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100+ Book Challenge 2014
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Cover Art: The Lambs of London : a novel /
The Lambs of London : a novel
Ackroyd, Peter, 1949-
Adult Fiction ACKROYD
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Cover Art: Aesop's fables [sound recording].
Aesop's fables [sound recording].
Aesop
Children's Fiction PZ8.2 .A254 2008
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Cover Art: The Lone Ranger and Tonto fistfight in heaven /
The Lone Ranger and Tonto fistfight in heaven
Alexie, Sherman, 1966-
Adult Fiction ALEXIE
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Cover Art: I know why the caged bird sings /
I know why the caged bird sings
Angelou, Maya.
Adult Nonfiction Book PS3551.N464 Z466 2009
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Cover Art: The blind assassin /
The blind assassin
Atwood, Margaret, 1939-
Adult Fiction ATWOOD
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Cover Art: Emma /
Emma
Austen, Jane, 1775-1817
Adult Fiction AUSTEN
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Cover Art: Flesh and bone : a Body Farm novel /
Flesh and bone : a Body Farm novel
Bass, Jefferson.
Adult Fiction BASS
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Cover Art: The bone yard /
The bone yard
Bass, Jefferson.
Number 6 in the Body Farm series finds Dr. Bill Brockton's in the panhandle of Florida—consulting on two different cases. One involving a student’s, Angie St Clair, sister’s apparent suicide. The second, two skulls found in the woods by a wandering dog. The investigation of the skulls eventually lead Dr. Brockton to the ruins of the North Florida Boys' Reformatory, a notorious juvenile detention facility burned to the ground forty years before. Guided by the discovery of a diary kept by one of the school's "students," Brockton's team finds a cluster of shallow graves, all of them containing the bones of boys who suffered violent deaths. The graves confirm one of the diary's grim claims: that one wrong move could land a boy in the Bone Yard. The novel is based on real events and real characters at the Florida School for Boys. As with the other Bone yard books I enjoyed the technical, detailed descriptions of the forensic techniques used, as well as the interesting characters and detailed description of the environment—this time the panhandle of Florida. One disappointment was that Miranda, Brockton’s graduate assistant was not very involved in this case. This novel is not for the faint of heart, the description of the violence is quite graphic and disturbing. A 3 out of 5 stars.
Adult Fiction BASS
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Cover Art: Murder in the Marais /
Murder in the Marais
Black, Cara, 1951-
This book is the first novel in a series about Aimee Leduc a French private investigator who takes over her father's agency after he's killed in a terrorist attack. For the most part she is a computer investigator, but when asked by Jewish survivor of the Holocaust she agrees to look into look into a “decoding job” on behalf of a woman in his synagogue (in the Paris neighborhood of the Marais—the historic Jewish quarter). When Aimee drops off her findings, she finds the old woman strangled, a swastika carved on her forehead. With the help of her partner, René, Aimée sets out to solve this crime—and soon finds herself immersed in WWII deportation of Jews, French collaborators, and neo-Nazis. The book is a run of the mill mystery—nothing too surprising. You would think in the first of the series it would give a little more background on the main characters—but I have very little knowledge of Aimee or her partner Rene. The author does give a nice overview of Paris—particularly of the Marais neighborhood—which I did enjoy. I am not sure this is a series that I will stick with. A 2 out of 5 stars
Adult Fiction BLACK
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Cover Art: Drop City /
Drop City
Boyle, T. Coraghessan.
Adult Fiction BOYLE
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Cover Art: Speaking from among the bones /
Speaking from among the bones
Bradley, C. Alan, 1938-
The lastest installment of the Flavia de Luce series, Speaking from Among the Bones finds Flavia involved in the opening of the tomb of St. Tancred, during the 500th anniversary of his death. During the opening Flavia stumbles upon the dead body of the church organist on top of the crypt. On the way to the solution, Flavia learns more about hidden passages, secrets of many in her beloved Bishop’s Lacey, a powerful diamond, lead poisoning, her father and about her long gone mother Harriet. The book closes with a truly dramatic cliff-hanger. With a series that is now in its fifth installment I wasn’t expecting a lot—but this one was just as entertaining as the first. Flavia continues to be one of my favorite “detectives”. She is a genius in her chemistry and science; and in her skill of detection, but we are often reminded that she is still indeed a child, not yet twelve. A 4 ½ stars out of 5.
Adult Fiction BRADLEY
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Cover Art: The Mists of Avalon /
The Mists of Avalon
Bradley, Marion Zimmer.
