Monday, June 29, 2015

Patron Picks! Summer Reading 2015 - Week 3

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


The Summer Reading Program is halfway through, but Yuma County's readers are more active than ever! There's still plenty of time to turn in a book review at any Yuma County Library for a chance to win a gift card - and to be featured on this blog!

Reviewed by: Dusty W.
What I Read: Thoughts from Within by Bonnie Moehle
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought I thought that this book was a very easy read. Nice little "self-help" book for those looking for a little boost in their lives. I appreciate how the author conveys her ideas for others in order to live stress-free lives without imposing upon their upbringing and moral values and even religious beliefs! I'd recommend this book to anyone especially if they are grounded in their belief/faith; although I do not believe in hypnotherapy, I DO believe we all possess (or have the ability to) the Power of A Higher Being to help us lead peaceful, loving, productive lives!

Reviewed by: Diane N.
What I Read: Moving Target by J.A. Jance
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: Another great story from Jance. I love Sister Anselm. I hope she is in many more storyline to come. I love how each story stands alone, yet builds from prior ones. Well done again.

Reviewed by: Diane N.
What I Read: Cold Betrayal by J.A. Jance
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: Great Read. I love getting 2 stories in one. What great way to bring Az. to life. I had to break out the Rand McNalley. Well done.

Reviewed by: Martha C.
What I Read: The Missing Piece by Kevin Egan
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: It is about a trial for a collection of silver. When things go wrong at the first trial the characters go on with their lives until the trial is brought back. I thought the book was predictable. There were too many characters involved and I had trouble remembering everyone's rolls. Once the story delved deeper I was more engrosed and I wanted to know who finally got ownership of the silver. It had a happy ending and the bad guys were dealt with. I would not recommend this book.

Reviewed by: Martha C.
What I Read: Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: This book is about a new bride trying to fit into a much different world than she has ever known. She is the second wife of a wealthy man and soon finds out all is not as it seems. I enjoyed this book! I could not put it down! I was enchanted by the way Mrs. de Winter had to adjust to her new surroundings. When we finally learn about the first wife, it is a sad tale, but has a true love story to overpower it. I don't think I had even heard about this classic before but I'm glad I have finished it.

Reviewed by: Martha C.
What I Read: Innocence by Dean Koontz
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: This book was really interesting. It was frustrating when things weren't revealed early enough and I felt like some secrets were mentioned but never fully explained. I like that the two main characters were not your average people and were good. I would describe the story as bizzarre. It kept my attention because the secrets always felt just out of my reach. I would recommend this book with a small warning.

Reviewed by: Merrilie J.
What I Read: The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet by Colleen McCullough
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: Ms McCullough is one of my favorite authors, and I've always enjoyed reading books about the English upper class in the early 1800's. This book did not disappoint. The premise is the "coming out" of spinsterhood of the 3rd sister in the Bennet family - sisters Elizabeth and Jane married into the Darcy family of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Mary had been tasked with caring for their mother, a tedious old lady. Mary spent her time reading "good" books and newspapers - she became enthused about doing charity work among the poor. When Mom died Mary was 38 and set out to make her Mark on the world.

Reviewed by: Merrilie J.
What I Read: Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: This book is what I call the Wonder Bread of reading material - mind fluff - but every so often I enjoy a book of this type. Janet Evanovich is an amusing writer, good for several (many) chuckles. It will be quite some time before I'm ready to read another episode of Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter.

Reviewed by: Merrilie J. 
What I Read: HUGHES by Richard Hack
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: This is a biography of Howard Hughes, said to be America's first Billionaire.
What I think: is that for a man whose original wealth stemmed from his father's oil-drilling bit (at the time the U.S. was beginning it's love affair with automobiles) he never really grew up or matured. True, he had an innovative brain which made improvements and innovations in the aircraft industry - but he was also enamored with the movie industry and young, beautiful Starletts. He died a lonely death, in his own filth (but still RICH!

