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Overview



Adult Summer Reading signups available from June 21 through July 31.

Literary Elements runs from June 21 to August 8. There will be raffles every week that you can enter by reading books & writing reviews, and entering weekly games. Also get a "BINGO" on the handout to enter a grand prize raffle for a Kindle!

Make sure to check out our Event Calendar for the most up-to-date listing of events planned for the summer.
Reviews
Title
Kings of the North
Author
Elizabeth Moon
Review
The story begun in Oath of Fealty continues with Kieri, now king of Lyonya, frustrated by the distance of his co-ruler the elven Lady of Ladysforest while the Pargunese threat looms ever-larger. Dorrin has her work cut out for her continuing to heal the land and people that her Verrakai family twisted with dark magery. And Arcolin's troops are on the move, dealing with fights from apparent mercenaries who are also counterfeiters. If you enjoy complicated, well-realized fantasy these are excellent books. I recommend starting with an earlier series that introduces this world, beginning with The Sheepfarmer's Daughter
Genre
Fantasy
Rating
Title
Invisible
Author
James Patterson & David Ellis
Review
Emmy is convinced her sister was murdered and that she didn't die in a random fire; after all, how many people die in a fire in their bedroom. A few maybe but not over 75 and all across the country. She is trying to convince the agency there is a serial killer but no one listens to her thinking she is too distraught over her sister's death. So she turns to former Agent Harrison (Books) who also happens to be her former fiance to see if he can get the higher ups to listen. A fast past book to catch a serial killer and a great ending
Genre
Mystery/Thriller
Rating
Title
The Edge of the Precipice
Author
Paul Socken (editor)
Review
In fifteen essays, scholars and readers from around the globe attempt to answer the question of the book's subtitle: "Why Read Literature in the Digital Age?" It's a pretty heady, academic collection and won't convince anyone who's not already a reader. If you're an avid reader or someone who cares about teaching literature to students, this is definitely a worthwhile read. Just feel free to skip the essays that get a little too heady and academic.
Genre
Essays; books and reading
Rating
Title
Portuguese Irregular Verbs
Author
Alexander McCall Smith
Review
Short, episodic chapters tell the humorous shenanigans of Professor von Igelfeld, the author of the eponymous Portuguese Irregular Verbs, and his compatriots Prinzel and Unterholzer. Von Igelfeld is a sort of hapless bumbler who can't get the recognition he so desires for his niche philological studies, and his adventures made me smile. After much trial and tribulation, I managed to get a copy of the audio version read by Hugh Laurie (apparently it's really difficult to find in the U.S. library system!), and I enjoyed his presentation of it. He does an excellent job with multiple accents and characters, and brings out the humor in the situations in which the professors find themselves. Light, fun reading.
Genre
fiction; humor
Rating
Title
The Art Forger
Author
B.A. Shapiro
Review
Claire Roth, an aspiring artist in Boston, has been a bit of an outcast in the art world lately and is working making copies for Reproductions.com to make ends meet. She is approached by Aiden Markel, the owner of well-known gallery Markel G, with a proposition she's unsure she can take: make a copy of one of the Degas paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the notorious 1990 heist, and he'll return to the original to the museum as well as make her name by offering her a show.

The level of detail about art and forgery included as Claire researches the painting and talks about what she does for her job at "Repro" lend a credibility to this thriller about an unsolved mystery. I simultaneously learned a lot and was left wanting to read and learn more about the Gardner heist and art forgery. I read fast, as the narrative moves along and I found myself unsure to the last about the "goodness" of some of the characters. Claire impressed me and irritated me by turns, as she was clearly smart about art but not about some of her relationships, and her naivete was grating. Flashbacks to events of three years earlier and insertions of (fictitious) letters from Isabella to her niece Amelia rounded out the story nicely.
Genre
Thriller
Rating
Title
The Flanders Panel
Author
Arturo Perez-Reverte
Review
I thought the ending was really, really lame.
Rating
Title
When Shadows Fall
Author
J.T. Ellison
Review
If you like a mystery you will enjoy this book. There are many twists and turns to the story and you can't help but fall in love with Samantha Owens! If you like this book you will enjoy the Edge of Black.
Genre
Fiction-Mystery
Rating
Title
Traveling with Pomegranates
Author
Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor
Review
Sue is dealing with turning fifty, an aging body and a new realization of her mortality. Her daughter Ann, at twenty-two, has received a rejection letter for grad school that has her questioning her purpose in life and her own self-worth. Both are redefining their relationship, as Ann has become a young woman and Sue begins to interact with her not just as a daughter but as a fellow adult and friend. I finished it for my book club, but probably wouldn't have otherwise. I had a hard time connecting for most of it as much of it was introspective and metaphorical, though I did enjoy the glimpses into Sue's writing The Secret Life of Bees.
Genre
Memoir
Rating
Title
The Eyre Affair
Author
Jasper Fford
Review
An excellent kick-off to the summer reading program, though a bit depressing with the realization that books of this incredible caliber are somewhat difficult to come by.
Genre
Mystery/Sci-Fi/Steampunk
Rating
Title
Air Bound
Author
Christine Feehan
Review
I liked this book much more than Air Bound as there was more action; although a little too much at times. What I love most about the books is it is a series and the elements of family and the paranormal.
Genre
Romance
Rating
Title
If I Stay
Author
Gayle Forman
Review
Mia's family is in a horrific car crash, leaving her parents dead and her and her little brother gravely injured. In a sort of out of body experience, Mia's consciousness relates what happens to her when she's taken to the hospital in a coma with severe injuries, filling in the story of her family and friends with flashbacks. I can see why this book was popular when it came out about five years ago. There's an intensity and page-turning quality to it as you don't know what Mia's going to decide, if she will live or die. It's also heartbreaking to read knowing that, should she choose to live, she has a lot of grief to deal with and decisions to make. It's the sort of book that left me deeply unsettled reading it, but one I won't forget anytime soon.
Genre
teen fiction; made into movie
Rating
Title
Masterminds & Wingmen
Author
Rosalind Wiseman
Review
The author of Queen Bees and Wannabes takes on the world of boys, describing the way groups tend to interact and working with dozens of boy "editors" to explain what they go through - and don't always tell adults about - in their day-to-day lives.She is primarily writing to parents, so much of the specific conversations she outlines are not ones I would have with boys in my circle. I got the most out of the beginning where she talks about boy culture and the "act like a man box." Though she has to speak in generalities, she reminds readers that the boy you're interacting with may not quite fit into what she outlines. I understood a lot of things that teen boys have told me much more completely after reading what she said. The quotes she includes from the boys with whom she worked were enlightening as well.
Genre
Parenting
Rating
Title
The Beekeepers Ball
Author
Susan Wiggs
Review
This is the second book in the Bella Vista series. This book focuses on Isabel Johansen who is a celebrated chef transforming her childhood home into a destination cooking school. Her plans are interrupted by a war torn journalist who has come to write her grandfathers biography. This is a story of overcoming the past, learning your ancestry and of course falling in love.
Genre
Fiction
Rating
Title
The Devaney Brothers - Ryan & Sean
Author
Sheryl Woods
Review
These are the first two books in the five book series about the Devaney brothers. Three of these brothers at least were abandoned by their parents at ages 9,7, and 4. The boys came home from school one day and their parents and their twin brothers were gone, assuming the two youngest went with the parents as they were two year old twins. I'm enjoying reading the series about their lives and how they have moved on and of course about the reunions as they try to find each other and put their family back together. A good tale for an Irish lass!
Genre
Fiction
Rating
Title
Divergent Thinking
Author
Leah Wilson (editor)
Review
Twelve YA authors write an essay on an aspect of Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy, talking about a variety of topics such as the way in which the factions map to psychological classifications, whether honesty is truly the best policy in the world of the series, and the biology of fear.

Though this book definitely falls under the definition of "literary criticism," these are not the stuffy sort of essays you might think of when you hear the term (personally, I don't, but then I was an English major and classify myself as Divergent, but mostly Erudite). These authors investigate the books from all sorts of point of views, but make it accessible and interesting reading. I really enjoyed essays that looked at the science of fear or the psychology of the factions or even the one that tried to map where each of the faction headquarters are in relation to the current city of Chicago. The writers who contribute to this book clearly enjoyed the books as stories, and I never got the feeling that they were trying to hard to interpret things - they're just continuing their enjoyment through their explorations. I would easily recommend this to teens (and adults) who can't get enough of the series - and who knows, maybe they'll find a new author to try!
Genre
Literary criticism
Rating
Title
Angelfall
Author
Susan Ee
Review
The world changed in an instant when the angels attacked. Six weeks later, in a southern California that's been decimated and reduced to gangs and refugees, Penryn and her schizophrenic mother and her wheelchair-bound sister Paige try to escape their apartment. But when they happen around a group of angels attacking another one and one of the attackers takes Paige, Penryn and the hurt angel, Raffe, create an uneasy alliance to try to rescue Paige. Quick and mindless reading, but entertaining.
Genre
teen dystopia
Rating
Title
It Happened One Week
Author
JoAnn Ross
Review
This is a quick beach read. This title has two separate books in it. In the first a marketing executive who has been soley focused on her career organizes a corporate retreat which takes her back to the seaside retreat she vacationed at and met her first love. In the course of the week they discover whether it was true love and what matters most. In the second book, Maid for the Millionaire, a divorced woman who started her own maid company ends up cleaning her ex-husband's house. While this is a typcial love story, I especially enjoyed the work done for battered women.
Genre
Fiction
Rating
Title
Marriage Pact
Author
Linda Lael Miller
Review
The first in this new series features Hadleigh and Tripp who interrupted her first wedding and carried her away after he informs her he is already married. He of course was her childhood dream! Years later when he returns to take care of his father's ailing ranch, sparks once again fly between Tripp and Hadleigh only this time it is Tripp doing the pursuing. The premise of the book is good but the character development is not the same as other books this author has written.
Rating
Title
Remember Me Like This
Author
Bret Anthony Johnston
Review
Wow! A book about every parents worst nightmare, your child goes missing. His family survived (barely) in the four years since Justin went missing and then he is found. Join the family as they reconcile who they became while he was missing, how they reunited, how they survived the kidnappers release and finally put their family back together. This author's debut novel is a good one!
Genre
Fiction
Rating
Title
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Author
Maya Angelou
Review
This book depicted Maya's life from birth to when she had her son. The book definitely gives you an appreciation for how hard her life was growing up.
Genre
Biography
Rating