Thursday, December 10, 2015

Infamy by Richard Reeves

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Jim Patrick

What I Read: Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II by Richard Reeves

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: Richard Reeves recounts the post-Pearl Harbor reaction of the U.S. government toward the thousands of Japanese Americans living on the west coast as the U.S. entered World War II.  President Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 of February 19, 1942 led to the “relocation” of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans, first into Assembly Centers—most of which were originally livestock stables at fairgrounds sites—and later into ten  Relocation Camps, including two in Arizona.  At under 300 pages, Reeves’ book is more an anecdotal account of the Japanese relocation story than an in-depth analysis, and the book’s title leaves no doubt about the author’s personal feelings about this controversial World War II program.  In providing the overall details of the internment program, Reeves is most critical of President Roosevelt, California attorney general Earl Warren, and program administrator General John DeWitt.  He describes the anti-Japanese fear and hysteria that gripped the west coast, and how these men and others exploited that climate, while others courageously spoke out against internment and the prevailing racism toward the overwhelmingly loyal Japanese Americans.  Reeves uses personal and family stories to show the heavy emotional, social, and economic burdens borne by the internees.  He also includes accounts of military heroism by enlisted Japanese American soldiers—many of whom were recruited from the camps beginning in 1944.


What I Thought: Richard Reeves states in his introduction that he was prompted to write his latest book by the current anti-immigration sentiments aimed at Hispanics and Muslims.  He obviously sees a parallel—and a cautionary tale—in the case of Japanese Americans seventy years ago.  Whatever one’s political views, Reeves' book is likely to cause the reader to take a longer view of the consequences of taking government actions which target specific ethnic or religious groups.  I was somewhat familiar with the Japanese American internment saga, but the personal examples in Infamy made this painful chapter of our history seem much more real and tragic.


Readalikes: Inside an American Concentration Camp: Japanese American Resistance at Poston, Arizona by Richard Nishimoto

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Andrew Zollman

What I Read: The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: This is the first book in a new continuation of Stieg Larsson's original Millennium series. It is an adrenaline-charged thriller, playing homage to genius-hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist as they face an all-new dangerous threat and must once again join forces.

Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a trusted source claiming to have information vital to the United States. The source has been in contact with a young female super hacker—a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. The implications are staggering and build to a climax as events unfold. Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, and turns to Lisbeth for help. She, as usual, has her own agenda.


What I Thought: This is not Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The story was written well and it flowed from the start to finish; however, you need to have a good understanding of current technology and social events to follow the story. Much of the information presented is not explained to the reader or even expanded on as it moves.

As I said, this was a good read but it differs on many points from the original series. Because it is a continuation, there is no new worldbuilding or change in setting. You do get introduced to a few new buildings but only as scenery as events unfold. The introduction to the story's new characters was to me the only shining point of the story. August is an interesting character and is designed to connect many points in the story. The bad guys do somewhat the same, connecting many characters to charge this thriller.

Personally, if you would like a good story, I would add this to the list. But I will say it again, this is not Stieg Larsson’s work and does not read the same. It is neither as dark nor vivid as the original, but has its own strong points. If you are getting started with thrillers or like Scandinavian mystery-thrillers give Jussi Adler-Olsen or Jo Nesbo a try. Both authors write dark and disturbing intricate stories like the original series, and mysteries with compelling detectives.

Readalikes: Read and support the original author of the series: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Brain Maker by David Perlmutter, M.D.

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: José Beltrán

What I Read: Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain - for Life by David Perlmutter, M.D. with Kristin Loburg

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: In Brain Maker Dr. Perlmutter, the bestselling author of Grain Brain, explains the vital role that gut microbes have in our brain's health.  The author says “Death begins in the colon”, “but so does health and vitality”; “up to 90% of human illnesses can be traced back to an unhealthy gut.” Within us is a microbiome of bacteria, fungus, and viruses: roughly 100,000,000 microbes cover our insides and outsides. These organisms process our food, detoxify, and affect the immune system, our neurotransmitters, vitamin production, and nutrient absorption through a complex diet-gut-microbes-health equation. What we feed our microbiome can make it sick! He recommends a few easy steps we can take to make our brains better through simple dietary recommendations for improving our gut ecology. Hippocrates said: “All disease begins in the gut.” Hippocrates also said “Let food be your medicine.” Unfortunately, what we mistake for food can also be our poison. What happens in the gut does not stay in the gut: it affects our entire body, including and especially our brain. Brain diseases are growing at an alarming rate. This book consists of three parts. Part I introduces us to the gut. Part II discusses the environmental factors such as GMOs, sodas, fructose, wheat gluten. Part III gives remedies, and some recipes to rehabilitate our brains.

What I Thought: Microorganisms were and are at the very foundation of life for all life forms on Earth. Life is impossible without them. They existed millions of years before we came along.  Microbes have made possible higher life forms, including ourselves. They have made the Earth habitable. They are in our soil, in the air we breathe, without them there is no food! We are alive because they live in us. Without them we could not get nourishment from our food. However, these wonder-working microorganisms cannot convert garbage into the nutritional elements our bodies require. In computer programming parlance: garbage in, garbage out or TITO: trash in, trash out. Junk food is so named for a good reason. No amount of junk food will provide the nutrition our microbiome needs to keep us healthy. In a later book, Dr. Perlmutter may well discuss the controversial issues of pollution, pesticides, fertilizers and GMO’s that are not only poisoning the bees, which we need to fertilize most or our foods, but also the very microbes in the soils. What will we eat, drink?

