Fiction

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

One Last Thing Before I Go

Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Jonathan Tropper
One Last Thing Before I Go

Silver is forty-four, a former drummer with a one-hit-wonder band, and a middle-aged lost soul. He is sad, funny, engaging and frustrating, sometimes all at the same time. His daughter is pregnant, his ex-wife is getting married, and he discovers that he needs surgery, soon, or else he will die. He is constantly getting himself in trouble by not being able to stop himself from saying out loud things he shouldn't be saying at all. Tropper has a way of making his quirky characters and their zany situations real. This is a fun light read.  Check our Catalog

Sue A2, Reference

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie the Pooh

Monday, November 16, 2015
Lindsay Mattick
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie the Pooh

We all know Winnie the Pooh. However, not many of us know “Winnie” the beloved real bear of Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian going off to war in 1914. Harry Colebourn’s great -granddaughter is sharing the story of Winnie the bear with her son Cole before going to bed.  Beautifully written and illustrated with a family album shared at the end of the book. Loved it! It will touch your heart and soul.  Check our Catalog

Kate D., Youth Services

Jimmy Bluefeather: A Novel

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Kim Heacox
Jimmy Bluefeather: A Novel

Being a lover of nature and adventure, our library has 2 books by Kim Heacox that I have enjoyed: Jimmy Bluefeather: A Novel and Rhythm of the Wild: A Life Inspired by Alaska's Denali National Park. One of the storylines is about Jimmy Bluefeather, a high school student that is guaranteed a spot on a NBA team, until his leg is injured in a logging accident. James struggles to “reinvent” his life’s path while swallowing the speculation that the accident was caused by rivaled negligence. His grandfather, Old Keb, being a native of mixed blood that includes Tlingit, successfully steers a reluctant James in a direction that involves his hands rather than his legs. Keb introduces James to the ancient practice of carving a canoe. The canoe is carved from a log that Keb has saved from a time when his mentor was still alive. Keb’s wood shed becomes the town’s gathering place to help or watch the boat come into form. Being a respected elder of the village, the townspeople, are aware of Keb’s deteriorating health, and wonder if the hand carved “vehicle” will become a way that Keb is brought “home.” This book weaves Keb’s life, which is rich in ancient culture, to “modern times” that are embroiled in land rights.

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Geralyn B., Technical Services

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