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Summer @ Your Library > Book Reviews

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message 1: by Rohini (new)

Rohini | 26 comments Mod
Please share your book reviews for Summer @ Your Library here.

message 2: by Margie (new)

Margie Wiedel (mgwiedel) | 1 comments I just finished The Fifth Letter by Nicole Moriarty. Just when I thought had it figured out, the story took a surprising surprise after another. A fun summer read!

message 3: by Rohini (new)

Rohini | 26 comments Mod

message 4: by Allison (new)

Allison Wichmann | 1 comments The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah was an excellent historical fiction about France during WWII, and it was also interesting then then read All the Light We Cannot See right after that. Same place, same time different experiences, different heroic young women.

message 5: by Rohini (new)

Rohini | 26 comments Mod
Very true. All the Light we Cannot See had many more elements in the story and that made is more complex and fascinating for me.

message 6: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1 comments I just finished listening to Happy City by Charles Montgomery. This was an excellent book about happiness as it relates to urban planning, a must read for anyone living in Columbia! I was a little surprised that the author didn't use Columbia as an example in the book, but regardless it was an interesting story about the current state of urban sprawl and what the future might hold as more and more cities turn away from car-friendly design to walkable urban design.

message 7: by Rohini (new)

Rohini | 26 comments Mod
Just finished reading "Snowblind" by Ragnar Jonasson. This Icelandic mystery writer creates a locked room mystery in a small fishing village in Northern Iceland. I always enjoy immersing myself in the flavor of unusual locations. Jonasson main character is a rookie cop Ari Thor, and we will see a lot more of him in future!
Thanks Cristina !

message 8: by Jodi (new)

Jodi | 4 comments Just finished reading Lilac Girls, an amazing first book by the author. It gives a different perspective than other Holocaust books I've read and focuses mainly on Poland. I loved the inclusion of a real heroine of the war effort who aided survivors following the war. It was difficult to get through some of the grim scenes midday through the book, but worth it.Lilac Girls

message 9: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 2 comments I recently read Insurrections: Stories by Rion Amilcar Scott. It is a collection of thirteen stories chronicling the lives of African American residents in the fictional town Cross River, MD.

I enjoyed the world Scott created, and he has stated that his future books will continue to explore Cross River. His characters are sad, violent, conflicted and real. His stories explore fatherhood, mental illness, addiction, immigration, and racism. I also was impressed by how he captured the angst of youth in some of his stories - the cruelty imposed upon and executed by young adults.

My favorite stories were Good Times, A Friendly Game, 202 Checkmates, and The Legend of Ezekiel Marcus. My least favorite story was Party Animal.

Rion Amilcar Scott is a local author, and this year he won the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction for Insurrections.

I love opening lines that grab you - so here is the opening line from Insurrections...

"Walter caught the sight out the corner of his eye one hot July day, and for so long afterward he asked himself what if he had never seen those dangling legs from the balcony above, kicking, kicking, kicking against the open air."

message 10: by Rohini (new)

Rohini | 26 comments Mod
What an amazingly written review! Thanks Heidi

message 11: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 1 comments Silence
Silence by Shusako Endo is a fascinating novel about Jesuit missionaries to Japan in the 1600s. I heard about the film adaptation by Martin Scorsese, but like all bibliophiles, felt compelled to read the book before watching the movie.
I won't give too much away, but no matter what your religious affiliation or lack thereof, it is a very complex book that made me think about Christian martyrdom in a new light. It is not a long book, but as I read I frequently would pause to think things over, or research related topics.
Triggers: there is violence in the form of (awful, excruciating) torture

message 12: by Katie (last edited Jun 24, 2017 07:16AM) (new)

Katie Marshall | 2 comments I recently finished Peter Brown's "The Wild Robot." Though the novel is clearly written with a younger audience in mind, I found it a delight to read regardless. Just the concept, that of a man-made robot who grows up in the wilderness, is fascinating in itself, and Brown successfully carries through on his promise of a heart-touching, thought-provoking read. Overall this book is simple, yet well done, and Brown's simplistic yet descriptive writing style only adds to its enjoyable nature. Themes include technology, nature, and the clash between the two, as well as themes of friendship/family, community, and working together. Each chapter is usually accompanied by an illustration or two by Brown himself which further contributes to the cohesiveness of the novel. Hopefully the sequel will not disappoint.

