Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Snow Country Christmas by Linda Lael Miller

If you're looking for a quick, lighthearted holiday romance, this is your book.

Raine is the mother of Daisy and a free-spirited graphic designer, working from home. Mick is a movie executive who captures Raine on Christmas Eve....from there it's all love.

This is a great choice if you like sweet stories with happy endings.

Manhattan Beach

If you like character-driven novels featuring strong, smart women, you might want to pick up Jennifer Egan's latest book, Manhattan Beach. We initially meet Anna Kerrigan as a spunky 12-year-old, accompanying her father Eddie to Manhattan Beach as he visits Dexter Styles, a wealthy man she doesn't know but assumes is connected to Eddie's job. Years later, Anna is a young woman living in Brooklyn with her mother and severely disabled sister as World War II breaks out. Her father has disappeared. To support the family, Anna gets a job at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, one of those Rosie-the-Riveter factory type jobs, but her interest is piqued by her view from the factory floor--watching divers plunging into the depths to perform various ship repairs and tasks. After some perseverance and good luck, she becomes the Navy Yard's first female diver. Egan appears to have done quite a bit of research on this topic and time period, and the details of the cumbersome diving suit and the challenges facing divers make for fascinating reading. Although Anna loves her work and her small family, she is tortured by the absence of her father. When she runs into Dexter Styles at a local nightclub, she begins a relationship with him, to explore possible reasons for Eddie's sudden departure from his family. This takes her into the criminal underworld in which her father and Dexter Styles worked. Manhattan Beach combines historical fiction, crime fiction, suspense, and a war story into one big and boisterous book that was a pleasure to read. I loved Anna, and I think you will, too.

Kelly Currie

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Y Is For Yesterday by Sue Grafton

Sue Grafton is finally down to her twenty-fifth book in the alphabet series!  This book begins in 1979 and goes back and forth between 1979 and 1989.  Kinsey doesn't get involved until 1989 when she gets a call from a woman who has received a letter asking for $50.000 or the police will be given a videotape showing her son and several of his friends raping a female classmate ten years ago.  Lauren McCabe's son Fritz has just been released from prison where he served time for the murder of another female classmate, Sloan who was suspected of stealing the video.  The McCabe's want Kinsey to find the blackmailer and get the video back.
All those involved attended an upscale high school and were in line to receive scholarships at the end of the semester after taking the Proficiency Test.  Iris Lehmann steals the test and the answer sheet, so her friend Poppy Earl could pass and go to Vassar. This incident seems to be the catalyst for the everything that happens next.  Someone reported the test stolen so Poppy and her boyfriend, Troy Rademacher and Iris were all dismissed from school.  Sloan was blamed by Austin Brown as the person who reported the test stolen to the administration, so he told the group to shun her.  In return she "blackmails" Austin with the tape to stop the shunning.  This leads to her murder and Troy and Fritz are sent to prison.  Austin disappears and so does the tape. Now, the tape has resurfaced and someone is using it to blackmail the McCabes.
Long time landlord Henry has taken in two homeless individuals and their dog, which bothers Kinsey because she doesn't trust them.  Ned Lowe the serial killer from X has returned and is stalking her.  Between the blackmail case and finding Ned before he tries to kill her again, Kinsey has her hands full.  Great detective work, interesting story lines.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sisters by Lily Tuck

      This will probably be the shortest review I have ever done.  But with a 156-page book and not being very wordy, what else can I do?  

Sisters by Lily Tuck is a raw story of a marriage that begun with infidelity and ended with heartbreak. 
      From a 1st person narrative, she gives light to what goes on inside of a woman's heart. Constantly comparing herself to "she"(the ex-wife) she tries to deal with unwanted jealousies and in the mist trying to raise two teenagers of "hers". 
Wonderfully written and very insightful.

People, of course, took sides.  A lot of them blamed my husband
for the divorce and some of them blamed me as well.
Sisters by Lily Tuck


Friday, November 10, 2017

The Readymade Thief by Augustus Rose

17-year-old Lee has been a thief since she was young, and in high school began dealing drugs to help save for college, but these decisions are not what land her in trouble. Betrayed by a friend and abandoned by her family, Lee believes she has nothing left to lose when she breaks out of juvie. After wandering the streets, Lee finds her way to an abandoned building called the Crystal Castle, where a mysterious collection of runaways do the bidding of their cult-like leader, the Station Master, and where her troubles truly begin. When Lee steals from the Station Master, she quickly finds herself engulfed in a mystery that involves a secret society, an empty aquarium, urban exploration, chess, designer drugs, and the works of avant-garde artist Marcel Duchamp. This book is so engrossing that even the implausible aspects begin to seem like real life as the reader falls further into the conspiracies and twisting plots surrounding the underground art and artists of Philadelphia, and Lee is such a lovably gritty character that you cannot help but root for her.

The title comes from Duchamp’s “readymades,” found objects selected and presented as works of art. Duchamp rejected the work of many of his fellow artists, saying they only make things pleasing to the eye as opposed to making art to engage the mind. His art is intended to raise questions and engage the viewer beyond the concept of beauty. Duchamp’s works along with his obsession with puzzles and chess make him a likely candidate for a secret society to build their conspiracies around.

All in all, The Readymade Thief is a wonderful and wonderfully weird debut novel. I cannot wait to see what Augustus Rose writes next.

- Portia

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones

This book would be a great title to read with your whole family!

Sophie Brown is a 12-year-old girl who is forced to move from the city to a farm that was gifted to her parents after the recent death of her great-uncle. None of them are particularly skilled at farming, but Sophie gives it an honest try while her father searches for a new job and her mother continues writing articles to make money for the family. Farm life seems boring and Sophie grows tired of going around cleaning junk piles that her great-uncle left, when one day, she finds an advertisement from the Redwood Farm Supply catalog titled, Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer. Sophie writes a letter to request a copy.

This entire story is told through letters that are written by Sophie to various people, such as her dead abuelita, her dead great-uncle, and Agnes, the lady in charge of the chicken catalogs. One day, Sophie has an encounter with a very unique chicken who seems angry and appears to have special powers. She writes to Agnes to tell her about the chicken she found and how to care for it. Agnes responds and tells Sophie how to care for the chicken and to be very careful because there is a chicken thief out there looking for exceptional chickens like the one that she found. Sophie ends up meeting more chickens along the way and comes to care for them deeply. The chickens bring her a sense of belonging and purpose on the farm. She protects her chickens from the thief and encounters many more obstacles during her story. This story keeps you engaged until the last page.

If you enjoy humorous books, magical realism, fantasy, or realistic fiction, check out this book in the Childrens Department today and share with your family or a friend!


Sunday, November 05, 2017

Dark Signal by Shannon Baker

Newly elected and sworn in Sheriff Kate Fox, who is the ex-sheriff's ex-wife, finds her first day on the job very testing. She finds herself heading out in sub-zero weather to investigate a train accident. An engineer is beheaded in what looks to be some kind of freak accident but turns out to be a murder. Now, who would want to kill Chad, who everyone claims was a very likable guy with no enemies? Could it have been his wife, Meredith? Or, wait, maybe it was his neighbor, Josh Stevens, who Meredith used to date and who was at her house on the night of the murder? Or could it have been Chad's boss Clete or one of his fellow workers?

If you like whodunnits with multiple suspects and cliff hanger endings, you might want to try this one!