What I read in August

It was great to get back on track with reading after a couple of months of not being able to read due to shingles in my right eye. I was fortunate in August to read the four books I’ll write about below.

When I got shingles in May, I had read the first half of Most Wanted, by Lisa Scottoline. It is a popular book, so it took several weeks for me to get it from the public library after I was able to read. Most Wanted is a suspenseful novel about a couple who used the services of a sperm bank and then the wife fears that their donor is a serial killer.

The Bookseller, by Cynthia Swanson was not what I expected, but it turned out to be a page-turner after all. I was drawn to the novel by its title; however, the fact that the protagonist is a bookseller is not an integral part of the story. I was also prompted to check out the book because it is Ms. Swanson’s debut novel. The book’s premise is that Kitty Miller’s life blurs between her reality and the life she lives in her dreams. The deeper into the book one gets, the less clear it is which life is real and which one is only in her dreams. I was impressed with the author’s ability to move back and forth between the two story lines, and I look forward to her future books.

I had not planned to read two Lisa Scottoline books in August, but I rose to the top of the public library waitlist for her latest novel, Damaged. This is in Ms. Scottoline’s Rosato and DiNunzio law firm series. Once again, Mary DiNunzio gets herself in a tangled mess when she agrees to represent a 10-year-old special needs child who is not being adequately served by the school he attends. Like any good novel, just when you think things can’t get any worse — they do.

I read a nonfiction book in August whose characters will remain with me forever. Robert Weintraub’s No Better Friend: One Man, One Dog, and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival in WWII is the amazing story of a pointer named Judy and a British soldier named Frank Williams. Man and dog were held as prisoners by the Japanese during World War II. Judy seemed to have a sixth sense that enabled her to react in uncanny ways not only to move through the war with Mr. Williams but also to save the lives of Allied soldiers on more than one occasion. This true story escaped my knowledge until this summer. I’m glad it was displayed in such a way in an independent bookstore that it caught my eye. I’m a richer person for having read this book.

I wish for you a good book to read and, if you are a writer, productive hours of writing.

Janet

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