July 2020 Loft Reads

For much of my life,  I have enjoyed hiking here in these pines that were planted in this preserve back in the 1930s - 1970s. The pines have reached the end of their natural life and as I hike through them now I see many are being removed for safety and also to allow the preserve to restore itself to a more native natural region. 

If you have the opportunity to hike through pines you will recognize they often grow tall, in wet and dry soils, and are of extreme value to wildlife. They produce seed, needles, bark which is eaten by various species and they provide cover and roosting for wildlife as well.  

It was with this in mind that I read the children's picture book Loblolly, Loblolly, You're so Tall by Mommy Moo Moo and illustrated by David Hill. The book is written in poetic prose and the beautiful illustrations point out the habitat and simple importance of Loblolly pines.

In choosing another read I leaned towards author Martha Hunt Handler. I like that she advocates on behalf of wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center and read her story Winter of the Wolf

This is heartbreaking read and provides a  good view of family dynamics, and the what-if scenarios often faced in an unexpected death.  

We learn of social norms, cultural rituals, and see phases of self-regulated learning is being applied.

When I was young I had a good friend whose mother was
from Okinawa, Japan and I appreciate learning about cultural differences so it was with this in mind that I read Gaijin by Sarah Z. Sleeper.  

I adore poetry and like it that her writing was descriptive. The story touches on themes such as obsession, sexual assault, suicide, and the cluelessness of military life.

I've read a lot of Jeffrey Deaver, but it's been quite a while since I'd picked up another psychotic thriller mostly because I have to prepare myself for reading about sociopaths such as Tilden and deranged plotlines such as  No One will Hear Your Screams by Thomas O'Callaghan. 

The serial killer, Tilden, makes my blood boil! He struts around in Grateful Dead T-Shirts and describes acts that people think are in jest.

In truth, it's easy to see why O'Callaghan is well-read. The clues are decent and there is a lot of historical significance and background that leads readers to think in different directions as to why Tilden has gone so far off

I enjoy reading works by young authors and found young Australian author Oliver Smuhar's personality engaging so he's in the author spotlight.

When I asked Oliver what he was striving to convey with his first book The Gifts of Life, he said, "The primary theme is identity. It’s that we are all individuals with unique traits and talents. That’s the whole moral to ‘The Gifts of Life’—our gifts that make us special and unique. Whether in a group environment or individually, we are our own person and that is something that I want to outline through the series. It’s about being weird and accepting others for their quirks".

This months Top 10 audience is from the United States, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Cambodia, and Indonesia