Readalikes: Wheat Belly, The Better Brain Book

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Idol Dreams. vol. 1 by Arina Tanemura

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Becky Brendel

What I Read: Idol Dreams vol. 1 by Arina Tanemura

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: Office worker Chikage Deguchi is having an early midlife crisis. Her coworkers gossip about her behind her back and her high school reunion, at which she'd hoped to be reunited with her old crush, goes disastrously. She's about to give up on everything when she's offered a miracle drug that will return her to her 15-year-old self for a few hours at a time. Chikage begins trying to "do over" the last 15 years of her life, but ends up scouted by a talent agency. Now she's going to reinvent herself in many more ways than she'd originally planned.

What I Thought: Like Chikage, this manga has an identity crisis. It's clearly aimed at women around Chikage's age, who grew up on these wish-fulfillment stories ("girl gets a magic ___ that lets her become a singer/grow up temporarily/become a heroine" is a popular genre in Japan) and are now looking to put that magic back into their own lives. But it just can't quite agree on a tone. A magic drug that turns somebody younger is a cute, silly plot device that'd be right at home in one of those kids' comics - but feels out of place when the protagonist just debated committing suicide (which itself seemed rather abrupt). The whole first chapter of the manga feels rushed and disjointed as a result.

Once the first chapter has established the premise, though, the story finds its footing. It's still a very silly story and it still relies on familiar tropes for anyone who's read any one of these "magically transform and change one's life" series before, but Chikage becomes an appealing mixture of awkward and endearing and both of her apparent love interests, an old classmate and a fellow musician, are more likable than the domineering male leads of many girls' manga. Hibiki in particular (the 15-year-old superstar) stood out to me: instead of being a Jerk With A Heart of Gold, he's just a very talented young man who doesn't have the life experience yet to realize that things that come easily to him don't always go as well for others. This puts Chikage in a position to inspire and teach him because she's (secretly) older - maybe her life up to this point hasn't been such a supposed "waste", after all.

Not all plot points go down smoothly in this manga - I for one would be thrilled to never see a man attempt to kiss a sleeping woman again - but overall Idol Dreams volume 1 felt like discovering this genre for the first time. Feel-good, fluffy, and all-around fun for people who, like Chikage, want to rediscover their inner teen.

Readalikes: Absolute Boyfriend by Yu Watase for similar romantic triangle dymanics; Skip Beat! by Yoshiki Nakamura for another comedy set in the world of Japanese showbiz.

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Last of the President's Men by Bob Woodward

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Jim Patrick

What I Read: The Last of the President's Men by Bob Woodward

Find It @YCLD: Here!


What It's About: The Last of the President’s Men by Bob Woodward is an odd, but fascinating, addition to the voluminous published works about the Watergate scandal that forced President Nixon from office in 1974.  The recent New York Times review describes the book as “slight but readable” and “decidedly slender.”  The book consists of 182 pages of text, followed by a 77-page Appendix of previously unreleased White House memos and correspondence.  The reason the book is appearing now, 40 years after Woodward and Bernstein’s influential All the President’s Men, is that in 2014 Alexander Butterfield decided to entrust Bob Woodward with a draft of an unpublished memoir and several boxes of notes and documents from his days as a Nixon administration presidential aide.

When questioned at a congressional hearing, Alexander Butterfield revealed the existence of Nixon’s secret taping system.  This testimony was crucial in the unraveling of the Watergate cover-up, but until now Butterfield has not shared the inside details of his years serving as “Haldeman’s Haldeman” (i.e. as chief aide to Nixon’s top assistant).

What I Thought: This book is not the first title I would recommend to someone unfamiliar with Watergate.  Rather, it brings to life the tense moral dilemma faced by Alexander Butterfield when, questioned under oath, he felt compelled to disclose his knowledge of the White House tapes.  Woodward skillfully recreates the story (and impact) of Butterfield’s testimony.  He also conveys the conflicted mix of pride and melancholy that Butterfield still feels today with respect to his role in exposing the Watergate cover-up.  The personal cost to Butterfield is also chronicled, including an abrupt end to his acclaimed military career and widespread ostracism by former friends and colleagues. 

The book includes several revealing anecdotes about Nixon’s obsessions and neuroses.  For example, Nixon was angered by the number of White House offices displaying photographs of John F. Kennedy.  The book includes memos detailing the planned “sanitization” of these photos.  Similar memos are included about the invitation lists for presidential dinners and church services.  Butterfield’s impressions of Nixon are of a brilliant statesman who was personally isolated and consumed by his hatred of his perceived enemies.  These impressions are not unique to Butterfield, but, as told by a member of Nixon’s inner circle, they are especially powerful, poignant, and credible.

Readalikes: The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate’s Deep Throat by Bob Woodard; The Nixon Defense by John Dean

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Posted by Rebecca Brendel



Reviewed by: Sherri Levek

 What I Read: Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: Broken Monsters is a crime/fantasy/suspense novel set in Detroit, Michigan. A gruesome killing is discovered and Detroit Police Detective Gabrielle Versado is given the lead on the case, while trying to maintain a relationship with her teenage daughter, Layla, who is keeping her own secrets.  Writer Jonno has recently arrived in Detroit from New York City in the hopes of discovering a story amidst the ruin and decay of the once vibrant city.  Homeless ex-convict T.K. only wants to help his friends and forget his troubled past.  Broken Monsters is the story of what happens when this diverse group of characters are forced to confront their worst fears.

 What I Thought: Lauren Beukes’ Broken Monsters is both character and plot driven.  I became increasingly pulled into the story, which is many-layered and suspenseful.  The characters are diverse - gritty, professional, artsy, naive, compassionate, and arrogant - a combination that reflects the city of Detroit’s struggle to survive.  Beukes is critical of our current obsession with social media, which is given a large role in her novel and while at times this becomes a bit preachy, it doesn’t ruin the story.  Overall, I found this to be an edge-of-your-seat read that I found trouble putting down.

