Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My Summer Reading

Well, here it is almost September. Another Summer flew by and this Summer my intended reading list basically was ignored. Busy weekends at family reunions, gardening, helping folks move, etc. ... You know how it goes. I hope you all got more accomplished than I did.

I did however, have time for three quick-to-read kids books. A couple of my favorite children's authors, DeCamillo and Sachar, had recent books come out that I had to try and then the book "Rain Reign" came across my desk and I just had to take it home.

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DeCamillo
This is a silly story about a little girl and a squirrel. The squirrel, Ulysses,  gets sucked up by the neighbor lady's new vacuum cleaner which results in the squirrel gaining super powers.  Flora comes to his rescue and they become friends helping each other out.

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
This was a very good story about a boy and a girl trying to "fit in" at a private school. They happen upon some toxic mud in the woods surrounding the school when they are attempting to avoid a bully. The bully follows them into the woods but then goes missing. They were the last ones to see him. Despite their dislike of him they do the right thing and learn that some people are not as bad as they appear to be.

Rain Reign by Ann Martin
A wonderfully emotional story of a young girl Rose who has autism and her patient loving uncle who comes to her rescue. The quirks of Rose's disability do not deter her when the stray dog her father brings home for her gets lost in a storm and she devises a plan to find it. I recommend this book!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Yeah, my turn finally came for this book. I can see why there are sooo many holds on it. It is a real who-done-it page turner. Better than Gone Girl. Very Good!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August Library Reads List

Announcing the August 2015 LibraryReads list!

You voted, we counted, and August's LibraryReads Favorite is:
Best Boy: A Novel
by Eli Gottlieb
“What happens when someone on the autism spectrum grows up, and they aren't a cute little boy anymore? Gottlieb's novel follows the story of Todd Aaron, a man in his fifties who has spent most of his life a resident of the Payton Living Center. Todd begins to wonder what lies beyond the gates of his institution. A funny and deeply affecting work.”
Elizabeth Olesh, Baldwin Public Library, Baldwin, NY
And now, the rest of the LibraryReads August Top 10:
The Nature of the Beast: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel 
by Louise Penny
(Minotaur Books)
“Louise Penny set the bar high with her last two books, but she had no trouble clearing it with this one. All our old friends are back in Three Pines where a young boy with a compulsion to tell tall tales tells one true story with disastrous results. But which story is the truth and why is it so threatening? Exquisitely suspenseful, emotionally wrenching and thoroughly satisfying.”
Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

Everybody Rise
by Stephanie Clifford

(St. Martin's Press)
“Stephanie Clifford’s debut novel takes us into the world of NYC high society in 2006. Evelyn Beegan, who’s always been on the fringes of the smart set, meets It girl Camilla Rutherford, and her ambition and desire to belong get the best of her. Evelyn's deceptive effort to keep pace with Camilla wreaks all kinds of havoc with her finances, her family, and her sense of self. With a sympathetic main character and a fascinating look into how the other half lives, this astute tale is irresistible.”
Anbolyn Potter, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ

Black-Eyed Susans: A Novel of Suspense 
by Julia Heaberlin
(Ballantine Books)
"in 1995, Tessie went out for a run, and she went missing. She was found eventually, a surviving victim of the Black-Eyed Susan       serial killer. The supposed killer is in prison, yet Tessie is still being plagued by mysterious Black Eyed Susan flowers blooming where they shouldn't. The viewpoint shifts between Tessie in the present day and teenage Tessie     in 1995, and was quite clever. I think this novel will appeal to fans of Gone Girl."
Shannon Fukumoto, Kapolei Public Library Kapolei, HI
A Window Opens: A Novel
by Elisabeth Egan
(Simon & Schuster)
“Alice Pearce has a pretty great life. She has a loving family and works part-time as an editor for a magazine. When her family’s financial situation takes a drastic turn, Alice finds that she needs to step up to the plate and contribute more, and she finds this comes at a cost. I think many women will see themselves in Alice’s character. I recommend this book to moms who need a little time to themselves; they might realize that maybe things aren’t so bad for them after all.”
Rosanna Johnson, Chandler Public Library, Chandler, AZ

