Hi book lovers! Welcome to this week’s Three to Read. I hope you can set aside some time this week to sit outside in the sunshine and read! Here are three fantastic recommendations for you in case you’re in need of finding your next book!
By Robin Reul
This is a beautiful novel about bringing together two people who were initially strangers and seeing how their shared experiences allow them to form an unforgettable bond. Jack is about to leave for college, but he wants to reach out to Alex, his estranged brother, and establish closure between the two of them after their father’s death. Hallie receives some bad news about her friend in Oregon, and only has a short window of time to visit him before time runs out. Jack and Hallie had one class together a few years ago, but never really talked since. However, fate leads them to the same rideshare on their way to the bus terminal, and suddenly Jack and Hallie are in an “unconventional and hysterical” journey that helps them realize their true selves, and grow closer to each other along the way.
Among the pages of this “feel-good story with depth,” Kirkus Reviews writes that readers watch as Jack and Hallie take control over their lives as they reconsider the futures that lie ahead of them. While the story sounds heavy and emotional, it is actually rather lighthearted and fun. Humor, empathy, and a bit of romance combine to create a heartfelt story you won’t want to put down!
By Jonathon Evison
Dave Cartwright used to be skilled at working with his hands, solving problems, and remaining calm in stressful situations. However, he’s just returned from his third tour in Iraq and is suffering from severe PTSD. Not only is Dave losing his home and his wife, but he’s also losing his sense of direction in life. Most of the time, his seven-year-old daughter Bella is the only reason he keeps pushing forward. However, a tragedy occurs and Dave decides he and Bella will go live in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. The two reside in a cave where traces of the past soon unfold. Bella is overcome with visions of a mother and son who lived in the same cave as her and her dad, thousands of years ago during the final Ice Age. Meanwhile, Dave and Bella are turning into somewhat of a legend themselves in their hometown.
Publisher’s Weekly claims Evison’s novel allows readers to consider the limits of parental authority and humans’ capacity for emotional and physical survival, all while telling a story of parenthood and grief through four characters separated by thousands of years. Library Journal calls Legends of the North Cascades a “compelling read” that not only allows readers to appreciate the natural world, but also to acknowledge the history of humans who dwelt in the North Cascades.
By Jon Talton
Gene Hammons is a veteran of the Great War and dreams of seeing his name in the spotlights. He loses his job as a homicide detective when he tries to prove that a woman was falsely convicted of murder in order to “protect a well-connected man.” Now Hammons works as a private investigator, searching for missing individuals. Amidst the Great Depression, people going missing is nothing surprising or new.
However, Hammons’ work takes a surprising turn when his brother, a homicide detective, asks for his help in solving the case of a young woman whose remains were found beside a railroad track. Although the sheriff rules the tragedy an accident, the details of the crime scene appear too suspicious to discount. Hammons believes it’s the handiwork of a “lust murderer,” similar to the “serial strangler” who Hammons shut down years before. Hammons begins to wonder about the victim, particularly why the murderer’s business card was left in her purse. Hammons starts looking into the victim’s identity and realizes she had a few of her own secrets, and that this case has ties to a handful of Phoenix’s most powerful citizens, “on both sides of the law.”
This novel interweaves historical fiction, crime, mystery, and 1930s noir, offering insight as to what living during the time of the Great Depression, bootleggers, Prohibition, and speakeasies could’ve been like. Library Journal claims Talton exceeds at establishing the “ambience of historical Phoenix.” City of Dark Corners even provides readers with an idea of how crimes were solved in the 1930s. The “gritty” historical crime novel is also claimed to also be perfect for readers of David Baldacci.
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