Some favorite books from Maureen:
A unique story with two very distinct halves, multi-layered unforgettable characters and emotional extremes, Groff explores a marriage between two people who have tumultuous pasts and closely guarded secrets. This is a book you’ll want to read all over again when you reach the final sentence. -- Maureen, October 2016, Redbery Books, Cable, Wisconsin
-- 1950’s New York society is the setting for this gritty but glamorous portrayal of the rise and fall of Truman Capote and his relationships with the Swans – the pampered and beautiful wives of nationally famous businessmen whose names readers will quickly recognize. Deliciously engrossing, I couldn’t put this one down. -- Maureen, October 2016, Redbery Books, Cable, Wisconsin
I knew when I started reading author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova's newest novel Inside the O'Briens, I would learn a lot about something, as I had with Still Alice and Left Neglected. I wasn't disappointed. The O'Briens could be anyone's next door neighbors. Joe, the central character, is a 43 year old police officer and father of four twentysomething children. The family is Irish Catholic and lives in a typical blue collar, Charleston, Massachusetts neighborhood. When Joe starts to exhibit frequent and unusual physical spasms, his coworkers and friends suspect he has an alcohol problem like his mother, who purportedly died of alcoholism. The tables are turned when Joe is diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, and he realizes it was passed on from his mother. The reader experiences the progression of the disease through Joe's everyday life, as he struggles to continue his job and complete normal tasks. Huntington's Disease has a 50% chance of being inherited and can be diagnosed with a blood test. The four O'Brien children each struggle with their own decisions about whether to take the genetic test or not, and this makes for some of the most compelling dialogue in the book. Genova uses the perspectives of Joe and 21-year old daughter Katie to convey the unavoidable toll that this incurable disease takes on their family. Fans of Genova's previous novels will not be disappointed by this latest heart-pounding story.
When I heard the movie The Martian was nominated for a 2016 Golden Globe Award in the comedy category, I was surprised, because I assumed it was a serious science fiction story. How wrong I was! What began as a chapter-by-chapter posting on author Andy Weir's personal blog, The Martian blasted to the top of the science fiction bestseller lists when the hardcover book was published. The Martian is science fiction, comedy and thriller all rolled into one page-turning "un-put-downable" novel. Astronaut Mark Watney is stuck on Mars after a dust storm forces the rest of the crew to evacuate. He has no way to communicate with Earth and is bound to run out of supplies before anyone can reach him. It's a good thing Watney is extremely intelligent, resourceful and wonderfully humorous. Blending science with ingenuity, Watney's gripping daily log entries are completely fascinating as he works through huge setbacks and figures out new ways to stay alive until he can be rescued. I loved the combination of humor and science in this story and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a captivating and plausible adventure book. -- Maureen, January 2016 newsletter, Redbery Books, Cable, Wisconsin
I laughed out loud with The Rosie Project, where we meet Don Tillman, an emotionally challenged geneticist who's created a screener for identifying the perfect mate. He finds love with Rosie, instead, who is not exactly his scientific ideal. -- Maureen, Redbery Books, Cable, Wisconsin
The Rosie Effect finds Don and Rosie married and expecting a baby, an event which was not factored into Don's carefully constructed life plan. -- Maureen, Redbery Books, Cable, Wisconsin