Fiction

The Book of Lost and Found

Thursday, March 17, 2016
Lucy Foley
The Book of Lost and Found

Kate Darling is grieving the loss of her beloved mother June, a world class ballerina, who was killed in a recent plane crash when she receives startling information from her grandmother Evie. She had always known that her mother was adopted but June had always believed that her birth mother had never tried to find her. As Evie herself nears death, she gives Kate a letter and an artist’s drawing of a woman that bears an amazing resemblance to June. Kate is compelled to embark on a journey to discover the identity of the woman she believes to be her grandmother; a journey that travels through time as well as place, as she is led from London, to Corsica, to Paris and New York to find the answers to family secrets and love, both lost and found. Even though slow at times, I enjoyed this debut novel by author Foley and look forward to more from her in the future.

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Sue A., Reference

Fallen Land: A Novel

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Taylor Brown
Fallen Land: A Novel

I really was drawn into this atmospheric and compelling book. In the last years of the Civil War, Callum, at 15, is an orphan who has fallen in with a band of marauders who are pillaging the countryside. He rescues a girl, Ava, who is the only survivor in her family. As they make their way through the South, trying to find a place of safety, the only things they can count on are each other and their beautiful, stately horse, Revier. Highly recommended.

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Margaret B., Reference

Never Fall Down

Friday, March 11, 2016
Patricia McCormick
Never Fall Down

I cried.

Arn was about 11 years old when the Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia. We follow him through years of starvation, fear, and death. He was a spirited, fun loving boy doing everything to help his family do a little more than scrape by before the killing took over his world. This is what enabled him to survive, performing, acting the part, doing the unimaginable to survive one more day.

If you have not read a genocide survivor story before, prepare your heart. Even when he has been adopted and living in America, he struggles with what he has to do to survive being rescued. The author did her research and based this novel on the real life of young Arn Chorn-Pond, who has since founded several organizations: Children of War, Cambodian Living Arts, and Cambodian Volunteers Community Development.

I read a lot of books related to genocide. This is one of the very best. It is powerful. I think sometimes we get lost in the overwhelming numbers or the cold description of atrocities. Perhaps, because this happened in Cambodia, so close to where I spent years in China. Perhaps, because I can see my son in Arn’s personality. Perhaps, because it wasn’t a European Holocaust story that seems so known. Arn’s story is going to be haunting me for a long time.

 

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Cindy A., Circulation

The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Margaret McNamara and Mark Fearing
The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot

“Little Alien! Little Alien!” bleeped the Robot.” PULL over! PULL OVER!”

“Not by the wheels of my trusty space rover!” cried Bork bravely (the first little alien).

“Then I’ll crack and smack and whack your house down!” meeped the Robot.

A science fiction spin on the classic Three Little Pigs tale. What a clever idea. The book was packed with action, humor, space exploration, courage, and a touch of science. Step aside The Martian.  This book will surely captivate and be enjoyed by children even with the Big Bad Robot.

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Kate D., Youth Services

Me Before You

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Jojo Moyes
Me Before You

I learned about this book from seeing an official movie trailer on a social media site. It looked like a movie that I would enjoy seeing. I prefer to read books before viewing their movies. I thought Me Before You was a good book. There were times when I didn’t want to put it down and am looking forward to seeing the movie when it is released in June 2016.

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and he is not interested in exploring a new one.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, Lou sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

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Tania K., Circulation

Don't Try to Find Me

Friday, February 19, 2016
Holly Brown
Don't Try to Find Me

Fourteen-year-old Marley left a note for her parents before heading off to school: “Don’t try to find me.” She also left behind her cell phone and notebook, making it impossible to track her. By the time her parents realize she’s gone, Marley is on a bus heading toward a young man she’s never met but whom she thinks she knows. As puzzling as her disappearance are her mother’s behavior and her father’s media blitz. We wonder why Rachael and Paul act as they do, and could they be the reason Marley now is missing. This cautionary tale opens up family dynamics to discussion.

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Doris M., Reference

Hoot

Monday, February 15, 2016
Carl Hiaasen
Hoot

I read this book (and then saw the movie) about miniature burrowing owls. Cousins had showed them to me in their Florida neighborhood. They are so cute.

In the book, middle school children help a new boy try to save the endangered animals from the construction of a new Pancake House. It’s a hoot, er, hit for middle school kids.

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Sue N., Youth Services

The Nightingale

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Kristin Hannah
The Nightingale

Read it. Not much more needs to be said.  Read it because you want something real, something beautiful, something to learn from and remember. Read it because it will change you a little.

Vianne and Isabelle are French sisters in 1941. Vianne is the older sister by 10 years and the more quiet, introspective of the two sisters; Isabelle is outrageous, angry, and brutally honest.  She is this way because of how she was treated by her father at an early age after their mother died. The sisters are vastly different people. When war comes, Vianne and Isabelle react in their own way. Isabelle is adventurous and wants to join the war efforts but is naive. Vianne is terrified - mostly for her children.

This is WWII as told to us through the stories of two exceptional women. Terrible things happen - parts are difficult to read. You will find yourself emotionally involved in this story and cringe at some of the events that take place, but the descriptions are not overly descriptive so it is left to your imagination to parse out the details.  If you have any compassion in you at all, you will cry at some places in this story. The events are eluded to with a light hand. Never manipulative. Never over the top. But mostly this was a story of bravery. Immense bravery that is absolutely inspiring. Even with the pain - the atrocities - the sadness. Finishing the book will give you a sense of kinship with one or both of the brave women who endured so much and you will find yourself thinking about the chapters long after you have put the book down.

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Sue H., Reference

The Husband's Secret

Thursday, February 4, 2016
Liane Moriarty
The Husband's Secret

When Cecilia Fitzpatrick stumbles across a letter from her husband that is to be opened upon his death, her life starts to change. Faced with the moral decision of whether or not to open it, Cecilia’s perfect, organized life is tipped askew. Liane Moriarty has done an excellent job of showing how one action can change not only your life, but that of others as well. An enjoyable read. Check it out!

Jan H., Tech Services

Some Luck

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Jane Smiley
Some Luck

This is the first installment in the Last Hundred Years: A Family Saga series by Jane Smiley. Beginning in 1920, this saga follows the family of Rosanna and Walter Langdon, farmers in Denby, Iowa, with a chapter for each year through 1953. Rather than a chronological accounting of the year, each chapter is more of a snapshot of the average, ordinary Langdon family. This rather different format allows the reader an intimate look at the realities of farm life and the cycles of births and deaths, passions and betrayals, triumphs and tragedies. As the children grow up and scatter around the country, you see how world events impact and effect ordinary people who are just trying to live their lives.

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Sue A2, Reference

 

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