Book Buzz brings new reading to Westwood


Standing: Suzie Canale and Claire Connors. Sitting: Teresa Kerrigan, Tina McCusker, and Caroline Tighe

By Amelia Tarallo

Hometown Weekly Staff

Avid readers know the struggle to find a book that provides that oh-so-perfect feeling of adventure.

On Thursday, February 28, five women, all of whom work at the Westwood Library, presented some of their favorite books as part of their Book Buzz panel. Each person took turns presenting a short blurb about four books they decided to share, including their favorite parts and what struck them most about these wonderful stories, in an attempt to convince their audience to read them.

The panel of librarians and book lovers share some of their favorite books.

The panel of librarians and book lovers share some of their favorite books.

Suzie Canale was the first person to discuss a book of her choice, selecting "The War That Saved My Life" by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. The book is a children's historical fiction novel about a girl and her brother who are evacuated to the countryside during World War II. The girl, Ada, who has a deformed foot, is initially forced to stay by her mother, who fears anyone finding out about her daughter's foot. Ada takes matters into her own hands, though, leaves without telling her mother, and joins her brother being evacuated to the countryside. Throughout the book, Ada gradually finds her self-worth and decides that she wants to stay with the woman she and her brother have been living with. Of course, it is not that easy, and the children go through some additional struggles along the way. "If I were to pick a book to jump into the genre, this would be it," said Canale.

Claire Connors discussed "Two Steps Forward," a novel by Graeme Simsion. The book is about two people who meet while walking Camino de Santiago, a popular pilgrimage route in Spain. Zoe Witt, who is an American grieving for her husband, and Martin Eden, who is in the aftermath of a messy divorce. The two grow together during their long trek, starting in Cluny, France. Claire noted that she doesn't think she'll ever want to travel the Camino de Santiago, but the book was still a good read.

The display of books set up for attendees of the presentation to borrow their next read from after the book talks.

The display of books set up for attendees of the presentation to borrow their next read from after the book talks.

Theresa Kerrigan's recommendation, "Dolores Claiborne," seems to be an interesting spin on the traditional murder mystery and a bit unlike most of Stephen King's other works. The novel begins with Dolores Clairborne, the titular character, who is suspected of murdering her employer, Vera Donovan. Though she did not murder Vera, she confesses to murdering her abusive husband 30 years prior. The story follows Dolores meeting Vera, her attempts to leave her husband, and how the plot to murder him unfurled with the help of Vera. Kerrigan noted that the book is a step back from King's other gruesome stories, and that the author utilizes an almost comical quality when telling this murder story.

Tina McCusker is a history teacher and a few of her book selections focused on historical events. As it's title suggests, "1947: Where Now Begins" by Elisabeth Asbrink takes places in 1947. The book moves month by month, place by place, with the stories eventually coming together. The format of the book may interest readers due to the fact that each change of setting is marked by a very short chapter - some shorter than two pages.

One of the books Caroline Tighe picked to shared had the audience in stitches because of its very strange plot. "The Good Demon" by Jimmy Cajoleas centers itself around a girl, Clare, who has recently had a demon exorcized. Unlike most people in her position, however, Clare actually liked the demon and considered it her best friend. Throughout the book, Clare goes on a quest to try to find her demon and become repossessed. As she gets closer to her goal, she uncovers secrets about her town and the people living there.

Following the conclusion of Book Buzz, attendees flocked to the display of books set up to find their next read. The excited readers gushed over their new picks, excited to jump into the stories they had just learned about.

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