Book Reviews

KPCW invites members of the Friends of the Park City Library to review novels and non-fiction every month.

A new novel is a heartfelt inquiry into Viet Nam’s complex and brutal past. It follows one family’s heartache and healing that spans decades. Dan Compton has this month’s book review of The Mountains Sing.

One of the lesser known migrations in modern history was that of refugees from the Spanish Civil War to Chile in 1939.  South American author Isabel Allende tells an engrossing tale of two refugees who make the trip halfway around the world, only to become embroiled in Chile’s own internal upheaval.  Amy Mills reviews Allende’s latest book, A Long Petal of the Sea.

April Book Review - 'The Dutch House' by Ann Patchett

Apr 15, 2020

Do you love the delicious satisfaction of reading a book in one sitting? Ann Patchett’s domestic drama The Dutch House may be just what you’re looking for. Summit County Librarian, Kirsten Nilsson has this month’s book review.

Just how well do you remember the house you grew up in? My bedroom had flowered wallpaper on the ceiling, and avocado green countertops in the kitchen, and a wall mounted phone with a really long twisted cord that had been stretched too many times around the corner for some privacy.

March Book Review- 'Betrayal in Berlin' by Steve Vogel

Mar 10, 2020

Betrayal in Berlin: The True Story of the Cold War's Most Audacious Espionage Operation, by Steve Vogel, is a "Spy vs. Spy" story that is set in the 1950s Berlin, Germany--a city divided between the Allied Powers of France, England, Russia and the United States. Jerry Hubbell has this month’s KPCW book review.

Steve Vogel is a veteran journalist who has written extensively for The Washington Post about military affairs and the treatment of veterans from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

In an era of ‘fake news,’ #MeToo, and growing international tensions, how do we understand the truth?  How do we learn the reality of both the Police and the Black Lives Matter cohort?  These are the ideas explored in Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell reviewed this month by Cathy Lanigan.

Fans of author Erin Morgenstern who fell in love with her debut novel The Night Circus in 2011, have been eagerly awaiting a second novel. The Starless Sea was published in November 2019. Here, with a plug for both, is Barb Bretz with this month’s book review.

December Book Review- 'Blowout' by Rachel Maddow

Dec 10, 2019

Is it possible for a global industry to undermine democracies and trigger earthquakes? MSNBC political analyst and commentator Rachel Maddow turns her discerning eye toward the oil and gas industry in this compelling expose.


Esi Edugyan’s new novel mashes up two unlikely story lines—it’s part Jules Verne adventure and part heart-breaking escaped slave narrative. The heart of the story is devoted friendship and the complicated meaning of freedom. This month’s book review is Washington Black.

Jodi Picoult's last nine novels all debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.  Here's Barb Bretz with a review of her latest book, A Spark of Light.

Jodi Picoult wraps a story around controversial social issues and develops empathetic characters to hash out the problems and solutions. She's addressed powerful topics before but in her 24th novel she pushes the hottest button of all: Abortion - with a CAPITAL “A”. How do we balance the rights of a pregnant woman with the rights of the unborn they carry?

Face to face encounters with the wild are an everyday occurrence in Wasatch and Summit counties. How we think about those encounters is at the heart of the new book Reimagining a Place for the Wild edited by Leslie Miller.

Walking the trash cans out to the curb last week, I was dive-bombed by a hawk. This creature left no doubt that she was on the attack and that I was her target. Terrified, I jumped under a tree while she hovered above. This was a stunningly beautiful, immense bird, and I had to acknowledge that in that moment, she was in control.

Whether you visit the library weekly, with toddlers in tow for story time, or you haven’t set foot in a library in who knows how long, Susan Orlean’s The Library Book will captivate and enthrall you. 

Set against the backdrop of the devastating Los Angeles Central Library fire in 1986, Orlean’s non-fiction narrative explores all kinds of things from the essential role of libraries in today’s world to the cultural history of Los Angeles. Summit County Library’s Youth Services Librarian, Kirsten Nilsson has this month’s book review.

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