 Readalikes: The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes, Niceville by Carsten Stroud, and The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue

 Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Andrew Zollman

What I ReadThe Aeronaut’s Windlass (The Cinder Spires #1) by Jim Butcher

Find It @YCLD: Here!  

What It's About: Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Loyal to the people of Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the coming war with Spire Aurora. He has accomplished this by disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines and attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

 The Cinder Spires have stood for thousands of years, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. They protect and shelter humanity from the harsh outside world where the light and very space you move can make a person mad, and the surface of the earth is all but inhospitable to normal life forms. There are many spires surrounding the earth, each with a different civilization and aristocratic house to govern within their halls. They have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

As Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. There is another enemy lurking in the shadows pulling the strings. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death is sure to follow in its wake…

What I Thought: I have rarely been able to get through a steampunk-type novel without a strong reason to enjoy the story. With all of the descriptions necessary to explain how inventions work and how things run it can get confusing. Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass exceeded my expectations in this regard. He did a wonderful job of integrating both the characters and the technology into the story without making the reader feel overwhelmed. The tone had a sort of matter-of-fact quality to the writing.

As you know from reading my other reviews, I enjoy strong or well-written characters in the stories I read. They can be broken. They can be romantic. As long as they show a well-rounded personality and traits you would find in the real-world that’s what I am looking for in a character. Jim delivered that for me. My favorite characters were Bridget and Rowl, and you will see why when reading it yourself.

Like Jim Butcher’s other books, he writes in an in-your-face manner when describing conflict and dangerous situations. Follow along and enjoy the ride. Remember, this is the first book in the series, he will expand on the culture, characters and scope of the world as it progresses. The first book is but a glimpse of conflict between only two spires and the people who fight for them.

Readalikes: Agatha H. and the airship city by Phil Foglio

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: José Beltrán

What I Read: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Find It @YCLD: Here!


What It's About: The science of advertising is about how corporations want to create a habit in us to buy their products by creating cravings in us. The routine becomes a habit. Habits are the brain’s way to save effort. The automatic three step process of cue-routine-reward loop becomes automatic i.e. a habit. The habit becomes automatic. However, “habits can be ignored, changed, or replaced as needed.” “Habits never really disappear, because they are encoded into the brain. Unfortunately, the brain does not distinguish between a bad habit and a good habit. Habits are a way to protect the brain from being overwhelmed by details. The Golden Rule of habit change. Use the same cues, and get the same reward, but shift the routine, and one habit replaces another. We must first identify the cues and rewards. “The brain can be reprogrammed, just be deliberate about it.” We must have the belief that change is possible. That belief is easier within a support group. 

What I Thought: This book provides ample examples of habit-forming from real life: Alcoholics Anonymous; drug addicts; champion swimmer Michael Phelps; Paul O’Neil on creating a culture in Alcoa by finding the grit to remake workplaces through an emphasis on safety; dieting by simply keeping a food journal. Willpower (self-discipline, self-regulator skills) is the single most import keystone habit. I do not watch TV football. The author enthralled me with his exciting play by play of Major League football teams under coach Dungy. Wow! It kept me on the edge of the seat.


Our basal ganglia control our habits. What bad habit do you want to lose: overeating, gambling, debt, sex, drugs, hoarding, self-mutilation, smoking video game addictions, emotional dependency… Why is AA so successful? Because it attacks not the symptoms but the root of the problem, the habits that surround the vice. Is it a habit or is it an addiction? There’s nothing we can’t do if you get the habits right “like opening and closing a door, driving, or even eating." Without habits, we would be hindered in communicating, because we could not understand body language. Unthinkingly we would go through life as human robots. “However as useful as habits are a blessing they can also be a curse.” Unlike an automaton, we can make the decision and effort to change our automatic behavior as needed to reprogram ourselves. Habits create unconscious neurological cravings. Cravings, unfulfilled desires makes us angry, unhappy, mopey, frustrated, depressed, disappointed, but they do keep us motivated. What will an alcohol or cigarette addict not do for his addiction? A habit cannot simply disappear: it must be replaced!

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Jim Patrick

What I ReadThe Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: The book’s lengthy subtitle indicates the wide scope of historian Doris Kerns Goodwin’s latest publication.  She gives detailed biographical sketches of not only Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, but also of their parents, wives and children.  As in her other bestselling books, she fills her account with fascinating stories of the domestic lives of the Tafts and Roosevelts, including courtships, friendships and fall-outs, and parental sorrows and joys.  The wives, Nellie Taft and Edith Roosevelt, are both featured prominently in this book.  For example, Nellie Taft is shown to be much more ambitious and “political” than her husband William who always wanted to remain a judge.  Edith Roosevelt faced many challenges, such as marrying a widower with a young child, and being the wife of such an impetuous risk-taker as Theodore Roosevelt.  William and Theodore were the best of friends and close political partners until Roosevelt became disillusioned with Taft’s presidency.  The emergence of this painful rift is recounted in riveting detail by Kearns Goodwin.

The book’s subtitle also signals another major topic of The Bully Pulpit—the work of groundbreaking journalists of the Progressive Era, such as Lincoln Steffens, Ida Tarbell, and others who wrote for McClure’s magazine.  Kearns Goodwin clearly admires these journalists and their crusading spirit.  She illustrates how Roosevelt and the journalists had a generally positive and mutually beneficial relationship, while Taft was leery of the press and disliked having to cultivate relationships with reporters.

