Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Groundhogs Have Spoken

And by an overwhelming majority, it looks like an early spring...but there's still plenty of winter to read one of these great books...


More than Words by Jill Santopolo
Nina Gregory was raised by her single father, the owner of New York City’s luxury Gregory Hotels; Nina knew one day she would need to take the helm of the hotels that her grandfather started, and that reputation and family were paramount.  Dating her childhood best friend Tim, Nina feels secure in her future, until her father dies, leaving her unprepared to take over the hotels, currently working on the mayoral campaign of Rafael O’Connor-Ruiz, with the election only a few weeks away, and with a growing attraction between Nina and her boss obvious.  When secrets are revealed about her father, one personal, one professional, Nina finds herself reeling and questions her choices and the life she is leading.  Nina quickly, almost too quickly, realigns herself, and finds the inner strength to make the choices she knows are right, and to ultimately live her life the way she wants to without having to compromise the values on which she was raised.  Fans of women fiction and book groups will find a lot to enjoy in Santopolo’s follow up novel to The Light We Lost.

The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib

Anna, a ballerina, and her husband Mathias have moved from Paris to St. Louis for Mathias’s job.  Anna has slowly been losing weight, but the move, and no longer dancing, has progressed her disease and Mathias admits her to an inpatient care program designed to help her regain weight, her health, and work through the anguish that is the underlying contributor to the disease.  At the house at 17 Swann Street, Anna meets others like her, and yet, unlike her.  A vegan, she has difficulty adjusting to having to adjust to eating what she is told, including cream cheese and cottage cheese, but three refusals of food result in a feeding tube inserted.  Anna has Mathias’s full support: he visits every evening during the house’s visiting time and talks about a time when Anna will be able to return home, return to the life they imagined.  As Anna watches those around her, her own struggle and pain are palpable; Anna’s past is an amalgamation of incidents that have contributed to her disease, but it never feels as if they come together to form a complete picture of Anna.  Painful and heartening at the same time, this novel shows promise for the debut author.

The Lost Man by Jane Harper
Harper’s third novel, a non-series, is set in the remote Western Australian outback where three brothers’ cattle ranches all border one another.  When Nathan and his youngest brother Bub meet at the fence line one day, hours from either’s home, they find their middle brother Cameron dead under the sun near the tombstone of the fabled Stockman, fodder for local lore and legend.  Nathan and Bub return to Cam’s ranch to their mother, Cam’s wife and two daughters, to grieve, comfort, and heal.  Something about the circumstances of Cam’s death begins to gnaw at Nathan: it doesn’t feel like suicide, but in the outback, there are very few murder suspects.  As Nathan examines his brother’s life, he finds things he’d rather not see, and make him take a look at his own history, and relationships, and how all might begin to heal and be mending like the cattle ranch fences in this novel with characters that reflect the landscape: lonely and remote, but not without value and hope.


The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Alicia Berenson had it all: she was a successful, London-based artist married to Gabriel, a highly regarded fashion photographer.  So why did she shoot Gabriele five times in the face upon his return from home one evening, and why hasn’t she said a word since?  What story does the painting she painted after the murder, Alcestis, tell, and why is psychotherapist Theo Faber so anxious and insistent on working with Alicia to unravel all of her secrets?  This debut psychological thriller is fresh and unlike no other with a twist impossible to see coming.  A #1 LibraryReads Pick for February.

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin
Conklin’s sophomore novel (after 2013’s The House Girl) begins when, in 2079, 102-year-old-poet Fiona Skinner is giving a reading at a university, in a world that has been decimated by floods, global warming, and other disasters brought about by the climate.  After reading “The Love Poem”, written 75 years earlier, inspired by a woman named Luna, a young woman in the audience, also named Luna, after Fiona’s poem, rises and asks Fiona the story of the original Luna.  From here, Fiona is transported to when she was four years old and her father died, sending her mother into a deep depression that became known among Fiona and her siblings, Renee, 11, Caroline, 8, and Joe, Fiona’s protector and confident, 7, refer to as “the Pause”.  As the siblings fend for themselves, with Renee in charge, they create a world of their own and bonds that can never be undone, until their mother, Noni, emerges from her depression, announcing that women must be strong and self-sufficient.  Renee becomes a sought-after doctor, married, but avoids the idea of having children; Caroline marries her high school sweetheart, creating what appears to be the perfect domestic scene for the family, in spite of the fact they move often as her husband chases first his PhD and then a tenured track positon.  Fiona, who has been the most protected and the most unsure of adulthood, takes a job of no importance with a nonprofit, while blogging about her sexual encounters numerically.  Joe is the sibling who has been damaged most by what occurred in his childhood, and after a series of missteps, carefully hidden by his older sisters from his mother and younger sister, has an accident causing them all to reevaluate their relationships, where they are in life, and where they go from here.  

When You Read This by Mary Adkins
When 33-year-old Iris Massey dies of cancer, she leaves behind grieving friends and family, but also a request to publish her blog postings from DyingtoBlog.  Her former boss Smith, who was a bit in love with Iris is devastated:  his business is floundering, his gambling addiction rampant, and he misses his friend.  Smith reaches out to Iris’s sister Jade to get her to agree to publish the entries, but is met with resistance and even some hostility:  Jade is suffering from her own grief and doesn’t want her sister’s secrets published for all the world to see, even though they were originally part of a blog.  Little by little, through e-mails, journal entries, and Iris’s postings, those Iris left behind learn what was in her heart and how much everyone meant to her, as they heal their own relationships and create new ones.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
Every winter, nine friends from college gather for a New Year’s Eve celebration.  This year, after several days at a remote Scottish hunting lodge, only eight will return, one of them possibly a murderer.  Miranda and Katie have been chums for most of their lives, becoming close with Julien, Mark, Samira, Giles, Nick, and Bo at Oxford, adding Emma to the crowd when she married Mark, though this year, Emma has gone all out planning the trip, down to the foie gras, Dom Perignon, and all other sorts of delicacies.  When they arrive at Lock Corrin, they learn there is an unexpected set of guests, Icelandic backpackers, and find the game warden, Doug, a little more than off putting, and Heather, the manager, a big of an enigma.  Early on, a guest goes missing, and Doug tells Heather he has found the body, but the identity is not immediately revealed, adding to the tension, as flashbacks, from various points of view, rehash how the reunion came to be, and explain some of the dynamics between different participants.  As secrets are revealed, as roles change, the scene shifts, and old grudges are brought to light, offering several viable suspects.  The atmosphere and the plotting are the strengths of this novel, the character development a little too pat, but everything still comes together to make for a suspenseful take on a locked room mystery.