The Fall of Princes: A Novel
by Robert Goolrick
“I loved this novel about the rise and fall of a man in NYC during the 80s, when money was easy to make and easy to spend. What happens when you can get anything you want, and what does it really end up costing you? The story of the people working in the financial industry during that time is interwoven with the reality of AIDS, cocaine and the changes going on in society.  So many sentences were so well-written that I found myself stopping to take them in and relish them.”
Jennifer Cook, Cheshire Public Library, Cheshire, CT

Lord of the Wings: A Meg Langslow Mystery
by Donna Andrews

(Minotaur Books)
“It’s Halloween in Caerphilly and the town    has come up with another festival to bring in the tourists.  Meg Langslow is heading up the “Goblin Patrol”, there’s trouble at the      Haunted House, and body parts are being found at the zoo. Meg is once again called in      to save the day and solve the crime.  If you enjoy your mysteries packed with humor and fun, don’t miss this return to Caerphilly with Meg and her zany family and friends.”
Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, IN
The Marriage of Opposites
by Alice Hoffman
(Simon & Schuster)
"Exquisite...Alice Hoffman's finest work to date. The Marriage of Opposites is a beautiful love story of a man and woman and a mother and child intricately woven together to capture the author's true message: Love more, not less."
Marianne Colton, Lockport Public Library, Lockport, NY

In a Dark, Dark Wood 
by Ruth Ware
(Gallery/Scout Press)
"Leonora Shaw is a crime writer who lives a solitary life in London until she receives an invitation to a hen party for a friend she hasn't seen in nearly ten years. The party takes place in a remote location with spotty phone service. Are you nervous yet? We know from the opening pages that something horrible happens, but just what, and to whom, how, and why will keep readers guessing -- and flipping the pages. Recommended for fans of The Girl on the Train."
Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books
by Michael Dirda
"This collection of Dirda's musings on writers, book collecting and the literary landscape is a must read for all bibliophiles. Michael Dirda won a Pulitzer for his work at the Washington Post and has been called "the best-read person in America." I always learn something new when I read his work, and this book is no exception. Great fun for all book nerds!"
Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Hilliard, OH

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

I originally had misgivings about reading this book but was pleasantly surprised.

The central character is definitely the spitfire Scout we came to know in "To Kill a Mockingbird". Here 26 year old Jean Louise goes back home to visit her now much older arthritic father Atticus.
Her perceptions of who people are in her home town and family are maybe different from what she remembers as a child and leaves her wondering where she was all those years. Learning to accept people with all their faults but holding on to her own identity becomes the struggle.
A couple of characters that I got a better picture of in this book are her Aunt Alexandra and her Uncle Jack Finch.
                                     I recommend this book!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich

This story is a debut novel by Panowich that takes place in the Appalachians of Georgia. The Bourroughs family has owned Bull Mountain for generations making a living by bootlegging whiskey. Now instead of working stills they grow marijuana and make Meth. An FBI agent is on to them and intends to bring the whole family down. He enlists the help of the local sheriff who is also a Bourrouhgs.  Panowich throws a twist into the story 2/3rd s of the way through that you don't see coming.
I liked this book. An easy read.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Evergreen by Rebecca Rasmussen

A quick to read novel that spans 3 generations and their trials and tragedy's of living in rural northern Minnesota. All loving the outdoors and living off the land. Best friends and neighbors who are integral in survival of both mind and body living across the river from each other struggle with the secrets of the past and the longing for a mother's love. Excellent!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Hannah's historical novel is about two sisters who follow very different paths during the occupation of France. Vianne, the older one is married, has a daughter and lives outside a small town. Her husband has gone off to fight and Vianne finds herself in the position of having her house requisitioned by German officers. Her best friend and neighbor is Jewish. The younger sister, Isabelle who has either left or gotten kicked out of every school she was sent, uses her youthful recklessness to join the French resistance and becomes the "Nightingale". It is a story of love, heartbreak, family and unbreakable spirit.
Very good!