Books that make you wonder long after you finish the book.

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The Stranger in the Lifeboat | Mitch Albom

Summary: A story of beliefs and actions of 10 ten in a lifeboat trying to survive. A stranger is pulled from the sea claiming to be God. After praying for a miracle do they accept this stranger to be their savior. It is narrated by one passenger who recounts the events in a notebook found a year later.

Recommendation: It is a fictional telling that questions divine intervention. It is fast paced like a thriller but also an uplifting and inspiring story. It is a story of beliefs and challenges. It was a page turner for me even being a very different genre from what I usually read.

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The Girl on the Train | Paul Hawkins

Summary: A lonely, emotional stressed women on her daily train ride sees something disturbing as she the train passed the same houses on her route. Even through she doesn’t know the couple, she feels a connection to them and believes she can help the police in their investigation. 

Recommendation: Like a Hitchcock thriller it keeps you on the edge of your seat with twist and turns you don’t see coming. This also was a 2017 movie which wasn’t as good as the book ( they usually aren’t) but I still enjoyed it. The one big difference is the book is set in London but the movie is in American. A classic who-do-it with engaging side stories along the way. 

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Hillbilly Elegy | J.D. Vance

Summary: A memoir of a Yale Law School graduate who was raised in poverty and his struggle to success. He recounts his families struggle with abuse, alcoholism and poverty and how that shaped him. 

Recommendation: J.D. Vance’s memoir was wonderfully filmed as a Netflix series in 2020. I usually don’t read memoirs but Vance captured the raise of a middle-class family escaping the poverty around them. He also shows his own demons from his family history and how he deals with the guilt of trying to save them. 

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Smithton Public Library

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