Shotgun Lovesongs

Monday, June 29, 2015
Nikolas Butler
Shotgun Lovesongs

Four men grew up together in Little Wing, Wisconsin where the tallest building in town is the grain elevator. They go on to live very different lives - farmer, stock market investor, rodeo champ, and rock star. This story of who stays, who goes, and who comes back is told in chapters voiced by the four plus the woman they all loved. The language is authentic relating how relationships can become complicated in time, but the draw of home town and old friendships is strong. Butler's simple yet almost poetic description of the town and the landscape will make anyone from the mid-west homesick.  Check it out on MeLCat

Sue A2, Reference

The Bone Tree

Thursday, June 18, 2015
Greg Iles
The Bone Tree

In the second book of a trilogy, the action picks up precisely where it left off in Natchez Burning. Natchez mayor Penn Cage and his fiancée have narrowly escaped certain death after being attacked by the powerful business man Brody Royal and his associates from the Double Eagles, a KKK sect rumored to be responsible for several rapes and murders going back to the civil rights era. However, as Penn learns, Royal was not the true leader of the group, and the danger heading their way from Forrest Knox, the chief of the state police Criminal Investigation bureau is even more terrifying. While Penn is trying to find a way to clear his on-the-run father of a murder charge, journalist Caitlin uncovers information that could finally lead to the downfall of the Double Eagles – if she can only find the secret killing ground known as the Bone Tree.

I have to say, it took me a little longer to get into the Bone Tree than Natchez Burning, not really sure why. At 804 pages, it’s a hefty read, so it’s not a book to pick up if you’re pressed for time. In the end, I was glad that I stuck it out. Just when I thought I knew which way the plot would turn – it threw me a curve. Can’t wait to see what happens in the next one. Check the catalog.

Sue A., Reference

Bear Feels Scared

Friday, June 5, 2015
Karma Wilson
Bear Feels Scared

If you haven't read Karma Wilson's books yet-get started with her Bear books.  The rhythm and language is addicting.  The classic is Bear Snores On, of course, but Bear gets into all kinds of situations in the series.  Bear Feels Scared is all about Bear venturing a bit far and feeling scared.  His friends worry about him and go searching "through the wild, wet, weather".  If Wilson isn't already one of your favorites she will be after meeting Bear.

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Cindy A., Circulation

The burning room : a novel

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Michael Connelly
The burning room : a novel
In mystery writer Michael Connelly's newest book, The Burning Room, Detective Harry Bosch is back trying to solve a cold case from 20 years ago.  Paired this time with a young woman, Lucia Sota, Bosch at first has doubts about the young detective, but soon realizes that she is wise beyond her years, and brings much to the task of trying to solve this case.
At first the cold case has the appearance of being a random shooting by a Los Angeles gang.  But after much digging into the files, and interviewing witnesses, the 2 detectives realize that major political figures in the city might be involved.  
Another mystery, a personal quest for Lucia, also becomes part of the plot.  When she was small, a daycare center where she was a pupil, was set on fire.  She barely escaped, some of the children did not, and she has wanted to find those responsible ever since.  
This is a page-turner - Bosch and Lucia arrive at what seem like dead ends many times - but they persevere.  The 2 detectives are very different from each other, yet work well together and their different approaches to the mystery help to solve the cases.  Check our Catalog
Catherine T., reference

The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Allen, Sarah Addison
The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel

I ordered this charming story on audiobook through MelCat (although Howell Carnegie District library does have the print version).  I wanted to listen to the audio because it was recommended to me by a fellow librarian and the narrator does, indeed do a wonderful job filling the story with her colorful voices.

This is two stories in one.  The first is the story of a recently orphaned teenage girl who comes to Mullaby, North Carolina to live with her maternal grandfather.  The girl soon discovers that the people who knew her mother as a teen paint a very different picture of her than the devoted, charitable woman that the daughter knew growing up.
The second story is of a woman who returns to Mullaby after inheriting her father’s barbecue restaurant.  Her passion is baking and so she adds baked goods to the existing menu with some success but as the story unfolds we discover the reason she is so devoted to her craft is bittersweet.
This book has a small touch of “fairy-tale magic” but it’s not the overlying theme of the story more a thread that touches each of the characters.  The book does seem to be targeted to a younger adult audience – the stories focus on the story of the teen and the adult’s lives when they were teens .
And, while there is not a lot of deep, meaningful character development, there is a lovely story to be told.  I hope you enjoy this nice little summer read.

Check our Catalog  Peggy G., Circulation

Orphan Train

Friday, May 8, 2015
Christina Baker Kline
Orphan Train

Here is a fictional account of what appears to have been a viable option for "parentless" children in our past - a past without the social safety nets we now have and expect (initiated by our federal government as part of FDR's plan for recovery). This is our past; could it be our future?

The book is an easy read at maybe a 5th grade reading level. Caution: there is a non-graphic description of a disturbing sexual assault on the narrator as a 10 year old.

"Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvenile hall. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life – answers that will ultimately free them both." Check our Catalog

Donna O., Reference

Me Before You

Friday, May 8, 2015
JoJo Moyes
Me Before You


Will Traynor is one of the main character, changed forever in the blink of an eye as he stepped out into traffic  one rainy London day. Now, Will is a quadriplegic who needs round-the-clock care for his physical ailments, but for his emotional state-of-mind his mother has hired Louisa Clark to be a companion to Will. Louisa is a simple girl who has lived her entire 26 years in the shadows a small English village. She likes to wear colorful clothes and bumble bee tights. She just lost her job at a café; her family relies on Louisa for income so she accepts a job as Will’s care giver for a six month time period. 

 What happens in this six month time period is the heart of this story. It is about two families and how they cope with what life has dealt them. It is about choices and being allowed to choose. It is about awakening and discovering life and all there is to take from it and not be afraid to really love and live.  There are thoughts that came to mind as I read this story…thoughts I had never entertained.  It is a struggle between choice of live or choice of being and the quality or lack of that goes with it.   The outcome was a struggle and this book is haunting to say the least in that I kept thinking about it days afterwards, wondering what decision I would have made in the same circumstances.

 The cover of the book is misleading – it looks like it would be a 1960’s type read when in fact, it is a morally divisive topic. This is a book you need to experience…you have to know that it won’t be the way you think it will turn out so you need to read it blind.  It will take you the entire book before you figure out what the title means. Check our Catalog

Sue H., Reference

The One and Only Ivan

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Katherine Applegate
The One and Only Ivan

Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.  Yes I know, a story told by a gorilla, but his story is amazing!  Ivan was captured as a baby from the jungles of Africa and has spent the last twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall. Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see his home, and his art, through new eyes.  The story evolves into a personal quest for Ivan to help Ruby, his new friend.

This book is a winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal. This stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. The story is a compelling page turner.  You just want to keep reading!  The words are very powerful, yet the chapters are short, making it a great choice for kids who have a hard time staying engaged in a book.  Parts of the book are very sad and emotional, but the final outcome is a joyful one. Check our Catalog

Barb C., Technical Services

Florence Gordon

Friday, May 1, 2015
Brian Morton
Florence Gordon

Not everyone will like Florence. She is a cranky, blunt old feminist who is suddenly involved in her family's life after years of distance. This story had moments that made me laugh out loud, some that broke my heart, but in the end, warmed my heart. A great story of family dynamics. Check our Catalog

Sue A2, Reference

Red: A Crayon's Story

Friday, April 24, 2015
Michael Hall
Red: a crayon's story

If you enjoy picture books such as "The Day the Crayons Quit," you'll enjoy the book "Red".  A crayon with a red wrapper cannot seem to draw any color other than blue.  Red and red's teachers & parents get frustrated when red cannot draw a proper strawberry or collaborate with yellow to draw a proper sun.  When red is at his/her lowest, someone asks red to draw an ocean; red feels immensely proud at finally being able to draw something right and realizes that red can draw perfectly wonderful blue pictures.  A nice book to read-aloud to preschool-kindergarten aged children.  Check our Catalog

Janice H., Youth Services


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