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Cover ArtWe were liars
by E. Lockhart
The best thing to do if you’re going to read this book is don’t read any summaries of it. I did and already figured out the ending before I got there. It would be more fun not to. An interesting thing about this book to me is the title. Although the young teens in the story get labeled the Liars, who are the real liars? I did not realize this was Teen until after I read it. If I had known, I probably would not have read it. I did enjoy it so I’m glad I didn’t know.
posted by Laura P. on Jul 29, 2014 at 9:29AM

Cover ArtThe husband’s secret
by Liane Moriarty
Adult Fiction MORIART
I loved this book. Three women in difficult situations and how they deal. The story is told deftly and with humor.
posted by Laura P. on Jul 28, 2014 at 11:32AM

Cover ArtSweet tooth : a novel
by McEwan, Ian.
Adult Fiction MCEWAN
Another successful novel - realistic , interesting and good use of "the situation " . However , I felt the ending was contrived , and therefore - not his best work .
posted by LDP on Jul 26, 2014 at 3:49PM

Cover ArtThe Interestings
by Wolitzer, Meg.
Adult Fiction WOLITZE
** stars. The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become an inseparable group. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In "The Interestings", Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. The friendships endure and some even prosper, but the relationships also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken. ****** Jules Jacobson, the primary protagonist, requires many years to begin to really question whether "the interestings" really have qualities that make them special, i.e. more important or valuable than non-members of the club. She finally asks herself what the "interestings" she has idolized since her teens have lost through their persistent efforts to opt in to the upper echelons of society. She finally wonders if all of them have inaccurately defined success by believing they would only fit in once they stood out or would only matter if they were extraordinary. It’s Jules’s husband, Dennis, a man unafraid to call himself ordinary, who brings her to this realization. “Specialness — everyone wants it,” he tells her in frustration, fed up with her perpetual comparisons to her childhood pals. His answer and mine is NO!! In fact, what they valued as teens as special had more to do with skills and talents than any psychological depth or warmth that was motivated by or concerned with the well-being of other people or the world. Jules adored the "interestings" simply because they invited her in and convinced her she was special too. I wanted to like this book, but unfortunately the protagonists were not very "interesting" and it took a very likable girl / woman far too long to discover what really makes a person special. Cannot recommend!!
posted by bookwoman_cat on Jul 25, 2014 at 1:21AM

Cover ArtThe book thief
by Zusak, Markus.
Teen Fiction ZUSAK
posted by Sharon M. on Jul 21, 2014 at 1:12PM

Cover ArtPanic
by Oliver, Lauren, 1982-
Teen Fiction OLIVER
posted by booklion246 on Jul 19, 2014 at 7:08PM

Cover ArtThe magicians : a novel
by Lev Grossman
Adult Fiction GROSSMA
I liked this book a lot and will read the next one. I especially liked the "beast" and his description that reminded me of the often parodied Magritte painting: Son of Man. Just heard this is planned for a tv mini-series.
posted by Laura P. on Jul 17, 2014 at 11:23AM

Cover ArtThe goldfinch [sound recording]
by Tartt, Donna.
Adult Fiction TARTT
I listened to the Goldfinch and I highly recommend it. The reader is excellent. He never wavers from the voices. He never carries over a character’s voice to the narration. He’s just really great. The book won a well-deserved Audie award. With that technicality taken care of I also want to say I loved this book. It’s interesting to read reviews on Goodreads and in magazines. There is a lot of debate over whether this book is "literature" or just a good story (or terrible). There’s no answer to that question really. Personally I don’t care. I read for entertainment, not to better myself or for prestige. Many (including Stephen King) call this book Dickensian. To me it’s the anti-Dickens. Yes, the main character is poor, cast-out and a victim of circumstances but ultimately he does not rise above. He remains depressed. Love does not rescue him. For many people this book was an incredible downer. The story, though, and the writing are so great. Listening, you can just let it wash over you. The description is excruciatingly detailed. That drives some people crazy but to me it’s just wonderful. The best books evoke strong emotion and this book evoked, at times, incredible tension, frustration, fear, disappointment, laughter and tears. Most of the characters are not minutely drawn (only Theo and Boris get the full treatment). The objects in the book get more attention. That is the crux of the book. People live short, desperate lives and then die. Beautiful things live on, meaningful over and over again to new generations.
posted by Laura P. on Jul 17, 2014 at 11:16AM

