Saturday, June 30, 2018

Congratulations to...

...our Week #4 Prize Winners:

  • Rainbow
  • Gab


...and our Week #5 Prize Winners:

  • Linny
  • doodoopuppy

Progress So Far

Click on image to enlarge.

The Maze Runner

Author: James Dashner
Stars: 2
Review by: Karyn G

Yeah not my thing.  Read it for book club with my students.

Barn Blind

Author: Jane Smiley
Stars: 3
Review by: BeachBarb

Wonderful writing, but I don't know much about horses, so a lot was lost on me. Also a little deep for a quick summer read. A good book to sit and ponder.

Kitchen Confidential

Author: Anthony Bourdain
Stars: 4
Review by: Sarah E.

Wonderful to revisit some of the early stories that now made the sadly departed Mr. Bourdain famous. As a cook and foodie, I love reading how he approaches eating in restaurants, why he would pick certain things on the menu over others. I also appreciate his appreciation for workers that we so frequently demonize in our society as being some of the best, most hardworking individuals he has encountered in the business. Well worth the read for any other foodies.

The Flight Attendant

Author: Chris Bohjalian
Stars: 4
Review by: BeachBarb

Went to a talk and book signing by Chris Bohjalian. If you ever get the chance, do it. He was wonderful!

Memory Man

Author: David Baldacci
Stars: 5
Review by: Nick H

Very good! A lot like an episode of NCIS . . . but with a character who can't forget anything.

Not Without My Daughter

Author: Betty Mahmoody with William Hoffer
Stars: 4
Review by: Debbie B

True story of a woman with her daughter who goes to Iran with her husband and is not allowed to leave. It tells the story of how she manages to escape. It was quite riveting. The movie was good too!!

A Column of Fire

Author: Ken Follett
Stars: 3
Review by: Gayle H

Too long!

The Red Bandanna

Author: Tom Rinaldi
Stars: 5
Review by: August Mom

This was a book on CD read by the author telling the story of Welles Crowther. Welles is a hero of 9-11 at the age of 24. His memory will live on through this book and the details of his life. Happy, sad and inspiring.

Real Tigers

Author: Mick Herron
Stars: 5
Review by: Chris L.

This series just keeps getting better. Book 3 in the Jackson Lamb series about MI5 team of rejects. You gotta love em.

The End of the World Running Club

Author: Adrian J. Walker
Stars: 5
Review by: Megs

This is not a genre I typically read, but the characters were very well developed, and it was a good read.

Chasing Harry Winston

Author: Lauren Weisberger
Stars: 5
Review by: Carol K, BookLover

This is definitely chick-lit. I was gobbling this book up chapters at a time all the while wondering how these gals were going to wind up by the end of the story.

Rain Storm

Author: Barry Eisler
Stars: 4
Review by: Pattie M.

This is 3rd in a series by Barry Eisler. I've previously read the first 2, Rain Fall and Hard Rain. They are about an assassin, John Rain, who's specialty is making it look like natural causes. I'm really enjoying the series. He describes the locations, Japan, Hong Kong, Brazil with such details. Has a little bit of spice and just a fun read. Great beach reads!!

Something in the Water

Author: Catherine Steadman
Stars: 4
Review by: Kim P.

This book was very fast paced. From London to Bora Bora to Geneva back to London. Had some surprises too. Good summer read.

The Clean 20

Author: Ian K. Smith, M.D.
Stars: 4
Review by: Rainbow

This book is filled with lots of information, recipes and exercises. I really enjoyed reading it.

Private Yankee Doodle

Author: J.P. Martin
Stars: 3
Review by: BKF

This book details the daily life of a Revolutionary War soldier. Joseph Plumb Martin enlisted in June 1776, when he was 15 years old, and spent the next six years in the war. When he was 70 years old, he wrote this account of his days as a soldier. He died in 1850, at age 90. The story is amazing in how it allows you to follow, first hand, the mind-bending hard times of a Revolutionary War soldier.

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Stone Sky

Author: N.K. Jemisin
Stars: 3
Review by: ChrisP

The trilogy as a whole is great, but the last book was just average.

Happier Now

Author: Nataly Kogan
Stars: 5
Review by: Carlaluvsbooks

The book taught me how to stop saying I’ll be happier when... and instead say I’m happier now. Staying present is easier than actually being happy in the moment.

4th of July, Asbury Park: a History of the Promised Land

Author: Daniel Wolff
Stars: 5
Review by: Elaine

Terrific read!!

Dead Lions

Author: Mick Herron
Stars: 4
Review by: Chris L.