Reviewed by: Joy M.
What I Read: Unintended Consequences by Stuart Woods
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: Stone Barrington wakes up in Paris not knowing how he got there. The race is on for my favorite attorney. Stuart Woods uses great dialogue and presents a fast read that you can't put down. His character development is masterful. Each book is like visiting with old friends and catching up. Suggest that anyone new to Woods should start at the early books. You will find good friends, exciting action, not a lot of sex, and stories you can't put down, as stated earlier.

Reviewed by: Michael H.
What I Read: Saxon Series (The Burning Land, Death of Kings, The Pagan Lord) by Bernard Cornwell
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: Great series of historical fiction. Tells the story of Uhtred & his friends & family during the times of King Alfred & his family. It is a great series - it has drama, action, intrigue, battles, love stories, family heritage & all done in a time of the forming of England under Alfred the Great & his family.

Reviewed by: Michael H.
What I Read: Inheritance Cycle (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance) by Christopher Paolini
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: This is a story of Eragon & how he finds a dragon egg & then how he & the dragon become essential in defeating the Empire The place is Alagaesia. The dragon is a female named Saphira. They encounter the various races of Alagaesia (elves, dwarves, werecats, & others) in a desperate fight with King Galbatorix. This is a coming of age tale & it is an interesting & compelling series.

Reviewed by: Jean W.
What I Read: Hell Gate by Linda Fairstein
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: This is the second book by Linda Fairstein that I have read.
It was really interesting and kept me so interested that I finished it in less than 6 hours (different days) It had a surprise ending that always delights me. Since I am originally from upstate New York, I enjoyed reading & learning about the places mentioned in the Manhattan area. I look forward to reading more books by this author. Hopefully her future books will have some of these characters. I was impressed by the main characters.

Reviewed by: Jimmie D.
What I Read: Several books by Sandra Brown
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: Sandra Brown is an amazing authoress. She creates a novel that holds you spellbound throughout the entire issue. What is really awesome about her, she has never told the same plot to any of her novels. It takes extreme concentration and imagination to create so many novels with entirely different ideas about a single topic.

Reviewed by: Patricia F.
What I Read: The Assassin by Clive Cussler
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: Interesting story about Standard Oil by a rich man who wanted to own every oil fields in the world and didn't care who stood in his way wanting power & profit to line his pockets.

Have a wonderful holiday, and happy reading!

0 comments:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Becky Brendel

What I Read: The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister

Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: The Amazing Arden won fame as a female illusionist by cutting a man in half on stage. When her husband's body is found in the wings of her latest venue, split just like the men in her tricks, police jump to Arden as the prime subject. Captured by an officer but not yet turned in, Arden pleads her innocence, but claims explaining will involve revealing her entire life story. Which she does - but is she telling the truth?

What I Thought: Like Arden's magic acts, this book spans genres - one part 1,001 Nights, one part historical thriller, and one part commentary on women's rights, with a little magical realism thrown in for good measure. To Macallister's credit, the book doesn't feel stitched together: no one element of the story outweighs the other, and alternating between Arden's life story and what's happening to her in the present ratchets up the tension in both narratives while also allowing Arden to "misdirect" both her in-book audience and the reader: a crucial part of any illusion. It helps that she's telling a harrowing tale: a major character in the book is so overtly evil he nearly becomes a stereotype, but he's also so convincingly creepy and slimy that instead of rolling my eyes, I shuddered and awaited the day he'd be out of Arden's life for good.

Aside from a few clunkily-ominous pieces of foreshadowing on Arden's part, the prose flows smoothly, and there's several clever metaphors contrasting Arden and her captor. Whether the book can pull off those metaphors convincingly, making this illusion act more than just a trick of the light, is for each reader to decide - but I was diverted, and I'll definitely be attending Greer Macallister's next "show".

Readalikes: The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman, for more historical fiction about women making the best of bad situations; Madam by Cari Lynn, for the same - except laced with magic.

Or look this book up on NoveList!