What I Thought: Loyal readers of Doris Kearns Goodwin know that her books arrive slowly but are always worth the wait.  Whether writing about Roosevelts, Kennedys, Lincolns, or any other historical subject, Kearns Goodwin always tells wonderful stories with her history, and she has a knack of making historical names come alive as real characters on her pages.  That’s why she is not only an excellent historian, but a popular one, as well.  At 750-plus pages, The Bully Pulpit is not a fast read, and its ambitious scope might be intimidating to those who haven’t read previous books by Doris Kearns Goodwin.  However, the various strands of this real-life epic are woven together by the author with her usual grace and skill, making for another enjoyable classic in the field of popular history.

Readalikes: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward; Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris; Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Mess by Barry Yourgrau

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Laurie Boone

What I Read: Mess: One Man's Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act by Barry Yourgrau

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: The author writes a memoir about hoarding and clutter from his own perspective as both a hoarder and investigative reporter. He interviews psychologists, hoarders, and even spends time with a decluttering service and in anti-hoarding group therapy. His longtime girlfriend gives him an ultimatum: clean up his mess and his life or jeopardize their relationship.

What I Thought: For those who find the problem of hoarding a fascinating topic and for those who could use some incentive to clean up their cluttered lives, this book delivers. Barry Yourgrau is an endearing, clever, well-traveled and well-read hoarder who is in denial about his issues. He is never pathetic and I was rooting for him throughout. It is a funny and inspiring read.

Readalikes: Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Gail Steketee

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Becky Brendel

What I Read: B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: Private investigator Kinsey Millhone is hired to track down a woman's missing sister - and then subsequently fired when she begins making progress. The deeper she digs, however, the more Kinsey begins to suspect the missing woman didn't vanish of her own accord...especially when she learns a botched burglary led to a fire in the same neighborhood.

What I Thought: I've been a fan of mystery novels for years, but this was my first time "meeting" Kinsey. She won me over by the end of the second chapter. Although Grafton's super-simple writing style takes some getting used to - when just listing facts, she has a bad habit of starting all her sentences with the subject - it fits her sleuth's matter-of-fact personality and sparse lifestyle, so it doesn't clash with the content of the book. More importantly, she straddles the cozy and hardboiled mystery genres with ease. Kinsey is introspective and faces down the ugly, atmospheric side of life just as well as any square-jawed sleuth from the pulps - but she's also compassionate, second-guesses herself when she irrationally dislikes people, and has a small community of quirky friends and associates that any cozy amateur gumshoe would be proud to call their own. She even makes sure she finds out what happened to the missing woman's cat!

The mystery itself in B is for Burglar may be easier for people who are used to the mystery genre to unravel (spend enough time with the same tropes and you begin to get good at guessing what's going to happen), but although I did figure out "whodunnit" in broad strokes, a bunch of key details eluded me. Rumor has it that Grafton manages to never write a novel with the same plot twice, so I'm looking forward to working through the rest of the alphabet.

Readalikes: The Lew Archer mysteries by Ross Macdonald, for another detective who looks at the seedy side of life with sympathy; the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich, for a more humorous take on the same genre. (Stephanie, like Kinsey, has an equally quirky set of acquaintances.)

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Drafter by Kim Harrison

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Andrew Zollman

What I Read: The Drafter by Kim Harrison

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: In this first novel in the Peri Reed Chronicles, Kim Harrison touches on a new frontier in science fiction with an edge-of-your-seat thriller filled with spies and time travel that will keep you guessing until the very end.

In the near future, Peri Reed is an Opti Soldier trained to complete U.S. government missions others would never dream of being able to complete. The year is 2030, the setting is Detroit. Peri is double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon.  Peri Reed has become a renegade on the run. "Don't forgive and never forget" has always been Peri's creed.

But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote. When Peri discovers her name is on a list of corrupt operatives, she realizes that her own life has been manipulated by the agency. Her memory of the previous three years erased, she joins forces with a mysterious rogue soldier in a deadly race to piece together the truth about her fateful final task. Her motto has always been only to kill those who kill her first. But with nothing but intuition to guide her, will she have to break her own rule to survive?

What I Thought: Kim Harrison’s new novel The Drafter is a fast paced techno-thriller that pushes the boundary of morality and understanding of the world around you. Peri Reed is a very strong character with a very unique problem. The people around her as using her, and because she can draft she doesn’t know who she can trust.

Peri can take care of herself in a fight, but at times can seem fragile and broken. She’s been used by both sides for so long that her life has become a fragmented mess. The book will keep pulling you in different directions, but your feelings toward other characters in the story will be immediately grounded by their actions.

Kim Harrison doesn’t pull any punches and even if you think you know where the story is going, you don’t have all of the details. The Peri Reed Chronicles reminds me a little bit of the movie Time Cop without the horrible acting or the need for a fancy device or machine to make the process work. The characters mesh well together and provide support for Peri throughout the story through their actions.

If you like sci-fi thrillers with a strong female protagonist, but don’t like space ships or far futures, I would recommend this book to you. If you do get to read the book, I would recommend Kim Harrison’s first adult fiction Hollows Series. You won’t be disappointed.

Readalikes: Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck or Amped by Daniel H. Wilson

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: José Beltrán

What I Read: Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About:  Joshua Foer is a freelance science journalist  who won the U.S. Memory Championship in 2006, then represented 300 million US citizens at the World Memory Championship. Foer won 13th place out of 37 world competitors. Most importantly for Foer, he joined the KL7 Club: the world’s most esteemed organization of mental athletes. He trained himself using the loci (Latin word for places) system of memorization using what he called memory palaces. The Loci system is attributed to Simonides of Ceos (c.560 B.C.) who is credited with turning words into mind pictures. To use this system, compress as much information as possible into a single well-formed image. Use your creativity to imagine the most ludicrous, most raunchy, most hilarious, most unforgettable images. Remember not word by word but rather topic by topic, picture by picture.