Second book in Jackson Lamb series. Very entertaining. I am becoming invested in the Slow Horse team. Can't wait to start Book 3

Fahrenheit 451

Author: Ray Bradbury
Stars: 5
Review by: Karyn G

Revisited this one too and read it with my seniors.  As poignant now as it was then.

Animal Farm

Author: George Orwell
Stars: 5
Review by: Karyn G

Revisited it when I read it with my class. They loved it.

One Summer

Author: David Baldacci
Stars: 4
Review by: Ada

Really enjoyed listening to this book. I always like his stories.

Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline
Stars: 3
Review by: Karyn G

Read this with the book club I started with students at school.  Interesting premise-lots of great 80's cultural references but it was too long.

Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Author: Dan Millman
Stars: 5
Review by: PattiK

Read it years ago and a recent dream told me it was time to dig it out and read it again. Glad I did.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Author: Emily Danforth
Stars: 4
Review by: Infonerd 2018

Pretty good. Read it mainly because they're making a movie and I like reading the books first!

Calling Me Home

Author: Julie Kibler
Stars: 5
Review by: Maureen M

One of the best books I ever read!

How the Light Gets In

Author: Louise Penny
Stars: 5
Review by: BeachBarb

My favorite Armand Gamache book so far.

Mom & Me & Mom

Author: Maya Angelou
Stars: 4
Review by: August Mom

Maya reads the book on CD telling her story of being raised by her grandmother until age 13 and then then returning to her mother. Many personal details of her life, various careers and relationships with family and the men in her life are shared in a way to allow the reader to gain insight into her struggles and the ultimate great historical figure that she has become. The relationship with her mother is quite interesting.

Dangerous Crossing

Author: Rachel Rhys
Stars: 4
Review by: Ada

It got better as I read along.

Wonder

Author: R.J. Palacio
Stars: 5
Review by: BookWorm2

If you have not yet read Wonder, stop what you are doing and read/listen to it. Do not let the Juvenile Fiction tag influence you - this book is well written with relevant themes. A true joy to have read/listened to.

Cathedral of the Sea

Author: Ildefonso Falcones de Sierra
Stars: 3
Review by: Judy

If you enjoyed Dan Brown's cathedral novels you will enjoy this book about the building of a cathedral in Barcelona. It is an epic with over 600 pages.

Two Girls Down

Author: Louise Luna
Stars: 2
Review by: Ada

I was going to give it a 3, but I did not really enjoy it. It was about child abductions and pretty graphic. So if you can not take that skip over it.

A Moveable Feast

Author: Ernest Hemingway
Stars: 2
Review by: Carol K, BookLover

I was disappointed with his writing style in the memoir of his Paris days. It sounded like he was so full of himself. It wasn't meaty.

The Great Alone

Author: Kristin Hannah
Stars: 5
Review by: Megs

I found this to be an interesting story with great detail for the setting and how the characters respond to it. The relationships between the characters were well developed and realistically portrayed.

Sputnik Sweetheart

Author: Haruki Murakami
Stars: 2
Review by: ChrisP

He has written much better books than this.

Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline
Stars: 5
Review by: line82

Great Sci-Fi throwback to the 80s!

My Name is Memory

Author:  Ann Brashares
Stars: 3
Review by: Karyn G

Great premise.  Reincarnation.  Very long..too long.  Ending set up for sequel.

Born a Crime

Author: Trevor Noah
Stars: 5
Review by: Infonerd2018

Great memoir. Interesting insight into apartheid South Africa.

Positively Izzy

Author: Terri Libenson
Stars: 5
Review by: Infonerd2018

Great graphic novel especially for middle grade readers.

Before We Were Yours

Author: Lisa Wingate
Stars: 5
Review by: libraryaimee

Great book! Very sad to learn that the Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage parts were based on truth.

The Punishment She Deserves

Author: Elizabeth George
Stars: 4
Review by: Judy

Great book and I would have given it 5 stars, but it is 690 pages and hard to read in bed. Her recurring characters are like old friends and while there is always a crime that needs to be solved there are many sub plots.

Deliciously G-Free

Author: Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Stars: 4
Review by: Jean K.

Good recipes.

Year One

Author: Nora Roberts
Stars: 4
Review by: Nick H

Good book with an interesting take on an apocalyptic virus, but I wasn't entirely sold on the magical component.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Author: Jeff Kinney
Stars: 4
Review by: smilereader

Funny. My daughter and I both enjoy it.

The Woman in Cabin 10

Author: Ruth Ware
Stars: 5
Review by: Gayle H.

Full of suspense!

Rainy day friends

Author: Jill Shalvis
Stars: 5
Review by: Linny

First book by her I ever read. I really enjoyed it & plan on getting more.

Origin

Author: Dan Brown
Stars: 4
Review by: Pattie M.

