Fiction

The Bell Jar

Wednesday, June 16, 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

Tuesday, May 4, 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

Tuesday, May 4, 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
 

Extreme Measures

Tuesday, April 20, 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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After You

Tuesday, April 20, 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.

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Sue N., Youth Services

The Puzzle Lady vs the Sudoku Lady

Saturday, March 20, 2010
Parnell Hall ("includes puzzles by Will Shortz!")

How could you resisted the book jacket? I couldn't .. and I'm glad I didn't. "The battle of the century" .. "bestseller lists" .. "murder" .. "puzzles" .. Award winning Parnell Hall authors the delightful Puzzle Lady crossword puzzle mysteries. They read fast and fun ... and in the words of Booklist, "(they are) gosh-darned good."

Donna O., Reference and Technical Services

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Panic Attack

Saturday, March 20, 2010
Jason Starr
If you like psychological suspense, this is the book for you. It is the 'ultimate page turner'. A doctor with a perfect life- financially secure, wife and grown daughter, shoots an iintruder in his house and this leads to a series of odd events. When the daughter brings home a new boyfriend, things get really crazy. Can't tell you more but you need to read this book.
 
Sue N., Youth Services
 

In the Heart of the Canyon

Thursday, February 11, 2010
Elizabeth Hyde
Twelve people of assorted ages and lifestyles take a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. It is the guide's 125th trip and turns out to be his most memorable. Getting to know the characters and their interactions with each other and the guides is fascinating but following along with the included map and details of white wqter rafting add to the enjoyment of this gripping novel.
 
Sue N., Youth Services

Mutant Message Down Under

Thursday, February 11, 2010
Marlo Morgan

This is a fictional account of a woman that travels to Australia. While there, she is summoned by a tribe of Aborigines. Her understanding is that she is to receive an award. She blindly travels in an open jeep dressed to the nines far into the Outback. Once she arrives at her destination with the “Real People” she is stripped of everything she has in her possession (credit cards, keys, ID, clothes). She is given a cotton covering to hide her physical body. She is then led on a 4 month journey through the Outback with her Aboriginal companions that treat her like one of their own. She has to endure the environmental differences (her feet become like hoofs from walking on the desert), living discomforts (eating worms & sleeping on the ground) and language differences. Each day the group walks in no particular direction with little baggage (no food or water-they have to rely on what is provided along the way). She learns that she has been “chosen” to spread the message taught to her during her walkabout that humankind needs to better honor all living things—plants, animals, & the earth. This book reinforced the message to me to be more appreciative of all that we have—water, air, food, housing, etc. and the environmental/health concerns that we are facing. When I mentioned reading this book to my spiritual friends, they said that they had read the book years ago & appreciated the message that it speaks. I am now reading Marlo Morgan’s book, Message From Forever. We need to envision a healthy “Mother Earth."

Geralyn B., Technical Services

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The Test

Thursday, February 11, 2010
Patricia Gussin
Wow, what a gripping book. "Determined to leave something more valuable than money to his 6 children, philanthropist Paul Parnell stipulates a most unusual will "The Test". One year to make a difference and for a fractured family- what a year"
 
A cannot put down novel!

Sue N., Youth Services

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