Fiction

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Monday, March 28, 2016
Maria Semple
Where'd You Go, Bernadette

A delightful, funny tale of modern life. Bernadette so hates to deal with people she has a personal assistant--who happens to be in India. Her husband is devoted to Microsoft and her daughter Bee attends a middle school that is “a place where compassion, academics and global connectitude join together to create civic-minded citizens of a sustainable and diverse planet.”

When Bernadette disappears two days before Christmas, her daughter is determined to find her. Using emails, letters, FBI documents, correspondence with a psychiatrist, and even an emergency-room bill, she finds out about the school fundraiser, the blackberry bushes, and a scandal, all of which have driven Bernadette to take action.

The author wrote for the television shows Mad About You, Ellen, and Arrested Development, and has brought that same lively sense of whimsy to her fiction.

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Sue A2, Reference

The Hundred-Foot Journey (Audiobook)

Saturday, March 26, 2016
Richard C. Morais
The Hundred-Foot Journey (Audiobook)

The book is quite different from the movie. The first half, where the characters are well-developed, is engaging and fun. The second half, which covers Hassan Haji’s experience as a chef and then restaurant owner in Paris, bogs down. The characters in the Paris part of the story are two-dimensional and never really develop. I think the movie with Helen Mirren is a better story.

Check our catalog for the print book. Check MeLCat for the audiobook.

 

Kathleen Z., Administration

Outlander (Audiobook)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Diana Gabaldon
Outlander (Audiobook)

I listened to the audiobook version of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. This is a gripping tale which keeps the reader actively engaged. It is loaded with romance, action, and intrigue. It’s hard to classify this book into just one genre, as it contains historical fiction, romance, time travel, fantasy, action, and military history. The author is very detailed with her description of life in the Scottish Highlands in the 1740s. It’s a carefully written book with three-dimensional characters inhabiting a complex, believable world. Now that Starz is turning the books into a television series, the books are increasing even more in popularity. Due to some of the graphic content in the book, I would recommend it for adult readers.

 

Claire Randall is a British combat nurse who is reunited with her husband after World War II. They take a second honeymoon to the Scottish Highlands to reconnect and to research her husband’s ancestors. While there, Claire visits an ancient stone circle known as Craigh na Dun, and upon touching the stones she is transported back in time. She suddenly finds herself in war-torn Scotland in the year 1743. She is discovered by a Scottish clan, and, although suspicious of her, they take her in. Her healing skills become valuable to the clan, and she finds safety in the arms of Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. Now she finds herself torn between two worlds and two very different men.   

 

Check our catalog for this audiobook, the print book, and the TV show.

 

Marybeth K., Circulation/Reference

 

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

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