MARCH PAGE TURNERS: Fiction and nonfiction reviews by Janet Oliver, LOL contributor

Wow! It’s already March and I’m not ready for this month to begin. Maybe it has been the “unwinter”-like weather that has made winter seem so long, but spring—with hopefully appropriate weather—is just around the corner. I’ve been painting my house slowly and have much more to do, but retirement reading is just too good these days. For the transitional month of March, I have some really great selections.
Happy reading!

By A. J. Tata
I had the good fortune to meet Brigadier General Tata a few months ago, and I’m so glad I started reading his books. Tata served in the military for 28 years and held a number of political positions, including Secretary of Transportation for NC from 2013 to 2015. I’m not a big fan of action-packed, fast-paced, shoot-’em-up novels (it’s more my husband’s cup of tea). However, New Hanover and Brunswick county as the central locations of the third book in Tata’s ex-Delta Force Captain Jake Mahegan series, I couldn’t pass it up.
The book is rich with research on autonomous systems and how they can be used to target and destroy. Added to that intriguing concept are the thinking patterns of an 11-year-old girl—a mathematics autistic savant, who’s coding writing skills provide the heroes with an edge over evil. With references to southeastern NC, Tata uses his military experience to weave a tale that could almost be futuristic.
Enjoy this fantastic story of military brothers who stick together to protect their military family no matter the risk. And if you are a veteran or serving in the military, police, or other capacity that protects our American privileges, thank you for your service.
“The Magnolia Story”
By Chip Gaines & Joanna Gaines
Yes, I’m an HGTV “Fixer Upper” fan. Every Tuesday night at 9 p.m., I’m hooked to the latest hit program about fixing up old homes. Chip and Joanna Gaines have the perfect knack locating rusty and crusty fixer-upper houses located in the Waco, TX, area. The wholesomeness of this couple that believes in family-first living in small-town America is so genuine, who wouldn’t want to be BFFs with the two lovebirds.
You can read all about their fixer-upper farm, their faith, and family, all from humble and kind superstars. You won’t want to miss the back story if you watch “Fixer Upper.” And I can’t wait to visit their Magnolia Silos and shop—and, of course, get a cupcake!
eBook Recommendation
“Meet Me At Emotional Baggage Claim”— NY Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline teamed up with her daughter Francesca Serritella for a look at life growing up Italian. They poke fun at each other, love unconditionally, nag, nag and nag some more as they offer medicine to ensure you laugh and cry at their shenanigans. Enjoy their joint effort, packed with tales from motherhood to “thick as thieves” sisterhood. Have the box of Kleenex ready for this one!
Featured Author of the Month
Sue Miller has written at least a dozen books, but my favorite is “The Senator’s Wife,” which came out in 2008. This is a book about marriage and forgiveness and politics. I know they don’t mix well, but Miller does an outstanding job pulling off a novel based on deceit, infidelity, and how women overcome challenges and protect family with courage and love. Want more? Try her latest novel, “The Good Mother,” which showcases even more strong women.
Janet Oliver is a retired librarian for NHC Public Library. Follow her on Twitter: @LovelyThingsNC