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Summer Reading 2018 > 2018 Summer Reading Contest

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Seminole County Public Library (seminolecountypubliclibrary) | 98 comments Mod
During Summer Reading this year, from May 25, 2018 to August 2, 2018, submit up to 5 original book reviews here on Goodreads in order to be entered into weekly drawings for $5 Starbucks gift cards, the end-of-summer branch drawings for $50 Amazon gift cards and the Grand Prize drawing for a Kindle Fire HD. Please note this contest is only open to Seminole County Public Library cardholders who are 18 or older.

To enter, type your original review into the comment field below and hit the "post" button.

You can also participate in person at your local Seminole County Public Library branch for more chances to win by entering a Tic-Tac-Toe Reading Challenge and up to 5 book reviews—though book reviews entered in-person must be different than reviews submitted on Goodreads.

Weekly drawings will be held on Mondays, June 11th, 18th, 25th & July 2nd, 16th, 23rd & 30th.

The branch drawings for Amazon gift cards and the Grand Prize drawing for the Kindle Fire HD will be held Wednesday, August 8, 2018.

We will message any winners on Goodreads to coordinate picking up prizes.

message 2: by Erin (new)

Erin Hooray for summer reading! I thought it started 6/1!

message 3: by Erin (new)

Erin Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
5/29/18 ***

I've seen the movie multiple times and only recently discovered that it was actually based on a book. Since books made into movies are my thing, I had to read it!

Overall, I wasn't impressed with the writing, but I did enjoy making my comparisons. The major plot points are similar, though I definitely like the movie better. Sally's daughters got more attention in the book than the movie, but I found it superfluous. I also missed the development of Sally's relationship with Gary (I <3 Aidan Quinn). I did like that Gillian ends up happily in love in the book, which isn't the case in the movie, but I also understand why that was changed. Again, I wasn't wowed by the book, but I did like it enough that I'll be reading The Rules of Magic next.

message 4: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Baclar | 14 comments Inseparable by Yunte Huang
This book follows the lives of Chang and Eng Bunker, the original Siamese twins. During their lives they traveled the world, became successful business men, married, and had children.
This story begins with their birth in 1811 in Siam. It follows their lives and the history of the world until their deaths in 1874.
The author describes in great detail the social and political times in which they lived. They became US citizens and sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War. They were considered freaks of nastier not only because of being conjoined but also because they were Asians in America. Ironically, they became slave owners later in life.
If you love history and are curious about these men, it’s an interesting journey. The historical details can be quite tedious to read it times.

message 5: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Baclar | 14 comments The word is nature not nastier. Sorry!

message 6: by Erin (last edited Jun 04, 2018 11:35AM) (new)

Erin The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
6/4/18 ***

It was interesting to learn the history of the aunts as well as various other members of the Owens family, though once again, I was not particularly impressed by the writing and I was also a bit annoyed by discrepancies between this book and Practical Magic, primarily the one regarding the aunts' loves. I'm guessing the author didn't initially intend to write a prequel.

From Practical Magic: "The aunts, after all, still kept photographs on their bureaus of the young men they had once loved, brothers who'd had too much pride to take shelter during a stormy picnic. The boys had been struck down by lightning on the town green..."
Yet, in The Rules of Magic, we learn that the aunts were not in love with the lovestruck brothers who ended up struck by lightning after they all sneaked out after midnight to meet up at the park. A Massachusetts boy was the love of Jet's life and an unrelated boy from New York was the love of Franny's life. And those love stories (as well as their brother's) basically make up the whole book.

I suppose if you don't read the two books back to back, this might be something one would overlook (the aunts' former loves are not a big part of the story in Practical Magic), but finding discrepancies in series is something I look for and it bothers me when an author can't keep his/her story straight. (There was also a discrepancy regarding the manner in which Sally and Gillian's parents died.)

