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Cover ArtBring up the bodies : a novel
by Mantel, Hilary, 1952-
The sequel to Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies explores the marriage and downfall of Anne Boleyn, and the role that Thomas Cromwell played in it. No love is lost between Anne and Cromwell. Each has an agenda to please the King. They become pitted against each other, as Cromwell seeks to find a legitimate excuse to expel her from the King's court. Cromwell, always the master politician, uses Anne's fall from grace as a chance to settle scores with old enemies. In addition, there is the quiet and demure Jane Seymour, who has now caught the King’s eye. The politics of the English court come vividly to life in this sequel. I found that the first part of the book was a bit slow (similar to my reaction to Wolf Hall), and it was difficult to keep all the characters straight, but in the end I found it a fascinating look at a chaotic time in history. One other difficulty I had was the almost stream-of-consciousness style the Mantel uses for the portions of the Cromwell narration. She does puts us inside Cromwell's legal mind, always strategizing, always remembering his butcher's son status among the gentry—but at times I found it difficult to always tell who and what was being discussed. All in all a good read. 4 out of 5 stars.
posted by Marsap on Sep 2, 2014 at 4:03PM

Cover ArtWindigo Island : a novel
by Krueger, William Kent.
Some members of the O’Connor family take a back seat in this book but nothing is lost. A very good book about native girls being trafficked in Duluth and North Dakota. Cork, Jenny, Henry and some family members of a missing girl investigate. Cork, still reeling from family tragedies in Tamarack County vows to save the girl at any cost, but a high price is paid by Jenny instead.
posted by Laura P. on Sep 2, 2014 at 9:06AM

Cover ArtThe weight of blood : a novel
by Laura McHugh
A good book taking place in the Ozarks with some of the characters fitting the "hillbilly" stereotype to a T. 17-year-old Lucy, whose mother disappeared when she was an infant, decides to investigate the recent death of her friend and ends up also figuring out what happened to her mother. The reviews of this book are glowing and I liked it but was not blown away by it.
posted by Laura P. on Sep 2, 2014 at 8:53AM

Cover ArtEverything I never told you
by Ng, Celeste
Marilyn, a brilliant student, plans to become a doctor. She marries instead, telling herself she will go back to school later. She leaves her husband and two small children and goes back to school but gives up her dream after discovering she is pregnant again. She then decides to make her oldest daughter in her image. Lydia has promised herself that she will comply with all of her mother’s wishes so that her mother will not leave again. Lydia’s father, James has also tried to make Lydia succeed where he himself failed in having friends and being popular. Besides Lydia there is Nathan, an academic success who nevertheless reminds his father too much of himself. And Hannah, the third, totally ignored child. When it all becomes too much for Lydia the whole family is nearly destroyed. A tragic story of a family who does not communicate. Absolutely absorbing, I inhaled it in a single afternoon.
posted by Laura P. on Sep 2, 2014 at 8:44AM

Cover ArtThe lost hero
by Rick Riordan
Children's Fiction RIORDAN
this book is so awesome that i cried on the last page because jason was about to die which i dont want him to die. i love the seven demigods so much that i would never stop reading it
posted by 21972070764902 on Aug 31, 2014 at 10:53AM

Cover Art84, Charing Cross Road.
by Hanff, Helene.
Adult Nonfiction Z989.H3
In 1949, American writer Helene Hanff wrote to Frank Doel, an employee of British bookstore Marks & Co., looking for secondhand books. Their correspondence would blossom into a friendship that lasted 20 years. The warm, witty letters are collected here, giving the reader a bird's eye view of their relationship as they discussed books, life in postwar London, and their changing cultures. Though 84, Charing Cross Road was also made into a play and a wonderful movie with Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins, it is the book that best conveys the charm, kindness and zest of the writers. There aren't enough good things to say about this book!
posted by Champlin Library Staff on Aug 29, 2014 at 3:39PM

Cover ArtThe Eyre affair : a novel
by Fforde, Jasper.
Adult Fiction FFORDE
The term "genrebending" was invented for this delightful book! In an alternate 1980s England, literature is the main component of popular culture, writers are idolized (people change their names to that of their favorite writer), and it is possible for fictional characters and the real world to interact. When a villain threatens to hold great works of literature hostage, it is up to Thursday Next to save the day! At once a mystery, brilliant work of science fiction, and a love letter to literature, The Eyre Affair is a completely unique, howlingly funny book.
posted by Champlin Library Staff on Aug 29, 2014 at 3:22PM

Cover ArtOne for the books
by Queenan, Joe.
Adult Nonfiction Z1003.2 .Q44 2012
Humorist Joe Queenan takes a sometimes sarcastic, always affectionate look at the life of the reader. Whether discussing the importance of having a bookstore in his hometown, the fact that he's always the last person to read the "in" book, or calculating the number of books he could read in his lifetime, Queenan never fails to make readers laugh and think.
posted by Champlin Library Staff on Aug 29, 2014 at 1:01PM

