Fiction

The Spy

Monday, July 5, 2010
Clive Cussler and Justin Scott

It's 1908 and Isaac Bell and The Van Dorn Detective agency are called on to investigate the apparent suicide of the Navy's chief gun designer, Alfred Langner.  As other leading naval researchers begin having mysterious accidents, it soon becomes obvious that someone is out to sabotage the top secret Hull 44 project and thus destroy and disgrace American naval operations in the buildup to World War I.  Will Isaac find 'The Spy' before he can accomplish this task?  Though Cussler doesn't depart from his trademark style, the Isaac Bell series is a nice departure from the Dirk Pitt novels with interesting historical settings and details.

Sue A., Reference

Check the catalog

On Mystic Lake

Monday, July 5, 2010
Kristin Hannah
On Mystic Lake

After reading Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah I was hooked and wanted to read another one of her titles. I decided to choose one of her earlier works, On Mystic Lake.  I wanted to compare the style of her writing from one of her most recent works to one that was written over 10 years ago. Although the writing was very good in both Winter Garden and On Mystic Lake, the older title tends to reflect more of a romance style of writing lined with real life issues while the more current title seemed to hone in on the development of the individuals themselves touching on relationships that they held.

On Mystic Lake, Hannah's story of Annie Colwater is realistic in this day and age of the modern woman. After returning home from dropping their daughter off at the airport for as tudy abroad trip, Annie's husband tells her that he is in love with another woman and wants a divorce. Dealing with this heartbreak allows Annie to truly find herself and what she wants in life after playing a part for so many years of who she though everyone else wanted her to be. Along the way Annie reunites with an old high school friend and his daughter who is suffering immensely after the loss of his wife. This is an enjoyable book of heartbreak and recovery. This book shows us that it is in times of greatest despair, when we are at our most vulnerable moment, that the most beautiful opportunities can present themselves offering redemption to those strong enough to hold on.

Check the catalog.

Emily D., Circulation

 

Storm Prey

Wednesday, June 30, 2010
John Sandford

There are numerous crime/police procedural series out there, and I've read parts of many.  But the series that I'm always waiting for the next one to be published is Sandford's Prey series starring Lucas Davenport.  Lucas, who sometimes has trouble following the rules, has had an interesting career path from police officer in the The Twin Cities to his current role at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.  Along the way there have been numerous relationships, friendships and plenty of "bad guys" needing to be caught.  One warning to readers - the crimes in the Prey series tend to be violent and the language can be rough.  Storm Prey (the 20th in the series) didn't disappoint.

The crime, a robbery of the Minnesota Medical Research Center's pharmacy, should have been a piece of cake as it was an inside job.  It was just meant to be a robbery, but ends up being much more.  Factor in that Weather (Lucas' wife) sees the robbers as they exit the parking garage, the surgery that Weather is team member on, and the attempt that is made on Weather's life and it's off and running in typical Sandford fashion.  Being obsessive-compulsive about reading series, I'd recommend starting with the first (Rules of Prey) originally published in 1989) and reading up to Storm Prey.  If you end up hooked like me, you'll be happy to know that there are a couple of other characters that Sandford chronicles as well.  FYI - John Sandford is the pseudonym of Pulitzer Prize winning journalest John Camp.


Holly, Youth Services

Check the catalog

The Aloha Quilt

Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Jennifer Chiaverini

In this installment of the Elm Creek Quilts series, as Bonnie Markham attempts to deal with a bitter divorce, she decides to spend the winter in Hawaii helping an old friend set up a quilt camp at her inn on Maui.  A departure from the usual Pennsylvania setting of the series, I enjoyed the descriptions of the lush, tropical scenery, and the insight into the design and meaning of Hawaiian style quilts.  Quite a bit of Hawaiian history and culture is also relayed through the stories of the new friends Bonnie makes on the island.  Chiaverini's strength is in making you feel as though you're wrapped in a quilt among friends, and she rarely disappoints.

Sue A., Reference

Check the catalog

Cutting for Stone

Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Abraham Verghese

All the praise this book has received is richly deserved.  It is many things - a big sweeping family saga, a medical romance, and a coming of age story.  Cutting for Stone is about twin brothers born in Ethiopia to an Indian nun and a British surgeon.  Prepare to be transported to another place, time and culture as you inhale the scents and sounds of Ethiopia.  This is a great book that I will read again.

Margaret, Reference

Check the catalog

The Help

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Kathryn Stockett

This book is like putting on slippers after you've danced the night away in heels that pinched just a little.  First time novelist, Kathryn Stockett, hit a home run when she wrote The Help.  The story revolves around the relationships among different women and their domestic help during the early years of the 1960's in Mississippi, arguably the poster child for poor race relations in the United States.  It is not always easy to read, and I sometimes found myself embarrassed that these events (or something like them) happened during my lifetime in this country.  Ms. Stockett called upon her own experiences growing up in the deep South and writes with amazing realism, humor and heart.

I loved, loved, loved this book!  Put it on hold and wait as long as you have to to get it (hopefully it won't be too long!)  It is so very worth reading.

Kathleen M., Administration

Check the catalog

Hush

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Kate White

This is a page turning thriller about a woman in a custody fight for her children, who discovers a murdered doctor after she has had a one-night stand with him.  Something is not right at the doctor's clinic and the ins and outs of fertility clinic operations, custody hearings and her efforts to protect herself make this a convoluted but fascinating novel.

Sue N., Youth Services

Check the catalog

The Deep End of the Ocean

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Jacquelyn Mitchard

The Deep End of the Ocean was most certainly not a light nor uplifting novel, but its brutal honesty and richness were sometimes better.  Because I am only a sophomore in high school and have never been a parent, it was often hard for me to fathom losing my child.  The closest thing I can relate it to is when my pet turtle disappears in the depths of our fenced backyard.  I begin to feel nauseous when our search is unsuccessful and waves of guilt crash over me when I imagine him hungry or hurt.  The kidnapping premise of this book was hauntingly realistic, even to me.

When Beth departs for her high school reunion, her priorities are slightly skewed.  Caught in a hotel lobby with her former peers, Beth's 3 year-old son disappears.  At first, the search includes only the hotel, but when the police arrive and her child's small red sneaker is found, the abduction can no longer be denied.

I must admit that I began this book three months ago and didn't finish it until recently.  I read half, but the realistic plot and simplistic storyline didn't have me completely hooked.  I realize now that The Deep End of the Ocean is simply an excellent story about a family resisting destruction after the loss of their child.  The dignified writing style was my favorite aspect of this book, and reminded me that it's okay to just "read a good book."

Gabrielle M., Circulation

Check the catalog

Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Frank Delaney

I have read some of Frank Delaney's previous novels and enjoyed them quite a bit, but I have to say it really took me awhile to get into this one.  The story centers around Irish vaudeville and politics in 1932.  When eighteen year-old Ben McCarthy's father uncharacteristically runs off with a traveling theater troupe, his mother sends Ben off to bring him home.  In the process, Ben falls in love with the same stunning young actress that his father has become involved with.  It soon becomes apparent that there is much more happening here than mere matters of the heart.  As political intrique shapes the course of events, Ben must grow up quickly if he hopes to rescue his family and avoid tragedy.  If you enjoy tales of Ireland, its people, and politics, you will probably enjoy this - but be prepared for a slow start.

Sue A., Reference

Check the catalog

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Stieg Larsson

This is the third is the Lisbeth Salander trilogy.  The second book ended as a cliff hanger.  How was she going to get of this one?  In this book, she is no longer a victim, but orchestrates her revenge...from first a guarded hospital room, where she is recovering from taking a bullet in the head and then a cell, where she awaits trial.  This is a satisfying read, but only if you've read the first two, because so much of her past is explained.  It ends by setting the stage for the next volume...too bad Larsson, the author, passed.... 
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0.9171.1989142.00 html

Could his life have been as exciting as Lisbeth's?

Donna O., Reference and Adult Services

Check the catalog

 

LIBRARY TWEETS

Follow Us on Twitter