Adult Fiction BRADLEY
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Cover Art: Quiet : the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking /
Quiet : the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking
Cain, Susan
In non-fiction novel Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we undervalue introvert personality type and how much we lose by doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert type (the culture of personality) throughout the 20th century and explores how deeply it has come to be the “ideal” our culture. The Extrovert Ideal, Cain believes, is so pervasive that influences our work performance, educational policies, political choices, and even the country's financial health. But the main focus of "Quiet" is to expose the myths and misunderstandings that were born when we as a culture embraced the Extrovert Ideal and turned introversion into a malady needs to be avoided. Ms. Cain traces both the biological and cultural basis for introversion and extroversion and their role as evolutionary survival strategies in animals and humans. The insights gleaned from these studies can help introverts take advantage of their special traits and thrive on their own terms in an extroverted world. Amid the research and the advice, Ms. Cain calls attention to those introverts who have made a difference in the world like Rosa Parks and Ghandi. They showed that empathy, thoughtfulness, persistence, compassion, focus and conscientiousness, all characteristics ascribed to introversion, are leadership attributes too. As a life-long introvert (I spent most social functions as a child in a chair reading a book) I really enjoyed this book—easy to read but at the same time well researched and thorough. The book is not an “introverts are superior” rant but rather an explanation of how we can leverage personality types most effectively. There is no right or best personality type but like life in general, we need to understand each other for more harmonious relationships. 4 out of 5 stars.
Adult Nonfiction Book 155.232 C 2012
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Cover Art: Ender's game /
Ender's game
Card, Orson Scott.
Adult Fiction CARD
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Cover Art: My Antonia /
My Antonia
Cather, Willa, 1873-1947
Adult Fiction CATHER
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Cover Art: The amazing adventures of Kavalier & Clay [sound recording] : [a novel] /
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Cover Art: The spiritualist : a novel /
The spiritualist : a novel
Chance, Megan.
Adult Fiction CHANCE
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Cover Art: The murder of Roger Ackroyd : a Hercule Poirot mystery /
The murder of Roger Ackroyd : a Hercule Poirot mystery
Christie, Agatha, 1890-1976
Adult Fiction CHRISTI
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Cover Art: Veronika decides to die /
Veronika decides to die
Coelho, Paulo
Adult Fiction COELHO
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Cover Art: My brother Sam is dead
My brother Sam is dead
Collier, James Lincoln, 1928-
This novel is told from the view point of Tim, a 12 year old living in New England during the Revolutionary war. It is a tragic story of how politics and war can destroy a family. Tim’s family and the town that he lives in are loyalist to Great Britain. When Tim’s older boy, Sam, runs away and joins the revolutionaries Tim is left behind to help his parents eke out a living in the war-starved economy. Tim doesn't understand what all the fighting is about, and why his father is so angry at Sam. As the war drags on Tim questions his own loyalties and whether the price of freedom is worth all the ravages of war. This book is aimed at 8-12 year old reader. The novel is violent, dark and depressing at times, though is does a good job of presenting the complex issues of war. I do enjoy historical novels and children literature—but I didn’t find myself thrilled with this novel—it was a little too basic for me and it became a chore just to finish it. 2 ½ out of 5 stars.
Children's Fiction COLLIER
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Cover Art: Mockingjay /
Mockingjay
Collins, Suzanne
Teen Fiction COLLINS
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Cover Art: Heart of darkness /
Heart of darkness
Conrad, Joseph, 1857-1924
Adult Fiction CONRAD
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Cover Art: Love saves the day /
Love saves the day
Cooper, Gwen, 1971-
The novel is told primarily through the eyes of Prudence, a young cat rescued from a construction site in Manhattan by Sarah. After three years together, one day Sarah doesn’t come home. Prudence is then taken to live with Sarah’s estranged daughter Laura and her husband Josh. Prudence continues to hope that someday Sarah will return for her. The history between Laura and Sarah becomes known by the chapters narrated by two of them—which I enjoyed more than the chapters by Prudence. What I particularly enjoyed were the descriptions of the Lower East Side in the 1970s, from the drugs, to the homeless people to the music scene to the beginnings of gentrification. The final events of what took place in this area were heartbreaking. The one criticism I have of the book is that the author did not fully commit to writing the Prudence chapters as a cat—with a cat’s understanding of the human world. At times Prudence doesn't understand the workings of the human world—then in the next paragraph she will use a word like saran wrap—if you are going to use the technique of writing as an animal you have to fully commit to it. For an excellent example of this read the Art of Racing in the Rain—a book I loved. All in all, I enjoyed the last part of the book and it was, in the end, a sweet read. A 2 ½ out of 5 stars.
