The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Midge Lyndee
Book Review 

Turning over a new leaf

The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment


October 12, 2019

Tastes in books are very diverse from person to person. Some people want everything to end nice and sweet, some want romance, and some like that heated. Others prefer books that stuff their heads with adventure, science or fantasy, creating new worlds, alternative universes, out of this world tales, magic, or a combination of all of the above. It is hard to satisfy all readers all the time. I myself have diverse and multiple tastes in a wide-range of subjects and I do try my best to review from a full spectrum of choices.

Many choices abound these days. Though publishing houses choose for the most part to print and promote the books of greatest potential and profit, the best stories may not always profit a company. They may only profit the reader by making them stretch into unknown corners, spend time with an unlikely main character, and end a story where the reader can’t let go and it lingers and haunts and comes back again and again, refusing to be put back on the shelf or turned off. To find these books, though sometimes not as polished and having typos, perhaps it’s the season to look into self-published authors and authors with names not as familiar from smaller publishing houses. Take a chance to be the one to find the next best seller first, or pick up something old and read it with new eyes, giving it a second chance to delight you.

“Mover” by Christopher Griffin is about time travel. It has the reader jumping around a lot and challenges one to keep all the time threads untangled. Traveling between Pearl Harbor, FDR, Hoover, Kennedy, Oswald and Hitler, the travelers change some things mankind wished hadn’t happened, to new circumstances, perhaps not better. Just as you hold all those threads together in your head to the end, you find there is a sequel. I do love a series!

“The Enigma Strain” by Nick Thacher brings an apocalypse. But is it nature or man made? It seems to be both in this story of the past, present and future. People sicken and the virus moves fast. The answers seem to lead from and back again to Yellowstone Park. The question is why would anyone want to obliterate a whole nation and possibly the world? Anger, hate, revenge?

Charlie N. Holenberg gives us “The Paper Magician.” It is magical. Choices of one’s life work is according to one’s talents. But what if it isn’t what you want to do for the rest of your life? Maybe you wanted to work with glass or metal and instead you get assigned to intern under a paper magician. Yet, who wouldn’t enjoy the fun of animated origami? A fish that can swim in the air, a paper bird that really flies. Animate a dog of multiple folds of paper that will be allergy free. These are the light parts of the story. There is an evil ex-wife who literally steals a heart. At this point, the story shines a whole new light on the term “searching a person’s heart.” Literally! “The Paper Magician” is a unique love story, combining science and paper folding with bits of magic entwined.

Last, we have a story created into a combination of picture book and graphic novel, with historical markers. Brian Selznick chose to both write and illustrate “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” for adults, teens, middle readers and even non-readers as his drawings capture imaginations with precision and adventure. Hugo Cabret is an orphan who lives alone in the walls of a busy Paris train station. His first goal is to stay hidden. His second is resetting the clocks in the station daily, as his uncle and guardian was the Clock Keeper, but has died. His third goal is to figure out the secret within a unique invention, a robot circa 1930 that holds an important message. There is a young girl who befriends Hugo, wearing a mysterious key around her neck, and there is also a cranky toy shop owner who holds secrets of his own. If you love old cinema, perhaps you have heard of Georges Méliès and his iconic animation cartoon of the moon? If not, you are in for a treat. The movie is great but the book is mesmerizing, as the mind is the best animator! Give this to yourself and your family.

The seasons are changing, so turn over a new leaf while our old leaves fall and blow in the October winds. Embrace the unusual, stretch your horizons. I’m personally saving the scary books for my next review where we will discuss what goes bump in the night.

Good books! Good reading!

*Midge Lyn’dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.


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