Grosse Pointe Public Library
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   Winter Reading Program   
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Reviews
Reseerve: Shadow of Night
Title
Shadow of Night
Author
Deborah Harkness
Genre
Fantasy
Rating
Review
The sequel to A Discovery of Witches, it is more of a blend of historical fiction and fantasy. I enjoyed the fantasy part more than the historical.  Reseerve: Shadow of Night
Recommendation
Yes
Title
Out of the Easy
Author
Ruta Sepetys
Genre
Historical Fiction
Rating
Review
Great coming of age story about a teenager in 1950's New Orleans, the daughter of a prostitute who dreams of going to college. Interesting characters and a murder mystery keep this book moving quickly.
Recommendation
Yes
Reserve:Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
Title
Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
Author
Lawrence Wright
Genre
Informational
Rating
Review
The book was a little long. I listened to the book and therefore could not easily skim ahead as I am guessing most people did when they read the 100th story about how crazy the leadership of the Scientologists were. L. Ron Hubbard was clearly crazy and a very creative liar. David Miscavige (the current leader) is clearly a brutal (physically would beat people) leader of a group that could effectively bankrupt detractors with law suits. I could have got that with a shorter book.

Still it was interesting and I tried to view it with a sympathetic eye. What were the factors that cause people to want to join this group despite how horribly they might be treated if they were not celebrities or decided to view the group critically? Certainly L. Ron Hubbard made some very attractive if unrealistic promises. Being able to heal oneself of any disease or ailment. Being able to control other people, etc. Then there were hours of personal attention when doing auditing. I think there was some real emotional release when admitting to someone else "confidentially" all their secrets. Of course being surrounded with people who tell you that you are part of a movement that will save the world must be a bit of an ego boost.

I think Scientology also makes some realistic criticisms of Psychiatry particularly in the 1950s when Shock Therapy and Lobotomies were in common practice. Scientology presented an alternative that I would imagine was appealing.

So good book, interesting book, a bit long.  Reserve:Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
Recommendation
Yes
Reserve: Annie's Ghosts
Title
Annie's Ghosts: a journey into a family secret
Author
Steve Luxenberg
Genre
Mystery
Rating
Review
Luxenburg's mother was an only child, at least that's what she told him. Then who was Annie? True mystery set in Detroit spanning a fifty-year period. Immigrant struggles, community biases, and family secrets.  Reserve: Annie's Ghosts
Recommendation
Yes