Reader Review: The Thirteenth Tale

Posted on Monday, August 29, 2022 by patron reviewer

The 13th Tale by Diane Setterfield book coverThe Thirteenth Tale” introduces readers to Margaret, a young woman working in her father’s rare book shop and an occasional writer of biographical essays about long-dead authors. She is summoned by Britain’s most famous writer, Vida Winter, to document the author’s story before she dies. Both harbor secrets and the tale Winter spins involves twins, a falling-down estate, a governess, violence, a fire, orphans, gardens and gates all of the makings of a fairy tale.

This book has echoes of “Jane Eyre,” “Wuthering Heights,” and other gothic classics. It’s a twisty literary mystery with just the right amount of darkness. I listened to the audiobook and was absorbed. It would be a great vacation read.

Three words that describe this book: Gothic, spellbinding, twisty

You might want to pick this book up if: You are a fan of the Bronte sisters, fairy tales, and love books about other people who love books.

-Anonymous

 

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading 2022. We will continue to share these throughout the year.

Reader Review: Leviathan Wakes

Posted on Monday, August 22, 2022 by patron reviewer

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey book coverThere are many good examples of hard science fiction, books that follow the scientific rules of space, but their accuracy is often bereft of compelling human interaction. “Leviathan Wakes” nails both! The complex characters face the possible end of humanity as humans would, with pain, anger, righteousness, and love the author demonstrates these human struggles with skill. The basis for the television show “The Expanse,” this is the first of several books about what happens when a molecule from another galaxy is introduced into a politically fraught solar system.

In the book, Earth, Mars, and the peoples who live on resource-strapped asteroids in “the Belt” are at each other’s throats as they battle for preeminence and access to resources. When an ice-hauling freighter is blown up by an unknown stealth ship, leaving five survivors, it launches a war between Mars and the Belt. But who is responsible? And why did they want to start a war? What are they covering up?

Three words that describe this book: What is humanity?

You might want to pick this book up if: You enjoy very well-written characters struggling to define humanity in the face of the unknown.

-Alexis

Reader Review: The Wife Upstairs

Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 by patron reviewer

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins book coverI came across “The Wife Upstairs” as a suggestion from Overdrive on a Friday evening, and although I wouldn’t normally gravitate towards a thriller, I also cannot resist anything “Jane Eyre” related, so I decided to give it a chance. Fast forward to Sunday evening, and I had devoured it — definitely one of my fastest finishing-a-book times in the past few years, as a mom of young children. But with all the plot twists and turns, I just could not bear to put it down!

It is by no means a perfect book or an enduring classic, but that’s okay — I think it does what it intends to do: entertains in its own right while hearkening back to the original. My favorite bits were the well-known quotes from the classic novel, modified and spiced up with modern curse words — absolutely delightful! I also enjoyed the self-referential bits, as when Jane finds herself “creeping around the upstairs like I’m in a gothic novel or a bad horror movie.”

Three words that describe this book: twisty-turny, Southern gothic, classic-based

You might want to pick this book up if: You are looking for a quick summer read and enjoy thrillers and/or “Jane Eyre,” but don’t hold the classic up on such a pedestal that vulgarized quotes from it will upset you. Other retellings that you might enjoy (I know I did!) are “Jane Steele” by Lyndsay Faye and “Brightly Burning” by Alexa Donne.

-Erin

 

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading 2022. We will continue to share these throughout the year.

Reader Review: Speak

Posted on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 by patron reviewer

Speak by Tunde Oyeneyin book coverI met Tunde Oyeneyin while cycling on my Peloton bike and felt a strong connection with her workouts. She is authentic, strong, inspiring, compassionate, beautiful and caring. I picked up her book “Speak” because cycling is a lot like life you experience ups and downs, highs and lows; it pushes you to your limits; you have good days and bad, but you are getting stronger from each lesson, on or off the bike. She leads with love and teaches with true grit. Her leadership comes from deep down in her Nigerian roots, her personal trauma, her love and losses in relationships, her hard work, and her passion for others.

Three words that describe this book: Love yourself first.

You might want to pick this book up if: You are in a rut in life, or your job, maybe school or a relationship. Do you want more for yourself? Have you experienced loss? Have you felt like you didn’t fit in or looked different from others, or were treated differently because of the color of your skin? Perhaps you’re looking to connect with Tunde on your Peloton?

-Roxanne

 

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. There is still time to submit your own book review here for a chance to have it featured on the Adults Blog. 

Reader Review: Raising Good Humans

Posted on Monday, August 8, 2022 by patron reviewer

Raising Good Humans by Hunter Clarke-Fields book coverRaising Good Humans” was a fantastic book about parenting. As a mother of two young children, I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it included practical, tangible exercises and advice on how to move from reactive parenting to forms of gentle parenting to create win-win parenting situations. It presents ideas how we as parents can work alongside our children to aid them in nurturing emotions, investigating solutions to problems, and evaluating better problem solving methods when conflicts arise.

