Book Remarks

Chestnut Street


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust By Maeve Binchy Knopf 2014, 368 pages Genre: Fiction/Short Story Collection Almost two years ago I wrote a Book Remarks about Maeve Binchy’s final novel, A Week In Winter, published shortly after her death in July 2012. All Maeve fans believed that was the end of the anticipation of new offerings from this wonderful storyteller. ... Read More »

You Should Have Known


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust By Jean Hanff Korelitz, 439 pages Grand Central Publishing  2014 Genre:  Domestic/Psychological Fiction “I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Grace Reinhart, an almost-40-year-old Manhattan couples therapist, has written a book on the brink of being published. Entitled ... Read More »

Missing You


BOOKREMARKS Maggie Gust By Harlan Coben Penguin Group 2014, 417 Pages Genre: Thriller/Mystery/Suspense “We know that everything in our lives is complex and gray. Yet we somehow expect our relationships to never be anything but simple and pure.” – Stacy in Missing You by Harlan Coben I became a Harlan Coben fan last year after reading Six Years which ... Read More »

The Accident


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust By Chris Pavone Crown Publishing, 2014 402 pages Genre: Thriller “Life is the art of being well deceived; and in order that the deception may succeed it must be habitual and uninterrupted.”         – William Hazlitt If you love thrillers, grab this book. Once you do, hang on, because it’s a heck of a ride. I have ... Read More »

A Circle of Wives


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust By Alice LaPlante Atlantic Monthly Press, 2014 325 pages Genre: Psychological Thriller “Alas, the love of women! It is known to be a lovely and a fearful thing.” Don Juan, Lord Byron John Taylor, M.D., a prominent plastic surgeon, is found dead in a hotel room in his hometown of Palo Alto, California. Not only does ... Read More »



BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust Author: Robin Cook Publisher: G. P. Putnam, 2014 Length: 402 pages. Genre: Medical fiction Medicine for the soul” – Inscription over the doorway at the Library at Thebes. In his latest novel, Robin Cook takes on the issue of digitalized medical practice. The title refers to 21st century humanity’s ubiquitous accessory: the cellular phone. If you ... Read More »

The Barkeep


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust By William Lashner 468 pages Thomas & Mercer, February 2014 Genre: Mystery (Zenspense) “Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.” – Author Unknown If you are familiar with the name William Lashner, you likely have read some of his Victor Carl mysteries. This is ... Read More »

This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” ~ Joseph Brodsky By Ann Patchett 306 pages, Harper-Collins 2013 The title is deceptive. This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage is a collection of essays about Ann Patchett’s life — not “simply” about her happy marriage. The road to ... Read More »

Levels of Life


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust By Julian Barnes 128 pages, Alfred A. Knopf, 2013 In this slender book, Julian Barnes writes three sections/essays: “The Sin of Height,” “On the Level” and “The Loss of Depth.” He begins, “You put together two things that have not been put together before. And the world is changed.” Those two things are invariably eventually torn ... Read More »

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Final Reunion


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust By Fannie Flagg Random House, 369 pages When we meet Sarah Jane “Sookie” Poole, she is a 59-year-old Alabama housewife who has just married off the last of her daughters and is exhausted from her mother-of-the-bride duties. She and her husband, Earle Poole, Jr., a dentist, have had the financial and emotional exhaustion of four ... Read More »

Top 10 For 2013


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust It is the end of another year already, and the inevitable “lists” are popping up everywhere. Here is my own Top 10 list for this final 2013 edition of “Book Remarks.” The parentheses after the author’s name include the date of the edition of Coastal Breeze News referencing that article. ( 10. Six Years by Harlan ... Read More »

The Death of Santini


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust By Pat Conroy 352 pages, Nan A. Talese publisher Sold by Random House “Time passing has a soothing, ameliorative effect, and memory softens as its tides flow out to sea. And to the amazement of all his children, Dad was turning into a man of decency and self-control.” I wanted to read The Death of ... Read More »

The Rosie Project


By Graeme Simsion Simon & Schuster 305 pages Don Tillman is a 30-something professor of genetics at a Melbourne university who has decided it is time to get married. He has never had a second date in his life, and most of his first dates have ended prematurely.   Professor Tillman has Aspergers syndrome and lives his life with strict adherence ... Read More »

Naples: Paradise Can Be Deadly


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust   By Diane Ketcham Tidelow Press 2013, 302 pages In Naples: Paradise Can Be Deadly we find that it can also be romantic, wicked, petty, fashionable and wryly humorous. This book is an absolute delight to read. Those of us who live locally will find a certain heightened satisfaction in the familiar locales, but knowing the ... Read More »



BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust By Alice McDermott Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2013 288 pages If you have time to read only one novel during the upcoming end-of-the-year hectic holiday season, I urge you to consider Someone by Alice McDermott. She is back after a 7-year absence. For those of you who unfamiliar with Alice McDermott, she won the National Book ... Read More »

Promise Me: How a Sister’s Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust By Nancy G. Brinker with Joni Rodgers Crown Archetype, 343 pages The first National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was observed in October 1986, and now it is a global event. Promise Me is the story of Susan Goodman, her younger sister Nancy, and how their sisterly devotion brought that about. Three-year-old Susan welcomed home baby sister ... Read More »

Run, Brother, Run: A Memoir of a Murder in My Family


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust   By David Berg Scribner 2013, 254 pages I am very fond of the genre Real Crime, but I believe “Run, Brother, Run” is the first of such that I have addressed in Book Remarks. For the past month or so I have been working on reading the nominees for the Man Booker Prize, due to ... Read More »



BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust   By Curtis Sittenfeld Random House, 397 pages   Violet and Daisy Shramm are psychic identical twins who live in Saint Louis, Missouri, but dwell in Sisterland, the name the older-by-eight-minutes twin, Violet, gave to the bedroom they shared as children. Her sign “Sisterland – Population 2 – Do NOT Enter Without Permission” that hung on ... Read More »

I Hate To Leave This Beautiful Place


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust by Howard Norman 208 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt   Lest you think this is a book about gorgeous vacation spots, let me explain the book title. “I hate to leave this beautiful place” is the call of a man turned into a goose in an Inuit tale. He repeatedly cries out this phrase as migration time, ... Read More »

Deadly News


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust By Don Farmer with Chris Curle 309 pages, Publisher Page, 2013 Atlanta is hosting the Olympics for the second time. One week before opening day, the planning committee is meeting at the Global News Service boardroom. Each of the 18 people present is assessing his or her readiness for the event. The mayor proudly shares his ... Read More »