Category Archives: Marion’s Favorite Books

Marion’s favorite books that he has reviewed.

Book Review 106: The Long Way Home by Louise Penny

One of the pleasures of doing book reviews is getting to discover a new author and escaping into their fictional world. I have been hearing about mystery novelist Louise Penny on the What I Should Read Next podcast by several readers.  Anne Bogel, the host, recommended Penny to several of her podcast guests. I decided from those glowing recommendations that I was going to tryout this writer. When I saw The Long Way Home recently on the clearance shelf at my local Half Price Books here in San Antonio; I knew it was time to read this author.

The Long Way Home features retired Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, former head of homicide with the Surete du Quebec.  Gamache has retired to Three Pines, a small village in Quebec, with his wife, Reine-Marie, to live a quieter, peaceful life.

One of the Gamache’s oldest friends, artist Clara Morrow, became concerned when her estranged husband, Peter did not meet her for a possible reconciliation of their marriage.  It was unusual for Peter to not meet with Clara and she asked Inspector Gamache for his help to find him.  The novel takes several twists and turns in order to find Peter’s whereabouts.  However, The Long Way Home goes far deeper than your typical mystery novel.

For one, Gamache reads from a small book, The Balm in Gilead, throughout the novel and the spiritual symbolism becomes apparent as you continue reading. Penny’s writing reveals excellent insights into human nature without becoming pedantic or pedagogic.  I will admit I kept thinking about Paul’s writings in Romans 7:13-24 from the New Testament as I read this novel. He reveals how entrenched the power of sin is in his life despite his efforts of wanting to do good for himself and others.  Penny goes right to the heart of this matter from a secular perspective, however, I found it believable and thought-provoking.

The Long Way Home is an enjoyable, thoughtful work of fiction and has made me want to read (and review) the rest of the Inspector Gamache series. It is one of my favorite reads of 2017 and a great place to start for those (like me) who are new to Louise Penny.  Highest recommendation.

 

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Book Review 97: Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay

Ned Marriner, the fifteen-year old protagonist in Guy Gavriel Kay’s tenth novel, Ysabel  uncovers a startling discovery in an Aix-en-Provence cathedral.  He is in the Southern France city with his father, a famed photographer who is shooting photos around the city for a new book.  Upon his discovery, Ned gets drawn into an intertwining of… Continue Reading

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Book Review 95: The Successful Author Mindset by Joanna Penn

Digital Publishing has spawned the rise of the indie author movement over the past several years.  As a result, there is a lot of books these days about how to become a successful indie author and how to make a living with your writing. However, there are only a few of those books dealing with… Continue Reading

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Book Review 94: Deep Work by Cal Newport

“Great creative minds think like artists but work like accountants.” (David Brooks) “When you work, work hard. When you’re done, be done.” Those two quotes from Deep Work by Cal Newport summarizes my feelings toward this excellent book. Newport introduces deep work as to counteract the distracted world we live with in the social media… Continue Reading

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Book Review 92: Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler

There has not been a novel that caused such discomfort, challenge my assumptions, or made me defensive while reading like Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler. It is the sequel to Parable of the Sower and continues Lauren Olamina’s quest to create a new religion, Earthseed, in a believable and frightening post-apocalyptic America reminiscent… Continue Reading

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