Cover ArtReading in bed : personal essays on the glories of reading
Adult Nonfiction Z1003.R313 1995
Writers as diverse and prodigiously talented as Marcel Proust, Clifton Fadiman , Michel de Montaigne and Vladimir Nabokov all discuss the aspects of the experience and importance of reading. Fadiman's "Reading in Bed" is an especially warm and enjoyable essay.
posted by Champlin Library Staff on Aug 29, 2014 at 12:59PM

Cover ArtSo many books, so little time : a year of passionate reading
by Nelson, Sara, 1956-
Adult Nonfiction Z1003.2 .N45 2003
How do the books we read fit in with all the other parts of our lives? That was the question Sara Nelson set out to answer. Her plan was to read one pre-selected book a week for one year. As it turns out, though, books find the reader as often as the reader finds the books. Funny and intelligent, So Many Books, So Little Time is a great book that is guaranteed to send readers looking for the books Nelson finds!
posted by Champlin Library Staff on Aug 29, 2014 at 10:04AM

Cover ArtSixpence House : lost in a town of books
by Collins, Paul, 1969-
Adult Nonfiction Z989.C753 C65 2003
What would life be like in a town famous for its bookstores? Paul Collins, along with his wife and young son, find out when they move from California to Hay-on-Wye, Wales in this charming memoir. As he begins work in one of Hay-on-Wye's 40 used bookstores, and attempts to buy an affordable house that isn't falling down, Collins shares details about the wonderful obscure books he comes across, and muses on the place books have in our livess.
posted by Champlin Library Staff on Aug 27, 2014 at 5:01PM

Cover ArtThe thirteenth tale : a novel
by Setterfield, Diane.
Adult Fiction SETTERF
Diane Setterfield's debut novel is a beautiful tale of the power that stories have to comfort us and define our lives. Young biographer Margaret Lea is summoned to write the life story of legendary writer Vida Winter, but is the strange story she tells of twins raised in an English manor true? This is an engrossing, gothic tale that is almost impossible to put down.
posted by Champlin Library Staff on Aug 27, 2014 at 4:50PM

Cover ArtHothouse : the art of survival and the survival of art at America's most celebra
by Kachka, Boris
Adult Nonfiction Z473.F37 K33 2013
A fascinating read that chronicles the history of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, the publishing house which has published the most Nobel laureates ever. Boris Kachka not only recounts the unlikely partnership of the firm's founders, Roger Straus and Robert Giroux, he also tells the story of the famous authors whose works they published, such as Susan Sontag and Tom Wolfe, and the era that shaped them all. Peopled with larger - than - life characters, it really does read like a novel!
posted by Champlin Library Staff on Aug 27, 2014 at 4:30PM

Cover ArtSpirited
by Holder, Nancy.
Teen Fiction HOLDER
While this was an interesting book concerning information about Native Americans, I found the plot very lacking. Not only was the ending unsatisfactory, but the middle felt like I was being pulled at a snail’s pace over some hot coals…it was that painful. I’m not saying it was a bad book; it was just aggravating for me to read, knowing how much better it could have been and how much more deep the plot could have been. The characters, however, weren’t that bad.
posted by A.E.C.M. on Aug 26, 2014 at 5:10PM

Cover ArtThe Jane Austen book club
by Fowler, Karen Joy.
Adult Fiction FOWLER
Five women and one man find that their lives begin to imitate the art of the Jane Austen novels they are reading in this clever novel. The plot may sound formulaic, but the beautifully drawn characters lift this book above all the other homages to Jane Austen: it is a worthy read in its own right.
posted by Champlin Library Staff on Aug 25, 2014 at 5:00PM

Cover ArtThe Meryl Streep movie club
by March, Mia
Adult Fiction MARCH
*** stars. Two sisters and the cousin they grew up with after a tragedy are summoned home to their family matriarch's inn on the coast of Maine for a shocking announcement. Suddenly, Isabel, June, and Kat are sharing the attic bedroom and barely speaking. But when innkeeper Lolly asks them to join her and the guests in the parlor for weekly Movie Nights for Meryl Streep month they find themselves sharing secrets, talking long into the night . . . and questioning everything they thought they knew about life, love, and one another. Each woman sees her complicated life reflected through the magic of cinema: Isabel's husband is having an affair, and an old pact may keep her from what she wants most . . . June has promised her seven-year-old son that she will somehow find his father, whom he's never known . . . and Kat is ambivalent about accepting her lifelong best friend's marriage proposal. Through everything, Lolly has always been there for them, and now Isabel, June, Kat, and Meryl must be there for her. **** As you know if you have read some of my other reviews about "romance novels", I am not fond of them, to say the least. This book, however, is a bit more than will the boy marry the girl. Each woman has a different tragedy, loss, or betrayal to overcome. I became engaged with the book and liked it in the end. I picked up the book because of the title - I adore Meryl Streep and the movies "Out of Africa" and "Sophie's Choice" are some of my all time favorites. It was interesting to see the films chosen as vehicles for examining the issues of the women in the book. Mild recommendation.
posted by bookwoman_cat on Aug 25, 2014 at 2:59PM