Cover ArtRead this! : handpicked favorites from America's indie booksellers
Adult Nonfiction Z1035.9 .R415 2012
This is the book for anyone who is looking for their next book to read! This book, edited by an employee of the Twin Cities' own Micawber's Books, is full of diverse recommendations
posted by Champlin Library Staff on Jul 15, 2014 at 6:58PM

Cover ArtEarthWorld
by Rayner, Jacqueline.
Adult Fiction RAYNER
This is the book that got me into the Eighth Doctor Adventure series and for that I’m grateful. It’s pretty well-written, lots of snappy dialogue and nice characterization. I personally find it very amusing and always end up snickering throughout the entire novel. It’s a nice little book if you like Doctor Who and want to be introduced to one of the best TARDIS crews ever.
posted by yami baishi on Jul 15, 2014 at 3:33PM

Cover ArtMindscape
by Vaughan, M. M.
Children's Fiction VAUGHAN
Book Two of the Ability series. Now that the plot to destroy the prime minister is foiled, the students go back to their studies, both in academics and in use of their psychic abilities. They use their powers to aid law enforcement as special agents of the government. Chris is still dealing with the death he caused in the previous book. He keeps seeing the twin that got away and no one believes him. They think he is cracking up under the pressure. The plot meanders a bit here and there before coming to the final conclusion. It was still good, just not as good as the original.
posted by long lake library staff on Jul 12, 2014 at 4:43PM

Cover ArtHoles
by Sachar, Louis, 1954-
Teen Fiction SACHAR
Stanley Yelnats the Third is in trouble and it's all the fault of his no-good, pig-stealing great-great grandfather. He has to dig holes in the desert for "his character" for stealing shoes that fell out of the sky. Also, this story involves gypsy curses, Kissing Kate Barlow, and stinky sneakers. Confused? Any plot synopsis would be confusing, but the book itself is one of those rare, but fantastic books that combines lots of plot elements together in a way that is facsinating, unexpected, and tight. No detail is actually wasted, the characters and the story suck you right in, and the ending is emotionally satisfying. Great for children, or the child-at-heart.
posted by Plymouth Library on Jul 12, 2014 at 1:11PM

Cover ArtHex Hall
by Rachel Hawkins
Teen Fiction HAWKINS
I think Hex Hall was a great book and I loved it. I read the book really fast. I don’t know why but when I don’t like something it is really easy to say why I don’t like it, but when I like something it’s difficult for me to say why, I just do. Thats why this review was hard for me to write but I finally got somewhat of an explanation for me to say why I liked it. It could be Sophie, the main character. She is just an enjoyable protagonist. She’s caring, open-minded, a good friend, and she might be a little gullible at times, but I mean that is what makes her so great. She isn’t a perfect character, she makes mistakes and we get to laugh at her for it. Well sometimes. Or maybe it was the plot. I will admit at times it was a little predictable, but it was never at a slow pace. And I might have thought I knew what was going on, but then Rachel really threw me for a loop. I’m sure it will leave you craving the next novel (Demonglass ) as much as I am. Or maybe the writing I really liked who she made it simple and addicting. In the end it is all of it that made me love it so much.
posted by Zo-Zo on Jul 11, 2014 at 1:31PM

Cover ArtFangirl
by Rainbow Rowell
Teen Fiction ROWELL
This book is one of my favorite books and Rowell is an excellent author. Fangirl is such a magical description on ordinary book-obsessed teens. It really shines light on being yourself and although it is written for more mature audiences, the general idea is for all ages, a life lesson.
posted by infinibook on Jul 10, 2014 at 4:55PM

Cover ArtThe sisterhood of the traveling pants
by Ann Brashares
Teen Fiction BRASHAR
A great read, very simple and realistic, with flowing prose and shifting narration. The book has a very nostalgic feel to it, and is reminiscent of childhood, as the four friends share a summer apart that both threatens and strengthens their bond with each other and their view of life with the help of a magical pair of pants. Though this book reads a lot like a children’s book, as the series progresses and the girls get older, the subject matter gets older too. Made for a pretty cheesy but ultimately heartwarming movie.
posted by W_Stargazer on Jul 10, 2014 at 2:17PM

Cover ArtLunch money
by Andrew Clements
Children's Fiction CLEMENT
I like this author
posted by hero11 on Jul 9, 2014 at 5:22PM

Cover ArtSplendor
by Anna Godbersen
Teen Fiction GODBERS
As this final book in the Luxe series begins, Henry Schoonmaker has joined the army but due to his father’s far-reaching influence, and to his frustration, he finds himself safely out of harm’s way in untroubled Cuba. He is unaware that Diana Holland has liberated herself from the constraints of New York society life and followed him, earning her keep by engaging as a barmaid. Back home, Elizabeth (née Holland) Cairns is finding that the security and promise of happiness she believed to finally have found are being threatened by evidence of something shady and unfathomable. And when Henry’s wife Penelope discovers back in New York City that she has attracted the attentions of a visiting European prince, she finds that she isn’t so bothered that Henry has abandoned her after all.

