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Between the Covers: More Reviews from the Central Library

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Between the Covers: More Reviews from the Central Library

Nothing Right by Antoyna Nelsonletspretend
Each story is interesting and humorous. Nelson has an innate knack for writing devastated characters/situations with humor slyly woven in. The only issue I have is how the plot seems to repeat itself over and over. An affair, or the desire to have an affair, is present in every single story with the exception of one. The stories are great, however, so it doesn't bother me too greatly.
--Gillian

Let's Pretend This Never Happened
by Jenny Lawson
This book came recommended, but is probably one of the worst I have read. It feels like the author is trying to beat you over the head with her humor -- which at best got one chuckle out of me every 100 pages. I think her style works well as a blog (which is what she is, a blogger) but don't think it translates well to a book. Hopefully the next summer read will be better!
--Olivia

A Long Walk Up the Water Slide
by Don Winslow
This fourth book in the series, but it takes place in Nevada, as did the third. That's cheating! The thing about this series was, every book was in a new location, and even though the main character was the same-- kind of a super chameleon at undercover work-- the effect-- and I mean this in a good way-- was that of a romance novel: a new location, a new story. New York City, China, Nevada: the multitude of locations should have strained credibility but somehow it didn't, not while you were reading. What we do get here is the "family" being played, and I'm wondering about the family's real nature. The book shows the underpinning of a tabloid story, the male half of a golden tv couple is shown perhaps to be a cheating rapist. But since everyone has been trying to get the goods on this guy, all stories are suspect.
--Laurie

dinnerathomesickDinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
Looking for a good book set in Baltimore? Anne Tyler weaves the story of Pearl Tull and her three children. The narrative shifts perspective, describing each character's grief and sense of loss in life.
--Laura

Death and the Penguin
by Andrey Kurkov
Didn't stay up all night, but it wasn't a Zzzzz book either. This is a quirky novel set in Ukraine, where an innocent obituary writer and his pet penguin (!) get involved with dangerous underworld types. Translated from Russian, I think it may have lost something in English!
--James

The Chalk Circle Man
by Fred Vargas
An interesting book with a spin on the psychological profile of the investigator Commissaire Adamsberg, rather than the killer. A great set up introduction for sequel mysteries. Vargas does a great job showing the vulnerabilities of an inspector with troubles like the rest of us but still rising above with wit and hard police work to solve the mystery. The inspector's side kick Danglard increases the excitement and enriches the book.
--Kathy P.

Are You My Mother?
By Alison Bechdel
I didn't stay up all night, but I did enjoy this sequel to Fun Home. Both are "graphic novels," meaning the story is told through drawings, like a comic strip, including dialogue in "balloons." And there's also a bit of narrative. For me, this was a new way to read a novel - lots of significant details show up only in the drawings, so you have to pay close attention to both the pictures and the words. I recommend reading "Fun Home" first. It tells the gripping story of the author's difficult childhood. Are You My Mother?, recently published, describes the author's rocky relationship with her mother, with much reliance on scenes from her therapy and excerpts from psychoanalytical literature. Not quite as gripping but an interesting read.
--Kirsten J.

Grotesque
by Natsuo Kirino
The author of the award-winning Japanese novel Out also writes this novel about two women who are murdered while working as prostitutes. The lives of the two women are told through their diaries as well as through the protagonist (who is a sister to one woman and the schoolmate of the other). It's a dark novel that reflects the value of single women oppressed by the demands of family and society. I give the author credit for being thoughtful and provocative. However, the novel is unsatisfying and cold. In the end, it lacks the emotional intensity of Out and didn't give me a character whose life story was one I cared about.
--Kathy P.

giftoftherapyThe Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients by Irvin D. Yalom
This was somewhere between "Stayed Up All Night" and "Zzzzz..." As someone studying to become a counselor, I appreciated the vignettes Yalom described. I didn't always agree with what he stated or thought, but it was a pleasure to see the condensed thoughts of a many-years-practitioner.
-Stephanie

No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
This family of detectives in London and countryside solve the mystery of the murdered rower and the fire set in the rescue provider's house, despite family caretaker obligations and the distractions of the most likely suspects.
--Rosemary

The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters
by Elisabeth Robinson
Almost put this in my giveaway pile because I thought I wouldn't like the epistolary genre -- told completely in letter, emails, faxes, etc. Thank goodness I didn't becauseI was really rooting for this characters 25% in!
--Jerri K.

Paper Roses
by Amanda Cabot
This is the first in the Texas Dreams Trilogy and it's got a captivating storyline with the underlying need for God theme. It is a great read.
--Anna S.

The Pirate's Son
by Geraldine McCaughreanmeandyou
Picked this up from the "free things" shelf in my apartment building. Fun to travel back to Madagascar (a place I visited in 2006 to see a friend in the Peace Corps), just in the early 1700s this time. A children's book, yes, though still delightful.
--S. H.

Fifty Shades of Grey
by E.L. James
The writing was terrible, but all I could do was read it. There you go!
--Kathryn D.