0 comments:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Patron Picks! Summer Reading 2015 - Week 2

Posted by Rebecca Brendel



Are you having a "super" summer? Here's this week's installment of book reviews written by YCLD patrons. Thanks to everyone who turned in a review.

Reviewed by: Jennifer B.
What I Read: Naughty Neighbor by Janet Evanovich
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: This was a short read of 229 pages. I liked it; but; I think the book should have been longer. Louisa is physically attracted to her upstairs neighbor Pete Streeter. He is a screenwriter and he stole Louisa paper to check out a movie review. Louisa is a secretary to senator Alan Nolan Bishop and is thirty years old. She lost her job and now is trying to help Pete Streeter solve a missing pig mystery.

Reviewed by: Christine H.
What I Read: Night by Elie Wiesel
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: Wiesel’s book Night is like a prose poem. Although a horrific poem it recounts his year in a concentration camp. Just fifteen at the time he and his family lived in Transylvania and it was near the end of the war the Jews of his little village were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. Moved around in the very last days of the conflict he was moved to Buchenwald. Throughout their imprisonment he and his father had remained in contact now at the end his father died within hours of liberation.
He describes the hunger, the terror, the cruelty of guards and soldiers. But the greatest loss worse to him is the loss of man’s humanity to man. Even he at the end did not comfort his dying father.
He wrote the book so we will never forget. We should not.

Reviewed by: Christine H.
What I Read: A Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler-Olson
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: If you are a fan of the Scandinavian writers Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo you'll like Adler Olson.
This is the 3rd in the series and I have devoured them.
They are gritty crime dramas with serial killers, kidnappers and spree killers. Not for the faint of heart But the characters are well-rounded and make you want to know more about them.

Reviewed by: Norah C.
What I Read: Historias de Miedo by Carlos Trejo
What I Thought: This is a good book, it had me reading and very entertain this book is about scary stories based in real life is a book of stories of Paranormal activities, I would read it again, there's more books by this author that I'm going to read. I recomend this book to all people who is interested on paranormal activities.

Reviewed by: Diana A.
What I Read: The Bone Chamber by Robin Burcell
What I Thought: Its was interesting. Had a lota of make believe fiction. I like it it was very interesting and kept me reading.
I like it also because it was a mystery & it was a fantastic book.

Reviewed by: Diana A.
What I Read: Iqbal by Francesco D'Adamo
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: Book was about children being sold into slavery to pay off parents debts which they are promise to return when debt is paid off but are not. They are treated bad espiacilly ones that are slow in carpeting work or other I thought this story is pretty sad. Children being treated bad and they never will be able to live lives as children should be. And the sad part is that this is happening still in foreign places and its call bonded salvery.

Reviewed by: Robin
What I Read: Farming by Gail Gibbons
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: There are different types of farming there are animal farming and crops farming. I like this book cause I have a cousin who does the same thing and does the planting with seeds. I'm lucky to have a cousin to work with seeds.

Reviewed by: Danielle O.
What I Read: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: This is the best non-Fiction book I've read (Scriptures aside) Atul is an intelegent & compassionate Dr. who guides readers through what it means to age and die, or die of disease. He tells of how to help the aging and dieing live their best life possible. I think everyone should read this book. Ive read it twice.

Reviewed by: Lance B.
What I Read: Longarm and the Night Raiders by Tabor Evans
What I Thought: Enjoyed the book. Author keeps you reading. Always a surprise how the character gets out of his predicaments. I highly recommend this series.

Reviewed by: Lance B.
What I Read: Longarm and the 400 Blows by Tabor Evans
What I Thought: I enjoyed this book. The author keeps you guessing. Can go from slow point to action packed in one sentence. Keeps you wanting to read more.

Keep the reviews coming! Anyone can "Escape the Ordinary" by reading a book.

0 comments:

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Becky Brendel

What I Read: The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith


Find It @YCLD: Here!

What It's About: Vampire Henry Sturges is searching for renewed purpose in the wake of his friend Abraham Lincoln's untimely death. The story of Henry’s past is brought to life by the urging of the author to recount the days after Abe’s end. To do so, Henry talks about his past and recounts his journey to the present. It is an extensive journey to be sure. Henry’s past follows most of the major events that take place in our world and helped to shape society to what it is today. His adventure leads use through time from before America was a country, to Reconstruction-era America and back east to Henry’s first home, Europe. Along the way he meets a venerable group of minds and enemies from his past. Expansive in scope and serious in execution, The Last American Vampire is sure to appeal to the passionate readers who made Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter a runaway success.

What I Thought: I am a HUGE history buff and enjoy reading about the past and past events. I like the fact that Seth Grahame-Smith took his time to dig into the smallest of details throughout history for his novel. I am always happy to read a twist on actual events that really happened but with a fictitious character. Seth has a way with stringing together events to make the preposterous possible and even believable for his audience. If you’re not a fan of history, and even if you are, this book if for you. Seth’s books do not focus on the flashy world of vampires and teenage romance, it has raw emotions throughout and real examples of human virtue and defilement throughout history.

Even if Henry isn’t a part of our actual history, the events discussed in the book are based on historic events. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to think about the past or has fun dissecting a book cover to cover. I would not recommend this to very young readers due to some of the content presented and the acts that really did occur in the novel throughout our history.

Readalikes: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth-Grahame-Smith | The Strain by Guillermo del Toro | The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

Or look this book up on NoveList!

0 comments:

Monday, June 15, 2015

Patron Picks! Summer Reading 2015 - Week 1

Posted by Rebecca Brendel



The Summer Reading Program has begun at the Yuma County Library District! Patrons ages 18+ who sign up are invited to submit book reviews to be featured here on the Yuma Staff Picks blog. Thanks to everyone who submitted a review and shared what you've been reading.

"Check out" this week's patron reviews below - and then check out one of these books from your local library!

Reviewed By: Jennifer B.
What I Read: Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I ThoughtIt was a good murder mystery read. Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter and she is hunting down a guy named Kenny Mancuso. Stephanie Plums' grandma, grandma Mazur had her hand hurt by Kenny Mancuso with an ice pick and now she is missing. She was last seen going into the funeral home. This book is book number two in a series of Janet Evanovich books and now I am trying to read the rest of the series of books.

Reviewed By: Alejandra E.
What I Read: Sopa de Pollo Para El Alma de La Mujer by Mark Victor Hansen (ed.)
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: Beautifull stories, heart touching.

Reviewed By: Alejandra E.
What I Read: Una buena mujer by Danielle Steel
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: Good book Like it will check out more books from same writter this weekend. l'm really enjoying reading with my son this summer.

Reviewed By: Alejandra E.
What I Read: Sopa de Pollo Para El Alma De La Madre by Mark Victor Hansen (ed.)
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: Love those stories, as mother makes you think and appreciate more how fortunate l am.

Reviewed By: Tracy W.
What I Read: Veggie Meals by Rachael Ray
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: Great book for any one. I liked the 3 Bean Soup & Spinach Pesto. They were quick & easy to fix. They taste great and I can't wait recheck it, to make more.

Reviewed By: Tracy W.
What I Read: Vegetarian Rice Cuisine by Jay Solomon
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: The recipes are great & easy to fix. I loved the New Mexico Red Chili Rice. There are so many rice dishes to choose from in this book. Awesome

Reviewed By: Tracy W.
What I Read: Seriously....I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: Awesome book. I have never had so much fun reading a book. I laugh almost the whole time. It is so good my teens loved it. 
Everyone Must Read!!!!

Reviewed By: Diane N.
What I Read: Close Your Eyes by Iris & Ray Johansen
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: A great mystery. As a former San Diego County resident, I enjoyed the accuracy of the various San Diego locations described.
The story had a lot of intrigue and twists. I look forward to reading more with Kendra Michaels. I believe she's up there with old Sherlock himself.

Reviewed By: Chandra M.
What I Read: Paper Towns by John Green
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: I loved the message of "paper" towns and how easily they are forgotten or wasted away.
I was intrigued by Margo's disappearance and how clues were in "paper towns" along the way. The feelings of these Senior students also brought home some understandings of how my own personal life and the hardships they still need to perceive and experience. I'm excited for the movie to watch it portrayed on the big screen.

Reviewed By: Jenna M.
What I Read: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Find it at YCLD: Here!
What I Thought: This book is a Harry Potter's best friend's cousin! I loved the similarities with a right amount of differences.
Great mix of fantasy, magic and drama all wrapped in a heart pounding adventure!
A must read for dire hard HP fans!

Want to submit your own review? Sign up for Adult SRP at any Yuma County Library and ask for a form! Or submit a review online here. Happy summer, and happy reading!

0 comments:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Game Must Go On by John Klima

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Jim Patrick

What I ReadThe Game Must Go On: Hank Greenberg, Pete Gray, and the Great Days of Baseball on the Home Front in WWII by John Klima

Find It @YCLD: Here!


What It's About: The Game Must Go On tells the story of baseball during World War II.  Author John Klima focuses on three individuals who represent very different aspects of wartime baseball.  Hank Greenberg was a superstar with the Detroit Tigers who lost four prime years of his career to the war.  He was the first major league player to enlist in the war effort, and he was also the most prominent Jewish-American athlete of his era.  Pete Gray was a gifted, but one-armed, outfielder signed by the St. Louis Browns.  He was popular with fans and with soldiers, but he was resented by his teammates who saw him as a publicity gimmick.  Billy Southworth, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, was father of a minor league player who later lost his life while flying a B-17.  The success of the elder Southworth’s Cardinals teams was overshadowed by his personal grief.  Throughout these three very compelling personal stories, Klima skillfully weaves anecdotes about other players, along with pertinent details about the business of wartime baseball and the progress of the war itself. 
 
What I Thought: When I finished this book, I knew a great deal more about baseball during World War II than I had previously known.  The biographical sketches of the various ballplayers were fascinating, as were the logistical details of keeping baseball afloat during the war.  The tone of the writing was at times almost over the top with baseball (and military) clichés, but the information was very well chosen and organized.  Other reviewers praised the “breezy” and “engaging” nature of the writing, so perhaps I am in the minority on this objection.  The book reads quickly since the reader is pulled along by the drama of individual baseball seasons within the larger drama of the war.  This is an ambitious book that requires an author with expertise not only in baseball history, but also in political and military history.  Overall, this is an excellent book on an often over-simplified chapter in the history of baseball.

Readalikes: The Corporal Was a Pitcher: The Courage of Lou Brissie by Ira Berkow, The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship by David Halberstam

Or look this book up on NoveList!

0 comments:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: Laurie Boone

What I ReadWolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback

Find It @YCLD: Here!


What It's About: In 1717, a Finnish family takes advantage of free land to homestead in a remote forest in Lapland, called Blackasen. Soon after they arrive, the oldest daughter, Frederika, discovers the body of a murdered man. Frederika’s mother, Maija, will not accept the other settlers’ belief that he was killed by wolves. As she investigates the murder, dark and deadly secrets are revealed. There is something or someone deeply malevolent at work in Blackasen. Maija and her family struggle to survive the months long darkness of the harshest “Wolf Winter” as well as battle an evil that may not be entirely of man’s creation.

What I Thought: The ending of this book is unforgettably creepy (in a good way!) In the year 1717 Sweden found itself on the cusp of massive change. After 150 years of war the villages were depleted. Add to this several years of crop failure and a plague and the times were very dark. As a part of Sweden’s goal to build itself up as a nation, Sweden gave away indigenous land to colonists. Maija’s family arrives in Lapland at this time of transition from the old animist religion of the Lapps (Sami people) to Christianity. I liked how the author pitted the settlers against the evil that men do and the forces of Nature and the Old Spirits.


Readalikes: Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg; Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney.

Or look this book up on NoveList!

0 comments: