Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Review Thursday - 10/24

I'm starting to get behind on my reviews. I'm hoping I can bust out three tonight...

I got The Astronaut Wives Club from Kara when she posted about it on Instagram a few weeks ago. Lily Koppel writes about the wives of the astronauts from the Mercury missions and then the Gemini and Apollo missions. The wives of the astronauts were suddenly were faced with celebrity status and public scrutiny and they bonded together to support and protect each other.

This novel was a little confusing to me because most of the time everyone was addressed by their first names. The couples were introduced in the book with stories of how they met and then it was rare to have the husband's name listed with the wife's name. If I had realized that sooner, I would have made myself a cheat sheet to look at. Now, I have a bunch of facts about the Club as a whole, but I have no idea who the fact was about.

For the era in which the events occurred, it was very interesting to hear about their everyday lives. The men flew themselves to work at the air force base in Florida while the wives and families were in Houston. And the wives really took care of each other while the men were away and also while the flight missions were going on. It's very inspiring to think of all that was accomplished by the astronauts and their families.

If you are going to read this, make a cheat sheet! :)

And for the cozy mystery this week... Death al Dente by Leslie Budewitz. This was a recommendation by my library and it is the first in a new series. Erin has recently returned home to a small town in Montana to run the family's store, The Mercantile, with her mother. To entice tourists to the town, Erin creates a new festival to spotlight all the unique culinary options their small town has to offer. Unfortunately, the former store manager is found dead on the first night of the festival. And Erin has to solve the case before her mother is arrested for the murder.

There is a lot of food mentioned in this book and, unlike the donut mysteries and the pizza mysteries, I didn't find myself craving it while I was reading. I think it was because I wasn't sure what half of the items would taste like. But imagining the great outdoors of Montana was nice and there was quite a bit of action in open air in the book. The characters seemed to be well thought out and the plot was intriguing. If you like the cozy mysteries, you would probably enjoy this one as well.

After reading Revolutionary Summer by Joseph J. Ellis, I looked at the library's website to see what else he had written and I found First Family about AbigaiAbil and John Adams. John was very instrumental in the Revolutionary War and the design of our nation and there were some tidbits about the relationship with Abigail in the Revolutionary Summer that I found amusing.

John was ten years older than Abigail and when they married, he almost immediately began his political career. For much of their married life, they lived separately and they corresponded through letters. John thought that the letters would be important at the time and made copies of his own before sending them to Abigail and he encouraged her to do the same. Because of this, their relationship is mostly preserved. It was kind of charming to hear how randy Abigail got in her letters to John.

I enjoyed this novel and not just because every time the narrator said, "The Adams family," I imagined that he was really saying, "The Addams Family," complete with the snapping of fingers. It was interesting to hear what the letters entailed and how the day to day lives were relayed to each other. Things did get a little bogged down around the war and I got a little bored, but then it all picked back up. And after hearing about John's interactions with Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, I am tempted to find novels on them to read as well. Overall, I thought this was a good book.

What are you reading?

1 comment:

Vicky said...

I read Astronaut Wives Club this summer, and I really liked it. Cheat sheet would have helped, though. I'll have to get the other two since you recommend them. Of course, I need to finish the Outlander series first. Made the mistake of ordering the bundle -- that's one LONG read ordering them that way!! Thanks for the recommendation on that one!