Marianslibrary’s Spring Reads 2014!

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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!!

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ADULT FICTION

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Bodies of Water by T. Greenwood

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

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Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck

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Hyde by Daniel Levine

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

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The Kept by James Scott

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

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The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh

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The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

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

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Precious Thing by Colette McBeth

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

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The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson

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The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen

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

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

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The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert

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The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

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

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The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

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Wolverton Station by Joe Hill

ADULT NON-FICTION

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

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

YOUNG ADULT FICTION

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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

MIDDLE GRADE FICTION

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A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

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The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt

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Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

CHILDRENS

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Dot by Randi Zuckerberg

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

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The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

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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)

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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…

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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!

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Marianslibrary Review of: The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion

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“Mrs. Poole, all I can say is….. you are not who you think you are…..” (Fannie Flagg)

I never wanted this book to end and by the time I read the last sentence, tears welled up in my eyes. Fannie Flagg is such a splendid storyteller of Southern fiction and has put pen to paper to come up with all the right ingredients to make, The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion, a winning novel!

You’ll laugh out loud and embrace all the characters from Mrs. Sookie Poole and her domineering mother, Lenore, in Point Clear, Alabama to Fritzi & the rest of the Jurdablarinski clan up in Pulaski, Wisconsin.

The story navigates with the dual narratives of Sookie’s present day life in Alabama back to Fritzi Jurdablarinski’s life in the 1930′s & 40′s. There’s the story of “The All-Girl Filling Station, WWII history of women pilots called WASP’s, the bond of families, and mother/daughter dynamics.

Sookie thinks at age 59, after her daughters’ weddings, her life might have just settled down. Shortly thereafter, Sookie reads information in a mailed document that will alter her life as she knew it. Her discovery takes Sookie on a journey she never expected.

Life can be full of surprises!

Fannie Flagg has created a cast of memorable endearing characters that literally tug at your heart. You won’t soon forget each and every one of them just like in her classic book, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe!

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Marianslibrary: My Favorite Books of 2013!

“We don’t need to have just one favorite. We keep adding favorites. Our favorite book is always the book that speaks most directly to us at a particular stage in our lives. And our lives change. We have other favorites that give us what we most need at that particular time. But we never lose the old favorites. They’re always with us. We just sort of accumulate them.”
― Lloyd Alexander

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Before we “close the book” & “check out”on the year 2013, thought I’d go back & take a look at the 64 books I read throughout the year. Sorry for this old retired librarian’s play on words — just couldn’t resist! I chose each and every book for a special specific reason, be it, the genre, the time period, the topic, or it was referred to me by a friend.
As I reflected over my chosen reads, 15 titles stood out to me as the top of 2013 based on being most memorable! There are times when just the title of a book you’ve read will jolt your memory & you’ll say, “Oh! I enjoyed this book because…!” You want others to share in your reading enjoyment. Hope you’ll find a few to add to your 2014 list.
Happy New Year & Happy Reading in 2014!

The Book Thief by Mark Zukas

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The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

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The Good House by Ann Leary

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Joyland by Stephen King

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Looking For Me by Beth Hoffman

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Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloane

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

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Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

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Police (Harry Hole #10) by Jo Nesbo

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The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

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Serena by Ron Rash

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The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

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Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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Marianslibrary Review of The Good House by Ann Leary

The Good HouseThe Good House by Ann Leary
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Main character, 60 year old successful real estate agent, Hildy Good, opens up about her life and leaves nothing out to the readers in The Good House. The Good House is both funny at moments due to Hildy’s quick wit and also quite melancholy in the very next paragraph. She’s a recovering alcoholic recently back from a stay at a facility which was triggered by an intervention held by her adult daughters.
I felt like Hildy was a friend sharing her history and story of her life in the quaint New England town of Wendover, Massachusetts. As she’s telling her tale, I was on this journey with her. Once she returns home, I wanted to find out if she had totally recovered and left her old demons behind.
Ann Leary has a very well developed story and I was quickly whisked into The Good House. Each character came vividly to life for me. I definitely felt a connection.
And, what story that takes place in Massachusetts wouldn’t be complete without a bit of history of the Salem Witch Trials….Hildy is a direct descendant!

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