Cover ArtThe cat's table [sound recording] : [a novel]
by Ondaatje, Michael, 1943-
Adult Fiction ONDAATJ
***** stars. In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy boards a huge liner bound for England. At mealtimes, he is placed at the lowly ‘Cat's Table’ with an eccentric group of grown-ups and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the boys become involved in the worlds and stories of the adults around them, tumbling from one adventure and delicious discovery to another. And at night, the boys spy on a shackled prisoner – his crime and fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever. As the narrative moves from the decks and holds of the ship and the boy’s adult years, it tells a spellbinding story about the difference between the magical openness of childhood and the burdens of earned understanding – about a life-long journey that began unexpectedly with a spectacular sea voyage, when all on board were ‘free of the realities of the earth’. With the ocean liner a brilliant microcosm for the floating dream of childhood, The Cat’s Table is a vivid, poignant and thrilling book, full of Ondaatje’s trademark set-pieces and breathtaking images: a story told with a child’s sense of wonder by a novelist at the very height of his powers. ****** I enjoyed this book tremendously. Mr. Ondaatje has a wonderful, almost magical voice. He is able to project himself into the mind of young Michael and the bravery of youthful innocence. I listened to this book read by the author which I highly recommend!!
posted by bookwoman_cat on Aug 25, 2014 at 2:49PM

Cover ArtThe goldfinch
by Donna Tartt
Adult Fiction TARTT
One of the best novels I’ve ever read. Stunning writing. I’m so happy it won the Pulitzer Prize. If it takes Tartt another decade to write her next novel, so be it. It’s worth the wait.
posted by Kim B on Aug 25, 2014 at 11:41AM

Cover ArtChina dolls [sound recording]
by See, Lisa.
Adult Fiction SEE
*** stars. In 1938, Ruby, Helen and Grace, three girls from very different backgrounds, find themselves competing at the same audition for showgirl roles at San Francisco's exclusive "Oriental" nightclub, the Forbidden City. Grace, an American-born Chinese girl has fled the Midwest and an abusive father. Helen is from a Chinese family who have deep roots in San Francisco's Chinatown. And, as both her friends know, Ruby is Japanese passing as Chinese. At times their differences are pronounced, but the girls grow to depend on one another in order to fulfill their individual dreams. Then, everything changes in a heartbeat with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Suddenly the government is sending innocent Japanese to internment camps under suspicion, and Ruby is one of them. But which of her friends betrayed her? **** I usually really like Lisa See's novels, but this book fell a little short with me. I thought the "great denoument" was telegraphed with a partial revelation. I have enjoyed her mysteries and her novels set in historical China much more. I did not bond as successfully with these characters.
posted by bookwoman_cat on Aug 25, 2014 at 12:47AM

Cover ArtA question of honor
by Todd, Charles
Adult Fiction TODD
**** stars. Bess Crawford enjoyed a wondrous childhood in India, where her father, a colonel in the British Army, was stationed on the Northwest Frontier. But an unforgettable incident darkened that happy time. In 1908, Colonel Crawford's regiment discovered that it had a murderer in its ranks, an officer who killed five people in India and England yet was never brought to trial. In the eyes of many of these soldiers, men defined by honor and duty, the crime was a stain on the regiment's reputation and on the good name of Bess's father, the Colonel Sahib, who had trained the killer. A decade later, tending to the wounded on the battlefields of France during World War I, Bess learns from a dying Indian sergeant that the supposed murderer, Lieutenant Wade, is alive—and serving at the Front. Bess cannot believe the shocking news. According to reliable reports, Wade's body had been seen deep in the Khyber Pass, where he had died trying to reach Afghanistan. Soon, though, her mind is racing. How had he escaped from India? What had driven a good man to murder in cold blood? Wanting answers, she uses her leave to investigate. In the village where the first three killings took place, she discovers that the locals are certain that the British soldier was innocent. Yet the present owner of the house where the crime was committed believes otherwise, and is convinced that Bess's father helped Wade flee. To settle the matter once and for all, Bess sets out to find Wade and let the courts decide. But when she stumbles on the horrific truth, something that even the famous writer Rudyard Kipling had kept secret all his life, she is shaken to her very core. The facts will damn Wade even as they reveal a brutal reality, a reality that could have been her own fate **** I am a huge fan of Charles Todd and his two series with Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford. Both series involve World War I - Bess as a nurse and Ian as a Scotland Yard detective attempting to recover from shell shock. I have bonded with both these well developed characters. I pick up each successive novel in the series as much to find out how the protagonists are faring as to enjoy the very well written mysteries. This is #5 in the Bess Crawford series. As always I recommend starting with the first book to appreciate the pain, growth, and accomplishments in each character.
posted by bookwoman_cat on Aug 25, 2014 at 12:39AM

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