Adult Fiction COOPER
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Cover Art: The chocolate war /
The chocolate war
Cormier, Robert
The Chocolate Wars is the story of a Catholic school for boys which embarks on a massive chocolate sale. Jerry is ordered by the Vigils (a gang of students who make cruel assignments for the other students to carry out) to refuse to sell. He does so for the ten days that the Vigils command him to refuse, but then he continues to say no. The school turns against him in a brutal but clever usage of power by the Vigils. Ultimately he asks himself--Do I dare disturb the universe? I had read this book a few years ago with dissatisfaction—so decided to read it again to see if I felt differently—unfortunately the answer is no! This book is one of the saddest, “cruelest” novels I have ever read. The horror of what some people will do to each other left me feeling bleak, anxious and depressed. There is no redemption, no pretty package that gets all tied up in a neat little bow to remind us that it's all going to be ok. It is violent and dark and scary. In the end, the bad guys win, life can be bleak and sometimes just surviving is all we can expect. This is not the way I want to spend my reading time. 1 star out of 5.
Teen Fiction CORMIER
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Cover Art: Dreaming of the bones /
Dreaming of the bones
Crombie, Deborah.
Adult Fiction CROMBIE
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Cover Art: White noise /
White noise
DeLillo, Don
Adult Fiction DELILLO
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Cover Art: Great expectations /
Great expectations
Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870
A classic by Dickens, Great Expectations is the story of Pip. He is an orphan who, due to a mysterious benefactor, comes into a goodly sum of money or his “expectations”. This is written in first person and is told by an older Pip, a Pip who is not only older but wiser. It may be a rags-to-riches story, but it's not necessarily a happy story. It is a story about Pip, his harsh and cruel sister Mrs. Joe and her kind and fatherly husband Joe, an escaped convict Magwich, a beautiful but cruel girl Estella, and the corpse-like jilted bride Miss Havisham. The story centers around Pip and how, when he comes into his expectation, he becomes snobbish and unlikeable, looking down on Joe and his childhood friend, Biddy. He puts social position and class, etiquette and learning, gentility and leisure, above his friends. Eventually circumstances change (as they always do), and Pip learns a variety of lessons. I found the beginning of this novel a bit slow—though I am not sure why (maybe it was getting use to the dated language)—however I loved the last third of the novel—exciting, surprising & bittersweet. Particularly enjoyed being surprised by some of the characters—Magwich, Wemmick & Miss Havisham specifically. A 4 out of 5 stars
Adult Fiction DICKENS
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Cover Art: The book of Daniel : a novel /
The book of Daniel : a novel
Doctorow, E. L., 1931-
Adult Fiction DOCTORO
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Cover Art: My cousin Rachel /
My cousin Rachel
Du Maurier, Daphne, 1907-1989
Adult Fiction DU MAUR
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Cover Art: The last werewolf /
The last werewolf
Duncan, Glen, 1965-
Jake Marlowe is reported to be the last werewolf. Over 200 years old, healthy, Jake has slipped into a deep depression, considers taking his own life and ending the werewolf legend An anti-occult group has vowed to destroy him for sport and a group of vampires want to keep him alive for selfish reasons (a werewolf bite allows them to go out into the light.) But something happens—Jake may not be the only living werewolf after all. I wanted to like The Last Werewolf. It’s an intriguing premise for a story. However after the first 100 pages I could hardly tolerate the pretentious writing style. Jake as a character was just a bit too pompous and I found after a while I really disliked him as a narrator (frankly I would have been happy if he had just ended things). I kept plodding on and did finish the novel. The ending, when a new character is introduced redeemed the novel slightly for me. However, I really have no interest in reading the 2 remaining books of this trilogy. 1 ½ out of 5 stars.
Adult Fiction DUNCAN
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Cover Art: The marriage plot /
The marriage plot
Eugenides, Jeffrey.
Adult Fiction EUGENID
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Cover Art: Cold hit /
Cold hit
Fairstein, Linda A.
Adult Fiction FAIRSTEIN
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Cover Art: Death angel /
Death angel
Fairstein, Linda A.
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.
Adult Fiction FAIRSTE
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Cover Art: Likely to die /
Likely to die
Fairstein, Linda A.