message 13: by Jen (new)

Jen | 2 comments I just finished Fiona Barton's first novel, "The Widow." I really enjoyed reading chapters from several different character's perspectives. Barton did a nice job building up to and revealing the husband's secret. However, the content of the secret - involving child pornography and kidnapping was a bit too disturbing for me. If I had known this piece before starting the book, I don't think I would have picked it up in the end.

message 14: by Amber (new)

Amber | 1 comments Found a recommendation for Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple in a magazine. I really liked it! Bernadette could be described as a failed genius. She disappears. Readers will learn part way through that the book is Bee's, Bernadette's daughter's, spring research project. In order to find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, and secret correspondence. It's a real page turner!

message 15: by Laura LeAnn (new)

Laura LeAnn | 2 comments Recently read "Walking the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement" by Rep. John Lewis. While I haven't always been a fan of his in terms of politics, this memoir of his experiences during the Civil Rights Movement gave me a much broader understanding of that period in our history and of the many varied stories in it. We tend to think of it as a one directional movement and that it was lead essentially by MLK, Jr., but we (myself included) leave out the other stories that were and are essential to the movement. It was a grassroots effort in many different areas and each different group or individual had an essential role to play. This expanded my thinking on this period along with the "Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr." and several other books read about that time.

message 16: by Maya (new)

Maya | 1 comments I finished a book called Hungry by H. A Swain. The description looked interesting, so I decided to give it a try. This book turned out to be a combination of everything I love in a book, romance, action, and dystopian. I couldn't put it down! Definitely one of the best books I have ever read.

message 17: by Erin (new)

Erin Furth | 1 comments I love the Code Name Verity. It's one of my all time favorites. It's such an exciting book that I just couldn't stop! It was full of suspense and twists and turns that I didn't expect. The characters were so interesting and the story was incredible!

message 18: by Aly (new)

Aly (ammcg) | 3 comments I just finished My Name is Memory. I like it but had a slow start/middle because of the backstory. Then it got good and I enjoyed it. The ending is a cliffhanger and I didn't like it and I think there should be a squeal to it

message 19: by Sarah S. Smee (new)

Sarah S. Smee | 1 comments It's hard to say whether I have finished it or not, but I have really been enjoying Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North. It is a grown up choose-your-own-adventure novel that allow you to retell the story of Romeo and Juliet. It does a great job of pointing out some of the more interesting and weird parts of Shakespeare's original and will keep you laughing as you flip from page to page. (Choices that stick to the original storyline are labeled for Shakespeare purists.) Anyone who has read Romeo and Juliet for school will have fun with this book, whether you loved or hated the original.

message 20: by Rohini (new)

Rohini | 26 comments Mod
I have never tried a read your own adventure book. I'm curious...

message 21: by Maryann (new)

Maryann | 1 comments I have been reading max the mighty a sequel to freak the mighty I thought it was like a 3 out of 5 because some of the story line was unrealistic but overall a good book

message 22: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Shea | 1 comments I've been reading the Harry Potter series for the first time, mostly to screen it prior to my son reading it. It has drawn me in and I find myself staying up late to keep reading.

message 23: by Mandi (new)

Mandi | 1 comments I just read Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. I loved seeing how small kindnesses transformed this young boy from being bitter and withdrawn to friendly and creative. Even though he deals with some horrid family relationships and situations, he is able to overcome the difficulties. I also loved how each chapter of the book is focused on a different painting and how the artistic themes weave their way into the story.

message 24: by Amelia (new)

Amelia (amelialovesbooks) | 2 comments Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.

I read Fangirl before I read Carry On, but Carry On definitely stands on it's own. There are obvious Harry Potter influences, but it diverges enough to not simply be a rewrite. It's a bit slow starting, but when Baz finally shows up it picks up. There are a lot of mysteries and unknowns throughout the book, so it's really fun to try to figure everything out before the characters. All of the characters are interesting and well-developed; again, you can see the nods to characters in the Harry Potter universe a lot of the time, but they are certainly their own people and not just photocopies. Overall, it's a very enjoyable read.

