What We're Reading - Spring 2013

What We're Reading - Spring 2013


blackcount_reiss.jpgThe Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo - Tom Reiss
Call Number: 944.04 REI

Reiss has written a true story of swashbuckling adventure that inspired Alexandre Dumas to write The Three Musketeers and Count of Monte Cristo.  This fascinating work, set against the backdrop of the French Revolution and the rise of  Napoleon, is about the life of General Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie, also known as General Alexandre Dumas, the father of acclaimed author Alexandre Dumas.  General Dumas lived an extraordinary life, made even more remarkable by the fact that he was the illegitimate son of a French noble “on the lam” and his black slave mistress, Marie-Cessette. Despite his origins, Dumas rose to prominence on the battlefield, eventually becoming the General-In-Chief of the French Army.  This nonfiction book is recommended for all readers who enjoy tales of adventure and intrigue. Precious M.

deathatthepriory_ruddick.jpgDeath at the Priory: Sex, Love, and Murder in Victorian England- James Ruddick
Call Number: 364.1523 R

Florence Ricardo, a woman with a scandalous past, marries attorney Charles Bravo in an attempt to gain respectability. The marriage spirals downward as Bravo attempts to control his free-thinking wife and isolate her from servants and her personal companion. One night Charles Bravo collapses and         pre-eminent physicians of the time are called to his bedside. Charles has been poisoned and dies a painful death. The sensationalism of the case is the talk of  England. Criminologists, historians, and writers, including Agatha Christie, try to solve the murder, without success. Author James Ruddick offers his solution to the murder. He gives us a glimpse into the Victorian mores that bind the lives of people and put them in conflict with their less than refined desires and true feelings. If you like to read about the culture of bygone eras and delve into the lives and   motives of people, this may be of interest to you. Deborah D.

deathofbees_odonnell.jpgThe Death of Bees- Lisa O'Donnell
Call Number: FIC O'DONNELL

Set in Scotland, this unusual coming-of-age story involves two quirky sisters; Marnie (age 15) and Nelly (age 12) discover their abusive and neglectful dead parents and decide to bury them in the backyard without informing authorities. The challenge of keeping their dark secret and avoiding social services and foster care makes for a gripping and often funny story involving many interesting twists and turns. As their nosy next door neighbor, Lennie, grows curious about their parents’ whereabouts, he eventually develops a bond with them and  becomes their only stability. The three get along quite well until the girls’ sinister grandfather shows up and insists on taking them in. His devious motives complicate matters and provide the girls with an even stronger reason to survive on their own, which leads to a dramatic and stunning conclusion. Ethan G.

fautlinourstars_green.jpgThe Fault in Our Stars- John Green
Call Number: YA FIC GREEN

Sixteen year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster is forced by her parents to attend a support group for children living with cancer, and yes, Hazel Grace is living.While at the support group Hazel meets Augustus, and the two quickly become kindred spirits.This book is filled with emotions and is all about falling in love and living life.Time Magazine #1 Fiction book for 2012. Sandy C.

hattiebigsky_larson.jpgHattie Big Sky - Kirby Larson
Available in BCCLS

Hattie Brooks is a spunky 16-year-old orphan who has lived with various and sundry relatives since the deaths of her parents at a young age. In 1918 she inherits the Montana claim of an uncle she never met. She leaves the material comforts of the home of a distant cousin in Iowa for the harsh landscape of northeastern Montana. Hattie has taken on the challenge of 'proving up the claim' and has less than a year to fence and cultivate the land in order to keep it. This is a wonderfully engaging story full of memorable characters that is based on the experience of the author's great grandmother. Linda G.

hotelonthecornerofbitterandsweet_ford.jpgHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford
Call Number: FIC FORD

During 1942, thirteen year-old Henry, who is from Chinese descent, and Keiko, who is of Japanese descent, fall in love. When the Japanese, including Keiko’s family, are evacuated from Seattle to a relocation camp in Idaho, the two heart-struck teenagers vow to wait for each other forever. And Henry is devastated when he stops receiving letters from the love of his life. Told in alternating chapters taking place in 1942 and 1986, Henry poignantly intertwines his past and present lives. April J.


Mansfield Park- Jane Austen
Call Number: FIC AUSTEN

If you’ve never been inspired to read a work by Jane Austen, this classic—depicting an array of distinctive characters trying to find perfect marriage partners and experiencing social calamities along the way—might be the ideal place to start. In this rags-to-riches Cinderella-like story, unfortunate ten year-old Fanny Price is sent to live with her indifferent and mean relatives at Mansfield Park. She is intimidated at first, but over the years she develops a strong moral character and always sticks to her convictions. In spite of the many pressures put upon her to marry Henry Crawford, she holds out to marry the man of her dreams. April J.

mebeforeyou_moyes.jpgMe Before You- Jojo Moyes
Call Number: FIC MOYES

Lou has no interest in leaving her small town. Her sheltered existence is mundane; she even sleeps in a windowless room. When the café where she works shuts down, she finds herself working as a caregiver for a quadriplegic man. A former executive, Will is frustrated and angry. Slowly, Lou and Will learn from each other, each determined to expand the other’s horizons. Lou especially wants to show Will that life is worth living, but will never know if her efforts are enough until the end. Suzanne W.

secretkeeper_morton.jpgThe Secret Keeper- Kate Morton
Call Number: FIC MORTON

In 1961, young Laurel witnesses her mother commit a shocking crime. Now, fifty years later and her mother dying, Laurel begins to question what she witnessed that day. This is a story of three strangers who meet by chance in pre-war London and whose lives are forever entwined. It is a mix of mystery, murder and enduring love set against a backdrop of events that changed the world. Karen F.

seventhvictim_burton.jpgThe Seventh Victim- Mary Burton
Call Number: PB BURTON

Mary Burton combines suspense and romance in her first of three books set in Austin, Texas and featuring the Texas Rangers. Texas Ranger James Beck investigates a murder that he thinks may be tied to an unsolved murder spree by the Seattle Strangler, a serial killer who murdered six women seven years ago. The only survivor is photographer Lara Church, who was the Strangler's  seventh victim.  Lara is now living in Austin and has no memory of the attack.  Beck pays her a visit to let her know about the possible return of the Strangler and encourages her to seek help in recovering her memories.  After another murder, her memories start to return and the suspense builds to an exciting climax. Barbara P.


Six Years - Harlan Coben
Call Number: FIC COBEN

Counselors often tell clients to bury old relationships and move on. After Natalie, the love of his life, ditched him to marry another man, Jake Sanders did exactly that; yet now, six years later, he can't resist her call. When he sees an obituary for her husband, he impulsively decides to go to the funeral; but once there, he discovers that her marriage story was a total concoction. As he investigates further, everything that he thought he knew about his beloved dissolves before his eyes.With his fascination redoubled, he continues to search for the real woman behind all these deceptions. A suspenseful thriller with a thoroughly arresting concept.Hugh Jackman was cast as the lead in an upcoming big-screen adaptation of the novel. Gail H.

Thrilling new book by Coben that leaves you in suspense until the very end. College professor Jake Fischer falls in love with Natalie, who he meets on a retreat. Suddenly she marries another man and tells Jake not to try to contact her for 6 years. Jake keeps his promise until he reads the obituary of Natalie's husband. Jake decides to attend the funeral to reunite with Natalie and the mystery begins. Debbie L.