Adult Fiction FAIRSTE
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Cover Art: Terminal City /
Terminal City
Fairstein, Linda A.
Adult Fiction
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Cover Art: The geographer's library /
The geographer's library
Fasman, Jon.
Adult Fiction FASMAN
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Cover Art: Juliet : a novel /
Juliet : a novel
Fortier, Anne, 1971-
This book is modern day re-telling of the story of Romeo and Juliet, complete with warring families, a look at Italian history, a family curse and, of course, love. The story follows Julie Jacobs (aka Giulietta Tolomei), following the death of her beloved Aunt Rose, when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister Janice. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy. This sets the stage for Julie's trip to Siena to follow clues in search of her family's great secret and possibly a great treasure. The text alternates between Julie's modern day discoveries in Italy and the historical background of the story of Romeo and Juliet (who Julie may be directly descended from). I think this book could be described as historical fiction as well as a thriller, though I felt it was a little thin as a romance. The historical retelling of the Romeo and Juliet was the more interesting part of the novel—some of the modern characters were just a little too silly or obnoxious—leaving the novel somewhat uneven. A 3 ½ out of 5 stars.
Adult Fiction FORTIER
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Cover Art: A maggot : a novel /
A maggot : a novel
Fowles, John, 1926-2005.
Adult Fiction FOWLES
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Cover Art: The serpent's tale /
The serpent's tale
Franklin, Ariana.
The Serpent’s Tale is the second book in the Mistress of the Art of Death series set in Medieval England during the reign of King Henry II featuring Adelia Aguilar, a female physician from Italy. Rosamund Clifford, the mistress of the King, has died an agonizing death by poison-and the king's estranged queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, is the prime suspect. Henry suspects that Rosamund's murder is probably the first move in Eleanor's plot to overthrow him. If Eleanor is guilty, the result could be civil war. The king and his new Bishop Rowley Picot (and Adelia’s lover and father of her child Allie) must once again summon Adelia to uncover the truth. Adelia and Rowley travel to the Rosamund’s home, in a tower within a walled labyrinth. However they become trapped inside a nearby nunnery by the snow and cold. Soon dead bodies begin piling up and Adelia realizes that there may be more than one killer at work, and she must unveil their true identities before England is plunged into civil war. I again enjoyed this character of Adelia—a feminist in a time when women only have indirect power. I was a little disappointed that Rowley was only in a small portion of the book—the relationship and give and take between he and Adelia in the first book was something that I missed. 3 ½ out of 5 stars.
Adult Fiction FRANKLI
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Cover Art: The likeness /
The likeness
French, Tana.
Six months after the events of In the Woods, Detective Cassie Maddox is still trying to recover. She's transferred out of the murder squad, started a relationship with Detective Sam O'Neill, but is really unable to make a commitment to him or to her career. Then Sam calls her to the scene of his new case: a young woman found stabbed to death in a small town outside Dublin. The dead girl's ID says her name is Lexie Madison (the identity Cassie used years ago as an undercover detective), and she looks exactly like Cassie. With no leads, no suspects, and no clue to Lexie's real identity, Cassie's old undercover boss, Frank Mackey, spots the opportunity of a lifetime. Cassie goes undercover, with a twist – she will take the place of the murder victim; and with that try to determine which, if any, of “Lexie’s” housemates may be responsible for the stabbing. As she is drawn into Lexie's world, Cassie realizes that the girl's secrets run deeper than anyone imagined. Though this is the second installment of her Dublin Murder Squad series, I don’t think it is necessary to read the first book “In the Woods” to understand this book. I did find this story fascinating--the descriptions of the Irish country side, and of course the inhabitants of Whitethorn house were beautiful and in some ways very sad. A 4 out of 5 stars.
Adult Fiction FRENCH
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Cover Art: Neverwhere /
Neverwhere
Gaiman, Neil
Under the streets of London there's a place, really another city. A city of monsters, saints, murderers, angels, knights in armor and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of those who have fallen between the cracks. This is the premise of the Neil Gaiman book Neverwhere. Richard Mayhew, an ordinary young man working in London, with a fiance, Jessica, a small apartment and a rather boring life, finds himself there—because of a single act of kindness. After he helps a girl, Door, Richard finds that no one can see him or hear him, they've removed his desk at work and are renting out his apartment while he's in the bath. Jessica can't remember his name. The only thing left for him to do is seek out Door in London Below and somehow get his life back. Along the way Richard gets caught up in Door’s mission to find out why her family was murdered and who wants her dead. I found that this book to be a modern day, darker version of “Alice in Wonderland.” A perfectly normal person dealing with complete strangeness all around him—and really all he wanted was to get his life back. Great fantasy, wonderful sense of humor, full of adventure, horror and a little romance. Not my favorite Neil Gaiman (that is still the Graveyard Book), but still a joy to read. 4 ½ out of 5 stars.
