Have you read yourself into another world recently?

I love books. I love being transported to other worlds, historical, geographical, futuristic, fantastical... I guess they free me from thoughts of this world, allowing me to look back with a different perspective, maybe seeing the present differently because I've imagined myself into somewhere else. To some extent, reading a good book is like becoming an immigrant again. And being an immigrant gives anyone a perspective unique to their past as well as their future--a perspective the judge told me never to forget when he welcomed me into American citizenship. So I like books...

... and since I like reading and writing books, I also like writing book reviews. Here are a few. Find some coffee (the rating is for flavor, not quality), and see if you'll want to read any of these.

Marriage Before Death by Uvi Poznansky transports readers to WWII France, where an American tries not to be caught as a spy, while the girl he loves tries to save him. It's fifth in the author's Still Life With Memories series and, like the others, it offers a historical novel viewed through the wrapper of a husband watching his wife's memories disappear. The past more real than the present perhaps, though in both parts are played and the real self hidden away. Enjoy this standalone thought-provoking novel with some well-balanced three-star coffee.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly takes place during the same war. Darker and more haunting, it's carefully based on fact but reads like fiction. Unsparing yet honest in its depiction of war's horrors, it reveals how women live with the unliveable, sometimes accommodating, sometimes fighting back, and sometimes merely surviving. It's a powerful, long, dark read, lit with intense humanity. Enjoy with some serious five-star dark coffee.

Howard L. Hibbard's Curse of the Coloring Book brings readers closer to war in the present day as it follows the flashbacks of a Vietnam veteran whose livelihood is now threatened, as once was his life. Nothing in war was quite as the child's coloring book depicted it. Now nothing else is the same. It's a gripping novel, scarily evocative, and filled with great characters, in past and present days. You'll want to drink another dark five-star coffee with this one.

Then there's Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller's Otherworld, which takes us past today to a near-future world of technological marvels, virtual reality bots, and the betrayals of young love at the hands of old finance. It's cool, intriguing and seriously thought-provoking. Enjoy with some rich elegant four-star coffee.

A different world indeed. Perhaps I should have added a book set in a different part of the world, but that's in my next set of reviews, and I'll keep on reading. How about you?


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