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Frontier Grit The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women

Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of
Daring Pioneer Women
by Marianne Monson
Shadow Mountain,
September 6. 2016, 208 pages
Genre: Nonfiction
Collier County Public Library: No

BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust This little nugget is a delightful find and carries quite a punch for a small book. The stories of 12 fascinating women will captivate you while exposing you to the history they did not teach us in school. The author purposefully chose 12 women of different nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic status, to illustrate the diversity of the American West. Contrary to what our history textbooks and the Hollywood movies claim, white males were not even half the true story of the West much less the whole story. Monson wants to help correct that distortion. She hopes ... Read More »

Runaway

“Runaway”
by Peter May
Quercus 2016 – 327 pages
Genre: Mystery
Collier County Public Library: Yes

BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust This book is a must-read for any mystery lover, Anglophile, or Baby Boomer. In addition to having an exciting storyline, it is beautifully written with luscious language: “Moonlight cascaded across black water below us as we drove down into a larger town beyond the village of Threlkeld. Its street lamps twinkled in the night, light pollution masking the great canopy of the cosmos whose jewelled sky had, until then, sparkled above our flight path.” The “flight path” refers to the drive that five 17-year-old Glasgow boys, all members of a band “The Shuffle,” take to London. They ... Read More »

Everybody’s Fool

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BOOK REMARKS  Diane Bostick Guest Reviewer Everybody’s Fool By Richard Russo Knopf Publishers, May 2016 Available at the Collier County Library Available as Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Nook and Audio book I have just had the pleasure, and a pleasure it was, of reading Richard Russo’s newest book, “Everybody’s Fool.” Some might say it has no plot but it actually does, though I will admit it is rather a subtle one, and you might not really be aware of it until the end when you realize that all the individual stories running through the book have come to a conclusion of some sort, ... Read More »

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk

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BOOK REMARKS  Joanne Tailele,  Guest Reviewer Author Kelli Estes opened my eyes, as well as protagonist Inara Erickson’s, to a piece of American history I knew nothing about. In the backdrop of the Orcas Island, on Puget Sound, state of Washington, Inara is drawn back to the island when she inherits a grand old estate that was once her childhood playground. She has no intention of staying long, just long enough to get the property on the market and leave the island that haunts her with guilt from when her mother died on a windy road on the island. The estate ... Read More »

Summer Double Dip at Marco Players

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Submitted  The enchanting story of the mystical Florida Fiddler, as told by Native Floridian J.Robert, takes you on a musical journey from Orange Blossom Special and Suwanee River to Margaritaville, Hot Hot Hot and Rhythm’s Gonna Getcha! J.Robert – Florida Fiddler Show will be held Saturday, July 9 and again on Saturday, August 13 at 8:00 PM. Square One Improv puts you in the driver’s seat for a hilarious, completely improvised performance! Every show is different because it’s based on your suggestions, including songs and musicals created on the fly! There are two shows left Saturday, July 23 and Saturday, ... Read More »

Enjoy the Ride – Marco Players 42nd Season

MarcoPlayers

Submitted The Marco Players, Marco Island’s oldest, intimate black-box community theater announces the 2016-2017 season line up which cruises into summer with some cooling comedy and music and then picks up the speed with a full offering of evening, Sunday matinees, and Saturday lunch box shows. The Marco Players Theater celebrates its 42nd season with shows about taking chances and starting over, shows that will enlighten, entertain, educate, make you laugh and touch your heart. Mark your calendar for September 8, 2016 when the box office opens, but even better, visit our website to join The Marco Players’ mailing list ... Read More »

Washington’s Immortals

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BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” – Thomas Paine, “The Crisis,” December 23, 1776. Don’t let the genre dissuade you from this title. Yes, we know the outcome, but that does not take away from the fact that the author has written this account of America’s beginning in a gripping style similar to that of the most popular thrillers. O’Donnell ... Read More »

Since She Went Away

Since She Went Away
By David Bell
New American Library –
June 21, 2016 - 432 pages
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
4.0/5.0 stars

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com Bell is an accomplished storyteller who is equally adept at both character development and plot advancement. I first read his “Someone I Used To Know” last year and was riveted by the nuances of his characters’ personalities. The same is true of “Since She Went Away.” I was invested in these characters by the end of chapter one and put the book down only once. This is basically the story of RN Jenna Barton, a single mom, and her teenaged son Jared, detailing how their quiet lives in tiny Hawks Mill, Kentucky were up heaved by ... Read More »

Charlie Mike: A True Story of Heroes Who Brought Their Mission Home

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com Charlie Mike:  A True Story of Heroes Who Brought Their Mission Home By Joe Klein Simon & Schuster, October 2015 – 320 pages Genre: Biography Collier County Public Library: Yes “Charlie Mike” is not the name of any person, but military shorthand for “continue the mission.” This is the story of some veterans from America’s 21st century wars and their reorientation to civilian life. Navy veteran Eric Greitens was the initial driving force behind the organization that grew to be named “The Mission Continues.” His life had been filled with a desire to achieve excellence in ... Read More »

Marco Murder and Mayhem Tour

Photo by Samantha Husted
At the top of the stairs we entered a bedroom and tried to capture images of orbs.

