Thursday, May 28, 2020

Book Reviews - Thrills and (Base) Steals

Welcome to my long-running series "Books I Read With Absolutely No Common Thread." In today's edition, we have inspirational fiction, sports, and two thrillers. So, here we go again. . .

Her Amish Suitor's Secret by Carrie Lighte was a stop on a recent blog tour here.

Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball by John Feinstein was a book I picked up to read partially because I miss baseball so darn much. And while I've read a lot of baseball books over the years, I appreciated that this one examined a completely different world. This one focused on the minor leagues specifically AAA. The book follows six players, two managers and an umpire through their quest to make it to the majors. Each chapter zones in on one of these men and where they are in their journey to make it to the big leagues. Some of these men have been there before and are making their way back, while others are trying to finally achieve that long-held dream of being a major leaguer. This book really focuses on the reality of what this dream is like, and the reality is y'all, this isn't easy. It's hard to keep hope alive, and it's also hard to let dreams go. I felt a particular connection to this book given some of these men had played for my hometown Kansas City Royals. I could remember them being with us at other parts of their journey, and it was interesting to read these honest and raw experiences. I appreciated that this book covered all aspects of what being a minor leaguer is like, and y'all sometimes that's some really tough stuff. This one was also a timely and helpful read as I think about the realities of current minor leaguers. For every big name star, there are many, many more at the minor league level trying to break through. To truly understand major league baseball, you need to understand this part of the equation, and this book is a fascinating read for that exploration.

Don't Look for Me by Wendy Walker was a legit jawdropping thriller. I mean, y'all, when one of the big twists was revealed, I audibly gasped I was so shocked. This is my third thriller by this author, and what I love is that she writes her twists and turns in such a unique way. One of the ways she does this is by making it so you're just not sure what characters you can trust and/or who's actually telling the truth. It's this plot device that makes those reveals so darn good! This story focuses on Molly Clarke. She is a mother who has mysteriously disappeared. Ther are some things that have happened to her family that make people wonder if she was abducted, or if she just decided to leave on her own accord. This premise of doubt lays the foundation for some kind of ride. This is a thriller told through multiple characters' points of view, and yet again I'll remind you that this type of storytelling is what I love. Storytelling in this way also allows you to get nuggets of each character's personal story, but also gives you clues into those of others, as well as again what might not be true. Y'all, this author can write some kind of thriller. I could not devour this one fast enough because I needed to know what had really happened to Molly Clarke. Thanks to NetGalley for an early look at this one. You can go on this thrill ride when this book is released in September 2020! (In the meantime, if you haven't read The Night Before by the same author, check it out!)

Find Her by Lisa Gardner was a dark thriller, and y'all, I'm going to own that just didn't connect with me. I was intrigued by the initial premise, but as I read, it went down a path that was a lot for me to read. I say that because sometimes a review is more about the reviewer than the book, and that is what this is. This thriller first focuses on Flora. She was kidnapped as a college student five years ago. She was found, but she is still navigating the trauma of that experience. Meanwhile, other women have gone missing. Something goes down with a potential suspect, and it seems Flora may be involved. The question then becomes how Flora is connected, but also what happened to these women. The story alternates between the story of Flora's abduction in the past and what is happening in real-time. In the present day, there is also work being done by a detective to not only figure out how Flora is involved, but where these women are. This one was a pageturner in the very literal sense of the world. It was such a twisty ride throughout. As I said, it's definitely a dark and emotional read given the trauma of the stories, so know that going in as you look to the strong thrills it provides.

Onto the next ones!