Fast passed but similar tones to the other Professor Landgon stories. Liked it a lot.

Camino Island

Author: John Grisham
Stars: 5
Review by: Reading GAL

Excellent!

Hardcore Twenty-Four

Author: Janet Evanovich
Stars: 5
Review by: Noel

Dr. Watson, Tonto, Robin - add Lula to the all-time list of sidekicks!

The Red Tent

Author: Anita Diamant
Stars: 5
Review by: Kim P.

Best book I've read in a long time.

Seven Days of Us

Author: Francesca Hornak
Stars: 5
Review by: Ada

Best book I read this summer so far. If you do not like sad do not read it.

The House of Unexpected Sisters

Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Stars: 4
Review by:  Carole Ann

As usual, McCall Smith rewards his readers with the achievements of virtue, understanding and trust. A sense of peace envelops readers with each of his books. Life is good!

The Last Picture Show

Author: Larry McMurtry
Stars: 5
Review by: BKF
 
As The New York Times Book Review wrote, "In The Last Picture Show, Larry McMurtry brilliantly evokes the wild, lonely, heartbreaking condition called adolescence." We follow best friends Sonny and Duane, high school seniors, as they experience, grow, and learn about life in a small Texas dust bowl town. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.


Tom's Midnight Garden

Author: Philippa Pearce
Stars: 4
Review by: Infonerd2018

Another great graphic novel based on the classic tale.

The Innocent

Author: David Baldacci
Stars: 4
Review by: 
BKF
Another book I could hardly put down. A fast read, short chapters (100 of them!), and suspense all the way to the last page. Baldacci is a master storyteller!


Into Thin Air

Author: Jon Krakauer
Stars: 4
Review by: BookWorm2

An invigorating read about the perils of climbing Mt. Everest. Well crafted, but not in any way uplifting.


Lucky You

Author: Carl Hiaasen
Stars: 3
Review by: T.Wright

Always enjoy the quirkiness of Hiaasen books.



Keep Quiet

Author: Lisa Scottoline
Stars: 4
Review by: Ada

A mystery with a surprise ending. I like all her books.


The Smoke Jumpers

Author: Nicholas Evans
Stars: 5
Review by: Voracious

A love triangle where everyone is a hero. Great opening and interesting depiction of the life of smoke jumpers.


The Romanov Bride

Author: Robert Alexander
Stars: 5
Review by: Carole Ann

A historical novel based on much research. It would appeal to readers interested in divine right of tsars, women's rights, religion, rebellion , poverty and sensitivity to human trials.


Trust Women: A Progressive Christian argument for reproductive justice

Author: Rebecca Todd Peters
Stars: 5
Review by: libraryaimee

A discussion of how reproductive rights have become regulated in a morally righteous yet unjust fashion. Here is an amazing quote, "When we shift from judgment to justice, we become the kind of community that helps women solve problems and live healthy and safe lives rather than blaming and shaming..."


Towers in the Mist

Author: Elizabeth Goudge
Stars: 3
Review by: Lizzytish

A charming story that takes place within a year in Elizabethan Oxford. It follows the lives of the Leigh family and some other famous historical figures. Great detail and the slow pace bogged me down at times. I do love other books by this author. I see this is one of her first works where she has not defined herself as the author she later becomes. 

My Italian Bulldozer

Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Stars: 3
Review by: 
rgfundamental
Sweet, delightful rom/com set in Tuscany.





Beneath a Scarlet Sky

Author: Mark Sullivan
Stars: 2
Review by: rgfundamental

Fast read. Based on compelling true story of WWII. No clever turn of phrase.

Something in the Water

Author: Charlotte McLeod
Stars: 3
Review by: Lizzytish

An enjoyable trip to Maine with Shandy. Of course there is murder most foul involving a chicken pot pie. Throw in some lupines, mysterious paintings, a fountain of youth (?), some quirky characters, and you’ll be in for a treat. I love the banter between Shandy and his wife.



Saturday, June 16, 2018

New for June...



