Revision of What We're Reading from December 7, 2013 - 10:50am

Shore Bets - Summer 2013

BURGESSBOYS.JPGThe Burgess Boys - Elizabeth Strout
Call Number: FIC STROUT

Elizabeth Strout follows up her Pulitzer Prize winning Olive Kitteridge with a story full of sibling rivalry, family dysfunction, and redemption. The Burgess brothers, Jim and Bob, fled their small-town of Shirley Falls, Maine for law careers in New York City. However, their lives take very different paths. Jim lands a  partnership at a big law firm and  marries into money. Bob ekes out a living as a divorced Legal Aid lawyer. These very different brothers are called home to help their nephew, Zachary after he is accused of committing a hate crime. Unfortunately, their return to Shirley Falls exposes old family wounds and possibly does more harm than good. This book is suggested for beach reader’s who enjoy beautiful prose and novels that pack an emotional punch.   Precious M.    

diary.jpegThe Diary by Eileen Goudge
Call Number: FIC GOUDGE

Elizabeth meets up with a former classmate as she is planning to become engaged to marry another from the same High School class. A deep attraction forms and Elizabeth must make a decision between Bob, who comes from a proper family, is educated, handsome and has it all, or AJ, who's credentials leave much to be desired. The answer is in Elizabeth’s diary that her grown daughters find in the attic as they are cleaning out their mother’s house preparing for her funeral. A wonderful portrayal of love and romance in the 1950's. Thrilling, yet innocent and restrained. A great quick read and page turner, as are all of Goudge’s books.  All are great summer light reading.   Anita H.

FRIENDS.jpegFriends Forever- Danielle Steel
Call Number: FIC STEEL

It's about five preschool friends who make a promise to stay friends forever. They promise again in High School only with blood. Three of the characters die (you'll have to read the book to find out how) and the last two friends find love with each other. It was an interesting read.  Rose R.


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

Me BeforeYou is an unlikely love story about two people from completely different backgrounds brought together by life changing situations. Louise Clark is a young woman, still living at home, who has just lost her job at a local coffee shop. Will Trayner, on the other hand, had a successful career which came to an abrupt end after an unfortunate accident leaves him a quadriplegic. Louisa's family depends upon her for income so she accepts a job as Will’s care giver for a six month time period. How Louise's relationship with Will changes and her attempt to have him look at his situation is the heart of the story. It deals with families and how they deal with making difficult choices.   Barbara P.

oleandergirl.jpegOleander Girl - Chitra Divakaruni

Korobi Roy, orphaned at birth, enjoyed a privileged childhood with her adoring grandparents in Kolkata, India. Shortly after becoming engaged to Rajat, the only son of a high profile business family, her grandfather dies of a sudden heart attack. Soon after that, serious financial problems and a devastating secret about Korobi's past come to light. Shattered by this discovery, Korobi decides to undertake a courageous search across America to find her true identity. This journey will lead her to the most difficult decision of her life. A beautiful, suspenseful love story that is engaging and entertaining.    Debbie L.


orphantrain.jpegOrphan Train-Christina Baker Kline
Call Number: FIC KLINE

Seventeen year old Molly who lives with foster parents steals a book from the library. She has to complete 50 hours of community service rather than face time in juvenile hall.  Her job is to help 91 year old Vivian clean out her attic. And while sorting through boxes and boxes of  old “stuff”, Vivian’s past beginning with her families’ immigration to New York City and eventually her journey on an orphan train to the Minnesota comes vividly alive as the two build a friendship of trust, understanding and  compassion.     April J.


The Obituary Writer- Ann Hood
Call Number: FIC HOOD

It is 1961 on the eve of Kennedy’s Presidential inauguration when the entire country is filled with hope for the future but Claire is unhappily married and pregnant. But is her husband really the baby’s father?  Woven together with the heartbreaking story of the loss of Vivien’s lover in the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, these two stories intersect at the novel’s surprising conclusion.   April J.

penderwicks.jpegThe Penderwicks- Jeanne Birdsall
Call Number: J BIRDSALL

This is a refreshingly nostalgic read about four sisters who truly care for each other and find plenty of adventure when they travel to an estate in the Berkshire Mountains for their summer vacation. Travel along with Rosalind, Skye, Jane, Batty, their father and their dog, Hound as they explore the estate, become friends with the boy who lives there and enjoy the most delicious gingerbread!  A sweet summer tale!  Amy M.

radicalson.jpegRadical Son: A Generational Odyssey- David Horowitz

David Horowitz, a self-proclaimed Communist of the ‘60’s revolution, writes of his personal transformation to a political conservative. Brought up by Communist parents who work as educators, and attend Communist meetings regularly, David follows in his parents’ footsteps without question. Believing in the revolution to come that will bring social justice for all, Horowitz is a radical writer/intellectual (Ramparts magazine) who regards the Black Panther Party as rebels fighting their own incendiary way for the betterment of poverty-stricken blacks.  He helps the Party fund and set up a school for struggling black children, which is eventually misused by the Party.

Horowitz never questions the beliefs of his parents or his own until a friend of his, who works for the Black Panthers, is killed by members of the Party. The killing is the Panthers’ own brand of justice for those who question the behavior of Party members or who are perceived as a threat to it.Horowitz begins to have “second thoughts” about his life and his Communist revolutionary beliefs because of the silence of other radicals about the murder, the criminality of the Black Panther Party, and the failure of Communist run countries throughout the world, among other issues.

Radical Son is an engaging autobiography about the growth and intellectual development of a self-acknowledged irresponsible 60’s Communist radical to a respected 21st century conservative thinker. Through self-reflection David Horowitz discovers the time-honored and worthy truths that bring personal and economic empowerment: ownership of property, individual rights and a free-market economy.      Debbie D.

reconstructingamelia.jpegReconstructing Amelia- Kimberly McCreight

After her teenage daughter Amelia’s mysterious suicide, her mother Kate (a partner in a Manhattan law firm) becomes an unlikely amateur sleuth in this taut psychological thriller. Kate refuses to believe that her daughter, an excellent student at a prestigious private school, would commit suicide after being suspended for plagiarism. As she begins to explore recent events in Amelia’s life, she uncovers dark secrets, cryptic emails and blog entries, and kinky Facebook posts. She also discovers that Amelia was a member of an illicit all-girls club that practiced hazing and severe bullying. How Kate unravels the mystery of Amelia’s death leads to a suspenseful novel complete with a dark mood, clever form, and unanticipated conclusion.  Ethan G.


Son - Lois Lowry
Call Number: YA FIC LOWRY

This is the final installment in the quartet of The Giver, Gathering Blue and Messenger which deftly draws together the sometimes seemingly disparate story lines. The main character is a 14 year Claire, who, after an emergency c-section, is "decertified" as a Birthmother and assigned to another job. But Claire is haunted by the separation from her child and must find him. I highly recommend reading the first three books in the series first. Thoughtful, provocative and very entertaining.  Linda G.


Three Times Lucky - Sheila Turnage
Call Number: J TURNAGE

Mo LoBeau was found washed ashore during a hurricane by the Colonel who named her Mo before he realized she was not a boy. Eleven year old Mo is a "rising 6th grader" and ward of the Colonel, owner of the local cafe, and Miss Lana, the hostess of the cafe. Mo is always searching for her mother by placing notes in bottles and giving them to neighbors to throw into the river when they had upstream. Then a murder occurs and everything gets really crazy. Mo is smart and insightful and the rest of the usually quirky characters are just a lot of fun. The audio version of this book is just delightful.  Linda G.


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.