Fiction

Sam's Letters to Jennifer

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
James Patterson
Sam's Letters to Jennifer

Usually, I love everything James Patterson writes. This novel was the exception. His thrillers are exciting and suspenseful, but this unusual love story didn’t possess these traits or any others that made it worth reading.

Sam is dying, but she leaves her granddaughter Jennifer about 75 letters that reveal her true past. Sam had many secrets, and her letters are the only way to unearth her true life to her granddaughter while she deteriorated in a coma. While Jennifer reads the letters, she meets her childhood friend at her grandmother’s lake and begins an exciting summer romance.

 

This novel was very cliché, and I didn’t take very much away from it.

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Gabrielle M., Circulation

Storm Prey

Thursday, July 1, 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

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The Aloha Quilt

Thursday, July 1, 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

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Cutting for Stone

Thursday, July 1, 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

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Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show

Thursday, June 24, 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

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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Thursday, June 24, 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)

Thursday, June 24, 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

Thursday, June 24, 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

Thursday, June 24, 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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Winter Garden

Thursday, June 24, 2010
Kristen Hannah

Although Winter Garden gets off to a slow start, it soon captivates and draws the reader into a story that will not soon be forgotten.  As Anya tells her "fairytale," it becomes evident that this is not an enchanted story.  Instead of a legend filled with love and romance, it is a terrifying account laced with loss, heartache and tears.  Set in Russia during World War II, this tale speaks too close to the nightmare that many endured during this oppressive time.  I had to read this book in spurts because the author so brilliantly taps into the heart of her readers.  Being a mother, I felt that this story speaks of the truth of the undying love we hold for our children, and no matter how difficult the circumstance, you pick yourself up and forge ahead to protect those we love most dearly.

What an excellent book!

Emily D., Circulation

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