One of the techniques is to use the number n to stand for the number 2, then use a picture of a nun to remember the number 22. A quote worth quoting: “Regular practice simply isn’t enough. To improve, we must watch ourselves fail, and learn from our mistakes.” His most quotable quote was “Our memories make us who we are. They are the seat of our values and source of our character.” This book is so vital that its author was invited to give a TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) talk on it. (It is available on youtube.com).

What I Thought: Use it or lose it! “The human brain is estimated to be able to store 108432 bits; there are only about 1078 atoms in the observable universe.” In Greek Mythology, Memory is the mother of the Muses. Without memory how could there be music, art, history, literature or science? How could there be us, our loved ones? Before writing the only way to record anything was through sheer memory. Poetry was created to help people remember through rhyme and meter. Writing was our next crutch, but look at all the irretrievable literature that has been lost. It is important to stop and smell the roses, but to truly live a memorable life we have to remember to remember smelling the roses.


We are nearing the crossroad, with all our electronic memory outsourcing we are forgetting how to remember. We are externalizing, outsourcing our memory. Why bother remembering? Just tap it into the computer, the phone, the tablet. Ray Kurzweil, one of the most respected advocates of the role of technology in our future, estimates the singularity point, the year 2045, is when mankind takes the next step in evolution into a part human, part machine.

Foer laments that people no longer invest in their memory. Our minds have incredible memory capacities. However, in spite of all the memory stunts and winning the US Memory Championship, Foer’s Working Memory was not improved. Josh not only forgot his keys, he forgot his car and even where he had parked it. If we do not pay attention, if we are not deeply engaged, fully mindful, we will not be able to recall where we put our keys. We are constantly bombarded with distractions. Our memory will only work when we remember to stop being on autopilot, notice, and pay attention. We are too distracted to remember to remember. Remember: “practice makes perfect.”  To remember where you put your keys takes concentrated, self-conscious, deliberate will power and practice.

Readalikes: Your Memory: How It Works & How To Improve It by Kenneth L. Higbee, Ph.D.; The Memory Prescription by Gary Small, M.D. 

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir by Foster Hirsch

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Jim Patrick

What I Read: The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir by Foster Hirsch

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: This ebook is a 2008 revision of a classic study of film noir that was first published in 1981.  Noir is known for its dark, shadowy visual style and effects, and Hirsch includes well-chosen photographs to illustrate his analysis of various filmmaking techniques.  A chapter titled “The Literary Background” discusses the impact of the “hardboiled” school of crime fiction on film noir.  Writers such as Raymond Chandler, Cornell Woolrich, and James M. Cain are discussed, including the film adaptations of their novels and short stories.  Another chapter is titled “The Cinematic Background.”  The influence of German Expressionism is discussed, particularly in the work of émigré directors such as Fritz Lang, Robert Siodmak, and Billy Wilder.  Chapters are also devoted to “The Noir Actor” and “The Noir Director.”  Hirsch critiques iconic noir actors such as Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, Barbara Stanwyck, and Gloria Grahame.  In addition to the directors mentioned previously, the book also surveys the noir-related work of Otto Preminger, Orson Welles, Jules Dassin, and others.

What I Thought: Foster Hirsch discusses film noir with a sweeping command of the cinematic genre/style/movement that flourished in Hollywood from the mid-forties to the mid-fifties.  His writing is both instructive and engaging.  The only negative aspect of reading this book in ebook format is the size and quality of the many photographs which accompany (and enhance) the text.  On my 6-inch Kindle screen these photographs were very small indeed.  Nonetheless, this is a most enjoyable and useful book for students and fans of classic films.  Watch some film noir—the library has several classic examples on DVD—and use this ebook as your guide!

Readalikes: Out of the Shadows by Gene D. Phillips; Encylopedia of Film Noir by Geoff Mayer

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

All You Can Pay by Anna Bernasek and D.T. Mongan

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Laurie Boone

What I ReadAll You Can Pay: How companies use our data to empty our wallets by Anna Bernasek and D. T. Mongan

Find It @YCLD: Here!


What It's About: The authors show how companies use the data they collect from us to determine how much you are willing to pay for everything you buy. Companies use this “customized marketing” to rapidly change prices and tailor complex “special offers” to individual consumers. The book details how consumers are led to believe they are finding the best deals by shopping online, but in reality fair bargaining is over.

What I Thought: Anyone who thinks they’ve bought the cheapest airline ticket or prided themselves on negotiating a great deal with a cable company or car dealership should read this book. It is quick to read but it will leave you feeling aggravated. You will feel like the sucker you are because Big Data and Big Business know the maximum you are willing to spend on anything. After reading this book I cringe every time I “agree” to those densely-written terms and conditions covering personal data and privacy. The authors include suggestions for what you can do, and the writing is accessible and includes source citations and an index.

Readalikes: Data and Goliath : the hidden battles to collect your data and control your world by Bruce Schneier.

Or look this book up oNoveList!

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Becky Brendel

What I Read: Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: Ex-spy James Asher comes home one evening to find his entire household asleep and a foreign gentleman standing over his wife Lydia. The stranger, Don Simon Ysidro, claims to be a vampire interested in hiring Asher to solve a serial murder case - someone has been killing the vampires of Victorian London, and if Asher manages to discover whodunnit, Ysidro (probably) won't kill Lydia.

What I Thought: This book was the first in an ongoing series about Asher, his wife Lydia, and their relationship to the vampire Ysidro; the series at large stands out for being intelligent, thoughtfully-written vampire fiction, and this first novel is no exception. Hambly's vampires have a clearly-defined set of strengths and weaknesses that feels completely "believable" - no turning into mist or sparkling in sunlight here - and she's put a lot of thought into what might happen to a person's personality after spending hundreds of years as a nocturnal predator (Ysidro, for instance, barely ever seems to exert effort or express emotion- he simply does not care after hundreds of years in undeath). Her vampires therefore become both sympathetic - being a vampire sounds horrible - and genuinely creepy. Even their pathos might be a trap.

