Claire is a left-handed Appalachian, born and raised in West Virginia, two facts of which, she is inordinately proud. She is bored by long walks on the beach, but if you put her in the woods with her dog and her mountain bike well, that's bliss. Make no mistake, however! She does love to read, namely slightly surreal stories, often dark, with some mystery and history thrown in. Sound vague? See below.
I just love a mystery involving orphans, snowstorms, old houses on mountaintops, ghosts, stained glass, and smugglers, don't you? Well, if you do, this story has all of these things and more. Milo thinks he's settling in for a nice, relaxing holiday with his adoptive parents at their inn when his plans are disrupted by a host of very strange people who converge on Greenglass House for mysterious reasons. Curl up with a cup of tea and this book when the weather starts to turn cool. Lovely.
Imagine you are a healthy, athletic teenager and you have been told you have an inoperable brain condition that will decrease your life expectancy to one year. Then imagine a stranger comes into your hospital room and tells you that you could spend that final year on top-secret missions ensuring that you would die a hero's death instead of wasting away in a hospital. What would you do? This latest book by Bellingham's own, Royce Scott Buckingham, is clever, suspenseful, and action-packed, but also so sophisticated and emotionally engaging that it stayed with me long after I turned the last page.
This is a book about family secrets and a ghost. Not new ideas, certainly, but Steins' story of a young boy returning to the family mansion with his dad during a trial separation from his mother is, at times, gut-wrenching in the discomfort that dredging up the past brings. And this family has a particularly grim past as timber barons that essentially raped any land that it owned. This is a story about debts to be paid and amends to be made, about family and honoring loved ones who have gone before us. It's also just plain spooky.
One of the things that I love about reading Steve Martin's books is that in my head, as I'm reading, I hear his voice telling the story. The other, is how incredibly smart the writing is. This one tackles the world of high art, complete with color reproductions throughout. It's a great story, very imaginative and smoothly written. How could it not be? It's Steve Martin, after all. --Claire
This one is rare gem. Historical fiction, taking place during WWII in France centering around the friendship of two teenage girls. One, a pilot and the other, an accidental spy. Officially, this is a young adult book, but I believe it's a perfect cross-over to adult fiction because of the top-notch writing and adult nature of the content. This is one to savor. --Claire
Hands down, my favorite book of 2013 thus far! I will be plugging this one all year long. With such well-developed characters and plot,this one is destined to be a book group selection.
Two young sisters bury their junkie parents in the garden behind their house in the projects of Glasgow. Now they must continue to live without the world finding out their secret, but someone is watching from next door. This is one dark story, folks, but I dare you to read it and not fall in love with these girls. --Claire
It's true. Sometimes I judge a book by its cover AND its title. In this case it paid off because this little book charmed me from page one. It is the haunting story of Rose Edelstein who, on her ninth birthday, discovers that she has an unnerving ability. She can actually taste all of her mother's emotions in every bite of the birthday cake that she lovingly made for her. And they aren't at all the emotions that she would have expected. The rest of the story of Rose and her odd little family is intriguing, puzzling, and thoroughly thought-provoking. A perfect book group candidate. --Claire
This one has everything that I love in a novel. All of the elements listed above, plus love
A tragic, totally riveting biography that reveals just how complex and conflicted Cobain really was.
The perfect book. --Claire
I can't imagine life without this book. --Claire
This one always, always makes me laugh out loud, no matter how many times I read it. --Claire
This is one of those high school assigned reading books that I re-read every couple of years and of which I never, ever get tired. --Claire