Me and You
by Niccolò Ammaniti
Lorenzo feigns a school break skiing trip with friends to evade his parents' questions about his social life. His plan is to retreat to the abandoned cellar in his family's apartment building, where he will live in perfect isolation for one week, keeping the adult world at bay. Unfortunately, his plan is foiled when his estranged half-sister, Olivia, shows up in the cellar unexpectedly, and the two become locked in a battle of wills.
--Elizabeth K.


Between the Covers: Reviews from the Cherry Hill Branch

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Between the Covers: Reviews from the Cherry Hill Branch

Reviewed by Mariellen B.

Cat's ClawCat's Claw by Susan Wittig Albert
Retired Houston lawyer China Bayles lives in the hill country community of Pecan Springs, Texas, where she owns the local herb shop - Thyme & Seasons. Her best friends are Ruby Wilcox, who runs a New Age shop, and Sheila Dawson, Police Chief. The usual cast of characters, led by China as an amateur detective, is in place, but Cat's Claw has a plot shift that puts Chief Dawson on center stage. The murder investigation is seen from her point of view, with interesting insights about China! Brew a pitcher of herbal iced tea and enjoy a good read!


Buttons and BonesButtons and Bones by Monica Ferris
A recent entry in the author's series of needlecraft mysteries set in Minnesota, Buttons and Bones finds Crewel World shopowner Betsy Devonshire helping friends Jill and Lars settle into their newly acquired cabin in the woods. The discovery of a skeleton in the basement leads the group on an historical search to discover the identity of the remains and the murderer. There is less activity at Crewel World in this novel, which has somewhat disjointed plotlines.  Not my favorite in the series, it does provide continuity for Betsy's personal life, so you might want to take the time for it if you are a fan.



Between the Covers: Reviews from the Central Library

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Between the Covers: Reviews from the Central Library

In a Father's Place by Christopher Tilghmaninafather'splace
Fabulous writer...so happy to find a new author. Every story was so rich and the characters and settings so well done you wish these each were a novel in and of themselves. Great reading.
--Fran

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
The perfect book for summer. It follows the passage of summer with its fireflies, balmy nights, stargazing, dreaming into evening, and coming home when your mother calls you at twilight. One of Bradbury's greatest tales!
--Janna
nineprincesNine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
With the premise of superhuman, high-godly princes battling it out, one imagines a cheaply schmaltzy result. Not so with the first of Zelazny's Amber series. You will feel for Corwin, the prince who has lived so long in our Earth that he's become downright sympathetic, lovable even. You will want to go into the next book, and soon.
--I. B.

Pointed Roofs by Dorothy M. Richardson
This work is not bad. It's thought of as the first novel to be completed in the "stream of consciousness" manner. Relative to this, it's fairly subtle, ground-breaking in its subjectivism, while still being quite "readable."
--John H.

The Cat Selector by David Alderton
For such cat lovers as myself. You will find which cat suits your personality and lifestyle with a wide variety to choose from. Oh, so many in this delightful book.
--Tamara F.
seasonofwitchSeason of the Witch by David Talbot
Great book about San Francisco during the 60s-80s. Includes the Hippie Generation, the ideals and challenges the people of the city went through and how they adjusted and inspired the rest of the country to be more tolerant and aware.
--Elizabeth H.

Boca Daze by Steven M. Formanbocadaze
Sixty-one-year-old private detective tackling big money fraud, pill-pushing doctors, murdering thugs, and a dishonest, womanizing priest. Good fun.
--Dominic

The Flint Saga by Treasure Hernandez
This book was awesome. I couldn't put the book down. Treasure Hernandez is a great author. I believe everyone who loves drama should read this.
--Deborah T.

Texas! Lucky by Sandra Brown
Texas! Lucky had all of the makings of an excellent love story. With humor, grief, passion and love, Texas! Lucky is a novel for the ages.
--Barbara M.


Between the Covers: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

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Between the Covers: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Reviewed by Bridget M., Roland Park Branch


Wild by Cheryl StrayedLyrical, witty and astoundingly honest, this memoir is Cheryl Strayed's story of loss and healing on the Pacific Coast Trail. Her self-deprecation in telling her story is refreshing. And her deep insights into herself, her struggles and her healing made me want to go on a long hike with her or at least attend one of her overbooked writing seminars.



Between the Covers: Reviews from the Reisterstown Road Branch

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Between the Covers: Reviews from the Reisterstown Road Branch

Exposed by Naomi Chase

Exposed by Naomi Chase
Great book, page turner for sure.  I highly recommend this for any readers who enjoy a good storyline, characters you can feel for, and a next part in the series to wait on.
-- Nia

Sherlock Holmes:  The Unauthorized Biography by Nick Rennison
I have always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes and I feel that the unauthorized biography by Nick Rennison is a great read, especially since it infuses a lot of historical events into the book.  Books like that allow you to learn a lot, something I appreciate very much.
-- Danell

Iron Queen
by Julie Kagawa
So awesome. Best book of the Iron Fey series.  Hope Ash and Megan can find a way together.
-- Tracey




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