The humans hold their own pretty well, however. Asher has seen his share of horrors himself - he quit working as a spy after becoming disillusioned - and he's refreshingly forthright with Lydia about Ysidro's request. Lydia is a treat: she went to medical school at a time in which ladies simply Did Not Do such things, so her first reaction to learning that the undead exist is a desire to dissect one. She's also brilliant and an excellent researcher whose contributions solve the case. There's an ongoing current of unease as Europe prepares for World War I; the evils men can do even without turning into vampires is a constant theme and threat throughout the series.

Oddly enough, Hambly's plots suffer because her leads are so intelligent and methodical: she's admitted herself in interviews that she has to keep having unexpected issues pop up out of nowhere since otherwise Asher and Lydia would see every threat coming. The result can feel disjointed, and Those Who Hunt the Night's "big reveal" disappointed me: yes, Hambly'd alluded to the characters responsible, but not in any context that would give a hint they were connected to the case. The murderer in a mystery novel should be unexpected, but having them seem completely peripheral until the climax felt unfair to the reader.

Plotting difficulties aside, however, Those Who Hunt the Night is highly recommended to anyone who likes spooky, threatening vampires - or who wants intelligence from their speculative fiction. World War I is looming in the story's timeline, and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series to see whether that shoe has dropped yet, and how Asher, Lydia, and Ysidro become involved when it does.

Readalikes: Bram Stoker's Dracula, for the classic vampire story (and one with which Hambly's characters are familiar); Gail Carriger's Soulless, for another original (if far more humorous) take on vampires.

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Buzz in the Meadow by Dave Goulson

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Sherri Levek

What I Read: A Buzz in the Meadow by Dave Goulson


Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: Author and biologist Dave Goulson purchased a farm in the French countryside in order to create a wildflower meadow to attract all sorts of wildlife, but his main interest is insects, bumblebees in particular.  This is the story of his observations of the myriad ways in which nature is connected.

What I Thought: Goulson’s insights into the natural world are inspiring and often humorous.  I spent many hours in the backyard and on walks observing the often overlooked life of insects and plants while reading this book.  Each chapter is dedicated to a particular insect or plant.  The chapter on flies is especially engrossing (with “gross” being the dominant theme!).  Goulson also explains the many ways humans are affecting the environment, with helpful suggestions that aren’t preachy or condemning.  Goulson ends the book with this bit of inspiration:  “This book is intended to inspire, to encourage everyone to cherish what we have, and to illustrate what wonders we stand to lose if we do not change our ways” (Goulson 251).

Readalikes: Attracting Native Pollinators:  Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies:  The Xerces Society Guide by Eric Lee-Mader, Seeing Trees:  Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees by Nancy R. Hugo, The Bees by Laline Paull, and The Sixth Extinction:  An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Book That Changed My Life by Roxanne J. Coady & Joy Johannesson, eds.

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: José Beltrán

What I Read: The Book That Changed My Life by Roxanne J. Coady & Joy Johannesson, eds.

Find It @YCLD: Here!


What it’s About: The editors selected 72 authors' short essays about what book they themselves love that changed their lives and ultimately inspired them to become famous authors in their own right. The editors' Read to Grow Foundation is a 100% donor-supported nonprofit organization that distributes free books through volunteers to the needy. Roxanne J. Coady won the Publishers Weekly Bookseller of the Year Award in 1995.

What I Thought: These essays cover the gamut of book publishing. There are so many quotable passages in these essays from all walks of life. You should read it just to select your own favorite quotes. Not only did I come away with many quotes, but a large list of books to read, both by these authors, and yes, from their favorite authors too.

The touching, moving “I Think I Can” about The Little Engine That Could: Jeff Benedict recalls the many lessons his single mom taught him from the stories she read to him each night.

Robert Ballard, deep-sea explorer and bestselling author on the Titanic: the reason for being, raison d’être, is not the view at the end, but the act of becoming. “Life is the act of becoming.” He is the founder of the Jason Project to mentor middle school students by scientists from NASA, NOAA, DOE, and the National Geographic Society.

“You could read the same text repeatedly over time, and something fresh and new would declare itself with each reading”: Nichikas A. Basbanes on Shakespeare.

Chris Bhojalian: “I learned the comfort that can be taken from the pages of a book, and the friendship that can be found in a story.”

Da Chen, Chinese peasant to Wall Street Investment Banker, wrote “I write because my heart demands so.”

Patricia Cornwell wrote on her ancestor Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin: “The original sin: the abuse of power, the ultimate result which is enslavement, impoverishment, suffering, and death."

Cuban exile Carlos Eire wrote: “Books have made me who I am". Carlos recommends three Spanish books: Tres tristes tigresCien años de soledad, and Imitación De Cristo.

Robert Kurson wrote of Denial of Death by Ernest Becker: "…started reading. By the time I got up, I viewed the world differently, by the time I got up, I was a different person."

Yes, politicians do read! Senator Joe Lieberman: “Every time you read and learn …your life is changed dramatically over time as you continue learning and thinking." Senator John McCain wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls is full of adventure, and fighting and romance…"

Sherwin B. Nuland: “Books are actually the stuff of which dreams are made.”

Frenchman, Jacques Pepin wrote of The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus:  “We must be responsible for our actions.”

Ian Rankin:  “There was no rating on books, anybody could read anything.”

