50 Hikes With Kids: Oregon and Washington by Wendy Gorton


50 Hikes with Kids is a handy guide for anyone looking for guidance on finding great places to hike in the Pacific Northwest (specifically, Washington and Oregon).

Although it is being promoted as something designed “for Northwest parents, educators, and caregivers that want to spark a love of nature,” my primary reason for wanting to look through 50 Hikes with Kids is because I am a senior, married to a senior who has limited hiking ability. We have family in Oregon and I was hoping to find some ideas for day hikes we could all do together.

The hikes in this book may have been designed to be “perfect for little legs” with distances under four miles and an elevation gain of 900 feet or less, but that also makes them ideal for people in our demographic.

Each entry in the book includes simple directions, a detailed map, specifics on the length of the hike and elevation gain, things to see along the way, options for food near the hike, and (hooray!) bathroom access!! There are also some terrific color photographs.

I’m sure this will be helpful for people wanting to “nurture a life-long appreciation and reverence for the natural world,” but I would encourage the marketing department for Timber Press to consider releasing this in a slightly modified  edition with a title along the lines of Day Hikes for Active Seniors. Seriously! This book was perfect for my needs, and I appreciate Timber Press and NetGalley providing a copy in exchange for my honest review.

I originally rated this four stars. I admit I was predisposed to look with my own biases and needs, and that was why I dropped a star, so I rethought it and decided that this book as written for its intended audience is TERRIFIC. Five stars!

The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic

I’d never heard of Simon Lelic before I got this book, but because his latest book The New Neighbors got a positive blurb on the cover from Tana French, I figured if it’s good enough for Tana, it’s good enough for me!

The story revolves around a young couple named Jack and Syd who have recently been able to (at long last) buy a house in London. It came with all furnishings, including some weird stuff, but they felt terribly lucky to have been picked by the seller to be the buyers of his house, especially as they didn’t have enough money to afford such a big place.

Before long, they start to clear out some of the detritus left by the former owner, when Jack makes an unsettling discovery in the attic. Around the same time, Syd befriends a young girl from the neighborhood – a girl who is apparently being abused by her father – a fact that hits very close to home for Syd. Neither Jack nor Syd shares either of these factoids (the attic find and the abuse) with the other.

The story is told in alternating points of view, as Jack and Syd each write about what happened. There are twists and turns, and suspense as the book moves toward the big reveal – which I (as usual) did not see coming. This has “MOVIE” written all over it – not necessarily a bad thing. For fans of Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, or The Couple Next Door. Escapist entertainment. Well done, and even though  I doubt I will remember it in another month,  four stars (and thanks to Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for this honest review). I will probably pick up one or more of Mr. Lelic’s earlier books – pure entertainment!