Romano-Lax, Andromeda. Behave. Soho Press, 2016. ISBN 978-1616956530 400 pp. $26.95
This novel about Vassar grad and behavioral scientist Rosemarie Rayner and her work and love affair with John Watson provides cringe-worthy descriptions of experiments on infants amid details of life in the roaring 20s. Fascinating read peppered with unlikeable characters.
Sheinmel, Alyssa B. Second Star. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014. ISBN 978-0374382674 256 pp. $
In this version of Peter Pan, 17-year old Wendy Darling is on a search for her two brothers, John & Michael, missing and presumed dead. She follows the coast, looking for out of the way beaches with perfect waves in the goes of meeting other surfers who might have encountered her brothers, and is drawn to both Pete, the head of a crew of misfit boys and one lovely Belle, and Jas, a drug dealer who sells “dairy dust.”
Dark, well-paced and gripping.
Murguia, Bethanie. Cockatoo, Too. little bee books, 2016. ISBN 978-1499801026 40 pp. $17.99
This rollicking picture book about birds is charming, clever and a new favorite of my 3.5 year old. Lots of rhyming wordplay and bright illustrations. A perfect read for 2/22/22!
Hannah, James. The A to Z of You and Me. Sourcebooks, 2016. ISBN 978-1492633167 336 pp. $15.99
The marketing representative for promised us at Book Buzz Boston that this book would make us ugly-cry, and author James Hannah delivered.
Ivo, in hospice with kidney failure, should be in the prime of his (mid)life; instead, he is contemplating the choices he’s made that brought him to this point by playing a game devised by his favorite caregiver: find a memory for each body part, in alphabetical order. From Adam’s apple on, the narrative weaves between past and present as the aloof Ivo comes to terms with his life and it’s inevitable end.
The writing is lovely and the theme hard to deal with, but there are light-filled moments. Much of the story is taken up with Ivo’s ex, Mia; their relationship is mysterious and disclosed a small detail at a time.
As Ivo’s illness progresses, the narrative becomes a little more surreal due to the effects of morphine. Truly masterful. Guaranteed to make you weep.
Whaley, John Corey. Highly Illogical Behavior. Dial, 2016. ISBN 978-0525428183 256 pp. $
A well-meaning student decides that a local teenager with agoraphobia would be the perfect subject for a winning essay to gain entry to her desired college. What starts out as an experiment journeys through friendship and betrayal as Lisa brings her boyfriend Clark in Sol’s life, as well.
This contemporary teen problem novel explores psychology, sexuality and Star Trek with humor, pathos and excellent pacing. suggested for fans of Rainbow Rowell.
Puckette, Madeline & Justin Hammack. Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. Avery, 2015. ISBN 978-1592408993. 240 pp. $25.00
I checked this out of the Library and kept it way longer than I should have, and ultimately decided to buy my own copy for reference. Infographics inform the reader how to recognize a varietal by the shape of it’s bottle, define what glass to deliver your wine in, and advise how to pair wine with food. Each wine gets a two-page spread that shows (again, ALL in infographics!) the range of flavors for that particular grape, explains how the regions soil and climate affects taste, and offers tidbits and facts about the varietal. A brilliant and indispensable book.