Overall, I don't regret reading this pair of books, but I certainly wouldn't recommend them to anyone. I would, however, recommend watching the movie based on Practical Magic. ;-)

message 7: by Tara (new)

Tara (taradactyl3) You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. This is a new author to me and I found her style to be very intelligent. She used her ability to craft a seemingly simple story in order to communicate a more complex message about society. Each story was different from the others and the character development really draws you into the plot even in a short amount of pages. I will be looking up more by this author for future reads.

message 8: by Diana (new)

Diana Ciesko | 1 comments Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down by Dave Barry. This book is a hoot!. I love this writer for a quick read. His humor is always something that can get me giggling. One of my favorite chapters is about coffee- in particular fancy coffees and expressly, the extremely expensive coffee, the coffee beans that are passed through an animal after they are ingested, then rinsed, and sold to connoisseurs.

message 9: by Tara (new)

Tara (taradactyl3) Still Me

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

4.5 stars. I struggled to really dig into the first half of the book. It was well written, for sure, but something about it just did not grab me until around the halfway point. Then I was done for. Two nights up reading until my eyes wouldn't stay open so I could know the ending of this sweeping romantic tale. The author was able to beautifully communicate the theme of being true to yourself through the story of Louisa and her trip to NYC. If you read the first two books, you must read this one too.

message 10: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Baclar | 14 comments Origin by Dan Brown
Another intriguing story by the author of The Da Vinci Code.
This story questions the philosophy of religion versus the beliefs of science.
Robert Langdon is a Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology.
He is a lifelong friend of billionaire Edmond Kirchhoff known for his high-tech inventions and predictions of the future that made him a global figure.
We are taken through a drama of hidden history, religious intolerance, murder, and shocking discoveries.
This is an adventure that will hold your interest throughout the book. Dan Brown weaves a wonderous story.

message 11: by Erin (last edited Jun 25, 2018 08:20AM) (new)

Erin So That Happened: My Unexpected Life in Hollywood by Jon Cryer
6/25/18 ***

I picked up Cryer's memoir because I loved him in Pretty in Pink (Duckie!!!) and I was familiar with his work on Two and a Half Men (I think I watched the first season or two). I occasionally had trouble following the narrative because stories were sometimes told out of order, but it was overall an interesting read and I mostly enjoyed it.

Reading about the acting camp he attended in NY was somewhat entertaining. The stuff about his start in Broadway early in his career, not so much. Obviously, I liked the part about Pretty in Pink.

I loved learning about roles he had been considered for but didn't get (Chandler Bing!?!) and I was struck by just how unsuccessful his acting career has been. Pretty in Pink was big and I know Two and a Half Men was a hit, but those are basically the only major successes he's had in show business.

Most surprising to me was how much I learned about Charlie Sheen. I knew Sheen had substance abuse problems and was vaguely aware of the meltdown that ultimately caused him to be fired from Two and a Half Men (I remember the nonsensical rants that were quoted in the media), but otherwise, I didn't know much about him. Cryer revealed that Sheen had been sober when the show first aired and that he was incredible to work with and Cryer came to consider Sheen a pretty good friend. Cryer was truly concerned for Sheen when he fell off the wagon and started spiraling, so it was very interesting to read an account of those events coming from someone who genuinely cared about his well being and tried to help him (as opposed to the media who just want juicy stories).

I don't know that I'd necessarily recommend this book to anyone (other than huge Jon Cryer fans), but I'm glad that I read it.

message 12: by Tara (new)

Tara (taradactyl3) Dear Evan Hansen by Steven Levenson

Dear Evan Hansen by Steven Levenson

I picked this up off the staff recommendation shelf at Barnes and Noble on a whim. I became drawn into the story pretty quickly, which isn't surprising as it's a play. I really loved the story and the subtlety with which it is told. I think more of us can relate to Evan than we'd like to think honestly. It's ironically not that unique to be an outsider looking in. Evan's story goes through a few twists and turns and really gets the audience thinking about how isolated people really are even in these days of near constant social media. I went online and watched some clips of the musical and the songs were pretty underwhelming, but the story is a good one.

message 13: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Baclar | 14 comments A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman
This is the story of Ove, a curmudgeon whose world is black and white.
He has plans that keep on getting interrupted with unavoidable situations. Life keeps happening to him in unexpected ways.
This story could have been called the adventures of Ove.
It is a delightful story that makes the reader smile if not chuckle out loud at some of the events Ove has to face.
An enjoyable book with no drama, mystery, or politics. A gem to read.