The Winter Sister by Megan Collins
One night, sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s older sister Persephone snuck out to meet her boyfriend Ben as usual, but this time, she did not return.  Persephone’s body was found several days later and her murder remains unsolved, though Sylvie is certain that Ben is responsible.  Sylvie and her mother Annie, once close, are now estranged, but Sylvie must return home to care for her mother through her cancer treatments, her own guilt about the evening Persephone disappeared smacking her in the face, especially when she learns that Ben is a nurse in the cancer center.  As Sylvie and Annie navigate their new relationship, Sylvie still cannot let go of the past and as an adult living in her childhood home begins to uncover secrets of the past, secrets that may lead to the truth about Persephone’s death.  Atmospheric and compelling, this debut’s strength lies in the complex relationships of its characters. 

I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney

Aimee Sinclair, rising movie star, comes home one day and finds her husband missing.  Though she is an actress, Aimee isn’t sure what to do and the police think she knows more about her husband’s disappearance than she is letting on.  When Aimee learns her bank account has been emptied and that she supposedly is the one who emptied it, she becomes convinced that her past, the one she has so carefully kept hidden, has come back to haunt her and she fights to maintain a sense of normalcy while trying to unravel what has happened to Jack and who has learned of her past and is pulling the strings.  The plot is complex, complicated by the fact that Aimee is an actress, making it even harder to know if she is to be believed or not.  Twists and turns will keep some guessing until the final page.


Saturday, December 22, 2018

First Books of 2019


 
An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Make-up artist Jessica Farris is barely eking out her living in Manhattan when she hears about an ethics study involving women 18-32 years old that pays several hundred dollars for a few hours of answering anonymous questions.  Dr. Shields, who is conducting the test, finds Jess, known as Subject 52, especially fascinating and asks her back for further questions, and eventually to the office where Jess is asked to perform all sorts of morality “tests” including trying to pick up men in hotel bars.  Deeper and deeper, Jess is unwittingly drawn into a dangerous, jealous, cat and mouse game, and finds herself doing things she could never imagine doing, even for money, and finds herself unsure who to trust.  Fans of psychological thrillers will finds many familiar elements, but will still enjoy the unfolding plot line and the complicated characters. 



Looker by Laura Sims
An unnamed woman becomes obsessed with one of her block neighbors, a famous actress who lives with her husband and three beautiful children.  The unnamed narrator is estranged from her husband after multiple failed attempts to become pregnant, left with his cat, named only Cat, to whom she is allergic, and in whom she professes no interest, yet with whom she forges a begrudging bond.  Teaching poetry at a nearby college provides much less personal satisfaction than she would have thought, and becomes drudgery, even as she senses an older student making advances towards her.  Her reality begins to spiral out of control; a dissent into madness begins, culminating at a neighborhood block party that turns disastrous, and ultimately deadly.    This slim, sparse debut novel, elegantly framed and keenly observed, has the control and pacing of a much more seasoned fiction author; a character study with chilling implications for all involved.



As Long as We Both Shall Live by Joann Chaney
Matt Evans comes racing off a mountain in Estes Park, Colorado, frantically telling rangers his wife Marie fell off a sheer drop cliff into the roaring river below while the couple was hiking.  While rescuers search, for presumably Marie’s body, police begin to investigate the couple to learn what might have happened, and find out that Matt’s first wife Janice also died under suspicious circumstances.  A body retrieved from the rifer proves to raise more questions than provide answers, making police dig through Matt and Marie’s lives revealing the delicious, dark and deadly secrets the couple has kept for over twenty years in this fresh take on domestic thrillers.


Freefall by Jessica Barry

In Owl Creek, Maine, a mother, Maggie Carpenter, is stunned to hear that her 31-year-old daughter Allison was in a single-engine plane crash in the Rocky Mountains and is presumed dead.  The plane was owned by Allison’s fiancĂ©, pharmaceutical CEO Ben Gardner, another surprise for Maggie who has been estranged from Allison for two years since the death of Maggie’s husband, Allison’s father.  Maggie, a retired librarian feels the need to look into Allison’s life and the crash and quickly comes to the conclusion that Allison is still alive.  And Maggie is right.  Allison has survived the crass and is hiking out of the wilderness, trying to out run “The Man” who is pursuing her.  The plot effectively unfolds, alternating chapters between Allison and Maggie, each not only revealing present day events, but relating the past, providing a fuller picture of the complex relationships, as well as Allison’s life during the past two years, culminating in a dramatic conclusion.


Sugar Run by Mesha Maren
At 35, Jodi McCarty has just been released from prison after serving 18 years for the murder of her girlfriend.  Before returning to her West Virginia hometown, Jodi heads to Georgia where she plans to rescue the brother of her girlfriend from the abusive home he grew up in.  Along the way, she meets Miranda, a young woman who needs help getting her sons away from her husband, but has the car Jodi needs.  As the disparate group makes their way to Wes Virginia, Miranda and Jodi begin to fall in love, a relationship that feels doomed from the beginning.  Lush prose celebrates the Southern atmosphere while at the same time magnifying the bigotry, hate, abject poverty, and destruction of the environment due to fracking, the group encounters in this debut novel.

Crewel and Unusual by Molly MacRae

Blue Plum, Tennessee is ablaze in fall colors, just in time to celebrate the opening of the Blue Plum Vault, an arts and crafts co-op in a former bank.  Fiber shop owner Kath Rutledge, textile expert, is disturbed to hear some of the rumors that center on two of the new shop owners.  Nervie Bales, who teaches embroidery at Kath’s shot the Weaver’s Cat, is accused of selling other people’s patterns as her own, and Nervie in turn accuses newcomer Belinda Moyer of selling fake and stolen linens.  Kath gets a peek at Belinda’s linens and they appear to be the real deal, though Belinda is very defensive and more than a little prickly.  Just before the grand opening, Belinda’s best tablecloth is cut to shreds, and Nervie, who has the alibi of teaching at Kath’s shop, stands accused.  Just after the opening, Belinda is found dead, stabbed in the back with a pair of scissors from Kath’s shop.  Kath’s shop ghost, Geneva, claims to have seen the murderer, but cannot identify the person, and isn’t a reliable witness since only Kath and her manager Ardis can see Geneva.  Kath finds herself back on the trail of a murderer, and also wondering if Belinda’s killer might also be the person who killed Garland Brown, a banker, and member of the Arts Council who was killed a few weeks earlier.  With the help of Geneva, Ardis, and handyman boyfriend Joe, Kath sets out to unravel another murder, uncovering family secrets along the way, all the while keeping Weaver’s Cat spinning along, needles clacking.  Characters who feel like family populate this series full of warmth, charm, and plenty of fiber crafts and textile history.  

