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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
David Baldacci Stars:
4 Review by:
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
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
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..."
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
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.
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.
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
fiancé, 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
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
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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
find a path to dealing with this problem as a family.
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
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.
Author: Kate Quinn Stars: 5 Review by: Judy E 3 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.
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.
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
and horrifying that we still live in a culture that dismisses this
behavior as "boys will be boys" and blames the victims.
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! :)
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
men to choose from), a woman, or, perhaps, a supernatural being!
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 :-(.
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.