Reader Review: Heroes In the Night

Posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 by patron reviewer

Heroes in the Night book coverI picked “Heroes In the Night” from a library display because I had not heard of Real Life Superheroes before. The author becomes interested in Real Life Superheroes (RLSH), and then tries to learn more about them through online resources, meeting and interviewing some, and eventually going along with several on their nighttime crime patrols and other activities. Tea Krulos offers fair, balanced insights from RLSH participants, their family members, critics of the movement and others, such as law enforcement members. Krulos’ writing style is very contemporary and hip, but at times this annoyed me. His witty observations and remarks sometimes seemed to get in the way of the stories he was trying to share. I liked the balanced reporting of RLSH that do less-dangerous activities, like environmental clean-ups, supporting very sick children and raising awareness of causes such as veganism. An average person, like myself, could choose to do many of these things.

Three words that describe this book: Offbeat, geeky, yet inspiring

You might want to pick this book up if: You have ever wished that superheroes could be real. That is possible, and you could even become one!

-Lynn

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Reader Review: Eligible

Posted on Thursday, June 22, 2017 by patron reviewer

Eligible book coverEligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice” by Curtis Sittenfeld is the fourth installment of The Austen Project. Sittenfeld stays true to Jane Austen’s narrative, character development and humor in her retelling of Elizabeth Bennet’s story.

Liz Bennet and her sister Jane are both nearing 40 years old, and living in New York City working as a magazine journalist and a yoga instructor, respectively. When their father has to undergo heart surgery, they return home to Cincinnati to care for him and their family for the summer. Mrs. Bennet eagerly tries to set Jane up with Chip Bingley, the former star of the reality show, “Eligible,” who also happens to be a financially well-off emergency room doctor and bachelor. Chip’s best friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy, a brain surgeon and California estate owner, proves to be quite proud and sees himself as being better than living in Cincinnati, which irritates Liz, causing her a strong dislike of his character.

Sittenfeld develops these classic characters not just in a modern setting but with modern issues facing today’s Americans such as race, financial distress, job satisfaction and sexual orientation. CrossFit and smartphones play a prominent role.

Three words that describe this book: funny, romantic, sequel

You might want to pick this book up if: You like Jane Austen and the future novels that she has inspired.

-Chelsea

Reader Review: Fluent Forever

Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 by patron reviewer

Fluent Forever book coverGabriel Wyner’s “Fluent Forever” is a book describing how to learn any language rapidly and effectively. It mostly assumes you are going to use a “spaced repetition” system for the primary means of learning and memorizing. I listened to the audio version of this book on Hoopla, and then listened to the Benny Lewis’ “Fluent in 3 months” audiobook. Wyner makes things more accessible, and he has a more encouraging, sympathetic voice that some may need in order to encourage them to try learning a language. Wyner’s methods are more specific, but less daunting than Lewis’ (compare Wyner’s 30 minute commitment per day plus weekend binges with what Lewis says should ideally be a two hour daily commitment), and they struck a chord with me as something that could be quite helpful. Flashcard learning may not for everyone. Consuming both books in quick succession allowed me to pick and choose from two different philosophies as I began to chart my own course for language learning. I am only one week into the spaced repetition studying, so I cannot say how well it works for me yet, but so far it is fun and I want to do it every day.

Three words that describe this book: encouraging, specific, inspiring

You might want to pick this book up if: You tried learning a language and failed, but would really love to do it.

-Kevin

Reader Review: All by Myself, Alone

Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2017 by patron reviewer

All by Myself Alone book coverUnlike a lot of Mary Higgins Clark’s other books, “All by Myself, Alone” leaves her usual New York and New Jersey stomping grounds and enters the high seas. Celia, a gem expert, is invited on board a luxury liner’s maiden voyage as a guest speaker — it’s a great opportunity to get away from a failed engagement and a nasty ex. She meets an eclectic group of people including Mary Higgins Clark’s favorite returning character, Alvirah Meehan and her loving husband, Willy. Celia must solve a murder before they all reach shore. As a lifelong Clark fan this book didn’t disappoint. The only reason this book missed five stars in my mind was the love story (that I could have done without) mired the mystery.

