Autumn Mini Reviews

21912673Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? by Dave Eggers

Quick Pitch: A NASA astronaut wakes up to find he’s being held hostage on an abandoned military base by a man who claims to be from his past.

Thoughts: Written completely in dialogue, Your Fathers, Where Are They? is a series of conversations between kidnapper Thomas and people he’s held hostage in hopes of setting his life straight. Though it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read, including his previous books, it feels uniquely Eggers. Some of the conversations were so pointed and smart that I was a little letdown when the ending fizzled, but found it to be an interesting, worthwhile read nonetheless.



Euphoria by Lily King

Quick Pitch: The lives of three anthropologists entwine in 1930’s New Guinea as they attempt to discover the secrets of both the people around them and themselves.

Thoughts: I read Euphoria in one big gulp a few weekends back and I’m so glad I did. Though I’d been interested in it since it was published, and kept reading incredible reviews, I was worried it might be too similar to other books I’ve read with common themes. Thankfully, I could not have been more wrong. Lily King finds an absolutely perfect balance in focusing on the explosive love triangle of her main characters, their passion for their work and the people they’re studying.

Find out more about Euphoria from Catherine at The Gilmore Guide to Books.

9780062127181_9904eLives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson

Quick Pitch: A behind the scenes look at the lives of archaeologists and the passion that pushes them to keep digging.

Thoughts: I’ve always been fascinated by archaeology, so I knew this one would be a winner from the get-go, but readers without prior interest in the profession will easily be hooked by Marilyn Johnson’s style. Determined to learn more about the lives behind the digs, Johnson gets down and dirty as a volunteer and shadows researchers focused on several different time periods to gain access to the full scope of the archaeological field.

Leah from Books Speak Volumes has a full review of Lives in Ruins.



Richmond Beer by Lee Graves

Quick Pitch: The history of brewing and beer culture in Richmond, Virginia.

Thoughts: I moved from the Detroit area to Richmond six years ago and I can’t believe how much the beer scene has changed in that short time. Lee Graves digs back into the city’s brewing past and touches on the craft brewing explosion in recent years. As an added bonus, I have a little cameo with the River City Beer Betties!

Local Book Signings for Richmond Beer

Dec. 3, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Strangeways Brewing, 2277 Dabney Road

Dec. 6, 11 a.m.-noon.
Sixty West Antiques, 8004 Midlothian Tpk.

Dec. 6, 1-3 p.m.
Barnes & Noble, 11500 Midlothian Tpk.

Dec. 13, 2-4 p.m.
WeekEnd Brewer, 4205 W. Hundred Road, Chester

  • Some interesting sounding book, especially like the first two. I am intrigued by the Eggers book. Emma

    • I was surprised by how much I liked the Eggers, since it seemed like it was going to be so different. It’s a super quick read, too!

  • I’m going to share the beer book with my sister in law – she worked for Virginia Eagle for years in their craft beer area! I’m trying to decide whether to give Euphoria a try or not…now that I’ve seen it on various Best Books lists.

    • There’s quite a bit about how Eagle started in the city!

      I’d definitely recommend Euphoria. I went in thinking it would be totally different than it was, but it just has this fantastic balance and I had such a hard time putting it down. It totally deserves all of the raves.

  • Jennine G.

    The Eggers book would be interesting to experiment on my students with. When we read plays, they have the hardest time with the dialogue because they don’t pay attention to the little bits of stage direction and narration. A book all in dialogue would be interesting!

  • Nice post…great idea.

    Euphoria looks interesting.

    ENJOY your weekend.

  • Loved Euphoria! The Eggers book sounds interesting…

    • So glad to see that Euphoria has so many fans! I ended up liking the Eggers much more than I thought I would.

  • Lindsey Stefan

    I keep reading raves about Euphoria but the synopsis just isn’t making me want to grab it. I should probably go for it anyway, shouldn’t I??

  • I usually love Eggers, but somehow his latest just hasn’t called out to me. I’m waiting patiently for my library copy of Lives in Ruins! Ugh, they are slow to get the new nonfiction titles sometimes. Also, I think I have a note in my file there–“don’t let this woman have more new books; she always returns them late!”

    • Ha! I feel the same way about one of the books I’m waiting for now, too. I’ve been next in line for over a week and it’s driving me insane.

  • Thanks so much for the shout-out on Euphoria- and I’m glad you liked it! I think it’s going to be in my top 10 for 2014. I also heard it’s been optioned for a movie which I think would be amazing.

    • Pretty sure it’s going to be in my top 10, too! I hadn’t heard about the movie, but that’s very exciting.

  • Huh. For some reason I wrote off Euphoria a while ago, but now it is sounding all interesting again. I love stories about anthropologists, especially ones in the olden days. My faaaaaavorite book this year was about that (ish).

    • I was kind of iffy on it at first, too, but was surprised by how quickly it pulled me in. Really great, strong female character!

  • I guess I didn’t realize you were in Richmond; I was in Arlington for like 15 years and used to visit Richmond (great city). I need to swallow up the Euphoria novel pronto.

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