Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert was along the same vein as Morgenstern’s The Night Circus with a bit of Baum’s Wizard of Oz thrown in. It takes place in 1898 and tells a love story in the midst of the fictional Omaha World’s Fair. In the beginning though before that story unfolds a hot air balloon lands on the house of the Old Sisters Egan, Hester and Emmaline, when they confront the pilot, B. “Ferret” Skerritt, the story of Cecily and Ferret slowly begins…it’s a quirky tale that you will either love or hate…even I’m still not sure, but it’s a good read-alike recommendation and was interesting enough for a bus ride.
Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist was a memoir that felt like home to me. The stories of family and friendship and the food that accompanies those interactions; that hunger for connection and nourishment. It had me recalling my own family and friends and the roads we have traveled; apart and back together again. The subject of faith throughout the book is a lot stronger in Shauna then myself, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed by religion when I read it. No matter your personal belief I felt like it could be a book for all. Plus, recipes…I’m a big fan of books with recipes in them!
Reclaimers by Anna Maria Spagna highlights those who are attempting an ecological reclamation of land, rivers, and even a species. Traveling along the West Coast mountain range she connects with these people to tell their story and informs us along the way. I was fascinated by the Elwha Dam removal and this book took me back there through the other events that are making a change in our landscape and mindset. Being from the Pacific Northwest the scenery has been the backdrop to my life, it calls to me and urges me to be a part of it, and I feel as if the writer heard that call as well; sometimes we are born where we are meant to be and other times we find it later in life.