Three words that describe this book: Excellent, Baffling, Clark at her best

You might want to pick this book up if: You have read her other books, or you like to match wits with the detective by trying to solve it before they do. (Good luck with this one!)

-Christina

Reader Review: The Silent Sister

Posted on Friday, January 6, 2017 by patron reviewer

Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2016 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share some of these reviews throughout the year.

Silent Sister book coverThe Silent Sister” follows Riley, a girl in her early 20s, who just lost her father. She is left to deal with his estate with little help from her mentally ill and disabled veteran brother. While doing so, she uncovers a lot of family secrets and discovers things about herself she had never known before. I liked this book because it kept me entertained. I had figured out some of the ending early on, but there was still a twist within that ending, and I liked that. The characters were well-developed and each held a piece to the puzzle. Continue reading “Reader Review: The Silent Sister”

Reader Review: The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook

Posted on Friday, December 2, 2016 by patron reviewer

Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2016 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share some of these reviews throughout the year.

Nerdy Nummies Cookbook book coverRosanna Pansino has a very successful YouTube channel called “Nerdy Nummies,” where she bakes treats inspired by her favorite TV shows, videos games and other “nerdy” topics. “The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook” starts with a handful of basic recipes that she uses to create all of her treats. After giving you the basic foundation of recipes, tools and decorating supplies you will need, the author divides her cookbook by topic: Math & Science, Space, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Gaming, Tech & Web and Geeky Treats. Continue reading “Reader Review: The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook”

Reader Review: How to Start a Fire

Posted on Friday, November 25, 2016 by patron reviewer

Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2016 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share some of these reviews throughout the year.

How to start a fire book cover

How to Start a Fire” follows three women who meet in college and continue their sometimes difficult friendship over the course of many years. The women have very different personalities but are tied together by a chance meeting which occurred during their college years. I liked the fact the book followed the women throughout their lives and showed their struggles and triumphs. Main portions of the book are slowly revealed through flashbacks with the book coming together at the end. As the book moved through various time periods it was sometimes slightly difficult to follow. Continue reading “Reader Review: How to Start a Fire”

Reader Review: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

Posted on Friday, October 14, 2016 by patron reviewer

Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2016 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share some of these reviews throughout the year.

my grandmotherMy Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” is about the life of young Elsa as told through the fairy tales her grandmother tells her. 7-year-old Elsa, soon to be 8, is lonely, bullied, different, extremely smart and counts her Grandma as her best friend. Well, make that her only friend. When Grandma dies, the stories begin to unravel. Elsa is tasked to solve the mysteries of where Grandma’s letters are hidden and then to deliver the letters — regardless of the challenge and danger — to all the people Grandma needs to tell she is sorry. Continue reading “Reader Review: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry”

Reader Review: Red Rising

Posted on Friday, August 26, 2016 by patron reviewer

Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2016 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share some of these reviews throughout the year.

red risingIn his debut novel (and the first in the Red Rising trilogy), Pierce Brown introduces a dystopian story that should appeal to readers who enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy. Teenaged Darrow lives in an under-earth colony on Mars that toils to make the surface livable for future inhabitants. Oppressive rule is all he’s known, but a dramatic turn of events soon forces Darrow to fight for a better life for his community. If that sounds a bit cliche, I suppose it’s because I didn’t find much new to keep my interest in this story. Other than the setting and the sex of the main character, it feels very much like “Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Whereas that was the second book in a trilogy (with the benefit of the slow-build to revolutionary action and character development from the first book), this book seems to move the reader quickly down Darrow’s (stealth) revolutionary path. I found it difficult to feel empathy for the main character’s motivations without experiencing more of his world before he took steps toward revolution. I think I’m in the minority in not caring for this book, though, so if you like dystopian novels, give it a try! Continue reading “Reader Review: Red Rising”

Reader Review: Cutting for Stone

Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2016 by patron reviewer

book cover for cutting for stoneCutting for Stone” is about doctors of mostly Indian heritage working in a mission hospital in Africa. The main characters are endearing, though sometimes we become saddened or frustrated with them. Most of the doctors are surgeons, and we are privy to the intricate details of some of the surgeries. I liked this book because I found the characters heart-warming, and I learned quite a bit of what goes on in the operating room. Interesting surgical details, without disturbing the story line. Continue reading “Reader Review: Cutting for Stone”