Between the Covers: More Picks from Pratt Staff
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
about the transforming affect of flowers. I've had an epiphany and am
gardening with more conviction. I highly recommend.
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Number Four (alias: John Smith) is from the planet Lorien, a planet which was at war with the Mogadorians and defeated. Number Four, one of nine, has a mission to unite with the others and defeat the Mogadorians who set out to destroy Earth. In this mission he finds love and a true friend.
The Detachment by Barry Eisler
A jolly good read if wildly implausible. Eisler seems to have taken his character John Rain and turned him into a political statement. Some good action along the way, but the most disappointing book in the series.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
A well-written story of a 50-year-old woman diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Almost documentary-like in its detail, the novel gives a glimpse into why Alice’s still Alice to her family, despite the disease.
A Silken Thread by Brenda Jackson
This book is about a mother who wants her daughter to marry a man because of his family’s name. When reading you will discover that the mother has been holding a secret from her daughter and also disapproves of her daughter’s fiancé because his family is not wealthy.
Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich
If you enjoy reading Evanovich’s “Between the Numbers” books, you will enjoy the zany adventures of Lizzy, Diesel, and Carl (the monkey). It’s a quick read that leaves you wanting more…. Great summer read!
Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James, audiobook read by Rosalyn Landor
P. D. James did a wonderful job blending Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with her novel Death Comes to Pemberley. Ms. Landor is a great narrator. Well worth a listen for Austen fans and others who enjoy a cozy mystery.
The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
Wartime London, a fair, and a cake set the stage for this mystery. The plot and facts unfold, adding more pieces, and only with the final pages does it all come together.
Again Calls the Owl by Margaret Craven
A lovely set of reminiscences of Craven’s young years as she developed her writing skills and the trip that set the stage for her book I Heard the Owl Call My Name. A comforting read.
Echoes of an Autobiography by Naguib Mahfouz
Not a typical autobiography. Here the author provides aphorisms and thoughts on a range of topics, leaving the reader with a few things to consider. Quite unique and interesting.
A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George
Slow start but great build up at the end and a terrific whodunit.
Damned by Chuck Palahniuk
Really funny--in the author's standard obnoxious way--and insightful at times too. Wonderfully vivid descriptions and tons of clever references to both ancient myths and retro pop culture including the 1970s book Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret and the 1980's movie, The Breakfast Club. It made me wonder, and it made me laugh out loud quite a few times. I've already started thinking of telemarketers' calls differently....
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Is it a supernatural curse, or is it cold, calculated murder? Sherlock Holmes, a man of science, has his suspicions, but he has to have proof. Conan Doyle takes his time telling this tale, subtly slipping in clues as he takes you through the streets of London and the moors of Devonshire. He slowly builds the suspense until you almost can't take it anymore. What fun!
Courting Justice by Brenda Jackson
Peyton and Angelo finally come to a realization that they both love each other. Then they are opposing counsels in the courtroom.
The Haunted by Bentley Little
A mediocre review is probably more accurate [than "Stayed Up All Night"] for Bentley Little's latest novel. Initially the story is quite thrilling. A family moves from a city suburb to the historic district of a town, only to find some very peculiar things occurring in their new house. Little's fast pace kicks in right away and the reader is whisked away into the terrifying world of strange happenings that the characters have trouble believing and reconciling with their world views. A supernatural explanation is initially discarded as the family tries to live a normal life in the face of strange and abnormal events. Unfortunately, in an uncharacteristic show of disregard for subtlety, Little exposes his ghost and everything that comes with it. The building of horror does not even last until the midpoint of the book. After that, the reader will find that the book feels tedious and anticlimactic. We've already seen the ghosts and the tiresome, forced recitations of past events in the neighborhood seem unnecessary and uninteresting. The ending is quite disappointing as well. There is no real drama to it and it's sweet, sappy, and unworthy of adult horror. Overall, I feel this book is worth a read for Bentley Little fans. Don't expect too much from it, however.
Festival of Fear by Graham Masterton
Though you may have read some of the stories contained in the book in other collections, this particular gathering of works still delivers with the chilling, disgusting, and fantastical elements all horror fans love. In graphic detail, Masterton pulls the reader through twisted scenarios which are bound to end in disaster for most characters involved, yet the reader is left devilishly satisfied. Highly recommended for horror fans—but don’t read it while you’re eating lunch—you may regret it.
The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler
“The strangest thing about my wife’s return from the dead was how other people reacted.” The first line is a wonderful kickoff for this quirky tale that is classic Tyler. There is only one problem: this gem of a book is too short.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King
This is the first book in a series about Sherlock Holmes’s life after the famous Doyle stories. He meets a young woman and as their friendship develops they become involved in various cases/adventures. Interesting characterizations, good dialogue, and a plot involved enough to have me looking forward to the second in the series.
No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz
This is a fun, fast-paced, apocalyptic teen novel. The entire book, which is apparently the first part of a series, takes place in a suburban mall. A boy discovers a device attached to the building’s HVAC system and it soon becomes apparent that the whole mall has been exposed to some sort of biological agent in an act of terror. The mall is closed and everyone in it quarantined. Then people begin to die and FEMA pulls out, leaving everyone to fend for themselves, while maintaining an armed cordon around the mall and shutting off all communication with the outside. The book follows several teenagers day by day in the first week of this quarantine and the author shows how normal society on the inside of the mall begins to break down day by day.
Who Do You Think You Are? by Megan Smolenyak and others
I was inspired to read this book after attending a genealogy program at the Reisterstown Road Branch, presented by Eva Slezak. I also am a big fan of the NBC television program by the same name as the title. The book not only describes the family history of celebrity personalities, it also gives important facts about how to trace your family roots using census information and other sources. Includes great online sources worth searching. A great tool for novice and experienced researchers!