a young girl meeting Annie and even having breakfast with her idol. The story is so convincing that it wasn’t until I read the disclaimer at the end of the book that I was able to separate truth from fiction.

(Both of the books mentioned above were found in the “Local Authors” section of the bookstore where I work.)

5. Unraveling Anne, by Laurel Saville  I had never heard of Anne Ford or Lauren Saville before when I picked up this book I found l found lying on a bookstore shelf. Anne was a model, beauty queen and fashion designer in the wild & free 1960s. Daughter Laurel paints a devastating, heartbreaking picture of what it was like growing up among eccentric adults, more than children her own age, with a mother who seemingly disapproved of her and was unable to provide compassion and love. As an adult, Laurel set out to find the truth about her mother’s life and sordid death.


6. Right Behind You, by Lisa Gardner, A disturbing tale of a long-separated sister and brother, Sharlah and Telly Ray Nash, torn apart by the murder of their parents eight years ago… at the hands of Telly. They haven’t seen each other in all that time. Now, just when Sharlah is in the process of being adopted by an ex-FBI profiler and his wife, more murders start happening, and Telly is a suspect once again.

lisa g


Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan, Simply, this was a children’s book I never read as a child, but always meant to. Sweet, quaint, and reminiscent of Laura Ingalls Wilder.



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