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Switched On January 12, 2017

Posted by Beth in Uncategorized.
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I recently heard an interview with author John Elder Robison about a procedure he underwent for scientific research back in 2008.  Having lived his whole life being ‘different’ from everyone, it wasn’t until he was a successful adult that he was diagnosed with Asperger’s.  In his most recent publication he discusses the transformation he underwent after receiving Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

I was intrigued to learn more about something so complicated that seemed like science fiction, so I’m in the midst of reading his story, Switched On. It’s a very moving story about the complications of emotional intelligence and the amazing work that scientists are able accomplishing.

If you need a distraction from 2017, I recommend checking out this title.

Beth

 

“I Just Had a Baby” January 5, 2017

Posted by Beth in Uncategorized.
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I just had a baby…well, I actually had a baby over a year ago, but I find myself using the statement as an excuse more often than I should.  I use the excuse enough that it has become a running joke with a few colleagues.

The reality is I now have a toddler and I work outside the home, and I find it challenging to juggle. The two most common reasons I use the phrase are for explaining my limited (adult) reading, and my minimal practice of self-care.

2016 is no longer among us and it’s time I actually drop the excuse and start reading the books I want to read and taking better care of myself. They are basically the same thing though, right? Reading does feel very good for the soul.   So, I’m going to read my books and take care of myself this year so that I can be the best toddler mamma I can be.

Happy 2017!

 

Beth

Mystery of the Day December 21, 2016

Posted by Ann in Debut Author, First Novel, Mystery.
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time-of-death

Time of Death by Lucy Kerr is a debut mystery with a hospital setting. For fans of Jayne Anne Krentz and Julia Keller.                    ~Ann

2016 Top Ten December 16, 2016

Posted by Beth in Top Ten of 2016, Uncategorized.
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  1. The suspense recommend to me by a patron:
    kind-worth-killing
  2. The surprisingly serious at times comedic biographical title:
    girl-with-the-lower-back-tattoo
  3.  The book that left me feeling emotionally ravaged:
    it ends with us.jpg
  4. The other book that left me feeling emotionally ravaged:
    two family house.jpg
  5. The book that re-instilled my faith in humanity:
    wonder
  6. The delightful little escape title I managed to read in a day:
    vinegar girl.jpg
  7. The dark and exciting adventure of a brave and curious child:
    coraline.jpg
  8. The one my daughter asks me to read her every day:
    giving tree.jpg
  9. The one I keep in my purse to entertain my child when we are out and about:
    how-many-legs
  10. The cookbook that inspired many family dinners:
    skinnytaste.jpg

Have a happy, safe, and warm holiday season!

Beth

Gina’s 2016 Top 10 Books! December 16, 2016

Posted by Gina in Biographies, Book List, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Top Ten, Uncategorized.
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I’m still trying to find my reading style. This past year it has been a mix of nonfiction and fiction. I generally enjoy reading books before it is adapted into a movie, that way I can see the differences.

Yes, My Accent Is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told You by Kunal Nayyar

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo

Me Before You and After You by Jojo Moyes

Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J.K. Rowling

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

On My Own by Diane Rehm

 

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! Happy Holidays!

-Gina

 

2016 Favorites – Top 12 Edition December 16, 2016

Posted by Dori in Book Awards, Book List, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Holiday Books, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thrillers, Top Ten, Top Ten of 2016, Uncategorized.
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2016 was a book lover’s dream – I was like a kid in a candy store. Between reading and listening, I managed to finish a lot of literary fiction, and a few science fiction and suspense titles, but I have some catching up to do into 2017. Here are the books that I relished in 2016, in no particular order:

laroseLaRose by Louise Erdrich
Erdrich is a writer that I never miss and this book sums up what I love so much about her writing: devotion to characters, insightful commentary on American culture, family love and exploration of the mystical.

 

undergroundThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Deserved winner of the National Book Award, this book is a wildly creative and harrowing look at slavery and its legacy. A must read.

 

 

beforeBefore the Fall by Noah Hawley
Hawley, a screenwriter, deftly takes us through a horrific plane crash, exploring the survivor’s guilt and the investigation into the cause.

 

 

mynameMy Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
This small book packs a punch – mother/daughter relationships, poverty, marriage – are all addressed powerfully and in Lucy’s voice – lovely and sad.

 

 

vegetarianThe Vegetarian by Han Kang
There’s no doubt that this is a weird book – it’s about a young woman whose choice to become a vegetarian impacts her whole family in tragic ways – but it’s also both mesmerizing and beautiful.

 

 

queenQueen of the Night by Alexander Chee
Chee’s historical epic about a 19th century American who becomes a famous Parisian courtesan and opera singer envelops and transports you.

 

 

commonCommonwealth by Ann Patchett
This is my first Patchett novel and I may have to read her earlier books based on this one – who doesn’t love a book about a dysfunctional family that sucks you in and doesn’t let go?

 

 

multipleMultiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra
Zambra is a Chilean author and his books often deal with memory and choice within the framework of Chile’s recent authoritarian history. This one’s in the form of a multiple choice test

 

 

goldenThe Golden Age by Joan London
Maybe my favorite of all, London’s look at how people deal with displacement in their lives takes place during the polio epidemic in Australia after World War II. It’s surprisingly sweet and tender and you’ll fall in love with the characters.

 

 

moonglowMoonglow by Michael Chabon
History, relationships, life, love, rockets! – all in Chabon’s signature style.

 

 

 

swingSwing Time by Zadie Smith
I haven’t quite finished Smith’s latest about two young brown girls growing up in London and the different paths they take based on family, race, class and culture, but I’m entranced so far.

