Marianslibrary Review of: “Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night,” by Barbara J. Taylor

IMG_0191.JPG

This book is very rich in detail! Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night by Barbara J. Taylor is set in the early 1900s in the coal mining town of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The rich characterization and story are realistic and memorable. Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night is a heartbreaking picture of how dramatically a family can be ripped apart by grief in one tragic freak accident.

On the 4th of July, 1913, 9-year-old, Daisy Morgan, the fair-haired and beautiful daughter, falls victim to a tragic accident. The majority of those who live in the town of Scranton, Pennsylvania, blame her 8-year-old sister Violet. They suspect the accident was spawned by jealousy on Violet’s part. Each member of the family reacts differently to this tragedy. Owen, the father, drinks and moves above a gin mill. Owen works in the coal mine, and continues to take care of his family financially, but he can’t bring himself to move back home. Grace, their mother, can barely function and goes into a deep depression and quite consumed with grief. Grace literally finds solace by talking to Grief, an imaginary figure only she can see. Violet forms a friendship with a young boy her age, Stanley Adamski, a motherless outcast who works in the coal mines as a breaker boy.

The aspects of the story dealing with the dangers of working in the mines, and the culture of the immigrants immediately brought to mind my Italian grandfather, Joseph Marchesi, who worked in the coal mines of Central Illinois as a young boy himself. Interestingly enough the time period is somewhat identical. The dangers of working in coal mines are prevalent throughout the book and immediately I thought of the tragic coal mining devastation that occurred on November 13, 1909 in Cherry, Illinois, nestled in my own area of Northern Illinois, The Cherry Mine Disaster. It claimed the lives of 259 miners. To this day, it is still considered one of the worse coal mining accidents in history.

IMG_0331.JPG

Not to be missed upon completing the book are Barbara Taylor’s author’s notes. The notes bring to light the very real family story which is the inspiration behind her book, Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night. This superb historical fiction is a must read and I recommend it for book clubs as well. It’s a story that will be long remembered.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Fall Reads 2014!

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
― Jim Bishop

IMG_0237.JPG

I have a pocketful of golden books for you to read this Autumn as we slowly watch the green leaves of Summer transition to their autumnal colors! Of course I’m not one to quickly close the door on Summer but I did get a jump start on my Fall Reads by reading Liane Moriarty’s newest page-turner, Big Little Lies. Needless to say you’ll find this every bit as suspenseful as, The Husband’s Secret!

The Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill is now on my “Currently Reading” shelf and Dad, Stephen King’s, Revival, has been preordered at Amazon for it’s release on November 11th. Another season of King & Hill gracing my list!

I’m continuing in my quest to read more books by a few authors whom I’ve previously enjoyed! John Green, Lisa Unger, Rainbow Rowell, Jodi Picoult, Tana French, Jo Nesbo, William Kent Krueger, & Aaron Reynolds. Did I say a
few?!

While in New York this past April, for the 2014 Shorty Awards, I was fortunate to meet two young women who were recipients of a 2014 Shorty Award, Danielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo. They have a new book entitled, This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids: A Question & Answer Guide to Everyday Life. I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book which touches on a topic that in all likelihood might be pretty tough to discuss. Danielle and Kristin have handled it brilliantly! It’s a book that lends advice to parents along with a plethora of resources, draws from actual family experiences, has helpful chapter ending summaries, and questions & answers to deal with this delicate subject. To learn more visit their website: www.everyoneisgay.com

This is a great time of the year to vacation & enjoy the beautiful colors! We all have our favorite destination site in mind but mine is Door County, WI, specifically, the Edgewater Resort, nestled on the shores in Ephraim. A vacation spot with so much to do! It’ll be a fun busy week, but one place you’ll find me will be in one of the rocking chairs on this exquisite front porch reading one of my Fall books at any time of the day. What more could you ask for? A scenic calming view!

IMG_0271.PNG

IMG_0272.PNG

Hope you enjoy my list of books I’ve chosen and maybe several will find their way to you! Happy Tuesday! Happy Autumn!