The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
Diana Cowper walks into a funeral home one morning to arrange her funeral.  Six hours later she is dead: murdered.  It’s almost as if she saw it coming…or did she? An aborted text to her son, renowned actor Damien Cowper, suggests she might have known.  Enter disgraced, disgruntled, retired detective Daniel Hawthorne who is “consulting” on the murder, connecting it to the hit and run accident Ms. Cowper was acquitted of ten years ago, resulting in the death of one eight-year-old, and the permanent disability of his twin brother.  He approaches acclaimed mystery author Anthony Horowitz (no relation) to follow along the investigation and write a true crime novel once the case is solved.  Horowitz is intrigued by both the idea and the enigmatic Hawthorne and agrees to follow along.  The pair begins by following the obvious trail: the Godwin accident, but along the way, the pair comes across seemingly unimportant things, but put together, add up to a much different picture than the original solution.  There is so much more going on in these storylines than meets the eye; with his keen senses, Hawthorne goes places and arrives at conclusions the police missed.  This cleverly plotted roman a clef has the feel of a classic mystery novel from the Golden Age, yet it goes so much beyond that as it teases the reader, drawing them into the story, and then leaving them dangling as the duo dashes off to explore another angle.  Horowitz has outdone himself in this deftly plotted sleight of hand with characters who charm, frustrate, and slowly lure readers in, and a character, the author, who feels he will never fully be in control of these characters, even if he is one himself.

The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson
Any reader who has sought and found solace and comfort in books will adore this debut novel.  Miranda has a job as a history teacher in Philadelphia and has recently moved in with her boyfriend when she receives a mysterious package followed by a phone call that her estranged but beloved uncle Billy has died in California.  Miranda thought Billy hung the moon, but never saw or heard from him after he and her mother had a falling out on Miranda’s twelfth birthday.  Now Miranda learns she is the heir to Billy’s estate which includes the LA based store Prospero books. Miranda, having been named after Prospero’s daughter in The Tempest, has always had a special affinity for the bookstore, but owning the floundering shop when her life is on the other coast is something altogether different.  Miranda’s mother delight at having her daughter home quickly turns to anger and distance when she learns Billy has left a quest for Miranda to unravel, using books as clues, leading to answers about Billy’s life.  While Miranda feels a kinship to the store, she isn’t ready to throw away her life for something so unknown, but the more she learns about Billy, the more she realizes he was not the carefree, fun-loving person she saw him as, and the more she realizes that her place may indeed with Billy’s bookstore on the west coast.

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

Geo Shaw is about to be released from prison after serving five years for her part in her best friend’s murder fourteen years ago when they were sixteen.  Geo’s at the time boyfriend, Calvin James, took the brunt of the blame and was sentenced to life in prison, for Angela’s murder and two others, earning him the label “the Sweetbay Strangler”, but escaped before Geo’s five year sentence is up.  Geo, who lost her power job, her high-profile fiancĂ©, and her safe, secure life, returns to her childhood home where she tries to rebuild, finding that very few people in the town have forgiven her, and most don’t want her living near them.  She oddly enough, finds comfort and solace in the man who arrested her, Kaiser Brody, the man who was Geo and Angela’s best friend in high school.  Two pairs of murders occur shortly after Geo’s release, and are eerily reminiscent of Angela’s, and what’s more, there is a new twist that points directly at Geo.  Certain that Calvin is taunting her, coming for her, Kaiser ramps up Geo’s protection, not realizing it isn’t Calvin Geo has to fear.  This original thriller has chilling twists and turns that don’t stop, characters so damaged yet so compelling, that you can’t tear your eyes away from them for a moment.  This book is one to be read slowly so not one detail is missed, yet one to be rushed through to the final, stunning conclusion.  

How Hard Can it Be? By Allison Pearson
Kate Redding (I Don’t Know How She Does It) is back and facing down fifty: re-entering the workforce, juggling her husband, children, mothers, and menopause all with grace, panache, wisdom, and a whole lot of humor. Kate’s husband Richard has decided to live a more mindful life (take a job at a meditation center), which means Kate needs to go back to work if she’s hoping to hang onto the house with great bones they bought, get her son Ben the latest Play Station, and have money left over to let her teenage daughter keep up with her friend Lizzie and the crowd.  Kate shaves seven years off of her age to even get an interview and finds herself working an entry level marketing job at the wealth management firm she left to be a full-time mom seven years ago, now run by people who can’t correctly place Madonna at 56 years of age.  With menopause hot on her heels (literally), Kate relies on “Roy” in her brain to recall the salient facts of life. She doesn’t need Roy to remind her about how crazy she was about Jack, though, when an unexpected e-mail from him hits her in box, turning the rest of Kate’s world upside down.  Funny, unless you’re living through it, in which case the book is uproariously funny.  Anyone who has been fifty needs to read this book, anyone who hopes to someday be 50 should read this, and then treat the rest of us a little more kindly. 

Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin

Rice, the hero of this debut novel, has gone as anonymous as possible, taking a job as the warden at a Virginia mountain preserve after being involved out west with a Mexican drug cartel.  When Rice finds dead bears on the preserve, their paws and gall bladders removed, he takes matters into his own hands as he tries to track down the poachers without going to the local sheriff.  Soon, Rice is in over his head, in a new environment, mixed up with locals who don’t necessarily see things the way he does.  Before long, his past slams into his present and it is not only his new way of life that is endangered, but his life.  The beauty of Rice’s new world is visceral, but so is the savagery he finds.  McLaughlin’s descriptions of the flora and fauna in the preserve are on par with Barbara Kingsolver, his Southern feel reminiscent of Ron Rash.  Book groups will find much to discuss in this multi-layered novel.

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris
Finn and Layla were driving through France on holiday when Finn stopped at a rest area to use the bathroom. When he returned to the car, Layla was missing; ten years later she has never been found.  Grieving from his loss, Finn recovers with the help of his friend Harry and Layla’s sister Ellen, to whom he is now engaged.  Their life seems to be idyllic, though it is clear Finn did not tell the police the entire truth about what occurred that night, nor has he been completely honest with Ellen.  Layla’s disappearance returns to the forefront when small trinkets that only have meaning to Finn and Ellen begin turning up and each believes their prefect life is about to unravel, but who has more to fear and just who has more to lose in this twisty turny novel that provides one surprise after another and will have readers flipping back at the end to see if they can figure out just what it was they missed.

Mine by J.L. Butler
Divorce lawyer Fran Dey has been working her way up the ladder when she risks is all as she begins an affair with a client and then watches in horror as he becomes the primary suspect in his wife’s disappearance.  Fran feels an immediate attraction and pull toward Martin Joy who has retained her as counsel in his divorce from wife Donna.  Fran knows she shouldn’t become involved, but can’t stay away; she becomes unsure that Martin and Donna are actually separating after seeing them at a restaurant together.  The next morning she wakes up with blood on her and no memory of the night before.  As Fran tries to sort through her feelings and concerns about Martin, she is drawn deeper into a web of lies and secrets that threaten everything Fran has worked for and even puts her mental health in jeopardy.  A second story line adds to the obsessive, dark feel of the novel.

Broken Ice by Matt Goldman
Nils “Shap” Sharpiro and his business partner Ellegaard, both retired cops, are hired by Linnea Engstrom when she disappears from a state hockey tournament game in the small town of Warroad, MN where hockey is king.  The next day, the body of Linnea’s friend Haley Housh is found dead in a cave, and though the girls weren’t together that evening, Nils doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence.  While examining the cave, Nils is shot through the shoulder with an arrow.  Instead of staying home and recuperating, Nils ramps up his investigation to try and find Linnea before she meets Haley’s fate.  Nils is a very likable, if very flawed, character, and his plain talking, pull no punches manner, along with his ex-wife and other characters, will win many fans to this fledgling series. 

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
In the opening scene of this domestic psychological thriller, Dublin judge Andrew Fitzsimons strangles Annie, a prostitute.  Fearing Annie is not dead, his wife Lydia finishes the job and instructs Andrew to bury Annie in their backyard.  Lydia and Andrew’s overweight teenage son Lawrence, bullied at school and tacitly at home, knows something is up with his parents but is able to hide in the shadows and bide his time, or so he thinks, until he is able to use his knowledge to his advantage.  Annie’s sister Karen demands that the police search for Annie, no matter what her lifestyle was.  Being told from three points of view,  creates a narrative with strong characters, keeps the tension high, and keeps readers wondering how everything…especially Andrew’s connection to Annie…fits together, until one final twist reveals just how evil a person can be.  

Splinter in the Blood by Ashley Dyer
DS Ruth Lake is standing over her partner, DCI Greg Carver, in his living room, the gun that almost killed him in hand: she didn’t do it, though.  So why, before the emergency team arrives, does Ruth wipe down Greg’s home and remove all the evidence from their current case, The Thorn Killer, that Greg had been working on at home?  The Thorn Killer has murdered five people and tattooed them with ancient symbols: was Greg getting too close?  When Greg wakes up in the hospital, he has no memory of the shooting, nor of what he thinks he may have figured out about the Thorn Killer.  Lake continues Greg’s investigation, focusing on the last victim who not only looked eerily like Greg’s estranged wife, but who also had a pair of her earrings on when she was found.  Lake is still hiding something and easily justifies her actions---to herself---but will these secrets jeopardize and investigation and put more lives, including Lake’s, in danger as well?  

The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland

Loveday Cardew has found refuge in books and in Archie’s bookstore, Lost for Words Bookshop in York for the past ten years.  A poetry book found on the street brings performance poet and magician Nathan into the store and Loveday’s life.  Having spent all of her teenage years in foster care, Loveday has a difficult time with relationships, and the burgeoning one with Nathan is no acceptation.  Told in three parts: Loveday’s life before foster care, her first attempts at a relationship, and present day, her story is slowly revealed, her heart laid bare as she struggles to have a “normal” life even as the past, in the form of books from her childhood, comes back to her dredging up memories so visceral she knows it’s time to face her past, heal from it, and move on to her future.

