By Shaileen B.
Here are some more wonderful reviews from participants in Literary Elements, the 2014 Adult Summer Reading Program:
Heather T. (Central Library) on Unending Devotion on Jody Hedlund:
"I love period pieces and this book is immersed in its backdrop. Everything is purely 1880s Michigan and that provides a great read in itself. The author does a wonderful job of painting the scenery. Reading this book in the middle of summer and I could actually taste the snowflakes of the winter storm happening in Unending Devotion; I could feel the familial connections tugging at my heart. Great read."
Katherine Z. (Central Library) on Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand:
"Amazing true story of a famous Olympian runner turned WWII solider. The story captures his innocence as a young man training for the Olympics then his development into a mature solider as he is captured by Japanese soldiers during WWII and survives to return home to his family."
George G. (Govans Branch) on Don't Know Much about History by Kenneth Davis: "This is a delightful and informative book which tells about the little known facts of history which would not ordinarily be found in history books. This book starts off with some interesting facts from the 1600s in American history and ends with the advancement of the war in Afghanistan."
Stacey P. (Hamilton Branch) on No Good Deeds by Laura Lippman:
"You've got well drawn characters, a plot inspired by true events, humorous elements, and an edge of your seat mystery; all of this while underscoring Baltimore's class and racial divide. As a Baltimore resident, I love seeing Charm City's complexities through the eyes of an author who sincerely loves it."
Sara C. (Hampden Branch) on Willful Behavior by Donna Leon:
"A Commissario Brunetti mystery with a surprise ending; great descriptions of Venice which Brunetti covers by foot and by boat."
Joni D. (Light Street Branch) on The Snowman by Jo Nesbø:
“Is it all Scandinavian writers who write about cold gray towns, unhappy (bordering on miserable) people, murders mixed with sex, torture, insanity and overall creepiness? A macabre crime thriller, it starts out slow (or maybe I just got confused with all the Nordic names of people and places) but builds. And it's genuinely creepy. The pace picks up and there are several blind alleys where everyone (including the reader) will think they have it figured out (and everyone seems to be smart so it all makes sense) but everyone turns out to be wrong. If you stick with it -- you'll find a satisfying discomfort with this suspenseful tale.”
Patricia L. (Light Street Branch) on Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo:
"The book was well written. I would never have guessed the killer. The title did not make sense until the end of the book. It was an excellent read."
Deidra D. (Northwood Branch) on The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: "A great story filled with poignant glimpses of young love."
Judy G. (Roland Park Branch) on The Duke's Daughter by Angela Thirkell: "I read all of the Angela Thirkell books years ago when I was a teenager in Australia and decided to read them again as an old woman. Angela Thirkell is a wonderful writer; descriptive of people and their lives and emotions and she has a great English sense of humor. The books tell us how much people suffered during World War I and II and are also absolutely fascinating. I couldn't put them down."
Megary S. (Roland Park Branch) on The Help by Kathryn Stockett:
"This is a powerful and beautifully written novel, set in Mississippi in the mid 1960s. Through the voices of three narrators, it tells the story of two African American women and one white woman who unite to write a controversial book. Their book is comprised of interviews with 12 African American maids who live and work in their Mississippi town. The characters are layered and nuanced. The writing is compassionate but never cloying or sentimental. There is unexpected humor and joy in The Help. Issues such as racism, classism, domestic violence and sexism are deftly addressed through this deeply human and affirming story. When it was finished, I felt as though I had lost a dear friend."
Jobi Z. (Southeast Anchor Library) on How to Sharpen Pencils by David Rees: "This book is absolutely AMAZING in how ridiculous it is, but it is actually a good, entertaining read. Rees is obsessed with pencils almost as much as Ahab was with Moby Dick (in a good way!), and the technical writing is almost exhausting and exacting, but it's also hysterically fascinating. Perhaps because I am obsessed with pencils myself (clearly!)."
Paul T. (Washington Village Branch) on Valley of the Shadow by Peter Tremayne: "Fine mystery novel in a series about the Celts."
Join the fun! Tell us what you've read here.