Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Holiday Reading!

I don't know about you but I am finding it hard to get extra reading done lately and I have a feeling that will be the case through the holidays. My regular reading takes place for about one hour, everyday in the early morning, with a cup of strong coffee, sitting in my favorite reading chair. My extra reading takes place in the evening after all the dishes are done and the house is picked up. Then I can relax and enjoy.
If you are like me now is the time for holiday planning, cooking, and shopping. This year I am making two Thanksgiving dinners. One for a small bunch and one for a large bunch of family. I love doing it but it is a lot of work and like I said it cuts into my extra reading time.
If you have this same problem here are some quick reads (nothing too heavy) that will keep you satisfied but not overstuffed.



Friday, November 13, 2015

Slade House by David Mitchell

Every nine years certain people are lured to a haunted house which can only be entered through a small iron door down Slade Alley. That is all I will say about the story itself. I don't want to give anything away.
It is one of the best ghost stories imagined in some time! A very quick page-turning read. Don't be put off by all the English jargon. You can easily glean the meaning in the context. I recommend this book!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Swyler weaves an intricate story of a family who's women for generations were a part of the circus either as tarot card readers or as side show curiosities (they were presented as mermaids, for having the ability to hold their breath for a very long time).  All of these women drowned on the 24th of July including his own mother and that date is just around the corner. Simon becomes very worried when he finds this out after receiving a very old book in the mail. His sister works in a traveling carnival. Is she doomed to follow the same fate?  He himself can hold his breath for 10 minutes. Is he the one that will drown? Simon, being a librarian, begins research in earnest hoping to find clues to break the pattern.
A very good story with a great setting of an old house on a bluff that creeps closer and closer to the edge as the rain and water erode the bluff.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

Sorry but Atwood's latest book was a swing and a miss for me. The premise is a down-and-out married couple in a time where there is a lot of that and living in their car. They respond to a TV advertisement to come live in a controlled community where they will have all they desire. Of course they sign up for that and of course it is not all that.
I found the characters as rigid and sterile as the prosti-robots they were making in the story. The possibilities for them were there in the story but were not taken.  The only character I wanted more of was Connor, the bad boy brother but he wasn't in the story much.
What did you think?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

A.J. Fikry is a small bookstore owner on Alice Island off the east coast. Depression sets in after loosing his wife in an accident. Then he feels the world is against him after having a rare book stolen. He is saved and finds love again with the help of his friend Chief Lambaise, a cute publisher's rep and a baby left on his doorstep named Maya. A very nice story albeit a tragic ending.

Monday, October 26, 2015

November Library Read List

Announcing the 
November 2015 

LibraryReads list!

You voted, we counted, and November's LibraryReads Favorite is:
 The Japanese Lover: A Novel 
by Isabel Allende

“Irina is a young Moldavian immigrant with a troubled past. She works at an assisted living home where she meets Alma, a Holocaust survivor. Alma falls in love with Ichi, a young Japanese gardener, who survived Topaz, the Japanese internment camp. Despite man's inhumanity to man, love, art and beauty can exist, as evidenced in their beautiful love story.”
--Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY
And now, the rest of the LibraryReads November Top 10:

The Improbability of Love: A Novel
by Hannah Rothschild

“The engaging, totally unexpected story of Annie, a lonely young woman who wanders into a junk shop and buys a painting. The painting turns out to have a long and storied past, with powerful people searching high and low for it. Unpredictable and fascinating; I loved the peek into the cutthroat art world and watching Annie blossom as she discovers her true calling.”

Heather Bistyga, Anderson County Library, Anderson, South Carolina

Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living
by Jason Gay
“This was a quick, enjoyable read that offers a refreshing perspective on some of the trivialities we all find ourselves caught up in. I enjoyed the tone and humor throughout. A standout for me was Gay's list of recommendations for his child's future baseball team. His open letter to this imagined future team envisions a team that can just let kids be kids. My only disappointment with this book was that there wasn't more of it--it seemed to end all too soon.”

Lindley Homol, Chesterfield County Public Library, Chesterfield, VA

Crimson Shore: A Novel
by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
(Grand Central Publishing)
In the latest installment in the Special Agent Pendergast series, Pendergast and Constance Greene investigate a theft of a wine cellar in an ancient village on the coast north of Salem, only to discover during their investigation the entombed remains of a tortured man."I always thoroughly enjoy the Pendergast novels, and the interaction between Pendergast and Constance in this book was very intriguing.”
Shari Brophy, Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA


The Muralist: A Novel 
by B.A. Shapiro

“This art-filled story following the young life and disappearance of Alizee Benoit is heartbreaking and thoughtful. Not only does the novel give an entertaining education on the WPA and abstract artists, but it also gives eerily relevant commentary on refugees and the cold-heartedness of government. Alizee's story will pull you along as you try to grasp how this bright light of the art community vanished.”

Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA

The Girl with Ghost Eyes
by M.H. Boroson
(Talos Press)
“In San Francisco during the late 1800s, a young Chinese widow tries to keep her father alive, and win a place in his heart she doesn't realize she already owns. This story is filled with wonderful detail from Chinese folklore and mythology, and plenty of action as two tongs battle to control Chinatown. The very best fantasy employs strong characters who are real people with real problems. I enjoyed every page.”

Janet  Martin, Southern Pines Public Library, Southern Pines, NC

Along the Infinite Sea:
A Novel
by Beatriz Williams
(G.P. Putnam's Sons)

“When Pepper Schuyler--on the run from a powerful politician and desperate to protect her unborn child--sells her newly restored classic car to an enigmatic and very wealthy woman, she not only finds unexpected refuge but also tantalizing hints of a mystery. With vivid European settings, colorful characters and intricate plotting that skillfully weaves past and present together, Along the Infinite Sea is a treat for fans of Beatriz Williams.”

Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

A Likely Story:
A Library Lover's Mystery
by Jenn McKinlay

" A Likely Story is just as addictive as the rest of the Library Lover's mysteries! McKinlay has written some of the most authentic library characters that I've come across in the cozy mystery genre. I can't wait to find out what the employees and patrons of Briar Creek Public Library (especially Sully) are up to next!”

Michelle Ross, Kanawha County Public Library,  Charleston, WV

Dear Mr. You
by Mary-Louise Parker

"Parker has created a unique and poetic memoir through a series of letters--some of appreciation, some of apology, some simply of acknowledgement--to the men in her life. Ranging from a taxi driver to a grandfather she never knew, each man has left an imprint and shaped her into the person she has become. Full of feeling, growth, and self-discovery, Parker’s book has left me longing to write my own letters.”

PJ Gardiner, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC

A Wild Swan:
And Other Tales
by Michael Cunningham and Yuko Shimizu (Illustrator)
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

“These are fairy tales that have slightly more insight, for the discerning adult. “The Wild Swans” was actually my favorite when I was young, next to “The Little Mermaid." These are a continuation of what happens after those stories end and are set, in some instances, in the modern world. Packed with humor, this is an easy gift for those who like to be read to at night or feel too old for idealistic fairy tales.”

Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window by Jonas Jonasson

This is a totally unbelievable comedic tall tale. I had to keep turning the pages just to see what outrageous adventure the author could dream up next for the life of Allan. Allan is a Swedish man who recently entered a nursing home, which he hates, and decides he does not want to go to his 100th birthday party that the director has planned.
Hilarious. A fun read.