Adult Fiction GAIMAN
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Cover Art: The cuckoo's calling /
The cuckoo's calling
Galbraith, Robert
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. He has only to one client left, and he owes money everywhere. To make matter worse, he just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. He can’t even afford his new temporary assistant Robin. Then John Bristow, a former childhood friend, wants to hire him. His sister, supermodel Lula Landry (also known as Cuckoo) apparently committed suicide jumping to her death a few months earlier. John doesn’t believe it, and wants Strike to investigate. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers. I loved this new character—he is clever, sharp stubborn character with demons I am sure we haven’t fully discovered. I particularly liked his ebb and flow relationship with his quick witted sidekick secretary Robin. The novel is fast paced, the characters interesting and it has an ending that I did not see coming. Can’t wait for the next outing. 4 ½ out of 5.
Adult Fiction GALBRAI
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Cover Art: Cold Comfort Farm /
Cold Comfort Farm
Gibbons, Stella, 1902-1989
Adult Fiction GIBBONS
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Cover Art: Two weeks with the Queen /
Two weeks with the Queen
Gleitzman, Morris
Children's Fiction GLEITZM
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Cover Art: The magician king /
The magician king
Grossman, Lev.
Adult Fiction GROSSMA
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Cover Art: False mermaid /
False mermaid
Hart, Erin, 1958-
Adult Fiction HART
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Cover Art: Stranger in a strange land /
Stranger in a strange land
Heinlein, Robert A. 1907-1988
Adult Fiction HEINLEI
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Cover Art: Catch-22 : a novel /
Catch-22 : a novel
Heller, Joseph.
Adult Fiction HELLER
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Cover Art: Falling angel /
Falling angel
Hjortsberg, William, 1941-
Adult Fiction HJORTSB
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Cover Art: Curse of the Jade Lily /
Curse of the Jade Lily
Housewright, David, 1955-
Adult Fiction HOUSEWR
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Cover Art: A prayer for Owen Meany : a novel /
A prayer for Owen Meany : a novel
Irving, John, 1942-
Adult Fiction IRVING
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Cover Art: The legend of Sleepy Hollow /
The legend of Sleepy Hollow
Irving, Washington, 1783-1859
Children's Fiction IRVING
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Cover Art: The phantom tollbooth /
The phantom tollbooth
Juster, Norton, 1929-
Children's Fiction JUSTER
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Cover Art: The beekeeper's apprentice : or, on the segregation of the queen /
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Cover Art: Ex-libris /
Ex-libris
King, Ross, 1962-
Adult Fiction KING
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Cover Art: The painted bird [sound recording] /
The painted bird [sound recording]
Kosinski, Jerzy, 1933-1991
Adult Fiction KOSINSK
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Cover Art: A wrinkle in time [sound recording] /
A wrinkle in time [sound recording]
L'Engle, Madeleine.
Children's Fiction LENGLE
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Cover Art: The namesake /
The namesake
Lahiri, Jhumpa.
The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their traditional life in Calcutta through their and their children’s (specifically their son Gogol) transformation into Americans. The novel moves back and forth from the perspective of the parents to those of the son. On the heels of their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him relies on Indian tradition, with Ashoke and Ashima waiting for a name to be chosen by her mother who is still back in India. When the name doesn't arrive, the two new parents quickly choose the name Gogol, in tribute to one of Ashoke's favorite Russian author (and a significant character in Ashoke’s past). But Gogol hates his name, and the Bengali traditions that are forced on him since childhood. The reader follows him through adolescence into adulthood where his history and his family affect his relationships with others particularly his parents and of course women. This novel presents an exploration of the immigrant experience, but the lessons are universal... Anyone who has ever been ashamed of their parents, felt the guilty pull of duty, questioned their own identity, or fallen in love, will identify with these intermingling lives. I found this book to be beautifully written without being pretentious or overly self-aware. I found myself not wanting it to end. 4 ½ out of 5 stars.