Lisa Scottoline: “Every book I read changes me in some way… and that’s why books matter. Lisa on “Angela’s Ashes” It breaks your heart and puts it back together again, but better”

Liz Smith on Voltaire: "I began to question and seek".

Michael Stern as a country boy was transported to unknown worlds by the Sears catalogue.

Frank McCourt tastes the words from Shakespeare's Henry VIII:  "It's like having jewels in my mouth when I say the words."

Readalikes: You've Got To Read This Book! by Jack Canfield, ed.

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Swerve by Vicki Pettersson

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Andrew Zollman

What I Read: Swerve by Vicki Pettersson

Find It @YCLD: Here!


What It's About: Kristine Rush and her fiancé, Daniel, are making their journey from Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, California in the high summer in the Mojave Desert. Everything starts out just like a typical fun road trip together, enjoying the road and the scenery. But when Daniel is abducted at a desolate rest stop, Kristine is forced to choose: return home, never to see her fiancé again, or go on alone to search for him... where a killer lies in wait. Kristine races against time, uncertain if danger lies ahead or behind. What awaits Kristine along her journey through stark darkness? What horrors she will see? Desperate to save her husband-to-be, she must go head-to-head against an unpredictable foe. She'd better hurry, too...because she only has twenty-four hours.

What I Thought: I am what many people would call a scaredy-cat. I avoid trouble at all costs, abstain from anything that would dilute my mind or make my head fuzzy (food poisoning notwithstanding), and make sure I stay safe and cozy at home with a good book or a friend for a movie. This book is everything anathema to my life. Whether it was the setting, the characters, or event that unfolded, this story was seriously creepy and took me out of my happy place. Kristine and Daniel definitely got into the thick of things with their poor decision-making skills.

If there was one thing I got out of this book, is that it was well written and supported by the author to give the reader a seriously wild ride to gnaw their teeth at to the extreme. The story has further given me proof that it is dangerous outside and that there are seriously dangerous people among us, that we don’t actively see. Stay safe out there and avoid rest stops…

Readalikes: Hope to Die by James Patterson

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Burning Down George Orwell's House by Andrew Ervin

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Laurie Boone

What I Read: Burning Down George Orwell's House by Andrew Ervin

Find It @YCLD: Here!


What It's About: A successful advertising executive, in an attempt to flee his inner demons by moving to remote Scotland, finds himself instead confronting demons of the ordinary human kind…and possibly a werewolf. Ray Welter made a fortune as an advertising executive whose ads promoted a toxic product. He got the idea from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a work with which Ray is strangely obsessed. When his marriage and life fall apart in Chicago, he decides to move into the house where Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four; a house located on the remote Scottish island of Jura. What seemed like a good idea at the time ends up having rather twisted (and darkly funny) consequences.

What I Thought: I picked this up to read based solely on the great title, but after reading for about ten minutes I knew this was going to be good. Ray’s desire to escape the ‘Big Brother’ world of technology and “civilization” is something a lot of modern people can relate to. Fortunately, or unfortunately for Ray, depending on how you look at it, the island of Jura is populated by eccentrics and other malevolently amusing characters who really stick it to Ray and his dream of escape. Ray took inspiration for his manipulative ad campaign from Nineteen Eight-Four, and then Ray ends up being manipulated himself by everything dark and light, sinister and hilarious, human and maybe not so human in George Orwell’s house on the island of Jura.

Readalikes: 1984 by George Orwell. Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Patron Picks! Summer Reading 2015 - Week 6, Part 2

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Here's the last installment of book reviews from this year's Adult Summer Reading Program! We had a fantastic turnout for our first year of patron reviews. Thanks again to everyone who participated.

Reviewed by: Diana A.
What I Read: My Daniel by Pam Conrad
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: I like the story about a brother & sister. Also the brother died at young age. The sister becomes a grandmother she conclusion a story about dinosaur bones.
Story was very touching its interesting too. I lived in the west we were have desert, so reading about the Nebraska farm was is something different. I enjoyed the story.

Reviewed by: Diana A.
What I Read: Remnants by Robin Barcell
What It's About: I like the book it was interesting. It was a fantasy. It was something of the make believe. I like reading about mystery and fiction combine It made a book I would recommend to anyone to read.
Coming back 500 yrs. and finding that everything has change everything is gone. I find it extremely sad.

Reviewed by: Humberb L.
What I Read: Party Games by R.L. Stine
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: I liked the book Party Games because when I was reading the book I imagined myself being in the story and I thought to myself I'd be scared to death to play those games. What I thought about "Goosebumps The Haunted Mask" is what can a scary mask do? I thought the book gave me goosebumps when I was reading the book I couldn't believe how the girl in the story had these powers by just wearing a scary mask but I still liked it.

Reviewed by: Deb D.
What I Read: The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy
What It's About: This book is a novel of war & survival taking place during the winter of 1947 - World War II. It follows the lives of children & adults who survived the Holocaust by hiding out in an ancient forest, changing their identity, participating in resistance movements & those who did whatever they could to overcome racism & war.
The heroes of this book are those who struggled for survival. This is an extremely important event in history that should never be forgotten!

Reviewed by: Deb D.
What I Read: Soul Healing Miracles by Dr. & Master Zhi Gang Sha
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: This book, although not an easy read, gave a variety of resources & techniques to approach meditation & spiritual healing. The author makes an attempt to bring Western Mind into Eastern Thoughts by incorporating multiple religious philosophies. This book would appeal to someone with a very open mind who is looking for a new way to heal the spiritual, mental, emotional & physical bodies.