The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses) by Terri-Lynne DeFinoCecibel Bringer was in a terrible accident that left not only physical scars, but left her unable to forgive and love.  Working in the Bar Harbor Retirement Home, established as a home for writers, Cecibel can move, sometimes unseen, among the residents such as once luminary Olivia Peppernell whose former lover Alfonse Carducci is the home’s newest resident. Something about Cecibel strikes a chord with Alfonso and he begins to write again, soon joined by Olivia, the two writing alternating chapters.  As the two former literary stars reemerge, so does Cecibel as she learns to love and live in this delightful homage to the power of the written word, not only in the reading of it, but in the writing as well.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Congratulations to...

... our Week #3 Prize Winners:

  • DebH09
  • dorcaf

Progress So Far

Click on image to enlarge.

Cut Your Grocery Bills in Half

Author: Steve & Annette Economides
Stars: 4
Review by: JK

The book gave some really good ideas for saving money.

The Hazel Wood

Author: Melissa Albert
Stars: 3
Review by: Lizzytish

Alice in Wonderland meets the Grimm Brothers on steroids? Alice and her mom have been on the run for most their lives. From bad luck. Alice’s mother is kidnapped, and there the adventure really begins as Alice enters Hinterland to try to save her mom. Some twists and turns and creepy characters await. But for Alice:“The quickest way to end this is to begin it, and that's no way to start, is it?” 
I must admit, I wasn’t overly fond of Alice. The adventure was enjoyable.

Sein Language

Author: Jerry Seinfeld
Stars: 4
Review by: Voracious

Old book that still holds up, brings back many pleasant childhood memories.

What Happened That Night

Author: Sandra Block
Stars: 5
Review by: PageTurner25

I absolutely LOVED this book! Block has a way with words.  This novel was such a page tuner I could not put it down. The point of view from which Block writes is very capturing! I especially liked how  the story was told through flashbacks from Dahlia's and then James' point of view. Very attention grabbing. I am definitely going to check out more books by Sandra Block, she is my new favorite author.  I highly recommend!!

Look Alive Out There

Author: Sloane Crosley
Stars: 4
Review by: Sarah E.

As always, Sloane has a humorous take on all of her interactions with the universe. Her wit and sarcasm - whether applied to playing neighbor politics with a high schooler or towards her encounter with meniere's disease - make this the perfect, light summer read.

Close to Home

Author: Cara Hunter
Stars: 3
Review by: Ada

Mystery with a trick ending. Who would have thought?

The House Swap

Author: Rebecca Fleet
Stars: 3
Review by: Kim P.

Domestic issues mostly.  Dragged at times.

The Couple Next Door

Author: Shari Lapena
Stars: 4
Review by: Maureen M

It was a good read.

Under the Tuscan Sun

Author: Frances Mayes
Stars: 5
Review by: Maureen M

Absolutely loved it. It made me feel as if I was in Italy!

The Ins and Outs of Poop

Author: Thomas DuHamel, PhD
Stars: 5
Review by: Chris L.

My 3 year old granddaughter has 'bathroom issues' which did not seem normal. This book discusses encopresis a common condition of functional constipation. It was a relief to find a path to dealing with this problem as a family.

The Art of Mehndi

Author: Sumita Batra
Stars: 4
Review by: S E Sanchez

Batra writes poetically about the history, geography and symbolism of henna body art. Beautifully illustrated, the book is a wonderful introduction to this ancient temporary adornment.

Year of Wonders

Author: Geraldine Brooks
Stars: 4
Review by: BKF

It's 1666 and the Plague has decimated over half the population of a small English village. Through housemaid Anna Frith's eyes we see how tragedy effects the people of the village. Some become heroes, others villains. Anna's loss is great but her will to survive and help those in need changes her life forever. The Year of Wonders is an outstanding book of historical fiction.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli
Stars: 5
Review by: line82

Charming. Great characters.

Alice Network

Author: Kate Quinn
Stars: 5
Review by: Judy E

time periods collide in this intrigue involving the Alice network of women spies during WW 1 and WW11 from current time period. Even more interesting because women spies were not prominent during this time.


The Cemetery Keeper's Wife

Author: MaryAnn McFadden
Stars: 3
Review by: Bnbook

The book is based on a true story that took place in Hackettstown NJ.

We Own The Sky

Author: Luke Allnutt
Stars: 4
Review by: Ada

Very sad book. Do not read if you do not like sad. It was good if that does not affect you.

