The Dog Stars


By Peter Heller

I found this book to be extremely moving.  While the story is both grim and bleak, it is also wondrously hopeful and beautifully written. The story is about love, courage, and finding one’s home.  It is written from the main character, Hig’s, perspective in short segments.  While the first part of the book moves at a moderate pace, the last half moves quite quickly.  Continue reading


The Shining

By Stephen King

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Pocket Books, c 1977, 2001

Genre: Horror

ISBN: 9781439570616

Audience: Adult

Number of pages: 683

Settings: The Overlook Hotel & Boulder, CO, Stovington, VT, St. Petersburg, FL

Time period: Late 1970s

Plot summary: Jack Torrance has made mistakes in life – most recently, losing his job at an elite New England prep school.  As a result, he is determined to take the job he is offered as a winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel in Colorado.  It will be a new start for his family and the job should give him time to finish writing the play he started.  Unfortunately, the hotel is haunted and Jack’s five year old son, Danny, knows it.  Danny has “the shine” and knows things that others do not. Continue reading

Ill Wind

By Nevada Barr

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Berkley Books, 2004, 1995c

Genre: Mystery, eco-fiction

Series: Anna Pigeon mysteries; 3

ISBN: 9780425197257

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 309

Setting: Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Time period: mid 1990s

Plot summary: Anna Pigeon recently transferred to Mesa Verde National Park for a promotion.  She arrived just as the park is replacing old waterlines to public buildings.  Many of the park’s staff are distressed by the digging for pipelines in this archeologically rich area.  There have also been an unusually high number of visitors who have had to be carried out from Cliff Palace this summer.  Worst of all, though, is the death of a friend and co-worker, Stacy Meyers. Continue reading

Hard Truth

By Nevada Barr

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2005

Genre: Mystery

Series: Anna Pigeon mysteries; 13

ISBN: 0399152415

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 324

Setting: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Time period: early 2000’s

Plot summary: In Rocky Mountain National Park, three girls disappeared during a church retreat at Fern Lake.  Weeks later, Heath Jarrod, a climber turned paraplegic finds two of the girls one night lost in the woods at the campground at Sprague Lake.  The girls are clothed in nothing but their underwear and are covered in mud, blood, and grime.  They are also terrified, but cannot tell anyone where they have been.  This is the situation in which Ranger Anna Pigeon becomes entangled her first night on call in her new position at Rocky.  One girl is still missing, and the chances that she is still alive grow smaller each day. Continue reading