ADULT FICTION

IMG_0238.JPG
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

IMG_0239.JPG
Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

IMG_0240.JPG
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

IMG_0241.JPG
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

IMG_0242.JPG
Darkness, My Old Friend (The Hollows, #2) by Lisa Unger

IMG_0243.JPG
The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

IMG_0244.JPG
Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal

IMG_0245.JPG
A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

IMG_0273.JPG
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

IMG_0246.JPG
The Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

IMG_0247.JPG
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

IMG_0248.JPG
Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf

IMG_0250.JPG
The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman

IMG_0251.JPG
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

IMG_0252.JPG
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

IMG_0253.JPG
Revival by Stephen King

IMG_0254.JPG
Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens

IMG_0255.JPG
The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad #5) by Tana French

IMG_0256.JPG
Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night by Barbara J Taylor

IMG_0257.JPG
The Son by Jo Nesbø

IMG_0258.JPG
We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

IMG_0259.JPG
Windigo Island: A Novel (Cork O’Connor #14) by William Kent Krueger

NON-FICTION

IMG_0260.JPG
K Blows Top: A Cold War a Comic Interlude Starring Nikita Krushchev, America’s Most Unlikely Tourist by Peter Carlson

IMG_0261.JPG
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott

YOUNG ADULT

IMG_0262.JPG
An Abundance of Katherine’s by John Green

IMG_0263.JPG
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

IMG_0265.JPG
Paper Towns by John Green

MIDDLE GRADES

IMG_0267.JPG
The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

ELEMENTARY

IMG_0268.JPG
Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds

IMG_0269.JPG
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds

IMG_0270.JPG
Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Marianslibrary’s: Summer Reads 2014!!

20140620-122554-44754993.jpg

It’s official! The Summer season is finally upon us! Such a breath of fresh air as we segue into the “fun in the sun” time of year. Reading plays an integral part for many of us as we leisurely spend more time reading while vacationing.
You’ll find my Summer Reads 2014 are a potpourri of books! As always, these are titles I personally will be reading so I spend much time perusing reviews to come up with my final selections.

Several of my favorite authors have new books available this Summer that I absolutely can’t wait to read! Father & son, Stephen King and Joe Hill are gracing my list once again with King’s, Mr. Mercedes, and Hill’s short story, By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain.
Lisa Unger scared the bejesus out of me with her book, In the Blood (The Hollow Series #3), so I’m on a mission to read the first two books in The Hollow Series.
Rainbow Rowell’s adult novel, Landline, debuts July 3rd and one I’m sure you won’t want to miss!
Revolution, Deborah Wiles sequel to her book Countdown, is now available. It’s a historical fiction must for middle school aged kids!
For the younger set, Battle Bunny, by Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, Matthew Myers (Illustrator), is an absolute must! A few years ago, If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen, was featured on our Illinois Monarch Nominee List and now he’s following up with, If I Built a House. Can’t wait to read this newest one to my grandkids!

Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion, which will be released on July 1st, is one I’m greatly anticipating! Of course I’ve already preordered my copy! Each of these special ladies have all contributed to the anthology: Sarah McCoy, Jenna Blum, Erika Robuck, Melanie Benjamin, Amanda Hodgkinson, Pam Jenoff, Sarah Jio, Kristina McMorris, Alyson Richman, & Karen White, with an Introduction by Kristin Hannah.
If you’re in NYC on June 28th, stop by Grand Central Station Terminal at Posman Books for their book launch! Unfortunately my schedule didn’t coincide to be in NYC at this time but when I was there back in April, I made a special trip to the book store so I feel I’ll be there in spirit with this lovely group of writers on their extra special day!!

As always, I hope you find a few books to add to your own Summer reading list!
Enjoy & Happy Reading!!

ADULT FICTION

20140620-123257-45177699.jpg
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

20140620-123437-45277640.jpg
By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain by Joe Hill

20140620-123719-45439158.jpg
Conversion by Katherine Howe

20140620-123818-45498437.jpg
The Deepest Secret by Carla Buckley

20140620-123915-45555503.jpg
Fragile (The Hollows #1) by Lisa Unger

20140620-124009-45609108.jpg
Goodnight June by Sarah Jio

20140620-124054-45654314.jpg
Grand Central: Original Stories of Post War Love and Reunion by Melanie Benjamin, Jenna Blum, Amanda Hodgkinson, Pam Jenoff, Sarah Jio, Sarah McCoy, Kristina McMorris, Alyson Richman, Erika Robuck, Karen White, with an Introduction by Kristin Hannah

20140620-124257-45777484.jpg
How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer (Release date 7/1/14)

20140620-124552-45952279.jpg
Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank

20140620-131602-47762230.jpg
I Shall Be Near You by Erin McCabe

20140620-131814-47894223.jpg
Landline by Rainbow Rowell

20140620-131914-47954033.jpg
Looking For Alaska by John Green

20140620-132138-48098313.jpg
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

20140620-133555-48955673.jpg
My Notorious Life by Kate Manning

20140620-133652-49012143.jpg
Natchez Burning by Greg Iles

20140620-133731-49051964.jpg
Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

20140620-134103-49263247.jpg
Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis

20140620-134258-49378114.jpg
Ruby by Cynthia Bond

20140620-134331-49411283.jpg
Wake by Anna Hope

20140620-134358-49438025.jpg
The Wishing Hill by Holly Robinson (Our July Book Club Selection)

ADULT NON-FICTION

20140620-134530-49530980.jpg
1939: The Making of the Six Greatest Films From Hollywood’s Greatest Year by Charles Adams

20140620-134644-49604774.jpg
A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred by George Will

20140620-134832-49712320.jpg
Sous Chef by Michael Gibney (August Book Club Selection)

YOUNG ADULT

20140620-135741-50261203.jpg
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

20140620-135859-50339859.jpg
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

MIDDLE GRADE

20140620-140227-50547951.jpg
Revolution (Countdown Trilogy Book 2) by Deborah Wiles

CHILDRENS

Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, & Matthew Myers (illustrator)

20140620-140458-50698595.jpg
If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen

Grand Central Girls….here’s my somewhat selfie photo at Grand Central Station Terminal on my way to visit Posman Books back in April!! I’ll be there in spirit on June 28th!!

20140620-140657-50817975.jpg

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Marianslibrary’s Spring Reads 2014!

20140319-223336.jpg

Is it Spring yet?!! It’s having quite a difficult time in arriving here in Illinois & other parts of the country even though today is the first OFFICIAL day. And…there’s a bit more snow in our forecast. Hopefully by posting my Spring Reads 2014 it’ll give Mother Nature a nudge in our favor.

This winter, with the 70+ inches of snow that has already fallen, it gave me quite an opportunity to read over 20 books and read an amazingly amount of book reviews! I wanted to put each and every title on this list but realistically I knew I had to tweak it.

In a book club? Then I need to mention our book club has selected The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd for April and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes for May!

Make sure to take a look at the Children’s books I’ve included for Spring. One can never go wrong for a read aloud with a Judith Sierra book & I can wait to read EIEIO! I’ll be filling my grandsons’ Easter baskets with all three books I’ve listed.

Do you fondly remember, E.L. Konigsberg’s classic middle grade book, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler?! You’re in for a treat with Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald.

I fell in love with the YA book, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, from my Winter Reading List, so I’m onto Fangirl next and looking forward to July 8th when her newest book, Landline, launches!

You’ll spot many books you’ll want to add to your list in my lengthy Adult Fiction section. I have several new books by authors whose works I’ve read previously and many authors who are new to me that I’m being introduced to this Spring!

I’m always intrigued by any true story about crime and Douglas Perry’s newest, Eliot Ness: The Rise and Fall of an American Hero, won’t disappoint your fascination either.

Thanks for the memories Old Man Winter but this girl is ready for Spring!
Happy Reading!!

20140319-223518.jpg

ADULT FICTION

20140320-064701.jpg

Bodies of Water by T. Greenwood

20140320-065114.jpg

The Boy in the Suitcase (book 1) by Lene Kaaberbole

20140320-065304.jpg

Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck

20140320-065549.jpg

Hyde by Daniel Levine

20140320-065732.jpg

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (April Book Club Selection)

20140320-070204.jpg

The Kept by James Scott

20140320-070531.jpg

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (May Book Club Selection)

20140320-070801.jpg

The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh

20140320-070941.jpg

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

20140320-071330.jpg

The Outcast Dead (Ruth Galloway #6) by Elly Griffiths

20140320-071721.jpg

Precious Thing by Colette McBeth

20140320-071930.jpg

The Rosary Girls (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne #1) by Richard Montanari

