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Vicki Sullivan

Vicki’s childhood was spent whizzing through Nancy Drew books as fast as she could and sneaking the National Enquirer, explaining her love of mysteries, vivid descriptions and word selections.  During the pandemic, she read some classics that won awards and fell in love with Kazuo Ishiguro after reading Never Let Me Go.  Vicki’s choices are influenced by reviews and cover art, and her current favorites are The Anomaly and The Heart: A Novel.

 

A library science degree landed her a job with General Motors, and further jobs involved corporate and scientific libraries or training at federal agencies and law firms.  Like all librarians, she’s a master at trivial pursuit games.  She’s currently addicted to Wordle and loves Sudoku but couldn’t finish a crossword to save her life.

 

Vicki relocated to this area from Washington DC in 2020.

A wonderfully sad story about a group of kids at a shabby English boarding school who bond and compete and love each other, then gradually learn the truth about their existence – they were deliberately bred to be clones, future organ donors who would only live until they were used up, which begs the question, are they really people?

A loyal butler worships the autocrat he works for, mistaking his job for his life. He spurns relationships with others who see his boss more clearly, finally realizing that he has sacrificed everything to a false god.

I somehow missed both the book and the famous movie of this classic, a story of desperately poor people migrating from the Dust Bowl of the 1930s to that golden land of opportunity, California, where they work equally hard and become no less desperately poor. This was my introduction to audiobooks and this frequently-banned book’s descriptions of fruit rotting in fields, rather than being given to starving children, sounds very modern in times of corporate greed.

After being widowed suddenly and unexpectedly, I delved into the literature of grief. Joan Didion’s journey through her year of magical thinking includes a haunting description of going through her husband’s things and being unable to dispose of his shoes, because he might come back and want them. I read that before my own lightning bolt of enlightenment, and it helped me out of the abyss. Highly recommended.

My second foray in audiobooks was this nightmare of a book, its vivid descriptions of the instruments of torture Americans invented to keep Blacks in slavery. Wilkerson’s premise is that our own caste system was so effective that the Germans used it in developing their fascist government, a very sobering premise. This one is best consumed in small chunks.

Gillian Flynn is best known for Gone Girl, both a bestseller and a blockbuster movie, but I liked both of her earlier books better. Dark Places indeed takes you somewhere dark, where the testimony of a child survivor of a massacre helps to convict her brother of the crime. But did he really do it? Flynn’s word choices are so deliciously unusual that I find myself reading her books very slowly, the better to savor them.

9781635421699

Part airplane thriller, part psychological profile, part sci-fi. Translated from the French, follows a group of disparate passengers on a terrible flight, so turbulent that everyone on board thinks they are going to die. As a pilot myself, the airplane parts of the story ring true to me. They pull out, land at JFK, and life continues. Then, 106 days later, the same plane lands again. Same crew, equipment, and passengers. But how? Soon to be a TV series in France. Hoping for Netflix here.