Some reading ideas to fend off winter’s chill

By Lynda Rego
Posted 1/5/18

The holidays slowed down my reading a bit; but, there were some gems in my fall choices. I share them here. I have some massive filing and organizing to do in my genealogy research. However, there …

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Some reading ideas to fend off winter’s chill

Posted

The holidays slowed down my reading a bit; but, there were some gems in my fall choices. I share them here. I have some massive filing and organizing to do in my genealogy research. However, there should be plenty of time to read during the chilly winter months ahead. I hope you received some books from Santa and will do the same.
"The Baker’s Secret" (2017) by Stephen P. Kiernan. The award-winning author has done it again (“The Curiosity,” “The Hummingbird”). He’s not only an accomplished writer, but comes up with gripping stories about real people and the human condition. When a coastal town in Normandy is taken over by the Nazis, Emmanuelle, a baker, loses her boyfriend to the war effort and watches her fellow townspeople brutalized, shipped away and even killed. Emma fights back the only way she can – by trying to sustain them with food she gets through a complicated network of bartering, smuggling and a clever way to expand on the number of baguettes she is forced to bake for the commandant each day. It’s a story of hope, faith, resilience and courage.
“A Touch of Stardust: A Novel” (2015) by Kate Alcott was so much fun to read. If you’re a movie buff or loved “Gone With the Wind,” it’s a must read ‑ the story of Julie Crawford, a college graduate who comes to Hollywood in 1939 to become a screenwriter. She’s just a studio office worker until she’s sent to the set of the burning of Atlanta re-creation with a message. It will lead to a job with Carole Lombard (who married Clark Gable and is the most colorful cast member in the book) and an entrée into the elite circles of Hollywood. She becomes involved with Andy Weinstein, an assistant producer to David O. Selznick, and becomes privy to all the ins and outs of the making of the film and how Hollywood works. This is an inside look at glittering Tinsel Town, but also a time when the U.S. was deciding whether to enter World War II and when Jim Crow laws prevented the black actors in the film from attending the premiere in Atlanta.
“A Deadly Affection” (2012) by Cuyler Overholt is the first Dr. Genevieve Summerford mystery. In 1905 New York City, the young doctor’s family wants her to take a staid job at a hospital. But, Genevieve has learned about the new practice of psychotherapy and thinks she can help women suffering from emotional trauma, but who have physical symptoms. However, her first group session goes awry when one of its members is charged with murdering her doctor. Fearing she may be responsible, Genevieve decides to get at the truth herself. When she goes to a Tammany politician for help, he turns out to be an unhappy memory from her past. Can she trust him? This is a great historical mystery and I wouldn’t mind spending more time with Dr. Summerford.
“A Gentleman in Moscow” (2016) by Amor Towles is just a marvelous book filled with humor and elegant writing. The book spans the years from 1922 to 1954. In 1922, 30-year-old Count Alexander Rostov, a gentleman in every sense of the word, is sentenced by a Bolshevik tribunal to spend the rest of his life in the Metropol Hotel in Moscow; not in his luxurious suite, but in one of the top floor rooms originally meant for the servants. The story of how this “Former Person” survives and even thrives (and his relationships with the hotel employees and guests) is interspersed with memories of his life before the Revolution. On the inside book fly it says “He can’t leave. You won’t want to.” That sums it up. And, it’s a fascinating look at the years following the Revolution.

Visit Lynda Rego on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lynda.rego where she shares tips on cooking, books, gardening, genealogy and other topics. Click on Like and share ideas for upcoming stories.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.