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge
One hot July night, 1983, 14-year-old Aurora Jackson was camping with her older sister and their friends in Brinken Woods and disappeared.  Now, thirty years later, Aurora’s remains have been found near the campsite, along with the remains of drugs, in a place that only someone who hid her would have known of.  Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens is on the case again: he was one of the original investigating officers, very green at the time, having been a few years ahead in school of the suspects.  Now he returns to them with Detective Constable Juliette Hanson to try and uncover what happened that night, and who has been keeping secrets all these years.  The plot alternates between the present and Aurora’s narrative in the past, effectively revealing clues one at a time, until the entire picture is revealed and justice is finally served.  Jonah Sheens is a complex character with many more secrets to troll, in this first of a planned series.

The Nowhere Child by Christian White
Kimberly Leamy, a photography teacher in Australia could not be more surprised when an American shows up claiming she is Sammy Went, a girl from Manson, Kentucky who, twenty-six years ago, at the age of two, went missing.  Kim is shocked and can’t imagine her kind and loving mother, who has recently died from cancer, kidnapping her, and sets off to America to try and make some sense of this claim.  What she finds is a birth mother who is involved in The Church of the Light Within, a snake-handling Pentecostal fundamentalist church.  As the truth is slowly revealed, Kim’s world is shaken even further, and she finds her life in peril once more, not knowing who to trust and what the truth is.



The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction by Meghan Cox Gurden
Reading aloud is something that is often something that is only thought of as done with children at bedtime, and this should not be so.  Reading aloud promotes more than just good language skills: it can also lead to an all-around healthier and happier life, and should continue into our adult lives.  References and a list of suggested Read-Alouds are sure to inspire family reads and maybe even reading aloud to oneself.




The Suspect by Fiona Barton

British reporter Kate Waters has helped her most reliable source Detective Inspector Bob Sparkes solve more than one case in recent years, but this time, as Kate becomes part of the story, she must step back and play the role of a desperate mother: one who has excellent reporter instincts and great connections.  Kate’s son Jake left university where he was studying law and has been in Thailand for the past two years, during which time he has become more and more incommunicado with his family.  Now, 18-year-old Alexandra O’Connor and her friend Rosie Shaw have gone missing in Thailand while traveling.  At first Sparkes appeals to Kate who befriends Alexandra’s mother trying to help locate the two young women, but as the story takes an unexpected twist, Kate finds herself on the opposite end of the pen in this complicated, compelling thriller hat tests familial bonds on so many levels.

The Current by Tim Johnston
Audrey Sutter, at college in a Southern school, decides to return home to Minnesota where her father, the former sheriff, is dying from cancer.  Her best friend Caroline decides to make the fateful 700 mile trip with Audrey, and the pair plunge into the Black Root River, bordering Iowa and Minnesota, killing Caroline, but sparing Audrey.  The case eerily echoes a case from ten-years ago when Holly Burke was found drowned in the same river; her father Gordon still holds a grudge against Sheriff Sutter, claiming he didn’t do enough to prove who killed his daughter, and even on his deathbed, Tom regrets never closing the case.  Audrey, grieving from her accident, the loss of her friend, and the loss of her father, sets out to learn how their accident occurred, and at the same time uncover the truth about Holly Burke’s death.  Gothic and haunting, this book is hard to define as a thriller, or as a literary mystery, as it is so much more: deceptively simple at first, this novel is nuanced and multi-layered, even the death of a rescued dog echoes the larger plot; each complex character plays many roles: survivor, unwitting witness, suspect, all leading to a stunning conclusion. 


The Woman Inside by E. G. Scott
After twenty years of marriage, Rebecca and Paul have all but come apart at the seams, individually and as a couple.  Rebecca, whose dependency on opiates and other pharmaceuticals, has lost her job as a pharma rep; Paul has been struggling in the building industry since the economy took a downturn.  Both have been having affairs, but now Paul’s mistress is stalking them and Rebecca learns that Paul has been keeping even more secrets and has plans to start a new life, presumably without her, forcing her to come up with her own plan, one that could destroy everything in this dangerous he said she said game of cat and mouse that surprises at every turn.

                          And check out Library Reads for more great January reads!



To place a hold for one of these new titles go to ipac.hclibrary.us




Saturday, November 24, 2018

Coming in December


Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash
Anton Winter returns to his home in the famed Dakota apartment building in Manhattan in the fall of 1979 after his time in the Peace Corps left him with a near fatal bout of malaria.  His father, famed late night television host Buddy Winter is recovering from a breakdown he has on live television and son Anton is drawn into trying to revive Buddy’s career, networking with anyone who might be able to put Buddy back on TV, even that newfangled cable TV, taking John Lennon sailing to Bermuda, and hobnobbing at the Lake Placid Olympics, and hanging out with the Kennedy’s as Ted makes a run for the White House, all the while questioning his future with the gritty city streets a perfect nostalgic backdrop.




Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Live, and Food by Ann Hood
Writer Ann Hood grew up in an Italian American home where food played a central role in her life.  As a young bride and mother, and later as a single mother, food, cooking for her family, and the memories the food evokes becomes central in her life.  Each essay focuses on one of Hood’s favorite recipes, and or the memories of the recipe (including Gigo’s tomato gravy and meatballs), and become a frame for events, both happy sad, demonstrates that cooking is a lot like living: taking nothing, often disparate parts, and turning them into something full of love, warmth, and memories.



Not of this Fold by Mette Ivie Harrison   
In this fourth mystery, Linda Wallheim, wife of a Utah Mormon bishop, faces not only the daily responsibilities being a bishop’s wife entails, and the struggles of members of their ward, but social issues such as immigration and gay rights.  Linda’s friend Gwen has become very active in a nearby Spanish ward, and has become particular friends with a young mother of three, Gabriela, whose husband has just been deported to Mexico.  After Gwen receives a phone message from Gabriela, Gabriela’s strangled body is found at a local gas station.  In spite of her husband’s preference that Linda doesn’t get involved, Linda has a very strong sense of justice and plunges in to find Gabriela’s killer and to keep her friend Gwen safe.  At the same time, Linda worries about her youngest son, Samuel who is openly gay and on his mission in Boston where Linda knows he is being met with prejudice and homophobia.  Harrison, though Linda, tackles the tough social issues, and asks the hard questions of not on Linda’s faith, but the police, and society as a whole.  Even with her devotion to the church and family, Linda is unwilling to follow blindly, making her a strong, and admirable protagonist.  

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Coming in November


Nine Perfect Strangers Liane Moriarty
Nine guests, including struggling romance writer Frances Welty, descend on a wellness retreat Tranquilliam House, in rural Australia, for some rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation of their minds, bodies, and in some cases, their relationships.  The retreat is none like any other, with the hostess and owner Masha, a little too militant as she insists she knows best what each guest needs.  When things take an odd and most unsettling turn, the guests must turn to each other and find their own inner strength if they hope to survive. Complex characters and relationships with a touch of mystery, are staples of Moriarty’s are abundant here.

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny
Still suspended and under investigation for a drug sting that brought down major drug cartels, but allowed untold quantities of opioids on to the street, Armand Gamache is startled when he is summoned to a farm house along with Three Pines bookstore owner Myrna, and a third young man, a stranger to both of them, to be the executors of an estate of a woman none of them knew.  In the dead of winter, the three meet with a solicitor as they try and understand the seemingly odd choices the old woman made.  When a body is found in the same farmhouse, the woman’s choices seem prudent, but Gamache can never take things at face value and tries to reframe the events with new eyes.  As he does, her realizes he may need to also reframe his own story with the new eyes in order for things to reach their natural conclusion and for his, and his team’s, redemption.




Why Religion? By Elaine Pagels
This deeply personal book takes a look at what role, if any, religion and beliefs, play in modern life.  After the death of her young son, and loss of her husband a year later, Pagels, who has written numerous books on religion, turns her questions inward to try and understand, even make sense, of her grief, in this achingly bittersweet, heartbreaking, yet hopeful, memoir.






Check out LibraryReads for more great titles! 





Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Coming in October

Just because the summer is over doesn't meant there aren't still plenty of new books coming out...


Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners by Gretchen Anthony
Each year, Violet Baumgartner sits down to write her annual Christmas letter, reflecting fondly on the triumphs of her family, husband “dear Ed”, a noted scientist and researcher, and daughter Cerise, who overachieves on all levels.  Violet’s carefully constructed world falls apart when, at her husband’s lavish retirement party, one of the guests announces that Cerise, a lesbian, is pregnant, unbeknownst to Violet.  Violet suffers an accident, and during her recovery, her Midwest town of St. Paul, Minnesota, and her family, rally around her while Violet is able to use the time to readjust her lens and see the reality of her world as it really is, not as she is trying to present it to the world.  Laugh aloud funny, tender, and vaguely familiar at times, these characters will stay in readers’ hearts long after the last page has been turned.


Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
This heartwarming imagining of Marilla Cuthbert’s early years, set on Prince Edward Island during the 19th century, will endear her even more to Anne fans.  At thirteen Marilla is determined and anxious to get the most out of life: she meets her mother’s twin sister, an outspoken spinster who has her own business and her mother dies; she meets her best, lifelong friend Rachel, and the young man who wins her heart, John Blythe, known to Anne fans as Gilbert’s father.  All of this set against American pre-Civil War politics and social sensibilities, including the Underground Railroad.  Anne fans will adore this well-written tale of the woman who takes Anne in, though the novel can stand well on its own as Marilla grows into a young woman with strength of character, and strong convictions, yet a heart big enough to take in a young orphan girl named Anne. 

Check out Library Reads for more great reads! 







Thursday, September 6, 2018

Leopard at the Door

Author: J. McVeigh    
Stars: 4
Review by: Irene S.

Gripping novel of Mau Mau uprisings in Kenya in 1950s as they attempt to gain independence from British imperial rule.

Magical Dogs: Love and Lessons from Our Canine Companions

Author: Patti Kerr    
Stars: 5
Review by: Miss Lucy

Stay away from dog shelters after reading this book, or you may end up with a houseful of dogs! Written by fellow Adult Summer Reading Club member Patti Kerr, this book will melt your heart. After reading the first few of the true stories that Patti has brought to life, I couldn't put this book down! I'm looking forward to reading her new book: Magical Dogs 2.

Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of)

Author: Arden Rose
Stars: 3
Review by: Miss Lucy

If you feel like it's time to become an adult, but still don't feel like one (which apparently includes most of us), read along with YouTuber Arden Rose as she shares her own experience in the matter.

The Bar Harbor Retirement Home For Famous Writers

Author: Terri-Lynne DeFino    
Stars: 1
Review by: Lizzytish

It was hard to rate this book. The author writes so beautifully. The premise is a great idea. I loved the setting of Bar Harbor. I adored Fin. It’s a story within the story with each chapter being developed by a different author. It was not about love, but lust and bed hopping. It could have been so much more. And the ending. What? Fell rather flat for me in regards to the story within the story.

Toucan Keep A Secret

Author: Donna Andrews
Stars: 3
Review by: Lizzytish

It’s always fun hooking back up with Meg and family. Of course there’s a body along with jewels, crypts, a toucan, swans and more. Great escapism reading. 

Carnegie's Maid

Author: Marie Benedict    
Stars: 5
Review by: libraryaimee

Historical Fiction which speculates that a Lady's Maid for the mother of Andrew Carnegie was the inspiration for his philanthropy. Excellent!

The False Hearted Teddy

Author: John J. Lamb    
Stars: 4
Review by: BookWorm2

Another in Lamb's Teddy Bear Mysteries. Easy, enjoyable read.

Next Year in Havana

Author: Chanel Cleeton    
Stars: 5
Review by: BookWorm2

EXCELLENT new book. Also one of Reese Witherspoon's book club picks. Perfectly descriptive narrative of life in Cube pre and post Castro. A Must read.

The Kite Runner

Author: Khaled Hosseini    
Stars: 5
Review by: BKF

An amazing, powerful book and his first novel! I'd recommend it to everyone.

The Points of My Compass

Author: E.B. White
Stars: 5
Review by: KM

I was delighted. A collection of letters he sent to the New Yorker; each one is a gem, filled with, as the book jacket states, "impeccable prose." The content includes a wide range of topics such as commentary about buying a car, (in the late 1950's and early 1960's), pigeon and raccoon observations, the state of the U.N., and his high adventure on a steamer ship en route to Alaska and Siberia as a youth. If you like excellent writing and intelligent wit and humor, give it a try!     

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

Author: Elena Ferrante
Stars: 5
Review by: Mitchie L

Book Three of The Neapolitan Novels. It is a beautifully written continuation of a friendship of two women spanning their lifetime. I could not put it down. Can't wait to read the final book four.

The Cemetary Keeper’s Wife

Author: Maryann McFadden    
Stars: 5
Review by: Judy E

Hackettstown, NJ friends will find this Tillie Smith’s murder tale a page turner to the very end!

The Last Black Unicorn

Author: Tiffany Haddish
Stars: 3
Review by: Irene S.

Interesting memoir of young black comedienne, but it had a lot of foul language.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

Author: Bill Bryson    
Stars: 4
Review by: Irene S.

Very funny memoir, though with some serious observations, of growing up in the 1950s and 1960s.

A Reporter's Life

Author: Walter Cronkite
Stars: 4
Review by: Irene S.

