Leisure Features

Hooked on Books: 5.19.21

The Last Children of Mill Creek by Vivian Gibson | Many of us don’t remember St. Louis before Hwy. 64/40 ran down the middle of it, but it existed. The highway razed the Mill Creek Valley neighborhood, a segregated working-class community where Gibson lived with her parents and eight siblings. This memoir is a story about family, a strong African American community and racism in St. Louis. This is Gibson’s first book, and I hope it won’t be her last.

Northern Spy: A Novel  by Flynn Berry
I already had this book in my stack before it became one of Reese’s Book Club picks. I was drawn to it because it was about Northern Ireland and the long-simmering desire by many for a united Ireland. This is the story of two sisters who find themselves, one rather reluctantly, right in the middle of a revolution. I particularly loved it because in the middle of an uprising, gender plays no role. (Not suggesting it as a good read for your middle school daughters!)

Beautiful Things by Hunter Biden 
This book is heartbreaking, and to be honest, it was hard to read. Biden brings readers on his journey of descending further and further into his addiction. His honesty was startling. He blamed no one other than himself and the disease of addiction. His family did everything they could to help, but ultimately, it was up to him to make the decision to become sober. Clearly, the loss of his mother, sister and brother triggered his downward spiral, but he makes no excuses. I am glad I read it. It gives me a better understanding of addiction and the cost to everyone involved.

Back in the Burbs by Avery Flynn and Tracy Wolff
File this book under ‘beach read.’ Here is what I remember: It was funny, the characters were entertaining and there was lots of sex—I mean lots. You know by the first one-third of the book who is going to end up with who, but you keep reading because it’s just a nice little romp. Won’t make you any smarter, but it will make you smile. Oh, and of course it already has been purchased to be made into a movie!

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