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November 14, 2017

We have recommendations! Share your recent read, and send a mini-review to

Bob Turner: Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild, Professor of Sociology at UC Berkley and political liberal, offers an insightful account of five years meeting and interviewing Tea Party and Trump supporters in Louisiana. For those of a liberal political persuasion, this is a must-read account on the thinking of “the other side” of American politics. (in Plymouth Library.)

Rev. Donene Blair: I recently read Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. A New York Times best seller, this book is a WW II historical novel based on the lives of three women--a New York socialite, a Jewish Polish teenager and a young German doctor. It describes in detail the life of prisoners in the notorious all-female concentration camp, Ravensbruck, where medical experiments were done on prisoners. The stories of the three women intersect in powerful ways, and finally, in the end, there is some justice. It's a very compelling read. 

Al Bentley: I'd like to recommend: Ulysses S. Grant: The Unlikely Hero, by MIchael Korda (2004).  Many of us were taught to think of Grant as an alcoholic. Korda argues that reports of Grant's drinking were exaggerated. Almost everyone knows that Grant led the Union Army and won the Civil War. Korda highlights a second, less-appreciated accomplishment. Years after his Presidency, impoverished and near death, Grant wrote his memoir, which after his death became “the biggest bestseller in American history, excluding the Bible.” Anyone daunted by Ron Chernow's recently-published 1,000-page biography of Grant will find, in Korda's book, a quick and very readable alternative.  

Ingrid Holmlund: In Forced to Flee: Visual Stories by Refugee Youth from Burma (2015), Erika Berg presents watercolor art by young people forced into exile from Burma/Myanmar. Berg held over 40 workshops among these youth, eliciting truth-telling through art about their experiences of violence, persecution, life in exile in camps and beyond, and their dreams for the future. Through this compelling book, I learned much about the human rights tragedy in Burma, which continues to this day, and was inspired by the resilience of these youth. (in Plymouth Library.)

Note: An exhibit of visual stories from this book is on display through Dec. 10 at the Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle. See for more info.

Suzanne Sanderson, Librarian: I just finished Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew. Years ago, I noticed a lot of “cozy” mysteries being published included recipes. Food and murder? Hmmm.... They weren't even poisonous recipes. This book stands out because the author is South African. The story takes place in South Africa, and the recipes are for dishes popular in South Africa. Check the glossary in the back of the book for the meaning of many Afrikaans words and phrases. (This didn't work out well for me as I was using an e reader!) The main characters are engaging, the mystery is well plotted, and I am looking forward to the sequel. I might even try some of the recipes!

Have you recently read a book that inspired or intrigued you so much that you wished you could tell others at Plymouth about it? After Plymouth Library’s book-sharing event last summer, we realized Plymouth folks might like more opportunities to share about books that matter to them. If you’ve read a book you would like to recommend to others in the Plymouth community, please email Plymouth Library with your name, title and author of the book and a sentence or two about it. The library will publicize your suggestions periodically in the Herald and online, on a virtual Plymouth Bookshelf. Children, youth and adults of all ages are encouraged to share their recommendations! Send suggestions to Librarian Suzanne Sanderson, at, or drop a note by the library on Sunday. –Plymouth Library Committee


Topics: Church Life



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