By Samantha Husted Last month I sat down with Gina Sisbarro, “Men of Rushmore and Their Wives” writer and director. Gina has been directing and acting for over fifteen years. Three years ago Gina, always one for the dramatics, created Marco Island’s first ever ghost tour. It’s been running successfully ever since. The Marco Murder and Mayhem tour stems from Gina’s love of history and the paranormal. The tour highlights the lesser-known and darker history of the island. Although Gina was pretty tightlipped about most of her stories, she did let me in on a few secrets. Gina took me ... Read More »

Lilac Girls

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BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside of itself; it only requires opportunity.” – George Eliot This is the story of a little known chapter in the European theater of the Second World War, the “Ravensbruck Rabbits.” The story is told in first person via three main characters: Caroline Ferriday, wealthy American socialite; Kasia, young Polish woman; and Herta, a young German woman just starting her medical career. The chapters alternate among the three women. Caroline is a hardworking philanthropist, carrying on a long family tradition of working for social justice and taking charitable ... Read More »

Miller’s Valley

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BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “There is nothing I value more than the closeness of friends and family, a smile as I pass someone on the street.”  Willie Stargell I enjoyed this book. Mary Margaret Miller narrates her story which is centered around the state’s decision to permanently flood the farmland of Miller’s Valley. During the time since the government built a dam and redirected the river, the valley was flooding every few years anyway. Every flood would drive a few more families away, those who were not willing or not able to rebuild and wait for the next flood. Mary ... Read More »

The Assassin’s Honor

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BOOKREMARKS  Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com The Assassin’s Honor By Robert Macomber Pineapple Press, September 2015,  351 pages Genre: Historical Fiction Collier County Public Library: Yes “We of the sea come to know each other quickly; our loves, like our hates, are born of sudden danger.” – Lew Wallace, author of “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” and U.S. Civil War general. “The Assassin’s Honor” is the 12th installment of the Honor Series with Peter Wake as the protagonist. The story is set in the last decade of the 19th century and much of the action takes place at sea. Peter Wake ... Read More »

Black Cat Quartet to Perform

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Submitted The Black Cat Quartet will appear in a classical music concert at the Marco Island Center for the Arts on May 12, 2016 at 5:30 PM. Tickets are $25, and seating is limited. The Black Cat Quartet members have performed with each other in a variety of ensembles for over 10 years. The program at the Center will include J.S. Bach Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Op. 44, No. 1 and Four for Tango by Astor Piazzolla. The group is a string quartet. It chooses repertoire that pushes the ... Read More »

Goodbye, Art Flicks Hello, Classic Movie Nights

Classic Movie Nights begins April 8th

Submitted  The Marco Island Center for the Arts Art Flicks film series has come to an end for the season, with the showing of the Danish film, “Babette’s Feast.” The Art Flicks series features special showings of foreign, independent and art films. This season’s program, themed “Food, Glorious Food!” was a huge success. Although Art Flicks has ended, the Center will be bringing audiences more wonderful movies to enjoy. On April 8 Classic Movie Nights begins with “On the Waterfront,” and the series will continue on the second Friday of each month, through August. For all showings, doors will open ... Read More »

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “No two persons ever read the same book.” – Edmund Wilson The good news is that “Eligible” is not one of the “Gone Girl” or “The Girl On The Train” wannabes that are pervasive these days. The other news is that while it is a satisfying read, it is not even a shadow of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” the classic satire on the social mores of early 18th century England. P&P purists, be forewarned that you will find no subtlety and very little romance in “Eligible.” Sittenfeld’s satire is fairly in-your-face and quite humorous. Austen’s ... Read More »

Two to See at Marco Players

Karen Ezrine and Mitch Eil - “2 Across”.

Submitted Theater-goers will love the two current plays at Marco Island’s oldest non-profit theater, the Marco Players Theater. The Man Who Married His Mother-In-Law  When Gerald’s (Greg Madera) mother-in-law finds out she hasn’t long to live, Gerald concocts a plan to keep her estate “in the family.” But when they move down to Florida to wait out her death sentence at Riddle Key, old friends and new faces threaten to spoil the scheme, and a surprise twist throws a wrench into Gerald’s plans unless he can pull off the perfect murder. “The Man Who Married His Mother-In-Law” is live on ... Read More »

Forty Martyrs

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   Forty Martyrs  By Philip F. Deaver Burrow Press, March 29, 2016 – 231 pages Genre: Short story collection Collier County Library: No Deaver is a new-to-me author and a pleasant discovery. He is on the English faculty at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. His previous publications have received acclaim and awards. This collection of nine stories centers around the small town of Tuscola in east central Illinois. Most of the protagonists are linked in some way to the college as well as to the local Catholic parish, Forty Martyrs. But believe me, these are ... Read More »

Try Not To Breathe

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   Try Not To Breathe By Holly Seddon Ballantine Books, February 2016 – 369 pages Genre: Mystery/Thriller   Anyone who enjoyed “The Girl On The Train” might like this book very much. I didn’t care for the Hawkins book, but I found this one intriguing. The protagonist, Alex Dale, is a self-destructive barely functional alcoholic with an enlarged liver whose life revolves around her wine consumption and urinary incontinence. When we meet her in 2010, she has drunk her way through college, marriage to police officer Matt, a miscarriage, and a steady job as a ... Read More »

When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air
By Paul Kalanithi
Random House 2016 – 258 pages
Genre: Memoir
Collier County Public Library: Yes

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “When there’s no place for a scalpel, words are the surgeon’s only tool.” – Paul Kalanithi At age 36, in the last year of his neurosurgery residency, Paul Kalanithi discovered he had stage IV lung cancer. For the next 22 months, he and his wife Lucy, an internal medicine physician, awoke each day focused on living, not “living until…” “When Breath Becomes Air” was written largely because Dr. Kalanithi had the soul of a poet and turning to words to express any experience in life was as instinctive to him as breathing itself. His intent was ... Read More »