Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lisa recommends "Shiver"

I really didn’t want to read this book, despite the popularity, because the idea of werewolves seemed icky to me. Now I am sorry that I waited. Shiver grabs your attention from the first page and holds it through the book. Told in alternating chapters between Grace (the human) and Sam (the wolf), the reader watches as they fall in love and learn the reality that waits for them. I am now eagerly awaiting the sequel, Linger, which comes out July 20, 2010.

Recommended for teens and adults.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Phyllis recommends "La's Orchestra Saves the World"

La’s Orchestra Saves the World rescued me from a winter’s gray day and cold night. Alexander McCall Smith’s gentle book strongly evokes character, place and time. This novel is set in England during World War II with worthwhile looks into both the before and after days. McCall Smith introduces the reader to La, and you glance at her education at Cambridge and her brief marriage. Then you receive longer glimpses of La’s 1939 move from London to the country, development of a Victory garden, involvement with her new neighbors and their lives (foxes and hens included) and, of course, the composition of the orchestra. This is a story of “unremarkable” people living through extreme and every day events. You will read of seemingly small decisions made and the impact those choices had. There are opportunities to ask “what would I have done?” but even without introspection, this is a fine way to spend reading hours. CMPL offers La’s Orchestra Saves the World in print, large print or audio CD. If you’ve read or listened to other offerings by McCall Smith, you’ll recognize his style. I like it!

Appropriate for adults or young adults.

Jamie recommends "Blink"

Malcolm Gladwell, a staff writer for the New York Times, has written another interesting book that tries to explain how we make unconscious decisions. For example, how many interviews do you think employers need in order to make a good hiring decision? Would it surprise you to know that five minutes is really all the time that they need to make an instant decision that is most often correct? Gladwell details a lot of cognitive thinking techniques to explain the elements that help us make split-second decisions, but it is still a very interesting read. If you’re looking for a book to help you learn more about decision-making, this is a great one because while slightly academic in nature, Gladwell has an easy-to-read writing style that gives insight into the whys and hows of snap-judgments.

Great for Adults.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kathy recommends Robyn Carr's "Virgin River" Series

Robyn Carr has written a lovely contemporary romance series set in the California mountains that’s perfect reading for cold winter nights. Virgin River, the first title in the series, is the story of a young widowed midwife/nurse practitioner who’s doctor husband was killed in a robbery attempt. Wanting to leave the big city and make a fresh start, she answers an ad for a position in a small town (population 600). The characters she meets, the attachments she makes and the love she finds make this a charming read. And the ongoing stories of the inhabitants of Virgin River will definitely keep you coming back for more.

Recommended for adults.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Beth recommends "Pandora's Star"

It is the year 2380 and the human race has spread across the universe, populating thousands of worlds, thanks to space travel via wormholes, allowing almost instantaneous passage across vast distances. So far, the alien species encountered have not been hostile. But the observation of a distant star suddenly disappearing, and the human curiosity that insists on investigating, changes all of that. Peter Hamilton has created an amazing, diverse, fascinating world filled with multi-dimensional characters connected through several interweaving plots. This is highly entertaining space adventure, and much, much more. The survival of the human race depends on the actions and decisions of a few characters whom the reader grows to care about and empathize with. If you enjoy Pandora’s Star you won’t want to miss its sequel, Judas Unchained.

Adult, Young Adult