Adult Fiction LAHIRI
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Cover Art: Traveling mercies : some thoughts on faith /
Traveling mercies : some thoughts on faith
Lamott, Anne.
Adult Nonfiction Book PS3562.A4645 Z47 1999
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Cover Art: The girl who kicked the hornet's nest /
The girl who kicked the hornet's nest
Larsson, Stieg, 1954-2004
Adult Fiction LARSSON
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Cover Art: Elmer Gantry /
Elmer Gantry
Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951.
The novel (amazingly, it was published in 1927) tells the journey of Elmer Gantry, a narcissistic, insincere, bigoted, unethical, womanizing, hypocritical student who abandons his ambition to become a lawyer to become a “preacher of the faith.” His journey leads Elmer from ordained Baptist minister, a "New Thought" evangelist, traveling salesman and eventually Methodist minister of a large prestigious church. Along the way Elmer contributes to the downfall, physical injury, mental harm and even death of key people around him, including a genuine minister, Frank Shallard. If you are expecting redemption here—you will not find it! This is a satire, funny, biting, infuriating and downright frightening (Elmer comes up with a plan to control/legislate the morals/values of the US—now where have I seen that before??). Not only do we see the hypocrisy and falseness of Elmer—but it is evident in those around him (even "Scotty" the golf pro is not an actual Scot, but a fraud who learned his false accent from a Irishman!) I was so surprised how relevant this novel was—despite the fact that it was written in the 20s. The characters are vivid, the issues presented complex and still true today (I wondered at the end if this book had been read by the Christian Coalition--to get ideas for their campaign!). A 5 out of 5 stars—a must read!
Adult Fiction LEWIS
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Cover Art: The last word /
The last word
Lutz, Lisa.
The 6th (and maybe last!) novel of the Spellman series, finds everyone in the Spellman clan is in an uproar because of Isabel’s hostile takeover of Spellman investigations. Izzy’s parents are showing up to work in their pajamas, her sister Rae has created a side business for herself and Izzy’s niece Sydney is terrorizing everyone. Meanwhile, Izzy is helping client Edward Slayter hide his Alzheimer’s, but it’s clear someone is determined to get him kicked out as CEO, and that someone is trying to frame Izzy for embezzlement as part of the scheme. There is an air of sadness around this book, there are many changes that coming to the Spellman family. The novel is also about characters moving on—including Henry, Rae and Isabel. As always, some of the bests parts of the novel are Izzy’s office memos and footnotes. 4 out of 5 stars (mainly because I love this family!)
Adult Fiction LUTZ
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Cover Art: Bring up the bodies : a novel /
Bring up the bodies : a novel
Mantel, Hilary, 1952-
Adult Fiction MANTEL
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Cover Art: A clash of kings /
A clash of kings
Martin, George R. R.
Adult Fiction MARTIN
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Cover Art: Angela's ashes : a memoir /
Angela's ashes : a memoir
McCourt, Frank.
Adult Nonfiction Book E184.I6M117 1996
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Cover Art: The emperor's children /
The emperor's children
Messud, Claire, 1966-
Adult Fiction MESSUD
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Cover Art: Cloud atlas : a novel /
Cloud atlas : a novel
Mitchell, David
Adult Fiction MITCHEL
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Cover Art: Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books /
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Nafisi, Azar.
Adult Nonfiction Book PE64.N34 A3 2003
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Cover Art: The fire /
The fire
Neville, Katherine, 1945-
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.
Adult Fiction NEVILLE
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Cover Art: In the forest /
In the forest
O'Brien, Edna.
Adult Fiction OBRIEN
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Cover Art: Nineteen eighty-four /
Nineteen eighty-four
Orwell, George, 1903-1950
Adult Fiction ORWELL
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Cover Art: The body in the piazza /
The body in the piazza
Page, Katherine Hall.
The 21st Faith Fairchild mystery, Faith and Tom are on an anniversary trip to Italy to see the sites, art and of course enjoy the food. After, a weekend in Rome, they are to travel to Tuscany, where Faith's former assistant Francesca has opened a cooking school. However, on their first night in Rome, the Fairchilds stumble upon a dying man in the Piazza Farnese—Freddy a travel writer they have just spent the evening with. When they leave Rome for the cooking school, the mystery follows them, many of the guests at the school are not who they seem, and somebody is intent on sabotaging Francesca's new business. As always, Faith will need to use her skills to determine the truth and find the culprit. I have always enjoyed this series—particularly our heroine Faith and the wonderful recipes at the end of the book. The descriptions of Italy and the food were enticing—making me wanting to take a trip to Italy by the end! However the “mystery” was a little wanting and felt convoluted and rushed at the end. A 3 out of 5 stars.
