Fiction

Great Picture Books!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Perfect Snowman by Preston McDaniels

This wonderfully written and illustrated picture book tells a great story about a snowman who learns some very important lessons about caring for others. The pictures are exquisite and adults will love them as much as the children they are reading the story to will.

Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

This adorable little picture book is full of fun and may remind parents of their experience trying to get their children to eat what is on their plate. Read along with the cute little pea who doesn’t want to eat his candy and laugh together.

Jen, Circulation & Administration

 

Nick Adams Stories

Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Ernest Hemingway

I hadn't read Hemingway in many years. Reading this book was exactly what my "reading diet" called for at this time! I forgot the simple, short, direct and very satisfying style that he has. Every word is carefully chosen and what's left unsaid is equally important. I really enjoyed this book. It has great themes of coming of age, relationships, and of war. I absolutely love the outdoor life as Hemingway did, and have visited many Michigan places that he writes about in this book. If you have hiked, fished and camped in the north woods, you will enjoy Big Two-Hearted River. This book was chosen to be the first Great Michigan Read. For more information, go to www.howelllibrary.org and click on Great Michigan Read.

Margaret, Reference

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Rattled

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Debra Galant

The McMansion scene in New Jersey is the locale for this hilarious novel. Any resemblance to Livingston County is purely coincidental. A good laugh.

Mary L., Reference

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The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Kim Edwards

The story unfolds after the birth of twins, a boy and a girl. The girl has downs syndrome. The year is 1964. The father, a doctor, who delivers his own children inthe midst of a fierce snow storm, sends his daughter away thinking he willsave his family a great deal of grief.

Personally, I couldn't empathize withany of the characters. They all seemed two dimensional – not fullydeveloped. The book received good reviews; so many others probably will enjoy this.

Kathleen Z., Library Director

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The Appeal

Sunday, February 24, 2008
John Grisham

Grisham returns to familiar ground in this legal thriller about what happens after a small Mississippi law firm wins a huge verdict over a large chemical company that dumped carcinogenic toxic waste at one of its facilities. Krane Chemical not only sets out to appeal the huge award, but knowing that it will take more than a year for the Mississippi Supreme Court to hear the case, they begin a plot to elect a justice whose vote will swing the court in their favor. If, like me, you were under the assumption that justices were not subject to the same campaign machinations as other elected officials then the political and legal intrigue that ensues will astound you.

Sue A, Reference

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The Mermaid Chair

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Sue Monk Kidd

A story that keeps unfolding in creative ways following the life and passions of the main character, Jessie Sullivan, as it progresses through thought-provoking turns. After her daughter goes off to college and her mother needs medical care, Jessie is forced to confront the stories about the death of her father when she was a child as her life turns completely in a new direction.

Kathleen Z., Library Director

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An Absolute Gentleman

Sunday, February 24, 2008
R. M. Kinder

"This novel portrays a segment in the life of a serial killer and his relationships with the people he is surrounded by as a professor and an author. The raw honesty about the killer's perspective on other people, in particular women, and his own psychological breakdown of himself was fascinating. This book does not go into much detail about the murders and has a surprisingly sparse amount of violence considering the premise. Instead, the book focuses on the human interaction of a serial killer. Philosophical types will definitely enjoy this novel."

Jen, Circulation & Administration

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Ida B…and her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster and (Possibly) Save the World (Book & Book on CD)

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Katherine Hannigan
Ida B…and her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster and (Possibly) Save the Worl

I’m Ida B., not Ida that’s my Mama, but Ida B. Life is pretty good here on the farm with Mama, Daddy, Rufus our dog and Lula our cat. I’m home schooled, I tried kindergarten for 3 weeks at the Ernest B. Lawson Elementary School, but it wasn’t for me. After doing my school work there is lots to do here. I talk with the trees in the apple orchard – yes, talk. All the trees have names and if you listen closely they answer. I also talk with the brook that runs through our farm. Daddy always says that we don’t own the earth; we are the earth’s caretakers and that we should leave our land better than we found it.
And then Mama found a lump and the lump had cancer, and Daddy sold some of our land, and they cut down my friends the trees and now I have to go to 4th grade at the stupid Ernest B. Lawson Elementary School. What am I going to do?

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Holly, Youth Services

Holding Up the Earth

Monday, January 28, 2008

I was raised in a home that my parents built when I was 5 years old.So I know the history of the house.I currently live in a home built in 1927 and I often wonder about the history of the house. I know a little of the history through the original deed I was given when we purchased the house.For instance, the property was originally owned by one of the McPherson brothers of Howell.Technically I live in the McPherson subdivision in Lansing.But what I really wonder about is the people who lived there before us and what their lives where like.I want that personal glimpse into the past….

When Hope was 8 years old, her mother was killed in a car accident.Hope, now 14, has bounced around from foster home to foster home.Sarah, her current foster mom is different than the others.But Hope has long given up on the thought of adoption.Sarah and Hope travel from Minneapolis one summer to Nebraska and the farm where Sarah was raised.While there, Anna, Sarah’s mother, shares the history of four generations of young women who have lived on the farm.Through letters, Hope learns of Abigail’s struggles in 1869-1870 when the property was homesteaded. Rebecca’s diary tells of her time as the hired girl in the summer of 1900.Anna tells her own story of June1936.And finally, Sarah shares her own diary of 1963 with Hope.Will the farm capture Hope’s heart as it did those before her?

 

The reviewer in Horn Book said it best:

“The stories of five teenaged girls – separated by decades, but joined by their love of a Nebraska farm- are pieced together like a patchwork quilt in this first novel…A carefully structured work full of recurring connections and patterns, peopled with strong female characters.”

Holly, Youth Services

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Water for Elephants

Monday, January 28, 2008
Sara Gruen

Jacob Jankowski, the narrator and main character, is over 90 years old and tells the story of his life with the circus in the 1930’s. His parents died in an auto accident just before he was to take his final exams in veterinary medicine at Cornell University. Because his parents had mortgaged everything to pay his tuition, he was left destitute. In his despair, he ran away and found himself eventually accepted as the veterinarian for the Benzini Brothers Circus. He falls in love with a star performer who is the wife of the cruel animal trainer. This conflict keeps the reader turning the pages to find out more.

The author researched the details of the brutish conditions of 3rd rate circuses in the depression. She skillfully humanizes the various circus "freaks" and captures the magic of the "big acts". Ultimately she weaves a very intriguing story of historic romantic fiction.

Kathleen Z., Library Director

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