A big week of haunting reading

February 9-15

I started this week with The Winter People. Apropos since we had a huge although brief, snowstorm. This is an eerie tale set in rural Vermont, following the story of a family and its connections through generations to a ghostly story based in (and near) an old farmhouse. Beautiful details, and some sweet family elements pulled me in to the weird and frightening ghost story.

The Natural Way of Things was astonishing and super scary. The beautifully written story of women locked away at an outdoor camp somewhere in Australia, it had a very Lord of the Flies feel to it, with Margaret Atwood overtones as well. I read this almost overnight, fascinated by the mystery of their arrival at the camp, and committed to finding out how it ended for the engaging women involved.

Dead Wake impressed me tremendously. I’d had it in the tbr pile for while, but have to be in the right frame of mind for nonfiction-type stories. This is the fictionalized story of the sinking of the Lusitania, with detailed research into naval warfare, the shipping business at the time, and the lives of families involved with the sinking. Fascinating, and horrifying. The details were tremendous, and the insights into the changing rules of warfare were illuminating.

The newest shipment from Just the Right Book, Kitchens of the Great Midwest followed the family and cooking lives of characters in the Midwest. A few recipes, lots of great stories, and a satisfying ending–loved it.

A House in the Sky was my re-read for book club, so it was mostly a skim this week. The story of a Canadian woman kidnapped in Somalia is gripping and brutal. We had a great discussion in book club, and it left me wanting to read the book by her fellow captive (Price of Life by Nigel Brennan) as well, just to learn more about the ordeal–or at least for a different perspective.