Fiction

The Nightingale

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Kristin Hannah
The Nightingale

Read it. Not much more needs to be said.  Read it because you want something real, something beautiful, something to learn from and remember. Read it because it will change you a little.

Vianne and Isabelle are French sisters in 1941. Vianne is the older sister by 10 years and the more quiet, introspective of the two sisters; Isabelle is outrageous, angry, and brutally honest.  She is this way because of how she was treated by her father at an early age after their mother died. The sisters are vastly different people. When war comes, Vianne and Isabelle react in their own way. Isabelle is adventurous and wants to join the war efforts but is naive. Vianne is terrified - mostly for her children.

This is WWII as told to us through the stories of two exceptional women. Terrible things happen - parts are difficult to read. You will find yourself emotionally involved in this story and cringe at some of the events that take place, but the descriptions are not overly descriptive so it is left to your imagination to parse out the details.  If you have any compassion in you at all, you will cry at some places in this story. The events are eluded to with a light hand. Never manipulative. Never over the top. But mostly this was a story of bravery. Immense bravery that is absolutely inspiring. Even with the pain - the atrocities - the sadness. Finishing the book will give you a sense of kinship with one or both of the brave women who endured so much and you will find yourself thinking about the chapters long after you have put the book down.

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Sue H., Reference

The Husband's Secret

Thursday, February 4, 2016
Liane Moriarty
The Husband's Secret

When Cecilia Fitzpatrick stumbles across a letter from her husband that is to be opened upon his death, her life starts to change. Faced with the moral decision of whether or not to open it, Cecilia’s perfect, organized life is tipped askew. Liane Moriarty has done an excellent job of showing how one action can change not only your life, but that of others as well. An enjoyable read. Check it out!

Jan H., Tech Services

Some Luck

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Jane Smiley
Some Luck

This is the first installment in the Last Hundred Years: A Family Saga series by Jane Smiley. Beginning in 1920, this saga follows the family of Rosanna and Walter Langdon, farmers in Denby, Iowa, with a chapter for each year through 1953. Rather than a chronological accounting of the year, each chapter is more of a snapshot of the average, ordinary Langdon family. This rather different format allows the reader an intimate look at the realities of farm life and the cycles of births and deaths, passions and betrayals, triumphs and tragedies. As the children grow up and scatter around the country, you see how world events impact and effect ordinary people who are just trying to live their lives.

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Sue A2, Reference

 

Not on Fire, But Burning

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Greg Hrbek
Not on Fire, But Burning

Often you finish a book and are pleased or displeased with the experience and move on.  But sometimes you finish a book and keep thinking about it. Not on Fire, But Burning is such a book. It is not perfect, but is no less compelling because of it. A bit of a thriller, a bit dystopian, a bit science fiction, and a bit speculative fiction – for sure. But it is also a family drama, a social commentary and cautionary tale.

On 8/11/2030 the city of San Francisco is hit by an undetermined attack that results in the collapse of the Golden Gate Bridge and the release of a mushroom cloud of radiation over the city. Skyler Wakefield is a young college student working as a babysitter near the epicenter of the attack.  As she tries to get her young charge to a place of safety, all she can think about is her own 3 yr. old brother Dorian and the rest of her family and hope that their home outside the city is far enough away to be outside the contamination zone.

Eight years later, 12 year old Dorian, his parents, and brother are living on the other side of the country, which has been re-configured into provinces and territories following the attack. While no responsibility for the perpetration of the attack was ever proven, Islamic terrorists were widely blamed and all foreign-born Muslims have been rounded up and moved to containment camps in the western territories.  Meanwhile, Dorian has recurring dreams of a sister he doesn’t remember, and who his parents insist never existed.  He and his friends live in suspicion and mistrust of the Muslims remaining in the community. When a Muslim orphan from the camps is adopted by an elderly neighbor and brought to live in the neighborhood, a chain of events begins that has devastating consequences for all of them.

Mix all of that in with some alternative reality past, present, and future possibilities and you have a thought provoking read on the ripple effect of every seemingly singular choice we make.

“What we have presented here is a fraction of the whole, no more representative of the total narrative than a single cell is representative of the living body of a person, just as every person described herein is, in like manner, a fraction of a whole of greater selves.” Check the catalog

Sue A., Reference

Witch and Wizard

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
James Patterson
Witch and Wizard

Witch and Wizard is the first book in this series by James Patterson. It is written as a testimonial by 15 year old Wisty, and her older brother Whit. Their lives are turned upside down when they are torn from their parents, slammed into a secret prison, and accused of being a witch and wizard. The regime, known as The New Order, is intent upon suppressing life, liberty and the pursuit of being a normal teenager. While trapped in this relentless nightmare, Wisty and Whit begin to discover that they actually have incredible powers, but will they be able to master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents and maybe the world?

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Marybeth K., Circulation

 

Prisoner B-3087

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Gratz, Alan
Prisoner B-3087

Based on the life of Jack Gruener we gain the experience of a young Jewish Pole.  Incredibly, he experienced and survived the Holocaust; the initial sweeps, the ghetto, and ten different concentration camps.  Told from Jack's perspective we see things not as cold history, but heart wrenching pain of a young boy robbed of his youth and what he forfeits of his humanity to survive. The story seems so unlikely, you think the author has really taken liberties for the shock value.  No, it was thoroughly researched and closely based on Jack's experience. Prisoner B-3087 is well done, a definite must-read.

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Cindy A., Circulation

 

Beauty: A retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast

Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Robin McKinley
Beauty: A retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast

I read this as an assignment for our department and thoroughly enjoyed it.  There were over 200 pages of detail about how Beauty ended up in the beautiful castle and how the magic affected her life. Then I went back to other Beauty and the Beast books and compared them to this very detailed one.  Fascinating reading, I recommend it for teens and adults. Check our Catalog

Sue N., Youth Services

Host

Friday, December 18, 2015
Robin Cook
Host

This is another of Robin Cook’s many medical thrillers. The story follows two fourth-year medical students, close to graduation, through a couple of months’ time when Lynn’s boyfriend enters the hospital for routine surgery on his knee and ends up brain dead.  She wants to find out what went wrong and convinces her close friend, Michael, another medical student to help her investigate.  And so begins the story which I found very hard to put down, even though some of it was close to science-fiction (at least I hope it was).  And I don’t want to go into a hospital for knee surgery after what happened in this book.  Scary!  Check our Catalog

Betsy H., Reference

Me Before You

Friday, December 18, 2015
JoJo Moyes
Me Before You

 

The ordinary small town girl, Louisa Clark takes a job as an aide to the rich Will Traynor to help her family make ends meet. Will is a quadriplegic as the result of a recent accident.The relationship starts out rough, but when Louisa learns of Wills plans,  she sets out to change his mind by showing him what his life can be like with his disability.  In doing so, she falls in love.  This is a great story that gives some insight to what life is like for paralyzed people.  It will make you laugh and cry.    Check our Catalog

Jan H., Technical Services

 

The Rosie Project

Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Graeme Simsion
The Rosie Project

This book was charming; made me laugh out loud.  Don Tillman, a brilliant professor but very unskilled in social graces, decides that it's time to find a wife.  He designs a 16 page questionnaire to find a suitable mate.  While trying to filter out all the undesirables, he finds a friend in Rosie, who could never pass the test.  They develop a friendship working together on a project to find Rosie's father, and things begin to change between them

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Margaret B., Reference

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