 

 

darker

 

gathering

A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
I always like to dip into some great science fiction and I really enjoyed these first two in a series that take us to fantastic parallel worlds.  No. 3 is up next year!

 

BONUS CHRISTMAS BOOK:

fieldsThe Fields Where They Lay by Timonthy Hallinan
I chose this book for my Holiday read and I think I’ve found a new mystery series! It’s funny and clever and the mystery unfolded perfectly.

 

 

 

If` I could keep going, I’d throw these in as well: Debuts The Mothers by Brit Bennett and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, The Yid by Paul Goldberg, To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey, A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl, A Great Reckoning by  master of mystery Louise Penney, The Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood and The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.

Lauren’s Top Ten of 2016 December 16, 2016

Posted by Lauren in Book List, Thoughtful Ramblings, Top Ten, Top Ten of 2016, Uncategorized.
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Each year I worry that I won’t know what to come up with for my top ten list–this worrying lasts all of two seconds because as soon as I start to look back over a year’s worth of nose-in-a-book, I realize I read PLENTY of wonderful stuff!  This year my list is a little bit all over the place, just like my reading preferences.  Enjoy! ~Lauren

trespasser

The Trespasser by Tana French

amy-schumer

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

felicia-day

You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day

hamilton

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda

britt-marie

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

american-gods

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

ready-player-one

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

flavia

Thrice the Brinded Cath Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley

gabby-b

The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith by Gabrielle Bernstein

mccullers

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

BONUS SECTION: LATE TO THE PARTY

Here are a couple of extra favorites for me this year that I was inspired to read by my coworkers who picked them for their Top Ten lists last year. So if that initial plug wasn’t enough to motivate you, maybe my two-thumbs-up will help!

fates-and-furiesmount-charoctopus

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff / The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins / The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

MENU December 15, 2016

Posted by Ann in Book List, Fiction, Mystery, Top Ten.
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holiday-border

menu

MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2016

Tasty Appetizers

Descent by Tim Johnston

Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

Cruel, Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Hearty Entrees

The Widow by Fiona Barton

Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

The Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore

To Cleanse the Palate

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Dessert (the best for last!)

The Trespasser by Tana French

*With your Christmas Eve Hot Chocolate

Oliver, the Cat Who Saved Christmas by Sheila Norton    >’.'<

 

            ~Enjoy! Ann

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Sara’s Top Ten of 2016 December 14, 2016

Posted by SaraC in Book Discussion, Book List, Book Review.
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Psychological thrillers have been high on my list this past year with a few other genres mixed in, so enjoy!

Home by Harlan Coben –A thrilling return to the Myron Bolitar series.

coben

The Good Goodbye by Carla Buckley–suspenseful thriller filled with family secrets.

the-good-goodbye

Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer–riveting tale of a missing girl.

the-girl-in-the-red-coat

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple–a funny and poignant look into life, marriage and getting older.

today

Faithful Place by Tana French–book 3 in the wonderful Dublin Murder Squad series.

faithful place

Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell–a story of friends and neighbors and their many faces.

the-girls-in-the-garden

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny–book 12 in the captivating Chief Inspector Gamache series.

reckoning

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout–a story of mothers and daughters and the bond they share for better or worse.

my name is lucy

What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan–a tale of how your whole life can change in a single moment.

what

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty–a summer barbecue with repercussions that last forever.

truly-madly-guilty

 

 

Carol’s Top Ten of 2016 December 14, 2016

Posted by carol in Uncategorized.
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Among the books I read, these truly stand out as my favorite books of the year:

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood ~ This novel is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare Project series and is a modern retelling of The Tempest. In Atwood’s hands Felix is a theater director out for revenge. His long-game plan isto direct Shakespeare’s classic story of magic, fantasy and hatred–in a correctional institute with a cast of mostly non-violent criminals. Nothing could go wrong there, right?

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett ~  Jim and Eva live out three realities and their lives collide in each of them. This novel about the different paths that our lives might follow is great read for anyone enjoyed Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life. It’ll certainly make you think– What if one small decision could change the rest of your life?

At The Edge of The Orchard by Tracy Chevalier ~ 19th-Century America comes alive, warts and all, in a novel that begins in the muddy Black Swamp of Ohio and travels west to the giant Redwoods of California. Think Little House on the Prairie for adults.

The Trespasser by Tana French ~ French continues her gritty Dublin Murder Squad series by focusing on Detective Antoinette Conway in this procedural, that has Conway questioning her loyalty to the job. It’s book #6 but don’t let that stop you. Go now. Read them all.

Be Frank with Me by Julia Claybourne Johnson ~ Reclusive literary legend “Mimi” Banning hires Alice Whitely to care for her awkward, eccentric and endearing 5-year-old son, Frank ,and the result is is a captivating and charming story. Need a smile? This will help.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett ~ Two families are broken apart when Bert Cousins and Beverly Keating fall in love. The result is a multi-layered family drama that I dare you to take your eyes off of.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld ~ This smart and sassy modern updating of Pride and Prejudice works in every way and was oh, so satisfying of a read.

My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout ~ Filled with line after line of quotable prose, this novel about author Lucy Barton’s extended hospital visit might be one of my favorite reads of the DECADE and is a powerful story about moving on and learning from one’s past.

Underground Airlines by Ben Winters ~ Victor lives in a present day where the Civil War never happened. A free black man, Victor tracks down escaped slaves for the U.S. Marshall service. This literary thriller will have you racing to its final pages and leave you thinking about it for days.

Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead ~ This 2016 National Book Award winner tells the story Cora, a slave traveling the underground railroad and desperate for freedom. Excellent writing propels this grim, but ultimately hopeful must-read.

Have the happiest of holidays and keep on reading!                   ~Carol