Reviewed by: Deb D.
What I Read: Unnatural Selection by Emily Monosson
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: This book is about the constant evolution of all organisms & how environmental factors impact this evolution.
It discusses the use of pesticides, toxic chemicals, vaccines, antibiotics & other drugs to treat a variety of environmental issues affecting insects, birds, fish, animals & humans.
The information presented is useful for anyone concerned about the environment they live in. The heroes of this book are those who started addressing some of these issues over 50 years ago & those who continue to bring an awareness of these issues.

Reviewed by: Kristin B.
What I Read: Winter of the Ice Wizard by Mary Pope Osborne
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: The Wizard learned how to "see again" not only with his eyes, but with his heart.
It was a great adventure that is another to show how working together works best.
My oldest (7 yr old) has become infatuated with the series and has learned quite a bit from Jack & Annies travels.

Reviewed by: Kristin B.
What I Read: The Best Mistake Ever! and Other Stories by Richard Scarry
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: This main story is a great way to show kids how to cope with issues. The pictures really kept my kids interested in the story as well.
Having multiple short stories in a book kept my youngest son (3 yr. old) interested, because things just kept changing.

Reviewed by: Kristen B.
What I Read: No Mail for Mitchell by Catherine Siracusa
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: It was nice to see that the community thought so highly of the dear mail carrier.
When he fell ill everyone sent him mail and showed that they really do appreciate him.

Reviewed by: Phyllis C.
What I Read: Fear the Darkness by Becky Masterman
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: It was an easy to read & enjoy book. Kept you guessing to the end. A real unexpected ending. Sometimes the one you least expect shows their true colors in the end.

Reviewed by: Phyllis C.
What I Read: Broken Bonds by Karen Harper
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: I thought the book easy reading. Sometimes it made you remember thing like schooling that you took for granted was not always so for everyone. It also made you realize there was always someone who cared and tried to make a difference. And of course the mystery part was what made the book what it is. I always like all of her books.

Reviewed by: Phyllis C.
What I Read: Life or Death by Michael Robothan
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: I wasn't sure I would like this book. It was a new author for me. Most of the book I read are by authors I am familiar with. However they cant write them fast enough for me so I am always looking for some one new. This was very good - a little different from the usual. I had me really feeling sorry for who I thought was a criminal. A strong character & what he goes through make a very interesting & tense reading

Reviewed by: Phyllis C.
What I Read: Kickback by Robert Parker
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: The book was about a judge, and his unreasonable sentencing of juveniles to lock down facilities on an island. The judges proved to be corrupt but. the people of the town were too intiminate to do anything till Spencer & Hawk went to their rescue.
As always R. Parker came through with a well written, easy to follow enjoyable book.

Reviewed by: Phyllis C.
What I Read: Silver Thaw by Catherine Anderson
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: Silver Thaw was a book about an abused wife and child and the fears they had & how difficult it was to live. Until a gentleman & his family and neighbors helped them survive a very bad snowstorm & then continued to help them gain their freedom from the abusive husband.
I really enjoyed reading the book and following their gradual acceptance of everyone's help, although it was difficult to read about the HORRIBLE ABUSE

Reviewed by: Phyllis C.
What I Read: Unbreakable by Nancy Mehl
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: This book is about life in the Mennonite village the people encounter life threatening situations and their struggle to uphold their beliefs and still try to protect their people.
The book was easy reading and was informative about life as a mennonite and what they believe in!
I enjoyed this book!

Reviewed by: Laurie B.
What I Read: Cow Pies & Bases by Robert B. Coates
What It's About: I went to grade school with this author. His book was wonderful & as if I had written it because he described stuff just like I remembered.
The Yuma library got it for me on interlibrary & I really wish they owned it.
He went to a one room school for our last 8 years. Explained how it differed from a school in town, described his bike ride to school & who lived there. Names were changed, but I knew.
It was a farming community. There were 2 stores & a tavern on one crossroad & a school-church & cemetery on the next.

Reviewed by: Laurie B.
What I Read: Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: A wonderful book - only 3 or 4 pages to a sort of chapter. Had me in tears
Katie was in love with Matt after a different broken relationship. One day he said goodbye & a few days later sent a diary for her explanation
Suzanne & Matt were married & had a baby, Nicholas. A wonderful family for a year. But Suzanne had a bad heart years before. Didn't tell him at first. She was a doctor. She kept a diary for Nicholas. Wonderful words to her little boy. Then one chapter - Matt wrote in the diary because Suzanne had been killed by a heart attack & car accident. Matt sat by Nicholas crib & talked, but he was not there - killed too. When Katie finished the diary she went to find him. A neighbor told Katie he loved her. All turned out good - married & had baby.

Reviewed by: Laurie B.
What I Read: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: This is not my kind of book, but my adult granddaughter said it was so good: so I got it & kept on reading it. Parts were so violent I don't know how I could stand it. Terrible the things that man had to endure. Was an exceptional book though
Louis Zamperini was famous even before the war. He was a champion runner.
After his plane crashed he & another man were in rafts for days. Another man died & was pushed overboard. Rescue brought them into even more danger. One Japanese seemed to pick on him.
In 1998 at age 81 he carried the Olympic torch.

Reviewed by: Laurie B.
What I Read: Between Sundays by Karen Kingsbury
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What It's About: My husband chose this book for me not having any idea what it was about. It was wonderful & definitely started me on a new author.
Megan was a foster mom to Cory since his mom Amy died. She worked a lot with foster kids & got some football players to visit for a pizza party. Cory wrote a letter for one quarterback to give to another who he believed to be his dad. Then he met Aaron, but he hadn't read the letter. Went on like that & Aaron came more cause he began to talk to God. The other quarterback did that cause he needed to win for a promise he made
Finally Aaron was given a letter from Amy saying Cory was his son

That's it for the summer! Keep reading the Yuma County Library Staff Picks blog for more great suggestions from our librarians, and we'll look forward to featuring your input again next year.

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