Elephants Can Remember

Author: Agatha Christie
Stars: 3
Review by: Lizzytish

Ariadne Oliver once more appears with Poirot, and between them they solve a cold case from 20 years ago. I was able to figure this one out as there were many clues. The elephants were all witnesses from the past that helped Poirot put it together. Being Christie was in her 80’s ( I think) it was pretty impressive.

Not That Bad

Author: edited by Roxane Gay
Stars: 4
Review by: libraryaimee

I can't say I enjoyed reading this book, but it was a necessary, well-written book. It is a collection of essays by people who have endured sexual harassment & abuse. Eye opening and horrifying that we still live in a culture that dismisses this behavior as "boys will be boys" and blames the victims.

What Would Virginia Woolf Do?

Author: Nina Lorez Collins
Stars: 3
Review by: libraryaimee

A book for women about aging. Very warm and funny. Covers every topic imaginable. I was enjoying it very much and then I looked at the author's picture...she looks so young and so glamorous! It kind of took away some of the enjoyment of the book because it is written as a been-there, done-that style....and it was hard to relate to the photo! :)

Seduced

Author: Randy Wayne White
Stars: 4
Review by: Noel

Can't wait for the next Hannah Smith novel!

The Underground Girls of Kabul

Author: Jenny Nordberg
Stars: 5
Review by: Debbie B

A very powerful story about how the women of Afghanistan live and survive in a man's world.

My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel

Author: Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
Stars: 5
Review by: libraryaimee

A choose-your-own-adventure romance novel. So fun and imaginative! You are the heroine and you choose which story you'd like to follow. You could end up with a man (many, many men to choose from), a woman, or, perhaps, a supernatural being!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Six Years

Author: Harlan Coben
Stars: 4
Review by:Voracious

A good mystery read that kept you guessing throughout.


Blow Out

Author: Catherine Coulter
Stars: 4
Review by: Judy

Coulter's mysteries about the FBI and Savich and Sherlock never disappoint. This was especially interesting because there was lots of information about the Supreme Court.


Fallen Skies

Author: Philippa Gregory
Stars: 3
Review by: Chris L.

Different from Gregory's Historical Dramas. Interesting and suspenseful.

How To Walk Away

Author: Katherine Center
Stars: 4
Review by: MI

First book that I have read by this author. Enjoyed her style, very descriptive, written in the present tense. Quick, easy read that reinforced the power of the human spirit.



Letter From Home

Author: Carolyn Hart
Stars: 4
Review by: JLB

Mystery in war time; page turner.

Barracoon

Author: Zora Neale Hurston
Stars: 4
Review by: S E Sanchez

Subtitled The Story of the Last 'Black Cargo', Barracoon recounts Zora Neale Hurston's interviews with Cudjo Lewis, a man captured in Africa and enslaved in the United States. Hurston's training in Anthropology and advanced social science research lends itself to a respectful depiction of Lewis' detailed recollections of life before, during and after slavery.

Surprise Me

Author: Sophie Kinsella
Stars: 3
Review by: Ada


The last few chapters were the best parts.

Tell No One

Author: Harlan Coben
Stars: 4
Review by: BKF

Twenty five years old, married seven months to his childhood love, Dr. David Beck has it all. Until his wife is murdered and he struggles on with his life without her. Eight years later he receives a mysterious email in a code that only he and his deceased wife would know. So starts the adventure. I could hardly put this book down... a real page turner!!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Congratulations to...

... our Week #2 Prize Winners:

  • P.M.W.
  • Judy

Progress So Far

Click on image to enlarge.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Guest Room

Author: Chris Bohjalian
Stars: 4
Review by: BeachBarb

Might be disturbing to some. Deals with some dark social issues, but Bohjalian is a terrific writer, speaker and person.

Scars

Author: Cheryl Rainfield
Stars: 5
Review by: August Mom

A Young Adult Novel-Autobiographical. Self-Harm and family dynamics as well as great resources for families, youth and anyone who cares about our youth.

The Handmaid's Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood
Stars: 5
Review by: Linda P.

Disturbing on so many levels, but the style of writing was excellent.

Portrait of a Murderer

Author: Ann Meredith
Stars: 2
Review by: Lizzytish

Another reprint of a 1930s-era British mystery. This one differs in the fact that we know who did it and why. More of a psychological character study. The murder happens during the early morning of Christmas. Adrian Gray is murdered by one of his children who have all gathered to get money from him. Most of the characters are odious which did not add to the reading pleasure.

