Books I’ve been reading

I had no idea that I had not written a “What I’m Reading” blog post since last September. Today’s post will hit the highlights of what I read over the last several months of 2015.

The Map Thief, by Michael Blanding, taught me about the dark side of map collecting. I loved geography from the time the subject was introduced to me as a child. I have fond memories of poring over my parents’ AAA map of North and South Carolina. I distinctly remember the time I pointed out to them that the yellow line running straight to the coast looked like the most direct route to me. That’s the day I learned that the straight yellow line was the state line and not a highway. I was hooked! Maps will forever fascinate me. Getting back to The Map Thief, though, the book presents the history of E. Forbes Smiley, one of the world’s foremost cartography experts; however, Mr. Smiley yielded to temptation and systematically stole valuable rare maps from various museums and libraries. All the stolen maps that were recovered and linked to their sources were returned to their owners, but many of the recovered maps are still in the possession of the FBI because the owners cannot be verified. It’s a fascinating book, but the details got a little tedious.

Pretending to Dance was the first book I’ve read by Diane Chamberlain. It this novel, Molly Arnette keeps a secret about her North Carolina childhood from her husband. After a trust was broken, Molly moved to California to make a new life with her husband. When they try to adopt a child, Molly fears her secret will come to light. It was a good read. I’ll definitely read more books by Diane Chamberlain.

Paula McLain’s book titled The Paris Wife is the highly-acclaimed historical novel based on the life of Ernest Hemingway’s wife, Hadley. Hemingway swept Hadley off her feet, married her, and whisked her off to Paris to a life for which she was ill-prepared.

The Narcissist You Know, by Joseph Burgo, Ph.D., will help you understand and cope with that person you know who thinks he is the center of the universe.

In Without You, There Is No Me, Suki Kim tells about her experiences while living in North Korea as an English teacher. The book gives a glimpse into a country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. Although a nonbeliever, the author went to North Korea with a group of Christian teachers under the guise of being one of them.

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova gained popularity when it was made into a movie. I have not seen the movie yet because I like to read a book before it hits the theater. It is an intriguing novel about a 50-year-old Harvard cognitive psychology professor who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. The book brings home how utterly sad it is for someone who is professionally trained in brain disorders to receive the Alzheimer’s diagnosis, knowing full well what the future probably holds for her.

Corrupted is the third book in Lisa Scottoline’s Rosato & DiNunzio’s series. A case from Bennie Rosato’s past haunts her until it resurfaces and she is compelled to try to set things right and get justice for a man she could not save from a juvenile detention center when he was bullied as a 12-year-old. A good read!

Lee Smith’s The Christmas Letters was the November 2015 selection for Rocky River Readers Book Club. It is a lovely telling of a family’s history through their Christmas letters. The letters go beyond what family members did since the last year’s Christmas letter, and includes what the writers are thinking and how they are maturing as family dynamics change. It is a relatively short book. You might want to put it on your list to curl up with in front of the fireplace on a cold winter weekend.

My next post will be about some of the books I’ve read so far in 2016.

Happy reading!

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