Very interesting memoir by one of the first TV news anchormen who led a very varied life.

Moby Dick

Author: Herman Melville    
Stars: 5
Review by: Jennifer O.

I have not finished this book, but the summer is over and I've spent a great deal of time reading it. There is a sense of wonder for people and places around the world, and for the great sperm whale. Beautiful writing with many long sentences, which I love. I will continue on until I'm finished. Enjoying it.

The Way of Kings

Author: Brandon Sanderson    
Stars: 5
Review by: SandyJ

I enjoyed this book because I read it at the same time as my two teenagers. We had our own summer reading club!

A Going Concern

Author: Catherine Aird
Stars: 5
Review by: VM

I started with her first Inspector Sloan mystery written in 1966.  The library has most of them, they are easy reads and fun too.

After Effects

Author: Catherine Aird    
Stars: 4
Review by: VM

15th in the Inspector Sloan series.

Injury Time

Author: Catherine Aird
Stars: 4
Review by: VM

Short stories.

Amendment of Life

Author: Catherine Aird    
Stars: 5
Review by: VM

Mystery series, easy to read, enjoyable, British setting.

Bryant & May: Wild Chamber

Author: Christopher Fowler
Stars: 5
Review by: BookWorm2

The latest in the Bryant & May series and as wonderful as all the rest. I highly recommend these for any mystery lover and especially for Anglophiles - each book is packed with legitimate facts and information about a specific topic intrinsic to England (this one focuses on London's parks) and all are fascinating.

Original Cyn

Author: Sue Margolis
Stars: 4
Review by: line82

Slightly predictable, but entertaining chick lit beach read.

Kennedy’s Last Days

Author: Bill O’Reilly    
Stars: 5
Review by: YA Fan

This is the children’s version of O’Reilly’s Killing Kennedy, intended for middle grade readers. I listened to this on the library’s app “Libby”,and couldn’t stop! This was an entertaining, concise history lesson.

The Other Woman

Author: Daniel Silva    
Stars: 5
Review by: Judy E

Couldn’t wait to read the latest Dan Silva spy series—-wasn’t disappointed.

Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over

Author: Nell Painter
Stars: 3
Review by: P.M.W.

If you enjoy art, have a background in it, or want to return to school as a mature adult, you may like this book. It was slow reading for me, as I wanted to research the artists and techniques mentioned in the book. Nell Painter was a well respected history professor at Princeton University. She retires and goes back to finish her BFA and MFA degrees in art school. Her challenges are woven throughout the book.

Dad is Fat

Author: Jim Gaffigan
Stars: 4
Review by: Tara C

As a new parent, Dad is Fat is funny, filled with somewhat cautionary tales. Gaffigan's style is easy to read and is entertaining.

The Cemetary Keeper's Wife

Author: Maryann McFadden
Stars: 5
Review by: Karyn G

I went to a friend's house for a book talk by the author. She told of us her journey in researching and writing this book. I purchased a copy on Thursday evening and finished it this morning. I never knew the legend, but I was swept into it. Great historical fiction.  Highly recommend.

Three Days Missing

Author: Kimberly Belle    
Stars: 2
Review by: Ada

Not worth the time I spent reading it.

Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe

Author: Jenny Colgan
Stars: 4
Review by: KM

How can you go wrong with a title like that? That is, if you're looking for a light romance with substance and a large focus on yummy baking. British author, takes place in England.

The Rancher's Christmas Story & Cowboy's Christmas Miracle

Author: Rae Ann Thayne
Stars: 5
Review by: a 'Retired Cat' - who likes to read!

This author has written three series and I've found them all excellent!

Congratulations to.....

... our 2018 Grand Prize Winners!:

  • Headquarters - MI
  • North County - Mrs. M
  • South County - Karen T
  • Member Libraries & Bookmobile - KR-B (Holland Library)
Winner, you may pick up your prizes at the above locations starting on Wednesday, September 12.

Historic Roadsides in New Jersey

Author: The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New Jersey    
Stars: 3
Review by: BNbook

Book was written in 1928. Has some interesting facts about towns in NJ.  For example, per the book Lambertville was called Coryell's Ferry. In 1797 it was called Georgetown.    

The Last Time I Lied

Author: Riley Sager
Stars: 5
Review by: Kim P

A real page turner. Kept me guessing until the end!!!

Cavalier, A Tale of Chivalry

Author: Lucy Worsley    
Stars: 4
Review by: Carol K, BookLover

Again Lucy Worsley takes you back to a much earlier time in England and lets you peak into the lives of the Cavendish family, well-to-do and well connected to royalty. If you like history you will enjoy this read.

Lonesome Dove

Author: Larry McMurtry    
Stars: 5
Review by: BKF

I don't remember reading any western novels but, after reading this one, I doubt any other novel about the Old West could even come close to being as good.  The story unfolds in the late nineteenth century, following a cattle drive from Texas to Montana. Adventure, love, outlaws, death, Indians and settlers all play a part in this fantastic novel. The characters are very, very well developed. 5+ stars!

Before We Were Yours

Author: Lisa Wingate
Stars: 5
Review by:Miss Lucy

Best book I've read this year! Really interesting twists and true-to-life characters. Lisa Wingate knows how to tell a story!

Ghosted

Author: Rosie Walsh
Stars: 5
Review by: Emm

I finished this book in less than 24 hours. It had me on the edge of my seat, laughing, crying, believing in these characters. The story touches on everything - love, friendship, loss, grief, life, caregiving. It's a really great debut novel from Rosie Walsh.

Little Beach Street Bakery

Author: Jenny Colgan
Stars: 5
Review by: PattiK

I didn’t expect my summer to turn in to a Jenny Colgan summer but it did. I couldn’t be happier. She’s brilliant and such a fun summer read!

The Outsider

Author: Stephen King    
Stars: 5
Review by: Dorman

Okay...so I'm a huge Stephen King fan and pretty much love everything he writes...but this book is really good. It combines the supernatural with a good crime story. If you like SK then you'll like this book too. I highly recommend this book even to those who aren't SK fans.

The Hangman's Daughter

Author: Oliver Potzsch
Stars: 3
Review by: Chris L.

Historical drama based in medieval Bavaria about a town's rush to judge the midwife as a witch while the town's hangman tries to save her. Although fiction, the author based the book on tales of his own family's history as descendants of the hangman.

Under the Egg

Author: Laura Marx Fitzgerald
Stars: 4
Review by: KM

If you like art, especially the history of art, even though a juvenile book, it is a really enjoyable read. Very good writer.

Hurricane Season

Author: Lauren K. Denton
Stars: 5
Review by: Keeread

This is one of my new favorite authors. If you like Elin Hildebrand and Kristin Hannah, then try her. Her other novel is The Hideaway. Also very good.

Murder Most Frothy

Author: Cleo Coyle    
Stars: 1
Review by: BookWorm2

Oh that I could give this one a zero... The premise was not bad, but the main character was SO contrived it was irritating. The coffee information was cool, but also felt forced into the story. The worst part was the ending - we knew "whodunit" well before the main character (as in by CD 2 or 3). Definitely skip-able.      

Quicksand

Author: Nella Larsen    
Stars: 3
Review by: S E Sanchez

Little known Harlem Renaissance writer Larsen chronicles a bi-racial woman's journey for identity, connection and purpose.

Secrets of a Charmed Life

Author: Susan Meissner
Stars: 4
Review by: Linda

She does not disappoint!

The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas    
Stars: 5
Review by: YA Fan

I listened to this book through the library's ebooks/audiobooks and could not stop! This book should be required reading for high school students. It is inspired by contemporary issues (Black Lives Matter, police brutality, and racism).

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy

Author: Nova Jacobs    
Stars: 4
Review by:Lizzytish

First off, I detest math. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. You do not need to be mathematically inclined to enjoy the story. Hazel’s grandfather has died and has left her a cryptic message to find an equation and hand it over to someone. She is then to destroy all his other work. Things are not adding up, and thus is the adventure.

Fiction Can Be Murder

Author: Becky Clark
Stars: 3
Review by: Lizzytish

Cute, cozy mystery. First in a new series. Nice light, escapism reading. A murder is committed which mimics the author’s book. The only problem is that it hasn’t been published. Only a few have read the manuscript, so Charlee is off to clear her name.

Congratulations to...

... our Week #14 Prize Winners:

  • bandit
  • Raritangal

Progress of the Club

Click on image to enlarge.

We ended the summer with 164 club members, who collectively read a total of 1,617 books.
Congratulations and Great Job to everyone!

Friday, August 24, 2018

What's your best book from this summer?

What's the best book you've read so far in this year's Adult Summer Reading Club?

Answer in the Comments below, and include your club alias.  Comments are moderated, so you won't see yours appear right away.

Congratulations to...

... our Week #13 Prize Winners:

  • Stacy C
  • Saraswati

Progress So Far

Click on image to enlarge.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Tales of Rabbi Nachman

Author: Martin Buber
Stars: 1
Review by: rgfundamental

UGH!     

Dance Dance Dance

Author: Haruki Murakami    
Stars: 3
Review by: ChrisP

A decent Murakami novel, and an enjoyable read if you like his other novels.

The Golden Company Chronicles

Author: Glen Cooke
Stars: 4
Review by: ChrisP

A really good fantasy series with a point of view from a non-magical person.

Guilty Wives

Author: James Patterson & David Ellis    
Stars: 3
Review by: Kiwi

Good fast paced story, does have a couple of credibility gaps, but a good read.

Then She Was Gone

Author: Lisa Jewell
Stars: 5
Review by: libraryaimee

So good! I read it in 24 hours...couldn't put it down! Great suspense/mystery.

Quidditch Through the Ages

Author: Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling)    
Stars: 4
Review by: Tara C

A fun history of Quidditch from Harry Potter. Easy to read and the purchase helps charity.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Author: Neil Degrasse Tyson    
Stars: 5
Review by: Tara C

A collection of essays that break down astrophysics to a decently understandable point. Some really interesting concepts and social commentary throughout.

Beneath A Scarlet Sky

Author: Mark Sullivan
Stars: 5
Review by: BKF

Based on the true story of Pino Lella, a seventeen year old Italian boy-man-hero, during the lat two years of WWII. What this boy did took determination and courage that one doesn't often attribute to a teenager. The book is absolutely engrossing. I highly recommend it.

Before We Were Yours

Author: Lisa Wingate
Stars: 5
Review by: line82

I could not put it down.

Ghost Soldiers

Author: Hampton Sides
Stars: 4
Review by: Kiwi

WWII account of freeing a POW camp. Good background on Japanese POW treatment including how and why. American centric, only side mention how much worse the Philippine allies were treated. Interesting the Stockholm syndrome of the American POW's resisting rescue thinking it was a trap.

The Library

Author: Suart Kells    
Stars: 3
Review by: libraryaimee

Very scholarly! This is a fascinating look at the history of libraries and book collecting around the world. It was a difficult read with lots of dates and places and name dropping, but it was interesting.

In the Time of the Butterflies

Author: Julia Alvarez    
Stars: 3
Review by: Judy E

One needed to read to the ending chapters of this novel to appreciate the strength of these women of the Dominican Republic during this period of power struggle in their country!

Curtain

Author: Agatha Christie
Stars: 4
Review by: Lizzytish

What will I do without Poirot? We find ourselves back at Styles, where the first murder was committed, and where we were introduced to Poirot and the bungling Hastings. It was a good ride and I will miss Hercule.

Hardcore Twenty-Four

Author: Janet Evanovich    
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

Not reading one of these in a while made me really enjoy the campy humor. I love reading a book and recognizing where the characters are. It makes you feel like part of the story. 

A Widow for One Year

Author: John Irving    
Stars: 5
Review by: Beth G.

Once again John Irving transports his readers into the captivating world of a dysfunctional family made up of quirky characters who endure traumatic loss and struggle to find love. A very engrossing and entertaining story told in three parts, corresponding with three critical time periods in the life of the main character.

Give Me Your Hand

Author: Megan Abbott    
Stars: 2
Review by: libraryaimee

It was a thriller, but it was almost too disturbing for me! Gory in a serious way.

Money Rules the Path to Lifelong Security

Author: Jean Chatzky
Stars: 5

Review by: JLB
Simple , easy rules to follow.

Pride & Prejudice & Mistletoe

Author: Melissa De La CruZ    
Stars: 2
Review by: Emm

I thought it would be a fun choice for Christmas in July, but the characters were very one dimensional. The storylines were contrived and ridiculous. I expected much more!

Aunt Dimity and The Kings Ransom

Author: Nancy Atherton
Stars: 4
Review by: Saraswati

I really enjoy this series. It has a lot of feel good moments with just a hint of the supernatural. It is a great summer read.

Pachinko

Author: Min Jin Lee
Stars: 4
Review by: BeachBarb

I really enjoyed this book that I've heard so much about. A good read.

By Invitation Only

Author: Dorothea Benton Frank    
Stars: 4
Review by: BeachBarb

So many statements in this book rang true for me. A good summer read.

Target 100

Author: Liz Josefsberg    
Stars: 5
Review by: MI

Good concept. If you believe overeating is a habit, then if you replace snacking with a new habit you will eat less. Enjoyed the easy writing style. Decided to purchase the book and see if I could create new habits.

Everyday Chic

Author: Molly Sims
Stars: 1
Review by: MI

Not worth the time. Nothing new.

Flygirl

Author: Sherri L. Smith
Stars: 3
Review by: Ada

Interesting book about black women pilots in the second World War. I knew nothing about this.

SciFi Alien Invasion Books #1-16

Author: Anna Hackett    
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

I binged read her entire Alien Invasion series. There are currently 16 books but more are on the way. The premise is about an alien invasion of Earth. Those that survived fought back. It takes place in Australia but other areas are recognized. Binging has its downfalls since you know the story so well so some stories are more predictable, but others are not.

Serpentine

Author: Laurell K. Hamilton    
Stars: 5
Review by: Saraswati

I was kind of put off by Hamilton's last few books. Most felt like, "I've been there and done that." This book got back to her roots. It was on target for Anita Blake, but got to other things.

My Sister’s Keeper

Author: Jodi Picoult    
Stars: 4
Review by: Rachel 

I read this book because it seemed the most interesting on my summer reading list. It ended up probably being my favorite assigned book from school. It definitely ended up being way more interesting than the description, and I LOVED the two plot twists at the end. I highly recommend!!

The Cupcake Cafe

Author: Jenny Colgan    
Stars: 5
Review by: PattiK

It looks like it’s shaping up to be an end-of-the-summer Jenny Colgan party for me.  Stumbled upon her quite by accident and I’m very happy being stuck in this lane. She’s a delight and a perfect summer read.

Drama High

Author: Michael Sokolove
Stars: 5
Review by:Voracious

The story of a legendary high school drama program in nearby Levittown, NJ. The NBC series Rise was based on this book.

Snap

Author: Belinda Bauer    
Stars: 4
Review by: Lizzytish

A tautly written suspense thriller that will keep you reading late into the night. The characters are flawed, which adds to the flavor of this novel. Jack is in charge of his siblings since his pregnant mom disappeared one day. Catherine, a pregnant woman, finds a knife on her bed with the message, “I could have killed you.” And thus we are drawn into the story.

My Plain Jane

Author: Cynthia Hand
Stars: 5
Review by: Lizzytish

I just love this series! We have Victorian ghostbusters, evil dudes, good guys, and a poor orphan girl. I do think Miss Bronte was my favorite character . It’s lighthearted and enjoyable. Plot twists and humor abounds! Just plain fun.   “Never in any Jane Austen novel did the love interest pretend to be a fortune-teller," Helen said, "Why would someone do that?”

Before We Were Yours

Author: Lisa Wingate    
Stars: 5
Review by: BKF

Excellent book! Amazing how evil people can be in their quest for the almighty dollar. Georgia Tann was one of those people, but wasn't exposed until many, many children and parents were devastated.

Rare Books Uncovered

Author: Rebecca R Barry    
Stars: 3
Review by: Bnbook

Interesting non-fiction book about how and where some rare books have been found.

The Angry Chef's Guide to Spotting Bullsh*t in the World of Food

Author: Anthony Warner    
Stars: 5
Review by: libraryaimee

A must read for anyone who has followed a restrictive diet such as Paleo or Detox. I loved it mostly because he defends potatoes in every chapter! He exposes the fake science behind fads and extols the virtues of all food. Love, love, love this book so much!

Thrawn Alliances

Author: Timothy Zahn    
Stars: 4
Review by: Nick H

Good Star Wars book.

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

Author: Joanna Cannon    
Stars: 5
Review by: Kayleen

Delightful!!!

The Accident

Author: Chris Pavone
Stars: 4
Review by: Chris L.

Lots of twists and turns. First few chapters were confusing until I sorted out the characters, but then the story took over and it was a real page turner.

Triumph: Life After the Cult--A Survivor's Lessons

Author: Carolyn Jessop
Stars: 3
Review by: Debbie B

After reading her first book Escape, it was nice to find out how her life has turned out.

The Life We Bury

Author: Allen Eskens
Stars: 5
Review by: Carole Ann

I couldn't put this book down!

Cinnamon Toasted

Author: Gail Oust    
Stars: 3
Review by: Carole Ann

A quaint little mystery set in a Southern town with an owner of a spice shop as the sleuth.

A Terrible Country

Author: Keith Gessen    
Stars: 4
Review by: Carole Ann

This novel is a look at present day Moscow through the eyes of a thirty-something who returns to the city to care for his Baba. It is philosophical, political, emotional and quite interesting.

Wherever You Go There You Are

Author: Jon Kabat-Zinn
Stars: 4
Review by: Joyce H

Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday life.

Tip of the Iceberg: My 3,000 Mile Journey Around Wild Alaska

Author: Mark Adams
Stars: 5
Review by: a Retired Cat who likes to read

This book brought back memories of our trip to Alaska 2 years ago.

The Hunted

Author: Elmore Leonard
Stars: 3
Review by: rgfundamental

Fast beach read.     

Rough Draft

Author: Michael Robertson, JR.
Stars: 4
Review by: Kim P.

If you like Stephen King, you will like this.

Beach Rental

Author: Grace Greene
Stars: 3
Review by: Kim P.

Good beach read.

You've Been Warned

Author: James Patterson & Howard Roughan
Stars: 1
Review by: BKF

Ugh!!! I would not recommend this book to anyone! Doesn't even deserve a story overview.

The Bookshop on the Corner

Author: Jenny Colgan    
Stars: 5
Review by: PattiK

Loved it! A delight!

Bobby and Jackie: a Love story

Author: C.David Heymann    
Stars: 4
Review by: Debbie B

Having grown up when JFK was assassinated I found this book to be very interesting. Jackie was not the person I thought her to be. A quick read.

Road to Paradise

Author: Paullina Simons    
Stars: 4
Review by: Carol K, BookLover

Fictional tale of two 18 year olds and their trip across country in a 1966 Yellow Mustang. The author's style of writing makes this a great page turner. It's hard to put the book down because you want to know what's going to happen next in their travels.

Jane Austin at Home

Author: Lucy Worsley    
Stars: 5
Review by: Carol K, BookLover

Her research on Jane Austin is so detailed. It gives you more background on Austin, how and where she lived and what life was like during her time.

Sunlight on the Lawn

Author: Beverly Nichols
Stars: 4
Review by: Carol K, BookLover

English author talks about his garden in a very amusing way.

Works of Edith Wharton

Author: Edith Warton
Stars: 3
Review by: Carol K, BookLover   

Includes Ethan Frome, House of Mirth and Tales of Men & Ghosts. If you want to learn about her writing style, this is the book to read.

The Six ~ The Lives of the Mitford Sisters

Author: Laura Thompson
Stars: 2
Review by: Carol K, BookLover     

An account of a super rich family in the '20s & '30s. How they used and abused their position in society.