Punch Escrow

Author: Tal M. Klein
Stars: 4
Review by: Lizzytish

It is now 2147 and you can teleport anywhere. There’s no government. Corporations run everything. Joel is suppose to meet up with his wife in Costa Rica until he realizes he’s not in Costa Rica. And thus the adventure begins. There is humor, science, adventure, 80’s pop culture, and twists. Great fun! The footnotes make it more hardcore science, but you can skip them without missing out.

Sourdough

Author: Robin Sloan
Stars: 4
Review by:
Lizzytish
A deliciously, charming book! Lois, a software programmer working on a robotic arm, is given some sourdough starter. It is not your usual starter dough. But it does start Lois on some interesting paths! Get yourself a slab of butter and spread it on some thick sourdough bread while you enjoy the ride! 
Oh, and like Sloan’s other book, the cover glows in the dark!



Authority

Author: Jeff Vandermeer
Stars: 5
Review by:dorcaf

This is the second book in a trilogy and picks up some time after the first book ends. Great character development. I don't want to say anymore because I'm bound to give something away...but truly looking forward to the final book...just wish that I didn't have to wait for it to come back to the library :-(.

Annihilation

Author: Jeff Vandermeer
Stars: 5
Review by: dorcaf

I don't usually like science fiction but this book grabbed my attention from the first page. I love how the author really delves into each character to help you get a better understanding (or not) of what motivates them. Looking forward to reading the second book in this trilogy. By the way, the movie based on this book (or perhaps the trilogy) is soon to be on DVD. My son saw the movie and based on our very brief discussion, I would recommend reading the books first.

The Essential Grandma Moses

Author: Jane Kallir
Stars: 5
Review by: Voracious

Very clear reasoned explanation of Grandma Moses and her unique impact on the art world. Very small, lots of great illustrations, and written by someone with inside knowledge and appreciation.

By Invitation Only

Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
Stars: 5
Review by: Linny

Great book.

The High Tide Club

Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Stars: 4
Review by: libraryaimee

Everything you'd expect from Mary Kay Andrews...murder and beaches!

The Girl You Left Behind

Author: JoJo Moyes
Stars: 4
Review by: mystery lover

Life in occupied France.

Fishbowl

Author: Bradley Somer
Stars: 5
Review by: BKF

A captivating read! The novel takes place over a 30 minute time frame where we get a brief look into the lives of a number of people who live in an apartment building, through the eyes of a goldfish falling from its 27th floor!

The Temptation of Forgiveness

Author: Donna Leon
Stars: 2
Review by: Chris L.

This latest Brunetti book is just so-so. I have read all 27 and this is not one of the better ones.

The Swans of Fifth Avenue

Author: Melanie Benjamin
Stars: 4
Review by: Mitchie L

This was a fun and interesting read about the relationship between Truman Capote and Babe Paley and her New York social circle. Truman was once their friend and confidant until he published a "fictionalized" story of the socialites and revealed their innermost secrets. It really sparked my interest in the real events as did Benjamin's other book The Aviator's Wife.

Talking about Detective Fiction

Author: P.D. James
Stars: 5
Review by: Ann Marie

P.D. James (now deceased) wrote a nonfiction book examining the mystery genre, from its beginnings to the present. While her book focuses on British mysteries, James also covers American mysteries, including the hard-boiled detective fiction of Hammett and Chandler. Insightful and entertaining. Mystery fans will enjoy this book. I also discovered some authors I plan to check out during my next trip to the library!

Haunted

Author: Randy Wayne White
Stars: 4
Review by: Noel

I am really enjoying the Hannah Smith series.

The Music Shop

Author: Rachel Joyce
Stars: 4
Review by: Ada

It got better as it progressed.

The Gunners

Author: Rebecca Kauffman
Stars: 4
Review by: Judy

The Gunners is a wonderful book about friendship and loyalty. A very quick read.

Waiting for Godot

Author: Samuel Beckett
Stars: 1
Review by:Shapoppa

 I love plays & I know Samuel Beckett is acclaimed. Of course I know there is some deep, existential meaning in Waiting for Godot, but still, I don't have to like it. In fact, the best thing I saw written about it was from uncyclopedia.wikia.com. It humorously gave the curtain credit for being in the cast. "The Curtain: Only involved in the very end of the play. Considered by many to be the highlight. Its motives are clear." That just cracked me up, but this tragicomedy in two acts - did not.

The Gift

Author: Danielle Steel
Stars: 4
Review by: August Mom

A quick read.  1950s era teen pregnancy, family loss, love found and restored hope.


The Catcher in the Rye

Author: J.D. Salinger
Stars: 4
Review by: Judy


Oldie but Goodie!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Congratulations...

... to our Week #1 Prize Winners:
  • Carol K, Booklover
  • Linda P.

Progress So Far...

Click on image to enlarge.