The Wright Brothers by David McCullough Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough; Simon & Schuster, 2015. 320 pages; $30.00 (hardcover); reading level: adult. This is McCullough’s tenth work of nonfiction and he has acquired a well-deserved reputation for turning impeccably researched facts into enjoyable narratives. This latest book is not a birth-to-death biography of the Wright brothers (it ends in 1910,… [Read More]

Gator Dad by Brain Lies Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Gator Dad by Brain Lies; illustrated by the author. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016. 32 pages; $17.99 (hardcover); reading level: ages 3-7. This stay-at-home alligator dad takes care of his three offspring his way! Breakfast fish fly through the air, errands are run with the emphasis on “run,” and a neat house is definitely a low… [Read More]

Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín; Scribner, 2014.  373 pages; $27.00 (hardcover); reading level: adult. This is the quietest of books. So quiet that, after you take your place behind Nora Webster eyes and realize she’s just lost her husband, you might wonder if anything is going to happen…or if this will be a psychological study… [Read More]

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr; Scribner, 2014.  530 pages; $27.00 (hardcover); reading level: adult. The story begins not with part one but with part “Zero” on the French Island of Saint-Malo, August 7, 1944. Through the course of the novel, we travel in a negative direction in time and space –… [Read More]

ABC Dream by Kim Krans Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

ABC Dream; by Kim Krans; Random House, 2016. 32 pages; $16.99 (hardcover); reading level: ages 2-5. The letters on the pages of this alphabet book are the main event: large and bold, some solid black and white, others plaid or quilted (you guessed it – P and Q!). It’s the surrounding illustrations, however, that are… [Read More]

Check Out the Books On My Reading List Through 2017 and See Why I Choose Them. My Reviews Will Follow!

Because I write nonfiction, I have to read a lot of books as part of my research. That means I have to be terribly picky about the books I read for pleasure. I’m not completely through my 2015-2016 stack (three more to go!) but I’ve already selected the nine titles that will be stacked on… [Read More]

Being Mortal; Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Being Mortal; Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande. Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2014. 282 pages; $26.00 (hardback). Reading level: adult. Being Mortal is based on some unwelcome truths: That we are mortal, that many of us will transition from independence to dependence as we age, and that we will all eventually die…. [Read More]

Who Done It? by Olivier Tallec Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Who Done It? by Olivier Tallec; illustrated by the author; Chronicle Books, 2015.  32 pages; $15.99 (hardcover); reading level:  ages 3-6. With a board-book style cover and thicker-than-usual pages that turn from bottom to top like a calendar, this picture book is sturdy, unique, and inspired.  Each two-page spread sports two rows of animals and/or… [Read More]

Train Dreams by Denis Johnson Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Train Dreams by Denis Johnson. Picador/Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 116 pages; $13.00 (paperback). Reading level: adult. In a scant 116 pages, Johnson chronicles the life and death of both Robert Grainier and the American northwest from the 1880s through the 1960s. Grainier builds bridges, fells trees, transports goods, loses his wife of four years to a fire, and by… [Read More]

Lila by Marilynne Robinson Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Lila by Marilynne Robinson; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014. 261 pages; $26.00 (hardcover); reading level: adult. This third installment in a series of “companion” novels covering the same events from different viewpoints (see Gilead, 2004 and Home, 2009) fills us in on the mysterious Lila. Rescued as a small, motherless child by Doll, Lila was… [Read More]