message 25: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Gates | 4 comments I finished reading The Plague by Albert Camus. A friend of mine was astonished that I'd never heard of Camus so she begged me to borrow this book. I'm always interested in any stories dealing with the plague so the title really caught my attention. It was pretty good. Camus shows different viewpoints of the plague from different characters. It really helps to show each character's struggles and experiences as the town tries to keep the plague away. What I also really liked was that Camus kept the narrator of the story a secret till the last chapter or two. I kept thinking through the entire book, "Who is the narrator? I really want to know!" You can imagine my sense of relief when he finally revealed who the narrator was. Overall it was an enjoyable book even with the subject being dark.

message 26: by Joseph (new)

Joseph R. (zombieparent) | 3 comments Sarah S. Smee wrote: "It's hard to say whether I have finished it or not, but I have really been enjoying Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North. It is a grown up choose-your-own-adventure novel that allow you to retell the ..."

Wow, this sounds like fun. Thanks for the post!

message 27: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1 comments I just finished reading Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith. There were some things I liked about it but overall I was disappointed with this retelling of a classic Jane Austen novel. While loyalty to the original is a good thing, I felt this stuck too close to the original such that at times I wondered what the point was in doing a retelling. It's like Jane Austin's original story with an occasional reference to cars and text messages. It could have used some more creativity in the plot line and the characterization.

message 28: by Aly (new)

Aly (ammcg) | 3 comments The book i read was waiting for you. I though the book was good. But I thought some of it was also kinda of predictable.

message 29: by Catherine (new)

Catherine | 1 comments One of the many books I read was The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Asimov, Bradbury, and Clarke are sometimes referred to as the ABC's of science fiction. This always confused me because I love Asimov and Clarke but Bradbury never really clicked with me. Most of his work (aside from Fahrenheit 451) has always been to dark and creepy for my tastes. This book changed my mind about Bradbury's work. Its beautifully written. His creepy tone lends itself to the empty, lonely desolation of the red planet.

message 30: by Stacey (new)

Stacey Spanier | 1 comments I just finished reading The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo. It is a crime fiction story featuring detective Harry Hole, with a little Yugoslavian history entwined for one of the characters. I typically like Nesbo's novels, for their fast pace and surprise twists, but this was not one of my favorites. It was a good beach read, but suggest some of Nesbo's earlier novels instead.

message 31: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Gates | 4 comments Just last night I finished reading The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. I read it back in high school and had been wanting to reread it again. It's a charming little novella about Queen Elizabeth II discovering the joy of reading and how everyone around her feels about it. I highly recommend it.

message 32: by Rohini (new)

Rohini | 26 comments Mod
It is a hidden gem! Such an easy read, and captures the friendship between the queen and the boy in an amazing way.

message 33: by Tabitha (new)

Tabitha Carman | 1 comments I just read My Husbands Wife by Jane Corry, it was full of suspense with some unexpected twists! I finished the book in 3 days despite having two jobs and three kids! I just couldn't put it down!

message 34: by Rohini (new)

Rohini | 26 comments Mod
Tabitha wrote: "I just read My Husbands Wife by Jane Corry, it was full of suspense with some unexpected twists! I finished the book in 3 days despite having two jobs and three kids! I just couldn't put it down!"

My kind of read! I just finished reading "The Wife Between Us" by Stephanie Greer, Sarah Pekkanen. A fantastic psychological thriller. I liked that it was smart, without getting grisly.

message 35: by Allison (new)

Allison French (allison1010) | 1 comments I just read Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. It's a graphic autobiography about the author's childhood in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution. I usually don't go for graphic novels but I had seen this one recommended on various book lists so I thought I would give it a go. Satrapi is smart and funny throughout and by the end, you feel a real connection with her. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in stories with strong female leads!

message 36: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Boies | 1 comments Book: The House by the River
Author: Lena Manta
Rating: 4/5
The House by the River


Enjoyable book following the lives of Theodora and her 5 daughters- from leaving home to their eventual return. I never had to force myself to keep reading this book, and when I had a free moment - I found myself wanting to go back and read some more.

One thing that I really liked about this book, was the separation of each woman's journey and life story. From Theodora down to her last daughter, each story is completely told in one setting -rather than saying a little here and a little there about major events in each girls life.

But although the writing and premise of the book were good, there were some things that I did not enjoy.

Because there are so many females in the book - I did have to pause every now and then to back-track and try and remember what life events had happened to which character. I wouldn't say that it was so bad that I was annoyed with the book - but I think that this could have easily been avoided by using different themes and character values with each woman's journey to keep the stories from bleeding into each other.

