Marya Johnston

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maryafrom Marya Johnston (owner)

My reading is very eclectic. I read everything! My favorite book is always the last one I read. (I have come up with a couple for you, though):

Recent summer favorites: 

Cover of News of the World by Paulette JilesNews of the World

by Paulette Jiles

News of the World, by Paulette Jiles, author of such other books as Enemy Women and Stormy Weather, follows the story of Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd after the Civil War.  As he roams across the northern portions of Texas reading the newspaper to paying crowds, he’s asked to return a young girl, taken captive by the Kiowa, to her family.  What follows is a struggle between the pair to work together as they travel the 400 miles back to her family’s home.

The novel is available now and was a National Book Award finalist.


Cover of the Soul of an OctopusThe Soul of an Octopus

by Sy Montgomery

By the author of bestseller, The Good, Good Pig, this book follows the author, naturalist Sy Montgomery, as she explores the underwater world and personalities of octopuses.  Traveling all over, she learns, and explains to her readers, the intricacies of these creatures and their abilities to problem solve.  What we as readers discover along with Montgomery is that each octopus has its own unique personality. While some are quiet and gentle, others are more aggressive, and all, we learn, are capable of more than we first thought.

Available now.



Tried and True Favorites:

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.  I loved it!

The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko
Anyone that knows me knows that this has been my favorite non-fiction book of the last couple of years. This is the story of the Spring of 1983. Because of the massive El Nino that winter, the massive snowmelt sent runoff racing down the Colorado River toward Glen Canyon Dam. As federal officials scrambled to avoid one of the most dramatic dam failures in history, a trio of river guides secretly launched a hand-built wooden dory named the Emerald Mile into the Colorado to try to make a record for the fastest non-motorized trip through the Grand Canyon. This was a thrilling book to read and I especially loved it because I knew some of those river people.

Only Child by Guojing
This stunningly beautiful wordless picture book is my new favorite in the Children’s book section. A little girl—lost and alone—follows a mysterious stag deep into the woods, and, like Alice down the rabbit hole, she finds herself in a strange and wondrous world. But…home and family are very far away. How will she get back there? It’s been on many “best book of the year” lists even though it came out in December.