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Tuesday, December 26th, 2017
Book Reviews

Recommended Reading - Louise Erdrich, Florida Wineries and More

Louise Erdrich

Future Home of the Living God

HarperCollins

The premise of this dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel is that evolution is starting to go backwards—women are having babies of an earlier human species, often to the detriment of the mother’s life. In order to preserve the human race as they know it, the government is seizing, incarcerating, and impregnating fertile women. Future Home of the Living God is written as a series of diary entries from the main character, Cedar, to her unborn child. Author Erdrich tells an introspective and unexpectedly quiet story about Cedar’s pregnancy and her relationships with her biological and adoptive parents in the tumultuous time in which she lives. This book has been compared to The Handmaid’s Tale, and it is definitely a story that makes you think.

- Marilu Morgan


Ivy Pochoda

Wonder Valley

HarperCollins

Wonder Valley weaves five distinct stories into one. Ren, just released from juvie, is trying to connect with his mother. Blake and Sam are criminals on the run. Britt is hiding. Owen and James live in the specter of their father’s cult. And Tony, the only one who is insulated in an enclave of wealth and privilege, is emotionally desolate. Shifts in both time and tense challenge the reader. Even so, Pochoda entwines this cast of characters so skillfully that I couldn’t put the book down.

- Alita Feek


Pamela Watson

Florida Wine Country Guide to Northern Wineries

Woodhaven Publishing

Freelance travel and wine writer Pamela Watson has done the wine-drinking public a great service. Florida Wine Country is a tour guide (including routes and mileage) to 19 north Florida wineries, from St. Augustine to Pensacola. Included are profiles of winemakers, grapes used, and quick-sketch tasting guides to available wines. She also offers suggestions on restaurants, historical and cultural attractions, and parks in the vicinity of the wineries. There’s a glossary, recipes, a list of wine events and festivals, and informational websites. Local wineries spotlighted are Panama City Beach Winery, Emerald Coast Wine Cellars, Chautauqua Winery and De Luna Winery.

- Bruce Collier


Our Favorite Books of 2017

 

SAMANTHA LAMBERT

Phil Collins, Not Dead Yet

 

MARILU MORGAN

Julie Buntin, Marlena

Patricia Lockwood, Priestdaddy

Joshilyn Jackson, The Almost Sisters

Gabrielle Zevin, Young Jane Young

Jennifer Latham, Dreamland Burning

Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

 

SHEILA CONNER

Charles Martin, The Mountain Between Us

 

CHRIS LEAVENWORTH

Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus

 

JANE MORGAN

Durga Chew-Bose, Too Much and Not the Mood

Morgan Parker, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce

Jenny Zhang, Sour Heart

Jenn Pelly, The Raincoats

 

BRUCE COLLIER

Tom Acitelli, Whiskey Business: How Small-Batch Distillers Are Transforming American Spirits

John Mauceri, Maestros and Their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting

John McPhee, Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process

 

CHRIS MANSON

Fiction

Greg Iles, Mississippi Blood

Stephen King and Owen King, Sleeping Beauties

Karin Slaughter, The Good Daughter

 

Nonfiction

Rob Sheffield, Dreaming the Beatles

Loudon Wainwright III, Liner Notes: On Parents & Children, Exes & Excess, Death & Decay, & a Few of My Other Favorite Things

Jason ZInoman, Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night