Leisure Features

Hooked On Books: 11.17.21

For the first time as a reviewer of books, I read four books in a row that were perfection. I loved each one for different reasons. I am sure it won’t happen again but I am considering it a Thanksgiving blessing.

Breathing Fire: Female Inmate Firefighters on the Front Lines of California’s Wildfires by Jaime Lowe
I picked up this book because I have a friend whose son fights wildfires in Utah. I had no idea that male and female inmates were part of teams that helped fight wildfires in the west. All volunteer for this back breaking duty. The rigorous training the inmates must complete before being allowed to become firefighters is astounding. It’s mind boggling that their conviction prevents them from joining this group of brave firefighters upon their release. You will cheer for the ndividuals who succeed, and your heart will break for those who don’t.

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
I read this before it became a Jenna Book Club Pick! And even though I am loath to agree with anyone but myself, read the book. Emmet Watson is let out of reform school after his dad dies to take care of his eight-year-old brother. Two of his pals tag along, preventing the brothers from hunting for their long-lost mother. The people they meet along the way range from some very kind nuns to a variety of con men. It takes place before GPS, making the adventures that much more interesting.

This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith
I have no idea how this book ended up on my Kindle, but there it was wanting to be read. After a bit of a slow start, I couldn’t figure out what I had one my hands. Was this a psychological thriller? Crime novel? Or was it really just a sweet and tender book about two people that crossed paths at just the right time? I kept reading and was very glad I did. While it didn’t end in the way I expected, I loved it. I do wish, however, I had a hardcover copy because it is one of those books you will glance at and remembering it causes you to smile.

A Million Reasons Why: A Novel by Jessica Strawser
One lie, one misstep, one secret–that’s all it takes to upend two families’ lives 30 years later. But this book is not a pretty package nicely tied up at the end. A daughter learns that both her parents aren’t quite who they seem to be nor is the half sister she has just found out about. This novel will hurt your heart in places, but if you are lucky enough to have a sister, you will most certainly understand how it all ends.

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