Book Buzz Episode 27 – More Than You’ll Ever Know & The Myth of Normal

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Air date: Dec. 10, 2023

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More Than You'll Ever Know

The Myth of Normal

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Hi, this is Jessica Russell. I’m the assistant director of collection services at Sno-Isle Libraries. And welcome to Book Buzz.

Today's reading recommendations include a murder mystery novel and a non-fiction book that covers healing trauma.

First, let’s hear from Amanda, library associate for Library on Wheels. She’ll take us into a world of family secrets. Take it away, Amanda.


"More Than You’ll Ever Know" by Katie Gutierrez is a captivating novel that initially drew me in with its true-crime elements and strong female characters, but what truly sets it apart is its profound exploration of motherhood and marriage.

True crime blogger Cassie Bowman becomes fixated on Lore Rivera's scandalous past involving bigamy and a murder between her husbands in the 1980s. Despite her initial silence, Cassie persuades Lore to share her story. Secretly investigating the murder, Cassie grows to empathize with Lore, finding parallels with her own hidden past.

Told through alternating timelines and points of view between Cassie Bowman and Lore Rivera, enhances the story's depth and complexity.

Lore Rivera is an unforgettable character. As a woman of color, her portrayal goes beyond the typical roles of wife and mother. She's a successful career woman leading a double life, which adds layers of intrigue. Gutierrez does a remarkable job in exploring who Lore is beyond societal constructs.

The family drama aspect of the novel resonates deeply, sinking into the subconscious. Long after finishing the book, the characters and their struggles continue to linger in my mind.

The book is a brilliant blend of suspense, emotional depth, and societal commentary, making it a must-read for those who appreciate novels that not only entertain but also provoke thought and reflection.


Thanks, Amanda! I’m intrigued by the character of Lore and want to know more about her mysterious life.

Next, we’re going to hear from Danielle, library associate at the Mariner Library, for a look at mental health from authors who are father and son. Go ahead, Danielle.


“The Myth of Normal” by Dr. Gabor Maté and his son, Daniel Maté, is not a light read – but you may feel enlightened after having read it.

The subtitle alone – “Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture” – reveals the book’s intense subject matter, and, frankly, is a little intimidating.

Dr. Maté is an expert in the fields of addiction, trauma, and stress, and this book intertwines these major themes in the context of physical health, especially in the realm of Western medicine.

The Matés suggest that trauma and emotional turmoil are at the root of the ailments that we feel both as individuals and as a society. Chronic illness and addiction are a manifestation of mental pain that is usually generational and can be driven by racism, gender inequality, and income disparity.

Fortunately, the concept of recovery that drives the last part of the book reminds us that it is possible to transform our physical and mental health, beginning with four aspects: authenticity, agency, anger, and acceptance. Readers will find hope in these first steps towards healing.

Lastly, I have to confess: I found so much of this book quotable that I permitted myself to circle, underline, and even take notes in my copy. There is so much wisdom in these dense pages that I do not want to forget.


Thanks, Danielle! This 600-page book might seem intimidating, but for a hopeful perspective, it’s worth it.

Our recommendations this week are: “More Than You’ll Ever Know” by Katie Gutierrez and “The Myth of Normal” by Dr. Gabor Maté and Daniel Maté.

Join us next time, when we’ll explore more great reading recommendations — interesting books you can find at your favorite local bookstore or at your local library.

Until then, I’m Jessica Russell from Sno-Isle Libraries.

Thanks for joining us for Book Buzz on KSER.

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