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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
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
A Deeper Darkness
Author
J.T. Ellison
Review
This is the first book in the Samantha Owens series. If you like a mystery with multiple plot lines and interconnections you will like this book. I wish I had read this one first. I like to read the books in order
Genre
Fiction
Rating
Title
The Flanders Panel
Author
Arturo Perez-Reverte
Review
I thought the ending was really, really lame.
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
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
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
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
The Marriage Pact
Author
Linda Lael Miller
Review
This is the author's newest three part series about three friends who vow to find Mr. Right. Tripp stopped Hadleigh's wedding when she was 18. He was the man of her dreams. Come to find out he is married and only came back to save her from "herself" based on a promise he made to his best friend, her brother, who is now deceased. Years later he returns and he is interested in Hadleigh but she is cautious and not yet ready to risk her heart again. An easy read but the character and story development in this book is not similar to other works by this author
Genre
Romance
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
A Soldier's Secret
Author
RaeAnne Thayne
Review
We once again return to Brambleberry House on the Oregon coast and to Abigal's matchmaking efforts. This is the story of Anna and Max. Max is Abigal's nephew and he returns injured for the service to the house he considered home when he was growing up. He needed to meet the current owners as he never understood why his aunt did not leave him this house as he was her only family left. Max meets Anna who is currently one of the co-owners of the house. Let's just say there is more to Anna than meets the eye. A light-hearted summer read!
Genre
Romance
Rating
Title
Sold Into Egypt
Author
Madeleine L'Engle
Review
Writing about Joseph's story from his brothers selling him into slavery in Egypt to their eventual restoration, Madeleine L'Engle offers many personal and theological thoughts on faith, science/religion, living and dying.
Genre
Nonfiction - Christianity
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 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
Dark Triumph
Author
Robin LaFevers
Review
I'm really enjoying these stories of historical fantasy set in Brittany in the 1400s that begins with Grave Mercy. In the first book, we saw some of the political maneuvers to outwit the French and the duchess's would-be suitors. In Dark Triumph, we get a much more personal look into Sybella's backstory and learn just what it was like for her to be the daughter of d'Albret, one of those very suitors. Dark and violent at times, but appropriately so for the subject matter, and very well done.
Genre
teen fantasy
Rating
Title
The Coroner's Lunch
Author
Colin Cotterill
Review
Dr. Siri Paiboun, a doctor in Laos, reluctantly becomes the coroner in the capital city after the communist revolution in 1975. Still, he leads a fairly quiet life until the wife of Comrade Kham dies under mysterious circumstances and Siri is determined to get to the bottom of it.

I really enjoyed the setting of 1976 in Laos, and learned a lot about the country and time period through information that was intertwined flawlessly with the story; Dr. Siri is a sort-of communist who is a bit cynical about the regime, but he can get away with saying a lot because of his position and age. He communicates with the spirits of the departed, mostly in his dreams, which means that he's often working backwards - Siri knows the solution, but just has to put together the facts to support it. As a result, this reminded me more of a classic Agatha Christie story in which some of the key parts of the puzzle aren't revealed until the very end. His friends and co-workers are well-drawn characters in their own right. I'm definitely keeping the series on my list to continue when I'm in need of a dependably good story.
Genre
Mystery
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
Title
Summer Friends
Author
Holly Chamberland
Review
Can two adult women rekindle the relationship that began one summer and lasted eight summers and into the girls college careers when the two women are from vastly different lifestyles? In this book you will find out at Maggie seeks Delphine to see what happened to their friendship, why Delphine broke off her engagement and never contacted Maggie again. As both women approach 50 both are taking stock of their life, the choices they made and ultimately whether their friendship has withstood the test of time.
Genre
Fiction
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
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