Reader Review: Convenience Store Woman

Posted on Monday, October 4, 2021 by patron reviewer

Convenience Store Woman book coverConvenience Store Woman” is a story about a woman who truly finds her calling, working part-time at a convenience store. If only everyone else in her life could accept this, things would be peachy. But her parents and sister always hold out hope that she will eventually “get better” over her autistic traits. Keiko tries with all her might to understand and obey the rules of being human, observing that “foreign objects get expelled.” This book will resonate with anyone who has ever felt like a misfit.

Three words that describe this book: quirky, funny, thought-provoking

You might want to pick this book up if: You want a quick read or you like stories about quirky people.

-Anonymous

 

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading 2021. We will continue to share these throughout the year.

Reader Review: The Eye of the World

Posted on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 by patron reviewer

Eye of the World book coverThe Eye of the World” is the first book in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. The series is described as a redefinition of the genre of fantasy adventure. The book follows five young people from a small farming community as they are caught up in an adventure that involves trollocs (like orcs for those who have read Lord of the Rings), friendly ogres and powerful witches. The action is non-stop, the character development is excellent, and the plot is enchanting on its own, and mind-boggling when one considers that it is setting up another 13 books. My word of advice: read the prequel “New Spring” first.

Three words that describe this book: Mythical, engrossing, enchanting

You might want to pick this book up if: you were in the mood for a long, fun, and always entertaining adventure.

-Lynn

 

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading 2021. We will continue to share these throughout the year.

Reader Review: The Bees

Posted on Monday, August 23, 2021 by patron reviewer

The Bees book coverThe Bees: A Novel” is a truly imaginative thriller that tracks the life of Flora, a sanitation worker bee of the lowest caste, in the hive system. Disney it is not. Dystopian it certainly is. If you are looking for a breezy read about flowers and insects and nature, look elsewhere. What makes the book so engrossing, though, is the author’s deft use of scientifically accurate details to create a sometimes disturbing though always fascinating tale. (Note: I frequently found myself fact checking on the Internet while reading the book. “Are queen bee larvae fed royal jelly?” Check. “Are wasps predators of bees?” Check. In every instance, the detail was accurate). Instead of making up “facts” to fit the story, the author created a story to fit the facts, which makes it that much more compelling.

Three words that describe this book: Imaginative, dystopian, compelling

You might want to pick this book up if: You are fascinated by bees or enjoy a dystopian thriller.

-Jeff

Reader Review: Hamnet

Posted on Monday, August 16, 2021 by patron reviewer

Hamnet book coverHamnet” is the fictionalized account of Shakespeare’s passionate relationship with his wife Agnes and an investigation of their grief over the loss of a son. The writing is simply gorgeous, and O’Farrell excels and creating intimate portraits and settings you can almost feel. An unforgettable interlude follows the path of a single plague-carrying flea from Alexandria to Stratford and shows the author’s incredible imagination and skill. An outstanding work of historical fiction.

Three words that describe this book: Lush, immersive, moving

You might want to pick this book up if: You love historical fiction, descriptive writing, and enjoy stories of noteworthy literary figures told through the eyes of “secondary” characters.

-Lauren

 

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading 2021. We will continue to share these throughout the year. 

Reader Review: Royal Sisters

Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2021 by patron reviewer

Royal Sisters” describes the relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, Princess Margaret. As a life long Anglophile, I found this book to be informative and entertaining. Much of the Queen’s early life was discussed, revealing how she evolved from minor royal to Her Majesty. Much had been written about her, so no real surprises. The fascinating aspect of this book was the life of Princess Margaret. She is a tragic figure, often misunderstood and exploited by the press. They shared a bond and history that only the two of them could understand. The peek into the palace was fascinating. I highly recommend this book.

Three words that describe this book: Touching, personal, and captivating

You might want to pick this book up if: You are an Anglophile or interested in British Royalty.

-Donna

 

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: Life’s Too Short

Posted on Thursday, August 5, 2021 by patron reviewer

In the book “Life’s Too Short,” we’re introduced to Vanessa and Adrian. Vanessa is a travel vlogger with an unorthodox and frustrating family. Adrian is a lawyer with a black and white life. Both have unhappy pasts and Vanessa’s future seems tragic. In her third book by Abby Jimenez readers once again truly get to know her characters through wonderful characterization and dialogue making it a delightful read for someone who loves character-driven romantic comedy. BUT … as a die-hard happily-ever-after romance reader, Jimenez’s books skirt the edges of Jodi Picoult-ish/Oprah book club-ish books (emotionally manipulative and often WAY too dramatic) by including some deeper emotions and conflicts than are often written into classic happily-ever-after romance novels. But they only skirt those edges and the characters are SO GOOD you have to read them, anyway! This one was almost as good as her first two books.

