Fiction

A Dog's Life

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Peter Mayle
A Dog's Life

This book takes place in France, and tells the story of a dog that escapes a cruel farm life. He lives off his wits in a village until a kind couple finds him and takes him home. The story is told by "him, the dog," and it is hilarious! A lovely book.

Check our catalog for this book.

Marilyn S., Circulation

The Map of True Places

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Brunonia Barry

Zee Finch has come a long way from her troubled youth to become a psychotherapist in a well-respected Boston practice. Things start to unravel for her when one of her patients, a bipolar mother of two young children commits suicide by jumping off a bridge. For Zee, the similarities between Lilie Braedon and her own bipolar mother's suicide when Zee was young is almost too much to bear. After the funeral, a quick visit to her father makes it obvious that his Parkinson's disease has progressed more rapidly than she had been aware of. Since he has suddenly kicked his long-time partner and care-giver out of the house Zee decides that she must take a leave from her job and stay in Salem not only to care for her father, but to sort through the emotional turmoil of both Lilie's death and the turbulent past of her own mysterious mother. Another emotionally compelling novel by the author of The Lace Reader.



Sue A., Reference

Check the catalog

 

Girls in Trouble

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Caroline Leavitt
Teenage pregnancy is often stereotyped and overused by the media.  It seems like there is a pregnant sixteen year old cast in every hit television series. This book, Girls in Trouble, is about a teenage pregnancy too, but unlike those shows it emphasizes an entirely different message.
Sara is the most academically gifted student in her grade and is being considered by many Ivy League colleges. Her life chances drastically when she falls in love with Danny, who shows her how to truly enjoy life. Sara ignores the fact that she may be pregnant until it’s too late, and must find adoptive parents to take her child. The open adoption with Sara’s perfect adoptive parents seems ideal, but when Sara has to give up her baby and infringes on the new parents’ personal life, it becomes a huge problem. This book covers a large period of time and redefines the possibilities of a strong family.
This novel is an excellent, fast paced summer read, and it defies every stereotype of teenage pregnancy.



Gabrielle M., Circulation

Check the catalog

The Red Thread

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Ann Hood

Maya Lange works with 6 couples who wish to adopt from China.  Having lost a baby of her own in a freak accident, her agency work brings her some comfort.  The book shows the emotions of the families as well as the complications of foreign adoption.



Sue N., Youth Services

Check the catalog

Trailback

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Robert Vaughan

Todd Williams returns to Texas to take over the family ranch "Trailback" after his father's death.  He does so under an anonymous name because he plans on changing the longhorns out for herford cows.  However, he doesn't realize that the other ranchers won't " take to kindly" to the idea. This is a true western with action, a gunfighter and of course a pretty woman.  George Guidall does a great job narrating this story.  You'll laugh at some of the expressions and feel like you are watching an old John Wayne movie!  Check it out for yourself and enjoy.



Jan H., Technical Services

Check the catalog

State Fair

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Earlene Fowler

The setting of the latest Benni Harper mystery is the Mid-State Fair in San Celina County, California. Benni's Grandma Dove and visiting Great Aunt Garnet are bickering as only sisters can do, so Benni is elected to entertain her aunt at the fair and keep her out of Dove's hair. When Benni and Garnet discover a body placed in one of the fair exhibits, they are drawn into the investigation since it appears that the crime may have been racially motivated to disgrace their friend and first African-American fair director, Levi. Amazingly, elderly Aunt Garnet is only too ready to solve the crime, inadvertently endangering herself and others. Earlene Fowler's depiction of the state fair atmosphere and California ranch life are vivid and her characters are real and heartwarming. Those who have been waiting (and it's been awhile) for another Benni Harper book will not be disappointed.



Sue A., Reference

Check the catalog

 

Water for Elephants

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants is not a happy book, but it is filled with irony and packed with action.  It takes place in the 1930's and depicts a young Polish man, Jacob, and his life traveling with the circus.  Although his intention is to practice veterinary medicine, Jacob finds himself caught up with The Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth and his life will never be the same.

This novel is written as a flashback, so some chapters reveal what is happening to Jacob decades later.  He cannot remember his age, the year, or which of his children will come visit him at the nursing home, but his memories of the circus are still crystal clear.  I loved the fact that toward the end of the novel, Jacob's present life is explained by his past.

The cruelty of the circus is exemplified poetically in this book.  Jacob has to fight the ring master's brutality and still manage to protect the people he loves.  He is forced to watch as circus freaks endure poverty, hunger, and the chance they may be thrown off the moving train in the dead of night.  He knows the circus is controlled by fear, and he alone is willing to sacrifice everything to protect his friends.

I absolutely loved Water for Elephants.  It is rare to read a book both incredibly brutal and positively inspiring, but Sara Gruen's novel is both.

Gabrielle M., Circulation

Check the catalog

Secret Daughter

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Two women, a poor Indian woman forced to give up her baby girl in order to save her life, and an American woman, who adopts the baby, tell this story from two very different viewpoints.  The book takes place in San Francisco and the slums of India.  The reader sees the wonderful family life of the wealthy when the now 20 year old student visits her Indian father's family for a year.  And she also experiences the extreme poverty of Bombay.  Such an eye opening book for Westerners.

Sue N., Youth Services

Check the catalog

The Spy

Tuesday, July 6, 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

Tuesday, July 6, 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

 

LIBRARY TWEETS

Follow Us on Twitter