Three words that describe this book: Enlightening, practical, eye-opening

You might want to pick this book up if: You are a parent to young or adult children looking to build stronger relationships with your children.

-Anonymous

 

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. There is still time to submit your own book review here for a chance to have it featured on the Adults Blog. 

Reader Review: Chasing Science at Sea

Posted on Friday, August 5, 2022 by patron reviewer

Chasing Science at Sea by Ellen Prager book coverThe book “Chasing Science at Sea” is filled with the experiences of many, many scientists and researchers whose work brings them to the coast, the shorelines, the open seas, and underwater to coral reefs, ocean trenches and other fascinating places. In lay language, Prager helps to illuminate what these scientists are doing, and why science at sea matters to so many different fields within science. Their true stories are as gripping as any sea novel or movie. Some of the stories are funny, some are alarming, and they opened my eyes to how challenging it must be to work in these environments.

Three words that describe this book: Lively, surprising, humorous

You might want to pick this book up if: You are a Midwesterner (or anybody) wondering what it would be like to explore the oceans in real life.

-Lynn

 

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. Submit your own book review here for a chance to have it featured on the Adults Blog. 

Reader Review: In the Wild Light

Posted on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 by patron reviewer

In the Wild Light” follows the story of two teens from east Tennessee who get the opportunity to attend a prestigious boarding school in Connecticut. Both have experienced trauma and neglect as children and struggle to adapt to the unfamiliar world of privilege at the school. However, they both find connection and purpose by leaning on each other and the friends they find there. I enjoyed the book because I identified with the guilt of leaving home, the culture shock of attending an affluent institution and the unexpected friendships with people from very different backgrounds. The book is beautifully written. Poetry is an important theme throughout, and the prose often reads like poetry.

Three words that describe this book: Challenging, emotional, beautiful

You might want to pick this book up if: You are looking for a challenging and beautiful coming-of-age story

-Jacob

 

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. Submit your own book review here for a chance to have it featured on the Adults Blog. 

Reader Review: A Visit From the Goon Squad

Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2022 by patron reviewer

A Visit from the Goon Squad book coverWhile it is marketed as a novel, “A Visit From the Goon Squad” is more accurately a collection of linked short stories. These stories focus on multiple characters whose lives are interconnected through music, particularly the American punk rock scene of the 1980s. While the book has received praise for author Jennifer Egan’s use of alternative forms, like PowerPoint slides, the real strength of the book is Egan’s attention to character psychology and the complications of human relationships.

Three words that describe this book: Funny, poignant, sad

You might want to pick this book up if: You like short stories and are interested in the difficulty in remaining a rebel as you age.

-Tyler

 

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. Submit your own book review here for a chance to have it featured on the Adults Blog. 

Reader Review: Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead

Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2022 by patron reviewer

Everyone in this room will someday be dead book coverEveryone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead” follows Gilda, a 27-year-old lesbian who accidentally ends up working as a receptionist in a Catholic Church. During this time, Gilda is grappling with her identity, her mortality AND the potential murder of the previous receptionist at the church. It is an extremely unique book and following Gilda’s unusual thought process constantly keeps the reader questioning what is actually happening in Gilda’s world. I have never read anything quite like this; it made me giggle, it made me cry and it made me think deeply about my own identities and roles in life.

Three words that describe this book: Thought-provoking, quirky, relatable

You might want to pick this book up if: you enjoy introspective characters, love chaos and read a lot of books with unreliable narrators.

-Anonymous

 

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. Submit your own book review here for a chance to have it featured on the Adults Blog. 

Reader Review: The Correspondents

Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 by patron reviewer

The Correspondents book coverI learned about “The Correspondents” from an A Mighty Girl post about journalist Clare Hollingworth, and it has proven to be a fascinating and compelling listen. The book follows six American and British women journalists (five writers and one photographer) as they reported on WWII. Not only is it the story of their adventures, travels and reports, but it also follows the difficulties they faced as female reporters as they battled the hesitancy of their newspapers to hire women as war correspondents and restrictions, particularly by British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, on women in combat zones. The book was not always an easy listen, particularly as it traced each woman’s response to and reports on the liberation of concentration camps near the end of the war, but those experiences seemed a part of the larger whole as the author broke down the reasons why these women continued for 6+ years to report the realities of war.

Three words that describe this book: Can’t stop listening

You might want to pick this book up if: You are interested in women’s history, WWII, journalism, or the everyday experiences of women in a conflict zone.

-Alexis

 

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. Submit your own book review here for a chance to have it featured on the Adults Blog.