Nancy's Reviews

Nancy's Reviews

After working in several word-related fields: copy writing, editing, freelance voice talent and theatre--followed by a long career as a stay-at-home mom I started working at the bookstore almost nineteen years ago, and was fortunate enough to be the manager for eighteen years. From my first day at work I had a sense of being home among the books and fellow book-junkies and that feeling only grew with the ensuing years.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a terrific team of booksellers and customers, and I am especially indebted to my fantastic family who supported my choice of jobs despite work hours that were definitely not conducive to family and social activities. I'm just now learning what all the fuss about weekends is all about!

My thanks to all of you who supported the store, who mourned its closing, and who asked us to establish this forum so that we can continue our tradition of exchanging opinions and ideas about books.

US Against You                                        

 Author:  Fredrik Backman                  Fiction                        

In this poignant sequel to Beartown, residents are still reeling from the rape by their star hockey player of the daughter of the team’s manager. Sides have been taken, hatreds have been formed, resentment has solidified, but the passion for hockey thrives, even though most of Beartown’s players have been recruited by Hed. A few of the older players remain, of course, and an even smaller number of hot-headed young ones, but it is a pitiful group and funding for the team has all but dried up, until a powerful politician pulls strings with a wealthy group of outsiders. A new coach is hired, which generates a lot of doubt, since who in Beartown has ever heard of a female hockey coach? And promises are made about a new hospital, and a convention center, and jobs, lots of jobs. The unspoken understanding is, though, that this time Beartown will defeat Hed, despite the astronomical odds against it.

Backman has the power to make something lyric out of a small town and its ordinary people. Us Against You may be his best novel since A Man Called Ove.



 Author:  David Baldacci                            Fiction       

Amos Decker and his partner, Alex Jamison, are supposed to be on vacation, visiting Alex’s sister’s family in western Pennsylvania. The trip was Alex’s idea, of course: Decker doesn’t much believe in vacations; his job as a consultant to the FBI is interesting, and keeps him from constantly obsessing about his murdered family, or about the revenge he has taken against their killers. This trip is supposed to be relaxing, and a little boring, and it is, until pairs of bodies begin to turn up, each one of whom has been killed in oddly symbolic ways, and the town of Baronville, Pennsylvania, suddenly seems a lot less bucolic than it had. Although most of the town is ready to blame enigmatic John Baron, after whose family has been named, Decker and Jamison can find no evidence that points to his involvement, despite the fact that Baron has been secretive about his relationships with the victims.



Bookshop of Yesterdays                             

 Author:  Amy Myerson                     Fiction                           

It’s been sixteen years since Miranda saw her Uncle Billy, but his love of history and riddles continues to influence her; she’s now a history teacher a continent away from her childhood and from the adventures Billy created for her. It isn’t only that Miranda hasn’t seen Billy in all that time, it’s that he seems to have vanished. So when word comes of his death, Miranda is a little surprised at the impact that has on her, and at her sudden conviction that she must go home, that she is willing to put her life on hold while she follows Billy’s last series of riddles and decides what to do about the bookstore he has bequeathed to her.

A poignant story of family love and lies, and of learning to understand that, sometimes, heartbreak transcends all.




 Author:  Chloe Benjamin                      Fiction                     

It’s the hottest New York summer in the memory of the four Gold siblings: too many days lazing around in their stuffy apartment with too little to do have generated an almost terminal case of boredom, which is probably why, when Daniel brought up the subject of the woman on Hester street, the other three, with varying degrees of excitement and dread, agreed that they should pay her a visit. After all, according to rumor, this is the woman who will tell their fortunes (even though they all intend to refuse to ask her when they will die), more an entertaining novelty than anything, of course. Little do the Gold children, as they are ushered singly into the cluttered room, understand how powerfully this strange woman will influence their lives, how each of them will be haunted by the dates, unasked, that she assigns them.

Would any of us live our lives differently if we knew when they would end? Would the lives of the Golds have been any better or worse, any freer or more joyous if it were not for the knowledge they were given? If they had just known, for certain, whether the woman was right?

This is a really wonderful, wonderful book!