message 14: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Baclar | 14 comments The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Tom Sherbourne is an Australian who served for four years during W.W. I. He came back with what we consider now, P.T.S.D.
He did his best to get on with his life by getting a job as a lighthouse keeper. He also married the love of his life, Lillian, a young, bold woman.
An incident happens on the island that changes their lives forever. For them, there was no right answe, justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.
These are compelling characters that come to life as we follow their years together.
M.L. Stedman tells an intriguing story. A hard book to put down.

message 15: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Baclar | 14 comments End Game by David Baldacci
If you are a Baldacci fan this thriller will not disappoint.
Will Robbie and Jessica Reed both work for the Federal government. They are both human lethal weapons.
They are sent on a mission to the small town of Grand in Colorado.
An important senior agent went missing visiting his home town. His code name is Blue Man.
While in town they find themselves in the middle of crime, drugs, and a number of militant fringe groups.
If you like action, adventure, and mystery, this is the book for you.

message 16: by Erin (new)

Erin Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
7/1/18 ***

Holy cliffhanger! The ending of Scythe didn’t exactly leave readers with a sense of finality, but it also didn’t leave readers with so many unanswered questions.

What do Faraday and Munira find in the Pacific Ocean? Does Goddard become High Blade? What does that mean for the scythedom? Are Citra and Rowan found and revived???

Overall, this was a very engaging read and I am eagerly awaiting the final book to learn how it all plays out. But, I also took issue with several things which caused me to dock a couple stars in my rating. I found it hard to believe that Rand would let Rowan go. It annoyed me that they suddenly came up with yet another way to permanently end one’s life in the age of immortality. Most importantly, I disliked the evolution of the Thunderhead. It was very “Age of Ultron” and so felt unoriginal to me.

message 17: by Erin (new)

Erin I Hate Everyone, Except You by Clinton Kelly
7/3/18 ***

This was a mixed bag for me. The very first chapter Kamikaze had me laughing. As a fan of What Not to Wear, I found the chapter Auditions, the Universe, and Other Whatnot very interesting. I also really liked Turd in the Punchbowl. Some chapters were good (not great), such as Clinton for President, Memorizing Porn, and Salad Days. Others were not so good, such as Freakin’ Fabulous, the Sitcom, You Young, Me Restless and The Way it Went. And Textbook Penis was a little too crass for me.
I was actually somewhat surprised by just how incredibly snarky Kelly is. I mean, I knew he was snarky, but wow!
Overall, this was a decent collection of stories from Kelly’s life and I think it’s worth reading if you’re a fan who enjoyed watching him on What Not to Wear and/or The Chew.

message 18: by Tara (new)

Tara (taradactyl3) The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
The Last Anniversary
by Liane Moriarty

I really loved this book. I think the author did an excellent job of writing from all of the different characters voices and keeping them all separate while interacting. I loved that all of the separate story lines were able to work together under the plot umbrella of the Munro Baby Mystery. While I had a few guesses about the mystery, I was still engaged the whole way through and couldn't wait to read each next chapter. I felt like I could see a little of myself in each of the characters as well, which is usually the sign of a fantastic writer in my opinion.

message 19: by Tara (new)

Tara (taradactyl3) On Second Thought

3.5 stars rounded up. I really enjoyed this story but it was a touch predictable at times. The writing style was easy to read with just enough quirk to keep me interested. I really enjoyed the progress in the relationship between the two sisters the most of all the characters.

message 20: by Seminole County Public Library (last edited Aug 06, 2018 06:09AM) (new)

Seminole County Public Library (seminolecountypubliclibrary) | 98 comments Mod
Congratulations to Elyse, whose review of The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman here on GoodReads was drawn as the week 6 winner of a $5 Starbucks card at the East Branch last Monday!

Thanks also to everyone who has submitted Summer Reading reviews here on GoodReads so far.

Seminole County Public Library (seminolecountypubliclibrary) | 98 comments Mod
The winning entry drawn for the system-wide grand prize of a Kindle Fire HD on August 8th, was a completed Tic-Tac-Toe Reading Challenge entered by Janet L. at the East Branch Library.

Congratulations to Janet and thanks to everyone who participated in Summer Reading by entering reviews here on GoodReads!

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