Adult Fiction PAGE
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Cover Art: Hatchet /
Hatchet
Paulsen, Gary.
Children's Fiction PAULSEN
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Cover Art: The technologists : a novel /
The technologists : a novel
Pearl, Matthew.
Matthew Pearl's The Technologists is the fictional story of several students of the inaugural class of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as they race to stop a mad man from destroying Boston. The novel opens with the events of a mysterious harbor disaster as boat crew mates and sailors find their compasses going haywire. Shortly after, another unexplainable catastrophe occurs; all the glass within the financial district of Boston inexplicably melts, disfiguring many and killing a young actress. The police are at a loss of just what is happening. Enter the “Technologists”--Marcus Mansfield, Robert (Bob) Richards, Edwin Hoyt, members of the inaugural class of MIT who take it upon themselves to discover what is causing these acts of terror—hopefully saving their city and their beloved MIT. Pearl introduces the reader to the public’s feeling about science and the Industrial Age, the education of women, the aftermath of the Civil War and rivalry between Harvard and MIT. I have enjoyed Pearl’s previous novels that have included historical figures into the narrative (Longfellow, Poe, Dickens) and looked forward to reading his newest. However, I came away disappointed. Despite being classified as a thriller, I found this novel to be slow and plodding, and almost had to force myself to finish. 1 out of 5 stars.
Adult Fiction
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Cover Art: Night film : a novel /
Night film : a novel
Pessl, Marisha.
Adult Fiction PESSL
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Cover Art: The fall of the house of Usher.
The fall of the house of Usher.
Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849
Adult Nonfiction Book PS2614.A2C3
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Cover Art: The purloined letter. The murders in the Rue Morgue. /
The purloined letter. The murders in the Rue Morgue.
Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849
Children's Fiction POE
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Cover Art: Wide Sargasso Sea /
Wide Sargasso Sea
Rhys, Jean.
Adult Fiction RHYS
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Cover Art: The bones of Avalon /
The bones of Avalon
Rickman, Philip.
Adult Fiction RICKMAN
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Cover Art: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children /
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Riggs, Ransom
Teen Fiction RIGGS
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Cover Art: The little prince /
The little prince
Saint-Exupery, Antoine de, 1900-1944
Children's Fiction SAINT-EXU
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Cover Art: The nine tailors : a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery /
The nine tailors : a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery
Sayers, Dorothy L. 1893-1957.
Adult Fiction SAYERS
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Cover Art: The enchantress /
The enchantress
Scott, Michael, 1959-
Teen Fiction SCOTT
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Cover Art: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society /
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Shaffer, Mary Ann.
It's 1946, WWII has ended, and Juliet Ashton is on a book tour around England for her recently published book. A surprise letter from a complete stranger from one of the Channel Islands, Guernsey, begins a friendship with the letter writer and Juliet, as well as a friendship with members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Through this series of letters, we learn of the occupation of the island (for 5 years of the war) and the treatment of its citizens by the Germans (some god—and some terrible), the resiliency and stories of the islanders and of course the joys of reading. I would highly recommend this book. The story and its characters are charming, funny, sweet, and thoughtful. 4 ½ stars out of 5.
Adult Fiction SHAFFER
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Cover Art: A town like Alice /
A town like Alice
Shute, Nevil, 1899-1960
Adult Fiction SHUTE
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Cover Art: The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks /
The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks
Skloot, Rebecca, 1972-
Adult Nonfiction Book 616.02774 S 2010
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Cover Art: Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore /
Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore
Sloan, Robin, 1979-
Adult Fiction SLOAN
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Cover Art: Monkey mind : a memoir of anxiety /
Monkey mind : a memoir of anxiety
Smith, Daniel B., 1977-
Adult Nonfiction Book RC464.S59 A3 2012
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Cover Art: I capture the castle /
I capture the castle
Smith, Dodie, 1896-1990.
Adult Fiction SMITH
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Cover Art: Tristram Shandy /
Tristram Shandy
Sterne, Laurence, 1713-1768
Adult Fiction STERNE
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Cover Art: The 13 clocks /
The 13 clocks
Thurber, James, 1894-1961.
