Glencoe Public Library

Member of the Pioneerland Library System

July 2013

"The English Girl" by Daniel Silva
Daniel Silva is a master of espionage writing. "The English Girl," is Silva's latest with master spy and art restorer, Gabriel Allon. Silva has created a character with a pleasing blend of morality and ruthlessness. Gabriel always wants to do the right thing, but when he has to do something nasty, he does and then feels bad afterwards. You will find yourself upset after reading this novel only because it has come to an end and now you have to wait for the next one. Beware that you really should read this series in order as there is ongoing character development.

June 2013

"And the Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hosseini
Like in his two other books, Hosseini is an excellent storyteller. The words he uses produces images that flow like poetry. In this book, you find yourself being transported to 1950's Afghanistan where you smile, cry, and feel pity right alongside the unfortunate characters in the book. The characters are interesting and well developed. The novel is made up for a series of linked and interlinked stories about members of this one family, their descendants and people whose lives they touch. The book feels in some ways like a collection of short stories rather than a novel, but Hosseini brings us round in a perfect circle and the last few chapters are immensely moving. 

May 2013

"Inferno" by Dan Brown
There were a lot of expectations for this book and Dan Brown does not disappoint. Just like previous Robert Langdon's journeys, the painstaking research and mysterious/thrilling adventure captures the reader. True, the descriptions of places in Europe could be shortened quite a bit but Europe has a vast history. However, you read Dan Brown for the historical facts and famous pieces of art places in new context. You read for the conspiracies and secrets. You read for the ridiculously high stake plots that make you laugh out loud and have you mentally picturing yourself patting Dan on the shoulder saying, "good one". Dan Brown is a brilliant writer that combines the past with a modern and futuristic twist. 

April 2013

Young Adult Book Review
"Divergent" by Veronica Roth
If you liked the Hunger Games series, you will love Divergent! Set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago, society is split into five factions. At the age of 16, Beatrice Prior must decide which faction she will join. Will she stay with her parents in the Abegnation faction or leave her family forever and choose one of the other four factions? Beatrice's choice changes her life forever, makes her face challenges she never thought possible, and find out family secrets she never knew.

The Writing and story-telling are quick and, even thought the book looks long; you won't be able to put it down. It's a great book for young adults and adult readers alike! After you finish it, check out the sequel Insurgent. The third installment is due out fall 2013 and the movie next year!

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot
I have been in a book club with work friends for almost 4 years now and this book generated more conversation then all the previous books. We are a typical book club; we always read the selected books, but end about talking more about other topics than the book. This one had a discussion that lasted the majority of the evening.

The writer did a good job outlining the family history as well as the medical history. At times the medical stuff may get a little overwhelming, but in my opinion worth the time. It was interesting to read how a lot of today's common practices in regards to patient confidentiality have evolved over the years. What we take for granted today; was not even thought of all those years ago. 

March 2013

"Calculated in Death" by J.D. Robb
It is always a fear that a long-running series will start to feel formulaic after so many books. Plus, J.D. Robb has been releasing two novels a year for quite some time. However, you will be pleasantly surprised with her latest novel, Calculated in Death. There are many familiar characters and the usual murder mystery set in the future, but what an engaging read! The author does a good job of developing the recurring characters from one novel to the next. She also introduces new characters in a subtle way that doesn't overwhelm the reader with an overload of information. In saying that, favorite scenes would still be the interactions between Dallas and her partner Peabody. 

"Where'd You Go, Bernadette" by Maria Semple
This book is a quirky novel about a family living in Seattle. It's hard to describe the premise without giving away too much of the plot. The central relationship is between a mother (Bernadette) and daughter (Bee), and the book is conceived as a collection of various correspondences (emails, letters, faxes, etc.) as well as narration from the daughter Bee. Dad (Elgie) works as Microsoft and also plays a big role in the story. The book is effortlessly smart and witty, comes highly recommended.  You'll find yourself wondering, "I want to know where Bernadette went."

February 2013

Tracie Peterson continues to write enjoyable series to read. The Striking a Match series takes place in a logging town of Perkinsville, Texas with the main character Deborah being a "matchmaker" to others yet wants to find true love. Love is taking root in Deborah's heart yet certainly and unexpected situations may changed her future with her Christopher. And will Vandermark Logging continue to be prevalent in the Texan town? Peterson continues to describe her characters in such ways that the reader feels a connection and is drawn into the story. This series has three wonderful books to read and found in the Large Print section of the library. 

 "Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker" by Jennifer Chiaverini
 Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker is a book which brings the unrenowned life of Mary Todd Lincoln as the first lady of the United States and her unknown dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckley, who was a former slave, dressmaker and confidant. The road Elizabeth Keckley traveled to be part of the First Family and a friend of Mrs. Lincoln is remarkable. Chiaverini powerfully portrays the friendship between the two very different women and particularly highlights how the First lady depended on Elizabeth. Yet, the character of Elizabeth is weak for a main character when the reader realizes that we don't really know her. Keeping in mind that this is a historical fiction story the reader continues to be enveloped by the characters and their relationship with each other within the First Family of that era in history. 

January 2013

"The Book of Awesome" by Neil Pasricha
Neil Pasricha is the author of the award-winning blog, "1000 Awesome Things." His online success translates AWESOMELY into book format. This is not a book of mere lists; explanations are given for each one. His observations are spot-on, and his writing style is friendly and funny. Some of the entries will bring a heavy does of nostalgia while others provoke the surprise and delight of "Hey, I do that too!" recognition. Once you get into this mode, you may pay closer attention to those magic moments in your own life.