I will say that I do wish that the women would have had more independence from love and a need to be loved. There were certain characters in the book and points in the book where this made sense for the character themselves, but with others, it seemed completely contradictory to the initial character that Manta had created -- this is especially true in the final daughter's story.

All in all- it was a pretty good book; and for $5.99 on Amazon, I would recommend for a purchase and read. I wasn't thrilled with the ending since it seemed as though some characters hadn't quite reached a peaceful ending (this is just something I personally like in my books). But life isn't always wrapped up in a nice clean bow -and I think this is what Manta was trying to get across. That with life, love, and loss - we can always find a way back to our loved ones - to our home - and to healing.

**Important Note: There are sexual themes in this book, but they are tastefully done. After looking at Amazon reviews, I wanted to make sure to put this in my review. The sex scenes are in no way graphic or written just to add in sex scenes; they are non-descriptive scenes that in no way make this an erotic book.

message 37: by Alexa (last edited Jul 24, 2018 03:33PM) (new)

Alexa | 2 comments Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh is long-awaited sequel--and finale--to the Flame in the Mist duology. Ahdieh loves writing duologies, and, and like her previous duology, this one doesn't disappoint!

Smoke in the Sun begins a few days after the ending of Flame in the Mist. After the confrontation between the Black Clan and the emperor's samurai in the Jukai forest, Mariko has been taken to Inako to marry her betrothed, Prince Raiden, while her beloved Okami, the son of a dishonored samurai, has been taken prisoner. Upon her arrival in Inako, Mariko must put on several hats and play many roles to lull the royal court into believing her lies about what really happened in Jukai forest with the Black Clan. However, one thing is certain: she must save Okami at all costs--even if it means she must marry the supposedly grisly Prince Raiden and forever be separated from her one true love.

Sumptuous, enchanting, and thrilling! Ahdieh brings a brilliant end to the tale of Mariko and Okami. If you are looking for a book to beat the summer storms, look no further! But don't forget to read The Flame in the Mist first--or ye will be lost.

message 38: by Rohini (new)

Rohini | 26 comments Mod
I'm always on the prowl for a good fantasy. Thank you for your review..

message 39: by Alexa (new)

Alexa | 2 comments Rohini wrote: "I'm always on the prowl for a good fantasy. Thank you for your review.."


message 40: by Jodi (new)

Jodi | 4 comments I just finished My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray, 5 stars! It was hard to remember this book was a work of fiction. The details of the Hamilton's lives were weaved into the story so seamlessly and I learned so much about that time period in our history. Make sure you have plenty of time to read as this book is 600+ pages. Wonderful read!

message 41: by Rohini (new)

Rohini | 26 comments Mod
Hi Jodi,

It's great to hear your comments about Stephanie Dray. Were you there at the library when she spoke about My Dear Hamilton? She had such interesting insights into the writing of this book!

message 42: by Rohini (new)

Rohini | 26 comments Mod
Hi Renee,

I just finished reading "An easy death" by Charlaine Harris. Its the first book in her new series which blends westerns and fantasy. i love westerns and liked this new book a whole lot. Its an entertaining read, however its not a complex world building kind of fantasy.

message 43: by Kali (new)

Kali (livebylyrics) | 2 comments I've read many books this summer, more than usual thanks to the library program, but the book I'm going to recommend is one I read before the program started.

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead.

I've also recommended this at my local Barnes and Noble, stating it to be perfect for anyone who enjoyed Vampire Academy or Neil Gaiman's American Gods.
If I remember correctly, I finished this book the day I started reading it, and I immediately brought it to my fellow bookworm friend the next day. She loved it as well, and we've made several posts to Richelle Mead to PLEASE put out the next book. I'd even be happy paying for an emailed copy.
This book is seriously amazing.

message 44: by Kali (new)

Kali (livebylyrics) | 2 comments Also, I just happened to look to my right and see the most recent book I finished, When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica.
This is one of those books where, as you read it, you start to guess the end. BUT NOPE YOU'RE WRONG. Very nice. Makes me want to go back and re-read her other books, because I seem to recall that I didn't like them, however I must be wrong.

message 45: by Caroline (new)

