Fiction

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

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Mockingbird (mok'ing-burd)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Kathryn Erskine

This book shows us inside the mind of a 10 year old girl who as Asperger's syndrome.  Her brother has been killed in a school shooting and she and her single parent father try to deal with everyday life and teachers and schoolmates.  The father is portrayed as a strong person who is trying to deal with the cancer death of his wife and all of Caitlyn's problems.  Caitlyn is strong and brave and tries hard to work with her counselors.

I didn't know much about this syndrome and I have a friend whose son has Asperbergers so it was eye opener for me.

I highly recommend this book to adults as well as readers grade 4 and up.

Sue N., Youth Services

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Marker

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Robin Cook

A long 528 page medical thriller by the popular author Robin Cook. This book had a lot of different themes, the human genome markers for diseases, love interest, hospital and surgical details and the mystery aspect. It is very tense in places and though long, it held my interst the whole way through. I even got up at 5:30 to finish it before I came to work.

Sue N., Youth Services

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Darkness Falls

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Kyle Mills

Wouldn't it be great if there were bacteria that ate oil spills? The out-of-control BP rig in the Gulf, perhaps, wouldn't be such an interminable disaster. But what if a radical environmentalist thought going one step further--creating a bacteria that ate all forms of oil--would save the planet? That's the scenario in Darkness Falls by Kyle Mills.

Doris, Reference

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Old School

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Tobias Wolff

I should have liked this book better – because I love the idea of it.The story takes place in a New England prep school during 1960.The narrator wants desperately to fit in with the other boys that attend this prestigious school and he accomplishes this by telling as little about himself and his life as possible.He is ashamed of his life outside of school.The school prides itself on its “literary connections,” and holds a contest each year for a meeting with a famous visiting author.Many of the boys aspire to write, and our narrator is desperate to win the final contest before his graduation and meet his hero, Ernest Hemingway.

I finished the book because I was curious about where our narrator ultimately might end up.It was quite a zig zag, as life often is.This book was definitely worth reading, but I must confess, left me somewhat disappointed.

Kathleen M., Administration

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The Bell Jar

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Sylvia Plath

A common theme among high school students is that classic books are dull or incomprehensible. This novel by Sylvia Plath defied all of these assumptions. Although it was written several decades ago, the language is easy to understand and the storyline is intriguing.

Sylvia Plath’s revolutionary character, Esther, isn’t insane at the beginning of the book. On the contrary, she is polite, brilliant, and has big aspirations. As the story continues, however, Esther’s plans are foiled and suddenly her appetite has disappeared along with her willingness to live. As her life continues, Esther slowly loses her sanity and experiences hopelessness and fear during her stay at an insane asylum.

The Bell Jar is a simple and poetic novel. Although it’s a classic, the themes are relevant today and I found it very comforting.

Gabrielle M., Circulation

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Winter Garden

Monday, May 3, 2010
Kristin Hannah

This is a fascinating book within a book, a story of the seige of Leningrad during World War II and the story of a mother and two daughters. Hannah excels at letting the reader into the life and minds of her characters and these two very different and estranged sisters try hard to get to know their seemingly cold and distant mother. I have to admit it is a tear jerker at the end but in a very good way.

Sue N., Youth Services

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Little Bee

Monday, May 3, 2010
Chris Cleave
Little Bee is not her real name. She was from a small rural Nigerian village where she would have lived out her lifebut for events beyond her comprehension, much less her control.Cleave spotlights what others must endure. This is a fictional account (I hope it's not based on fact).I recommend this for book club, although the "beach scene" is brutal.
Donna O., Adult/Technical Services Librarian
 

After You

Monday, April 19, 2010
Julie Buxbaum
After You

A rather quiet story that pulls you into the characters. Ellie goes to London to care for her murdered best friend's 8-year-old daughter. Her shakey marriage, the stress of losing her friend, and dealing with her spaced-out parents make for a complicated few months. It's a book about love, relationships, grief, and is a compelling read.

Check the catalog for this book.

Sue N., Youth Services

Extreme Measures

Monday, April 19, 2010
Vince Flynn

The theme of the book is the war on terror. It is an all too real portrayal of the private war we never hear about, unless something goes wrong. As I am sure you recall, right after 9/11 every American wanted the military and the CIA to protect us and didn't care how they did it. After a while, when we felt more comfortable about the threat, we began to express disdain for the methods, or extreme measures, that were used to fight this war. The storyline of this book is about this issue.

Mitch Rapp and Mike Nash are back together again to fight another battle. 2 terror cells had previously been exposed and caught. Torture had been used on those arrested in order to get the information that there is a 3rd cell already in the US and ready to attack. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee hauls Rapp in to testify in front of her committee. Sen. Lonsdale loves all the media attention she can get and is looking forward to publicly thrashing Rapp. However, before Rapp can re-appear at an afternoon hearing, he gets word that one of his people has been killed. This tells him that the cell is in D.C. and knows that he is hot on their trail. Before the day ends, bombs go off in 3 D.C. restaurants at lunch time and a somewhat successful assault is made on the National Counterterrorism Center. Could the attacks have been prevented if Rapp hadn't spent time preparing to answer questions from the Judiciary Committee? The unwritten answer seems to be yes.

My favorite quote is on page 245 where there is a discussion regarding whether certain Congressman are loyal to America in the war on terror. Mitch Rapp complains "they hold us accountable, but we never hold them accountable." I think this idea of Congressional accountability is something we need to seriously think about.

Extreme Measures is incredibly realistic and I highly recommend it.

Ray K., Administration

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