Three words that describe this book: Characters. Dialogue. Humor.

You might want to pick this book up if: You like romance novels and you like good dialogue and smart characters.

-Kristen

 

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: Nothing to See Here

Posted on Tuesday, August 3, 2021 by patron reviewer

Nothing to See Here book coverIn the book “Nothing To See Here,” Madison gets caught with drugs at a prestigious boarding school, and Lillian takes the fall and ends up expelled. Madison goes on to marry a wealthy senator, but Lillian finds herself living in her mom’s attic and working at a local grocery store. The women stay in touch with occasional letters until Madison calls Lillian with a strange request. Following the death of her husband’s ex-wife, Madison must take in her two stepchildren. The kids have a weird quirk: they spontaneously combust when they are upset. Madison needs someone to care for the children over the summer as they look for a more permanent solution, and Lillian agrees to be their governess. I loved Lillian as the book’s protagonist and narrator because she was so honest and funny. If you don’t listen to the audiobook, you’re missing out; the narrator does such a great job capturing the humor and emotion in this book.

Three words that describe this book: Quirky, Funny, Sincere

You might want to pick this book up if: You’re looking for a quick read that will make you laugh.

-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: What’s Done in Darkness

Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2021 by patron reviewer

What's done in Darkness booko coverWhat’s Done in Darkness” follows Sarah (Sarabeth) who grew up in a ultra religious family in the Arkansas Ozarks. Right before turning 18 she’s kidnapped. About a week later she’s released without ever knowing who abducted her or why. Rather than embrace her return her family shuns her. Five years later Sarah is living a completely different life in a city near St. Louis. A detective contacts her asking for help finding a couple of recently missing girls who might be related to her case. This forces Sarah to go back to her past and deal with the difficult feelings around her abduction and her family. Very fast paced mystery/thriller. Bonus, Laura McHugh is a Missouri author who also has three other great mystery books that take place in the Midwest.

Three words that describe this book: intriguing, dark, compelling

You might want to pick this book up if: you enjoyed the author’s previous books, or if you’re a fan of dark mystery/thrillers.

-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: Into the Planet

Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 by patron reviewer

Into the Planet book coverInto the Planet” is a memoir about the dangerous field of cave diving and is written by a woman — often the only woman on her expeditions. The book discusses the beauty and danger in diving deep into caves, along with the challenges of sexism and maintaining healthy relationships while pursuing your dreams. There’s also a theme of the importance of learning about the environment we live in and our impact on it, particularly related to our drinking water, but also the myriad ways our actions impact others personally, professionally, and in ways we cannot imagine, such as the way the cave divers influence space exploration. I read the audiobook, which was narrated by the author, and I often found myself holding my breath while listening to her brushes with the limits of what the human body can endure. My favorite part was when Heinerth traveled to Antarctica to dive into a iceberg(!), although the book was interesting throughout as she conveyed the language and science of cave diving in a way someone with no real prior knowledge of the subject could understand and enjoy.

Three words that describe this book: Breathtaking, Claustrophobic, Educational

You might want to pick this book up if: You would never actually don a wet-suit, but want a firsthand telling of diving deep into the planet.

-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: Travels With Charley

Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2021 by patron reviewer

“In America I live in New York, or dip into Chicago or San Francisco. But New York is no more America than Paris is France or London is England. Thus I discovered that I did not know my own country.”
~John Steinbeck

travels with Charley book coverTravels with Charley: In Search of America” was published in 1962, coincidentally the same year that John Steinbeck earned a Nobel Peace Prize, and rightfully so. Steinbeck travels America in a truck with a camper and his grey Standard Poodle named Charley. This well known writer expresses his travels in a satiric, witty and down right blunt way.

He encounters people of all walks of life and details their uniqueness. Whether it be camping with a farmer on his property in New Hampshire and discussing politics while sharing a few drinks, stopping by a dairy in Massachusetts to buy milk and discovering the dairyman has a Ph.D in mathematics but just loves his job as a dairyman, or a stay in Maine where his lodging is accompanied by a grey cat named George who Steinbeck hilariously describes as disgruntled: “I am told that when guests sleep in the house, George goes into the pine woods and watches from afar, grumbling his dissatisfaction and pouring out his dislike.” Continue reading “Reader Review: Travels With Charley”