Caroline | 1 comments I just finished “The Martian Chronicles” by Ray Bradbury. It definitely alluded to some of his other works, like The Veldt. The narrative hopped around a lot, but it still flowed nicely. This was definitely a classic read.

message 46: by Aly (new)

Aly (ammcg) | 3 comments I just finished A study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. I thought the book was really good. I typically normal don't read mysteries and i enjoy it

message 47: by Hilary "Fox" (new)

Hilary "Fox" (foxhill) | 6 comments I just finished reading Rage by Richard Bachman, a pseudonym Stephen King used for a time. The book is out of print and fairly difficult to come by these days. It was withdrawn shortly after the Columbine shooting, as the book hinges around a school shooting. While it's perfectly understandable why the book with withdrawn when you dig into it, the text itself is incredibly powerful and delves into not only the difficulties of being a teenager but also the way that teenagers themselves often are cruel to one another.

Like most of King's work, the story is far more focused upon the psychological than anything else. He highlights the hypocrisy that exists in interpersonal relationships, and the reluctance of everyone to truly dig deep into the darker truths inherent in all of us. The book, more a novella, had me at the edge of my seat from start to finish gazing at the text in a mixture of fascination and horror.

It has been adapted into a play, and I'd love to see it in that context... it really lends itself to that, given the storytelling aspect of the text. The protagonist holds the classroom hostage and one by one they tell their stories, their dark secrets, lay themselves bare. It's a bit Lord of the Flies esque in some regards.

I'd be hesitant to recommend this book, but man, it's a powerful one.

message 48: by Joseph (new)

Joseph R. (zombieparent) | 3 comments I just read Gillian Hovell's Visiting the Past.

This guide invites the curious but inexperienced to get out there and explore the past through archaeology. The idea of time traveling to the past has fascinated us and here is a way to get there, or at least see the fading images and hear the distant echoes made by the people who came before us. Author Gillian Hovell lives in England, so naturally her focus is on archaeology in the United Kingdom, which is surprisingly rich.

The book starts with a quick overview of archaeology and some ways to begin (in addition to field work, there's plenty of research on the internet and information on maps both new and old). Hovell also describes the value of archaeology. It informs us about the past by finding lost information.

The meat of the book goes through the various historic ages in Britain (Stone Age, Bronze, Age, Iron Age, the Romans, the Dark Age, the Medieval Age, Post-Medieval Age, Industrial Age, Modern Age). Each section goes over the history of the age, what living then was like, and the basic archaeological formations still around from that age. She recommends places to see formations, structures, and artifacts (yes, a lot of museums are recommended). The format is a nice way to go through history and to find the best of what's left from a more or less far distant time.

The final part describes what a reader needs to go out and do the job as an amateur. In addition to recommending supplies and resources, the book tells how to document finds and what to do with them. The practical tips are great and are easy to apply to other countries.

message 49: by Hilary "Fox" (new)

Hilary "Fox" (foxhill) | 6 comments Borderlands 1 edited by Thomas F. Monteleone

The "Borderlands" anthologies purport to collect the most innovative, strange, and disturbing weird fiction that is submitted to them. Between the covers of these books you may be perplexed, confused, and outright disgusted but you will certainly never be bored. I was first introduced to these books through " From the Borderlands" which went into Mass Market Print due to it containing a story by Stephen King. Since that fateful day I had been looking for the rest of the anthologies. Thanks to them going into print once more last year I can finally get my hands on them.

This first foray into the Borderlands was published in 1994 and to some extent does show its age. Some of the shock horror, here's looking at your Lansdale, isn't particularly interesting to me; Poppy Z. Brite also falls a bit flat, but these are pretty much personal taste. Your mileage will vary. Nevertheless, there is more than enough to hold my interest in the tales between the covers. "The Pounding Room" has stuck with me rather strongly. "His Frozen Heart" as well, which is surprising given how basic a premise it holds.

I'd recommend this book to people interested in horror fiction, although with some reservations. The stories are strange - the publication lives up to its claim of publishing only the most original - at least by my estimation. There's certainly a fair bit of the odd to be found in here.

message 50: by Jen (new)

Jen | 2 comments My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler HamiltonI read My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray. 5 stars! For those wanting to learn about Alexander Hamilton, this was a much easier read than Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. You definitely get the highlights of Hamilton’s life, but the details are all from Eliza’s perspective. I’d definitely recommend it.

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