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Notable books

Notable Books | Four noteworthy novels reviewed by Susan Olasky

Crossing the Lines

Jack Hall is a white sports reporter who snags a job at the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 1955. When his editor assigns him to cover the nascent civil rights movement, he, his wife, and teenage son must each grapple with the issue. As a reporter he gets around, going from the Montgomery bus boycott to Little Rock and Birmingham, covering Martin Luther King and Lester Maddox. Doster's engaging and thought-provoking novel portrays sympathetically characters who don't want change and feel threatened by it-yet they struggle to do what's right. They seek to apply the gospel while they celebrate the music and culture of a new South.

Higher hope

This is the second novel in a series featuring Tammy Lynn Taylor, a law student doing her summer internship at a Savannah firm. She's assigned to a case involving a businessman who wants to sue a female preacher for slander and libel. Tammy comes from a fundamentalist home schooling family with firm rules about dress, male/female relations, and many other things that make fitting into conventional society difficult. Whitlow surrounds her with Christian and non-Christian colleagues and friends who push, pull, tug, and force her to consider what she believes and how to reconcile it with her job and her parents' expectations.

Jillian Dare

Fans of romantic suspense will enjoy this contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre in which 20-year-old Jillian Dare becomes the nanny of the young daughter of a wealthy businessman/film producer. Her life changes overnight. She had grown up in foster care and now she divides her time between a gracious home on a Virginia estate and a castle in England. She finds herself increasingly attracted to her boss, yet threatening emails, phone calls, and strange events cast a shadow over their lives. Jeschke hopes that the reader who hasn't yet read Jane Eyre "will enjoy my story enough to be inspired to read the original classic."

Heart for a hero

When PJ Hathaway receives a package containing a disgusting old quilt addressed to her recently deceased grandmother, she's inclined to throw it away-but her husband hopes the mystery behind the quilt will rouse PJ from her deep post-natal depression. From this premise the authors construct several stories that intersect at the quilt. Readers learn about the POWs in Korea who made the quilt, her grandmother's long hidden secret, PJ's own past, and the quilting project she undertakes in the present to help one of the former POWs. The war and POW scenes are gripping and there's lots about quilting, which you'd expect from a novel published by the American Quilter's Society.

Spotlight

In moving from Austin to New York my husband and I packed and shipped about 2,000 books, most destined for a library. Books take up room. They are heavy-as our body aches attest-and cost a lot to ship, so we don't plan ever to have that many books again. And thus the appeal of the Kindle.

I've had one for about three months and agree with all its fans that the screen is, unlike most computer screens, easy to read whether you are indoors or out. The Kindle is eco-friendly, light, and easy to read if your preferred position is supine. Compared to buying new hardback books, Kindle books are cheap-generally $9.99 rather than $20. But there's a rub: You don't actually own a Kindle book. You are buying the use of it, but you can't transfer it to other people unless you lend them your Kindle.

For reading a light novel a Kindle is fine. It even allows you to highlight and footnote text. But if you like to mark up books, underline passages, go back and reread confusing parts, the Kindle is not as friendly as a dog-ear at the top of the page.

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