Fiction

Winter Study

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Nevada Barr
Park Ranger Anna Pigeon is sent to Isle Royale National Park to assist and observe the resident wolf packs’ habits and behaviors since wolves may soon be reintroduced to Rocky Mountain National Park where Anna is stationed. The winter study of Isle Royale’s wolves has been ongoing for fifty years but may now be in jeopardy due to the interference of Homeland Security who feels the park should be opened to the public in the winter so they can use it as a base to monitor potential terrorist threats along the Canadian border. Soon after Anna’s arrival, the odd assortment of study team members, biologists, and Homeland Security folks begin to notice unusual behavior in the wolves. As Anna tries to sort things out, the very survival of everyone on the island, including Anna herself, is terrifyingly called into question.
I love Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon series as much for her excellent depictions of the National Parks where they are set as for the characters and stories. I was especially interested in Winter Study because of its focus on the renowned wolf project conducted by Rolf Peterson and Michigan Technological University in Houghton. The book’s forward is written by Rolf Peterson.

Sue A., Reference

 

Fire Point

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
John Smolens

Tensions simmer in Michigan's remote Upper Peninsula when a stranger comes to renovate an old Victorian home and becomes involved with 19 year old Hannah, the town pariah. When Sean Colby, her former boyfriend, returns to town, his jealousy and hostility involve many other townspeople. This is suspenseful up to the chilling end.

Sue N., Youth Services

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Last Night at the Lobster

Monday, April 14, 2008
Stewart O'Nan

Set on the last day of business of a Connecticut Red Lobster, this tells the story of Manny DeLeon, a conscientious, committed restaurant manager any national chain would want to keep. Instead, corporate has notified Manny that his—and Manny does think of the restaurant as his—location is not meeting expectations and will close December 20. On this last night, Manny is committed to a dream of perfection, but no one and nothing seems to share his vision. Small but not slight, the novel is a concise, poignant portrait of a man on the verge of losing himself. I would recommend this to anyone who has ever had a job or a relationship.

Sue A2, Reference

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River God

Monday, April 14, 2008
Wilbur Smith

While visiting Egypt and after I returned, I read the River God, a fascinating story of history, love, civil war, and the glory of the Pharaoh days. It is very accurate historically and reinforced much that I learned on my trip. It is a long book with much detail but the characters make it flow along with the facts.Wilbur Smith writes "A grand tale of intrigue, deception, true love and exile."I highly recommend this read.

Sue N, Youth Services

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Great Picture Books!

Wednesday, March 26, 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

Wednesday, March 26, 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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