Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

You know it's a good book when you get so wrapped up in a character's plight that you have to keep reading even though it is a hefty 700+ pages.
This is a story of Theo a young boy who survives a bomb explosion while visiting the New York Art Museum with his mother. The world famous "Goldfinch" painting also survives and leaves the museum in Theo's care. His mother does not survive.
Tartt so vividly describes Theo's life that you feel what he feels, you see what he sees, you experience his anxiety over the painting, his search for love and to be loved and his goodness. You wonder how can so many things can go so horribly wrong in his life and you always wish him the best. Tartt herself paints many vivid characters and their effects on Theo's life along with the impact that art can have on anyones life.  I highly recommend this book.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

I loved Lisa Genova’s book “Still Alice” and her second novel, “Left Neglected” is a very good read also.   “Love Anthony” is the author’s third book and is a wonderful story about heartbreak, understanding and healing.

The book is a touching story about Anthony, a little boy with autism and the struggles his family goes through in his short life.  Most of us don’t know what a family goes through or what a child with autism may be thinking or feeling.  This story gives us a better understanding of the world they live in. 
-- submitted by Michelle P.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sycamore Row by John Grisham

For those of you who like legalese and court room drama here is one you might like. In this Grisham novel a terminally ill, multimillionaire, Mr. Seth Hubbard hangs himself and leaves a handwritten will that leaves almost everything to his black housekeeper Lettie. Leaving  his children and grandchildren nothing. The question is why? As you can imagine a legal fight and racial tensions ensue in this Ford County, Mississippi town.
I really didn't get into this story until Lettie's daughter enters the picture and starts digging up family history trying to find out who Lettie's family was. Then I was hooked. Can I just say, "Sins of the Fathers"...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

I am here to tell you that the much anticipated third book in the Harkness trilogy was worth the wait. It will keep you turning pages until the bitter sweet end. Wonderful, scintillating, exciting, magic! Enjoy

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Minding the Manor by Mollie Moran

Click this cover for a(n) eBook sample of Minding the Manor.I found this book while perusing the nonfiction e-book section on OMNI. If you like the PBS show Downton Abby this book will give you one of the best glimpses into the job of the cook, scullery maids, and kitchen maids of the time during the 1930s.  Molly Moran was all of these, working her way up from the age of 14 she spent the next 10 years of her life in servitude to the wealthy gentry of Norfolk. Growing up an adventurous sort, Molly gets herself into some humorous scrapes while working as a scullery maid under the watchful eye of Mrs. Jones the cook. She includes some of her recipes and tips throughout the book.
I enjoyed this book.

Monday, June 23, 2014

July LibraryReads List

Announcing the
 July 2014 LibraryReads list!

You voted, we counted, and July's LibraryReads Favorite is:


by Rainbow Rowell (St. Martin's Press)
Landline explores the delicate balance women make between work and family, considering the tradeoffs and pain. Rowell has a special gift for offering incredible insights into ordinary life. Never heavy-handed, Rowell’s writing is delivered with humor and grace. I finish all of her books wanting to laugh and cry at the same time--they are that moving. Landline captured my heart.”
Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL

And now, the rest of the LibraryReads July Top 10:
One Plus One: A Novel
by Jojo Moyes
(Pamela Dorman Books) 
“A single mom, her math genius daughter, her eye-shadow-wearing stepson, a wealthy computer geek and a smelly dog all get into a car...it sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it’s actually another charming novel from Jojo Moyes. It’s more of a traditional romance than Me Before You, but will also appeal to fans of quirky, hard-working characters. A quick read and perfect for summer.”
Emily Wichman, Clermont County Public Library, Milford, OH

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands: 
A Novel 
by Chris Bohjalian
“Thousands of lives are irrevocably changed by a nuclear disaster in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. When her parents are blamed, Emily becomes homeless and her situation, desperate. Told retrospectively, Emily’s story is devastating to read, but her passionate interest in Emily Dickinson comes with flashes of brilliance and a growing acceptance of her past.”
Kim Storbeck, Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA

Dollbaby: A Novel
by Laura Lane McNeal
(Pamela Dorman Books) 
“In this coming-of-age story set in the Civil Rights era, Ibby is dropped off at the home of her eccentric grandmother in New Orleans after the death of her beloved father. Filled with colorful characters, family secrets and lots of New Orleans tidbits, this book will appeal to fans of Saving Ceecee Honeycutt.”
Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA
The Black Hour
by Lori Rader-Day
(Seventh Street Books) 
“This first novel about two broken people is a psychological thriller like the best of Alfred Hitchcock. Amelia Emmet is a professor desperately trying to recover from a gunshot wound, and Nathaniel Barber is a student struggling to come to grips with his mother's death and a lost love. Their journey, told in alternating chapters, is riveting and full of surprising discoveries. Highly recommended.”
Mattie Gustafson, Newport Public Library, Newport, RI
World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Book III by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books) 
“Still the last policeman, Detective Hank Palace tirelessly pulls together clues from crime scenes and interrogates witnesses to find his missing sister. Winters paints a believable picture of a world awaiting its end thanks to an asteroid on a collision course. A great series for mystery and science fiction lovers, as well as anyone looking for a pre-apocalyptic tale without a single zombie.”
Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA
The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee
by Marja Mills
(Penguin Press) 
“A warm and engaging telling of the life story of Harper Lee. Like no other biography, this book offers insights directly from Lee’s point of view as shared with the journalist she and her sister embraced in friendship late in their lives. Informative and delightful!”
Jan Fisher, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT
The Queen of the Tearling: 
A Novel 
by Erika Johansen
“The first of a trilogy, this book is so much more than just another fantasy. Yes, there is magic, a princess and a really bad queen, but there is also an apocalyptic twist that makes readers hungry for the next installment. This book caught me from the first page and kept me guessing till the last. A great read!”
Cindy Stevens, Pioneer Library System, Norman, OK

California: A Novel
by Edan Lepucki
(Little Brown) 
“Driven away from the violence of cities and a crumbling society, Cal and Frida live an isolated existence, struggling to survive on what they grow and forage. When an unplanned pregnancy pushes the couple to search for other people, they discover an unexpected community. This well-written debut is great for apocalyptic fiction fans and fans of realistic, character-driven fiction.”
Sara Kennedy, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, OH

Dry Bones in the Valley: A Novel by Tom Bouman
(W. W. Norton & Company) 
“A body has been found in an elderly recluse's field, neighbors are fighting over fracking, and meth labs and heroin dealers have settled deep in the woods of Officer Henry Farrell's Wild Thyme Township. Bouman’s prose reveals not only the beauty of northeastern Pennsylvania, but also abject poverty and despair. A startling debut rich in setting and character with an intricate plot that will stay with readers.”
Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Friday, June 20, 2014

What I'm Reading

Summer is here and I think I have reader's block. There are so many good books I want to read yet I can't seem to get going on any of them. So I just pick up what is available instead of seeking out the ones that are on my list. But in doing that comes serendipity and that can be a lovely thing.

Here are 3 very different and unrelated books that I'm currently in the midst of.

Sycamore Row by John Grisham
This book already makes me not want to ever be an executor of an estate or want to go through probate for any reason. It is a story of a wealthy, terminally ill man who offs himself and leaves everything to his housekeeper. The lawyers line up representing the jilted family. It/s gonna get ugly!

After visiting Shipshiwana, IN for a long weekend I downloaded "My Amish Childhood" by Jerry Eicher. In this memoir he recounts his adventures and different characters in his life growing up in Honduras after his grandfather moves the family from their Amish settlement in Canada to begin a mission. It is a quick read and a nice diversion from the usual books I read.

1913 by Florian Illies
I just started this one and it has the promise of being an intelligent look at some key figures in history and where they were in 1913. Picasso, Stalin, Hitler, Kafka, Freud, Jung, and so many more. Interspersed are little paragraphs of other newsy items taking place in this year that contains the dreaded unlucky number 13.