Dana's Favorites

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Redhead by the Side of the Road: A novel By Anne Tyler Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525658412
Availability: Special Order - may be out of print
Published: Knopf - April 7th, 2020

Nobody can entertain with the mundane like Ann Tyler.  I didn't even know
what a vacuum stick was until I met Micah Mortimer, creature of habit.  This
is a fun read and might be a good book group choice as there is much to
flush out that isn't immediately visible to the reading eye.

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The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees By Meredith May Cover Image
ISBN: 9780778309758
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Park Row - March 17th, 2020

Brimming with amazing detail about bees, The Honey Bus is the touching story of a girl brimming with hurt and determination.  She has been abandoned by divorce and a very sick mother and sent to Big Sur into the waiting arms of an eccentric, beekeeping grandfather who will devote himself to saving this child.  In an interview the author says that she was raised by bees, but this grandfather is the quiet hero here with the buzzing of the bees often just background music.  I keep coming back to this book; it gives me such grace and hope.

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Truly Devious: A Mystery By Maureen Johnson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062338051
Availability: usually available in 3-5 business days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - January 16th, 2018

I general, I avoid Young Adult literature - too dark, too dysfunctional, and often too violent. Also, I avoid series; just too much time expended on a story that might just go on forever. When a friend put this book in my hand, I took it with reluctance - but I'm so glad I did!

A mysterious death at an unusal boarding school, riddles signed "Truly Devious," and an odd lot of students trying to stay one step ahead of the administration and police. The main character, Stevie, is a self-described sleuth desparate to solve this case. I'm reading along, get to the last line on the last page ... TO BE CONTINUED ... oh, no!! Really?! I hope I don't have to wait very long!

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In One Person: A Novel By John Irving Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451664133
Availability: usually available in 3-5 business days
Published: Simon & Schuster - January 29th, 2013

You're kidding, right?! A coming of age story from John Irving. We know the story will be unusual and audacious, and the characters will be peculiar and quirky. While some aspects of Irving are familiar - prep school, wrestling, Vermont - we are taking this trip to the unfamiliar and courageous territory of gender identity and preference. Irving does not allow for indifference in either his characters or his readers. He challenges us to consider all our sexual possibilities. In return, we get a great story.


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Last Night in Twisted River: A Novel By John Irving Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345479730
Availability: Backordered - OK to 'add to cart' and we'll let you know when your copy is here
Published: Ballantine Books - June 15th, 2010

Different story---same John Irving, a master storyteller with a quirky tale of lumbering in northern New Hampshire with characters so peculiar and allluring that I will remember them forever. There is an autobiographical element in this book and, yes, a bear. This is a return to the Irving of old---I had all but given up on him, but this story takes you on such an incredible journey in time, place, and substance that you will shirk work and postpone play to keep reading. If Ketchum doesn't make your heart sing, you should see a cardiologist.


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Telex from Cuba: A Novel By Rachel Kushner Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416561040
Availability: usually available in 3-5 business days
Published: Scribner - June 2nd, 2009

Viva La Revolucion! Venceremos! This is the battle cry of those Castro boys who come down from the mountains with their band of guerillas to upset the sugarcane cart of whatever regime is in power at the time. There are 26 American families living in Cuba in the late fifties. Much of this story is told by two children who are growing up in the American colony of Preston. Life here is an artificial existence of elaborate entertainment for the wives and kids of the United Fruit Co. employees. But these kids are catching on to the real and huge cost of their lifestyle here. They begin to understand that violence and brutality isn't just what comes down from the hills. It is complicated and dangerous, and their Tips For Anglos brochure provided by Unifruitco would not guide them through the political upheaval of the late 50?s.

This is one of few novels set in revolutionary Cuba. I was drawn to it because of an interest in Cuba, but I stayed until the end because Telex From Cuba is worth the reading.


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Loving Frank: A Novel By Nancy Horan Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345495006
Availability: Special Order - may be out of print
Published: Ballantine Books - April 8th, 2008

Having grown up in the shadow of Taliesin, I already knew some of the lore surrounding Frank Lloyd Wright and his architecture and love affairs. This novelization of the relationship between Wright and Mamah Cheney is impressively well researched. There is the unrelenting self-absorption of the two lovers who shocked Chicago society and the world architectural community. Together they offend and estrange their families, children, friends and business associates. You may already know the denouement, but Horan's depiction is chilling and left me holding the terrible realization that tragedy can find one anywhere, including this most perfect, verdant setting in rural Wisconsin.