Lutsen, MN: Been there, read that….

I just got back from a week long family trip that took us up the north shore of Lake Superior to Lutsen, MN.  We rented a beautiful home that overlooked Lake Superior and one of the best parts of the trip, besides the gorgeous hikes and bountiful family time was the time I got to spend reading outside and listening to the waves.

I like to take longer books away on these excursions, I find it easier to really dig into a longer book and so I finished three books.

The first book, “to be sung underwater” was written by Tom McNeal.  This book was recommended to me by a fellow blogger, a writer who keeps his identity hidden.  (Kind of cool, eh?).  This is a novel about a woman who experiences a mid life crisis which she calls “a swerve”.  I have to admit the main character reminded me of myself, here is a passage from the book:  “Prior to this so-called swerve, Judith Whitman had reached the age of 44 without serious casualty or setback.  This was not mere luck.  All her life she’d constructed plans for her life sturdy enough to weather the seasons but skeletal enough to allow for necessary modifications.”  I liked her and I liked the whole book. It was entertaining and it moved fast enough to hold my interest.  I did NOT like the ending.  I knew I wouldn’t from the reviews and of course I do read ahead because I hate surprises. The rest of the book was really good and I give it a rating of 4.  Good characters, real life stuff and very entertaining.

The second book:  “In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larson was a book I had been saving for this trip.  I had read his earlier book “The Devil in the White City” and LOVED it.  This is a non fiction account of William Dodd who was America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany before WWII began.  The book is very informative but moved much too slowly to keep my interest.  Even Dodd’s flamboyant and sassy adult daughter who dated more men than I could keep track of, couldn’t keep my attention. The books that you look forward to and then don’t enjoy are hard to take.  That said, I will give it a 3, but keep in mind I was expecting this one to be a 5.

Finally, I read my B-town book club’s August choice:  “Hannah’s Dream” by Diane Hammond.  It was a novel about an elephant that is at a small zoo and the zookeeper who has taken care of the elephant.  It was a sweet story but I have to be honest, I have found that I don’t really care for books about animals.  I know, don’t judge me, I just don’t.  I have tried.  I read “Marley and Me” and the book that everyone loved “The Art of Racing in the Rain”, but they just don’t do it for me.  Don’t hate me, just know that about me.

The trip is over but the books and memories will stay with me.  Here is a peek at where I spent a lot of time this week, book in hand!


About Anne Loughrey

I am an avid member of several book clubs and a prolific keeper of my books. I love to discuss books and hear what others think of books I have read.
This entry was posted in book clubs, books, diane hammond, erik larson, hannah's dream, in the garden of beasts, reading, to be sung underwater, tom mcneal. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Lutsen, MN: Been there, read that….

  1. Anonymous says:

    Three books!! In under a week!! Anne, you amaze me and delight me. I might like “To Be Sung Undewater”, based on your review. Have to give that one a look-see. I’m reading Anita Shreve’s “Testimony”, after Sami read it and gave it a rave review.

  2. Trinka says:

    Thanks for sharing Anne. I will be on my week long family vacation starting Friday and I intend to read a book or three by the lake as well. One of them will be Hannah’s Dream. I haven’t decided on the others yet. Any suggestions?

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