I 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!
“Eligible: 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.
Gabriel 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.
Unlike 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!)
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.
“The 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”