Book Buzz Episode 46 – The Guest List & The Comfort of Crows

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Air date: April 21, 2024

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The Guest List

The Comfort of Crows

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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 two reading recommendations include books with distinct chapters. One with chapters for each main character and the other with 52 chapters representing weeks of the year. 

First, we’re going to hear from Jennifer, library associate at the Camano Island Library, for a tale of a wedding gone wrong. Over to you, Jennifer. 


Thanks, Jessica. The last book I reviewed on Book Buzz just so happened to be by the same author I’m reviewing today. Lucy Foley wrote “The Paris Apartment,” my previous review, and like “The Paris Apartment,” “The Guest List” ending had me gob smacked! Even more this time!  

One struggle I have in reading is that if there are too many characters, I get lost and forget who’s who. In this novel, each chapter is presented in a different character’s voice – brilliant! If you have the same struggle, you will easily follow along with the slowly building plot and keep close track of the braiding of characters together, to understand the potential motives for “whodunit.” 

The story is set on an island off the coast of Ireland, where two “perfect people” are getting married. He, an up and coming “Survivor” style star. And she, an “in control of everything” magazine publisher. And boy is this wedding the stuff of magazine pages!  

Every detail is thought out, perfection permeates everything. Along with copious amounts of fine alcohol. With the champagne flowing, resentments, jealousies and suspicions begin to float to the top. The groomsmen have boarding school secrets. And one bridesmaid, the bride’s sister, holds a secret that could ruin everything. Even the resident wedding planner has history!  


Thanks, Jennifer! As we approach wedding season, this book sounds like a wonderful spring or summer read.  

Next, let’s change gears to hear about a collection of essays that cover all the seasons, from Robyn, library associate at the Stanwood Library. Take it away, Robyn 


Thank you, Jessica. If you need to restore your spirits in dealing with ecological grief, the essays of Margaret Renkl’s “The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year” is the fuel to take you on “A Luminous Journey Through Seasons and Souls.” 

In “The Comfort of Crows,” Renkl invites readers into her backyard — a microcosm of life, love, and loss. With poetic grace, the author chronicles fifty-two weeks of nature’s dance, intertwining it with the ebb and flow of human existence. 

Renkl’s prose is like sunlight filtering through leaves: warm, gentle, and illuminating. She introduces us to the crows who become our companions throughout the seasons. We witness their resourcefulness, communal bonds, and resilience.  

As the days unfold, we encounter bluebirds, butterflies, and blooming flowers. We feel the rhythm of life — the birth of spring, the languid days of summer, and the bittersweet farewell of autumn. 

Yet, “The Comfort of Crows” isn’t just about the external landscape. It delves into the inner seasons — the joys and sorrows that shape us. Renkl shares glimpses of her family, her memories, and her own vulnerability. 

So, dear reader, I invite you to step into this enchanting backyard. Let the crows guide you. Feel the earth beneath your feet. And may you find comfort in the ordinary miracles that surround us all; a gentle reminder that nature whispers its wisdom to those who listen. 


Thanks, Robyn! A bonus from this book is that it includes 52 original color artworks by the author's brother, Billy Renkl. 

Our recommendations this week are: “The Guest List” by Lucy Foley and “The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year” by Margaret Renkl. 

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.   

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