Hardly anyone lives happily ever after, but this was a decent and appropriate conclusion to the series. My instincts felt somewhat vindicated upon reading of Elizabeth’s troubles -- something hadn’t seemed quite right, but I was for some reason doubtful that the author was going to go in that direction. I appreciated how the author ultimately treated Diana and Henry’s relationship -- realistic if not satisfying. Penelope’s comeuppance was brilliant.
posted by Ryner on Jul 8, 2014 at 11:31AM

Cover ArtSo brave, young, and handsome
by Enger, Leif.
Adult Fiction ENGER
This is an admirable follow-up to the Minnesota author's million-seller "Peace Like A River." An enjoyable road trip tale through the American West in 1915, the writing is rich and the characters are intriguing and meaningful.
posted by Minnetonka Library Staff on Jul 7, 2014 at 6:27PM

Cover ArtThe fire
by Neville, Katherine, 1945-
Adult Fiction NEVILLE
The Fire is the sequel to the Eight, a novel that featured two intertwined stories set in the 1790s and the 1970s, both revolving around the Monteglane Service. The Fire takes place about 30 years later. The focus continues to be this bejeweled chess set, a gift from the Moors to Emperor Charlemagne, which holds great power and some additional secrets and powers that were not revealed In the first novel. The Fire finds Alexandra Solarin, a former child chess prodigy who gave up the game after her father’s murder, summoned to her mother’s (Cat Valis the protagonist from the Eight) home in Colorado. Her mother is missing, but carefully encoded clues, and the arrival of several other people place her smack dab in the middle of the Game’s newest round, forcing her to decipher both the rules and the roles of others as she goes. The action moves to Washington, DC, Jackson Hole, Kamchatka, and back in time to France, the Sahara, and the Greek islands where we find Lord Byron and Tallyrand, among others, involved in the intrigue. Similar to the Eight, the novel intertwines this plot with one involving a young girl in 1822 named Haidee, faced with a parallel challenge involving the great English poet Lord Byron and the Black Queen chess piece from the Monteglane Services. One problem that I had with reading this sequel was that it had been a year since I had read the Eight and I had a hard time remembering all the history/plot from that novel that impacted this sequel. As with the Eight I found this book to be difficult to read and had a hard time keeping track of all the players (even more so than last time)—again, it would have been helpful to have some additional appendixes to keep track of characters, historical time frame and some scientific history. Also I found it difficult to believe some of the plot twists, and the final “reveal” was really disappointing. All in all it was an interesting but difficult read. 3 out of 5 stars.
posted by Marsap on Jul 3, 2014 at 3:19PM

Cover ArtDeath angel
by Fairstein, Linda A.
Adult Fiction FAIRSTE
In the newest Alex Cooper mystery, the body of a young woman is discovered in Central Park. Is the body found in the lake, by the Bethesda angel, the first victim of a deranged psychopath, or is the case connected to other missing girls and women in years past whose remains have never been found? Just as Alex, Mike and Mercer get their first lead, the investigation is almost derailed when Mike and Alex become embroiled in a scandal (following Mike’s indiscretion with a mentally unstable judge). Working to identify the woman and to determine whether a serial killer is on the loose, the trio must search Central Park’s vast reaches, with its many hidden lakes, waterfalls, and caves. The mystery takes some interesting turns, including carrying several different story lines: the homeless, a missing child, murder, stalkers, a bit of romance, the history and geography of Central Park and the iconic Dakota apartment building. I have read many of the Alex Cooper mystery and as always, my favorite part is history lesson that Fairstein gives about the main locations/sites of the book, in this case Central Park and the Dakota. I have been to Central Park a number of times and it was fun to know exactly where in the Park the action was taking. I am unsure where the series is going now that Fairstein has introduced a romance between the main characters of Alex and Mike—it felt a little forced. All in all a good read. 3 out of 5 stars.
posted by Marsap on Jul 3, 2014 at 2:34PM

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