Children's Fiction THURBER
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Cover Art: The death of Ivan Ilyich and other stories /
The death of Ivan Ilyich and other stories
Tolstoy, Leo, graf, 1828-1910
The story begins with three friends and colleagues of a man named Ivan Ilych learning of his death. No one seems deeply affected by this, but one of them, Peter Ivanovich, goes to the wake at Ivan's house that night out of a sense of obligation. From there Tolstoy allows us to view Ilych’s life and his subsequent death, a wasted and meaningless life. In addition we become witness to the hypocrisy and the pointlessness of the lives of those around him—except for his young butler—who has an understanding of life and death that Ilych does not. What is particular tragic about this novella is the loneliness and isolation and the feeling that the life that Ilych has lived was meaningless—worse than death. This book allows us to explore how we live our lives, what is important in that life—and what is a “good life.” 3 out of 5 stars.
Adult Fiction TOLSTOY
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Cover Art: Felicia's journey /
Felicia's journey
Trevor, William, 1928-
Adult Fiction TREVOR
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Cover Art: Death of a king /
Death of a king
Vanderwal, Andrew H.
The Death of a King is the second in what I assume is a series—it is the sequel to Battle of Duncragglin. In this novel 12 year old Alex and his friends travel back in time (again) to 13th century Scotland to get to the bottom of his parents' disappearance. Death of a King explores chaos and turbulence resulting from the death of King Alexander without leaving an heir to the throne. While on his adventure, Alex helps William Wallace win the Battle of Sterling Bridge, escapes death multiple times at the hands of villagers, and befriends some important people of the time. I was provided a gratis copy of this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program. Death of a King had a lot going for it from the start. I love time travel, Scotland and medieval history. Despite all of this I struggled to finish this book. It could be partly from the fact that I had not read the first novel—making it difficult to follow some of the plot and understand who the characters where. The other problem was the time traveling aspect of the book—most of it never made any sense. The characters seem to go back and forth in time—without any regard to who they might meet, how they might impact the future—and they keep telling everyone they are from the future. I was surprised they weren’t hung as witches! 1 ½ out of 5 stars.
Children's Fiction VANDERW
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Cover Art: Twenty thousand leagues under the sea [compact disc] /
Twenty thousand leagues under the sea [compact disc]
Verne, Jules, 1828-1905.
Children's Fiction VERNE
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Cover Art: Fingersmith /
Fingersmith
Waters, Sarah, 1966-
Adult Fiction WATERS
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Cover Art: Before I go to sleep : a novel /
Before I go to sleep : a novel
Watson, S. J.
Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every time she falls asleep—the result of a car accident and a severe head trauma. Her husband, Ben, is a stranger to her, and he must explain to her their life together on a daily basis. With the encouragement of a new doctor, Christine starts a journal to help jog her memory and so that some of her memories will be retained. One morning, she opens it and sees that she's written three unexpected and terrifying words: "Don't trust Ben." Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion. Who can she trust? Why is Ben lying to her? Can Christine herself be trusted to be telling the truth? I loved the first-person narrative and the often conflicting episodes of memory resurrections. The ending was a surprise—though I had some suspicion of what was coming about 2/3 into the book. A fast paced book with a compelling plot. 4 out of 5 stars.
Adult Fiction WATSON
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Cover Art: Leaves of grass /
Leaves of grass
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892.
Adult Nonfiction Book PS3201 1993
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Cover Art: Doomsday book /
Doomsday book
Willis, Connie.
Adult Fiction WILLIS
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Cover Art: The illustrated mum /
The illustrated mum
Wilson, Jacqueline.
Children's Fiction WILSON
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Cover Art: I am the messenger [sound recording] /
I am the messenger [sound recording]
Zusak, Markus.
A young adult novel, I am the Messenger tells the tale of 19-year-old Ed Kennedy an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He's pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. After accidentally preventing a bank robber from escaping, Ed receives his first playing card with three addresses written on it. He understands that he needs to deliver a message to each of these places, but the card offers no further instructions. Relying on his intuition alone, Ed starts touching people’s lives and trying to understand what he has to do. The messages vary from simple (buying someone a ice cream cone) to horribly complex and painful (saving an abused wife and daughter). The final question to be answered is who is sending Ed the messages. I found this book a wonderful example of how anyone is capable of making a difference in another’s life—whether through a small gesture or a large one. I found myself truly engaged in this book—and found the premise clever and the writing sweet, sad and humorous all at the same time. A 4 ½ out of 5 stars.
Teen Fiction ZUSAK
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