Fail Until You Don't

Author: Bobby Bones
Stars: 2
Review by: KBeachreader

A few good motivational tips on how to deal with setbacks.    

Hush

Author: Kate White    
Stars: 5
Review by: NoelleChristine

Kate White never fails me! Suspenseful!

Saving Grace

Author: Jane Green    
Stars: 5
Review by: August Mom

One of many Jane Green books I read this Summer that is a great read. A too good to be true assistant comes into the lives of Ted and Grace Green. Their hectic lives appear to be managed with efficiency by Beth. Then there is a turn. The author shares a gourmet recipe at the end of many chapters.

Devil’s Breath

Author: G. M. Malliet    
Stars: 3
Review by: Lizzytish

A fun read on a hot summer day. Once again, Max Tudor has a mystery to unravel. There’s a yacht, Hollywood Stars, other quirky characters, and murder! It’s a boatload of fun!

Songs of a Dead Dreamer

Author: Thomas Ligotti    
Stars: 4
Review by: Don S

First short story collection by Ligotti and it was impressive. Horror with some similarities to Poe, some nods to Lovecraft, but completely original. Dream-like and somewhat philosophical, not about gore or shock, but about peering behind the veil of reality. Recommended.

100 Best Paintings in New York

Author: Deanna MacDonald    
Stars: 4
Review by:Voracious

An interesting book that explained each of the 100 paintings and included a small reproduction. I wish the pictures were larger, and I think there was too much of an emphasis on the Metropolitan Museum and medieval art and very little of American landscape paintings such as from the Hudson school which is in New York just not the city.

The Eyes of the Dragon

Author: Stephen King    
Stars: 5
Review by: line82

Who knew that Stephen King wrote a fairy tale? It's charming & exciting.

The Selection

Author: Kiera Cass
Stars: 4
Review by: Miss Lucy

The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor. Heavy on The Bachelor, way lighter on the violence and despair.

A Place Called Here

Author: Cecelia Ahern    
Stars: 5
Review by: Miss Lucy

My first 5-star rating of the summer! If you enjoy magical realism, check out this book about missing items and missing people.

The Twelve Days of Lily & Dash

Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Stars: 4
Review by: Miss Lucy

Delightful YA Christmas romance story. Reading about Lily's & Dash's favorite places to go in NYC makes me want to try them all. And the authors' musical tastes are excellent!

Beartown

Author: Fredrik Backman
Stars: 5
Review by: Sarah E.

Absolutely wonderful story exploring sports, loyalty, honesty and the power of teams in a down on its luck small Scandinavian town.  Loved the exploration of the complexity of right vs wrong in the lives of those involved on the periphery.

Vintage Humor for Wine Lovers

Author: Malcolm Kushner    
Stars: 4
Review by: Miss Lucy

This little book was perfect to read while sitting outside with a glass of wine and watching the sun go down. Both the wine and the book will improve your mood!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid    
Stars: 3
Review by: Spring J

This was different from my usual books. It reminded me of Elizabeth Taylor's life. Makes you think twice about what you see in the stories about your favorite movie stars.

Raspberry Danish Murder

Author: Joanne Fluke    
Stars: 2
Review by: BookWorm2

Apologies to Joanne Fluke fans. This was my first of her books and I tried it based on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries adaptations. Overall the book was about 25% mystery (really expected more here), 25% fluff and 50% recipes. Perhaps reading this is better than listening as the recipes really disrupt the flow. Not planning to try a another.    

The Last Black Unicorn

Author: Tiffany Haddish    
Stars: 5
Review by: YA Fan

This book had me laughing out loud in my car as I listened. The audio ebook is read by the author, which definitely added to the story. She had such a difficult childhood, but, luckily, her comic genius was recognized and encouraged in her teens. If you can't handle cursing, and F-bombs, this book may not be for you. I had never heard of Tiffany Haddish, but now I would like to see some of her comedy work.

Abridged Classics

Author: John Atkinson    
Stars: 3
Review by: Bnbook

This book made me laugh.

Marriage and Other Acts of Charity

Author: Kate Braestrup
Stars: 5
Review by: Irene S.

Humorous and insightful memoir of Maine chaplain into relationships.

My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel

Author: Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
Stars: 1
Review by: BKF

I followed the paths of two romances (and cheated a little). Then I had enough. I didn't think the writing was wonderful. Not a fan. : (

The Man on the Washing Machine

Author: Susan Cox
Stars: 3
Review by: Ann Marie

This book won the Mystery Writers of America's "First Crime Novel Award." Good summer read set in San Francisco. With the main character's back story and the book's supporting characters I can imagine a series.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Author: Oscar Wilde
Stars: 4
Review by: BES

Knew the gist of story, but still creepier than I would have thought!

Bridges over the Delaware River

Author: Frank T Dale
Stars: 3
Review by:Voracious

Comprehensive history of the many bridges originally built by private citizens as money making ventures to replace ferries. A lot of the original piers are still in use.

The Guest Cat

Author: Takashi Hiraide    
Stars: 4
Review by: Lizzytish

This is a gentle, lyrical story. I feel there is more to it than just the cat. It’s about how moments come into our lives, and are fleeting like dewdrops. We cannot hold on to them, but we can treasure them. There is so much to this little book that can touch your heart. I loved the comparison of life to a river. I loved Chibi!

How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America's Cheapest Family

Author: Steve Economides
Stars: 4
Review by: Louey

Interesting tidbits of information to save money in the Grocery Store!

Power Play

Author: Catherine Coulter
Stars: 2
Review by: Kiwi

2nd book by this author - plot was good but for an FBI plot woefully ignorant about use of firearms. As with other book a little schmaltzy with kumbaya ending.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Congratulations to...

... our Week #11 Prize Winners:

  • Sarah E.
  • Dora V.


... our Week #12 Prize Winners:

  • JLB
  • Fran

Progress So Far

Click on image to enlarge.

Truly Devious

Author: Maureen Johnson
Stars: 5
Review by: libraryaimee

A great YA murder mystery! The only thing I disliked was reading the last page only to discover this is the first in a trilogy! Stupid cliffhangers...

In High Cotton (Neely Kate Mystery bk2) .

Author: Denise Grover Swank
Stars: 4
Review by: Saraswati

I enjoyed this 2nd book in this Rose Gardner series spin off. Some loose ends are tied up while new story lines are being developed. The story focuses on the grey area that many of us find ourselves in especially when dealing with family.

Fire in His Spirit

Author: Ruby Dixon    
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

This is the latest book in this post-apocalyptic dragon series. It has a twist at the end that appears to be taking the series in a new direction. Is it a true new direction or just a trap?