20140320-072320.jpg

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

20140320-072608.jpg

The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson

20140320-072755.jpg

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

<a

20140320-073115.jpg

Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen

20140320-073400.jpg

The Stolen Ones (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne #7)by by Richard Montanari

20140320-073710.jpg

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (April’s LibraryReads #1 Favorite)

20140320-074035.jpg

The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert

20140320-074200.jpg

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

20140320-074320.jpg

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

20140320-075707.jpg

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

20140320-075900.jpg

Wolverton Station by Joe Hill

ADULT NON-FICTION

20140320-080153.jpg

Eliot Ness: The Rise and Fall of an American Hero by Douglas Perry

20140320-080400.jpg

Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow

YOUNG ADULT FICTION

20140320-080643.jpg

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

20140320-080809.jpg

Half Bad (Half Life Trilogy Book 1) by Sally Green

MIDDLE GRADE FICTION

20140320-081049.jpg

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

20140320-081317.jpg

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt

20140320-081836.jpg

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

CHILDRENS

20140320-082139.jpg

Dot by Randi Zuckerberg

20140320-082248.jpg

EIEIO: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help From a Hen by Judy Sierra

20140320-082510.jpg

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Marianslibrary’s Review of Tiffany Baker’s newest book, Mercy Snow

Mercy Snow: A NovelMercy Snow: A Novel by Tiffany Baker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I don’t know why that lady’s ghost is upset. It just is. Something about the river, I think. (Tiffany Baker)

Author, Tiffany Baker, has once again created a heart wrenching novel that is mysterious, spellbinding and powerful. She weaves her story with her lyrical and magical style of writing. The characters will linger in your memory…

Mercy Snow is on a mission, to right the wrongs of an accident which occurred one Winter night on Devil’s Slide Road. The Snow family have always been looked down upon by the citizens of Titan Falls. Mercy has an uphill battle with those in power to right a horrendous wrong. It’s a tall order for a nineteen year old girl.

In the small New Hampshire community of Titan Falls there are secrets that have been kept and are being kept but eventually like many hidden secrets they become unearthed. They’ve now been stirred up & Mercy Snow is just the persistent person to follow her mission through til the very end.

What do a few of the townsfolk of Titan Falls know and what are they hiding — like one does when escaping behind a mask? Mystery surrounds Titan Falls as their Androscoggin River keeps a tight grip around this small river town hamlet.

Don’t miss out on this hauntingly exquisite story! It had me in tears by the end.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” (Sir Walter Scott)

View all my reviews

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Marianslibrary’s Review of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

New schools.
Mean girls.
Bullies.
Dysfunctional families – very dysfunctional.
Music.
Park.
Eleanor.
First love…..

You’ll absolutely cry, smile, & yes, your heart will ache…

View all my reviews

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Marianslibrary Review of Lisa Unger’s, In the Blood

In the BloodIn the Blood by Lisa Unger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lana Granger has a past she’d like to keep totally hidden. 11-year-old disturbed Luke Kahn meets Lana for the first time and the events that follow spiral out of control. She might just have met her match, her shrouded history is going to be revealed and thus begins the game. But who is manipulating it? They are two totally different people but each harboring a secret….

“What was there between us in that very first moment that would have told, if observed, everything that would follow? Nothing. I am sure of it. Not anything, not a twinge of instinct, not an internal shudder. He was that good.” (Lisa Unger, In the Blood)

Where do I begin after reading In the Blood by Lisa Unger?! It was a suspenseful, psychological thriller that I totally found myself immersed in as soon I began the book.
Lisa Unger has constructed quite an intricate detailed puzzle in her newest book, In the Blood. Only she knows how all the pieces fit and interlock. As the reader, I was continually trying to fit those pieces together in the process of reading each and every sentence. (I highlighted NUMEROUS lines!) Many times throughout reading the book my suspicions were correct and the pieces to the puzzle fit. I knew I was on the right track but in an instant I’d discover I was completely wrong! I found myself shrieking at certain important revelations!!! No I’m not crazy, just a very boisterous avid reader!

Ohhh! What a page turner to the very ending! Kudos to you Lisa Unger! I highly recommend In the Blood!

View all my reviews

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized