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Welcome to Books R Us, a recommended reading blog from InfoSoup librarians and users and home to A Year of Listening Dangerously, the 2014 InfoSoup Reading Challenge! Find a great book to read next, add your own reviews, and check out our book related resources such as NoveList and BookLetters.

We had our October drawing today for the 2014 Year of Listening Dangerously Reading Challenge. Each winner will receive a $25 gift card. The winners this month are:

AudioBook Review

Waupaca Public Library
For the Audiobook Dear John, by Nicholas Sparks

Book Review

(Seymour) Muehl Public Library
for the Book Starry Night by Debbie Macomber

Our next drawing will be November 3rd. Until then, happy reading and listening!


Evan Bend
Library Services Manager
Outagamie Waupaca Library System

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

I give this one 4 stars!   This is historical fiction following a family of Botonists begining with trade in medicinal herbs.  This business was quite lucerative and the successful not only located the valuable herbs, but then determined how the valuable plants might be grown in a more convienient location, on the property of the trader.  The Whittaker family leaves europe for opportunities in the new world.  They are unconventional and are not bothered by the dictates of  society.   They rather surround themselves with learned individuals of fame and conduct debate at the dinner table.   Growing up in this atmosphere, the main character, Alma Whittaker becomes a precousious child and a famous botonist in her own right.   Her physical characteristics do not draw suiters to her door and she is resigned to this fact of life.  This does not exclude her from love, or sex, but her love life is frought with problems.

  Her story touches on Darwin's discovery of evolution, but was he really the first?  She becomes involved with two very unusual men  After her fathers death, she spends years  in Tahiti.   The story comes full circle when she returns, late in life to find the family her parents left behind in europe.  I found this book to be well written and also had  an unusual and  entertaining story as well as characters.   I reccommend this to adult fans of historical fiction.

Author: Jeffrey Zaslow

For the author to Interview ten women friends regarding a 40-year friendship was an unique idea for a book, so I was curious to read it. Staying in touch for that length of time must have been very difficult for the group; especially since they lived in different states. This is a good story of having lots of fun, being there for friends, keeping secrets and also forgiving each other for hurts inflicted on one another.  

The book shows how women can influence one another to find and meet their goals and to help friends through their sorrow and pain in life. It also shows how family and work have drastically changed throughout the generations. Even when these women were girls in school, kids were at times very mean.  Today it is much worse. People from the Midwest (Iowa) generally have pretty good values.  Therefore, they stay out of trouble and live happier lives. This book shows us how to celebrate and treasure the good times with friends and relatives and give comfort to those who are suffering.  Be a good friend.

Title: White Fire
Author: Douglas Preston

FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast is back in another thrilller from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.  Pendergast is back to being eccentric, odd, brilliant, still doesn't like rules, but gets results. Our man in the black suit works his magic to find answers to an number of questions. His actions and thoughts take on Sherlock Holmes' attributes. I enjoyed how Sherlock was integrated into this story.  Corrie Swanson, Pendergast's protege, is determined to find information for her thesis.  She has been written as an intelligent girl who does not think through the problem before she acts.  It was irritating at times.  But throughly entertaining.  A great mystery thriller with a few twists.  Enjoy the read.

More of Eve Dallas

Author: J. D. Robb

I have not had enough of Eve Dallas.  The 39th installment of the In Death series is just as good as the first.  Eve Dallas is a person I would like to know. Gritty, focused, loved by her friends and utterly delightful in her naivety and as for her husband Rourke, well lets just say I want one just like him.  This Christmas Eve is still befuddled with the gift giving and receiving.  She doesn't shop and when she does buy somehting (there is a difference), it is perfect for the person receiving it.

The murder aspect could have been a bit more edgy, especially since I did not like the murdered person. Without giving away more, I can easily say read the book.  It is a fast read and holds your attention. You will laugh and cry and hope the next installment arrives soon!

Title: Driven
Author: Donald Driver

For Packer Fans this is a must read. For anyone who wants to read a feel good, rags to riches story, this is it! My husband is not a reader, but he enjoyed reading this book.

Author: Anna Quindlen

Fans of Quindlen and women over forty will appreciate this collection of essays on motherhood, careers, and aging. Quindlen has a style that makes writing look easy- a way of putting into words ideas many of us, especially women, have pondered. She can be sarcastic and heartwarming in the same piece. Quindlen, now in her early 60's, has been a reporter, Newsweek columnist, novelist, and mom. I'm looking forward to whatever she writes next.

Author: Cleo Coyle

As a lover of coffee, I was entranced when I found a coffeehouse mystery.  What could be better.  There is nothing better than settling back with a good cup of coffee and reading a book.  I do it every morning.  Billionaire Blend interested me right from the start.  And start with a bang it did when a limosine blew up in front of the Village Blend coffee house.  Coyle has a great insight into the coffeehouse and New York City culture.  You never know who you will be rubbing elbows with in New York, or any where. Clare Cosi, barista heuristic, comes in contact with billionaire Eric Thorner, founder and CEO of Thorn, Inc.  There are twists and turns, bombs and murders, and visits around the world. 

This was an interesting read and I will search for more of Cleo Coyle's  work.  Enjoy and check out the recipes in the back of the book!

Author: Sheila Connolly

The second in A County Cork Mystery  series, Scandal in Skibbereen finds Maura settling into the pub business.  There is more than offering a pint of Guinness for thirsty patrons at Sullivan's Pub.   Maura hears some of the most interesting gossip.  American Althea Melville enters the pub hot on the trail of an unknown Van Dyck painting.  Althea works for a NYC museum and enlists help from Maura and a local painter Gillian to search the local manor house in Leap for the Van Dyck.  Murder and mayham follow as they search for the painting and its provenance.

An enjoyable read that takes you back to the old country.    

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell

This is a new age, old school, high/low tech love story of life and marriage in the age of constant technological interruption and poor attention spans. Georgie McCool has an amazing job writing comedy television. Her husband takes care of things at home while she skates in and out- focusing mainly on her career. She takes her husband for granted, and pushes things to the limit when she decides she must stay behind during Christmas to work while her husband and daughters head home for family Christmas in Nebraska.

While the intent is that she will crank out work like crazy with no family to weigh her down, she finds that missing her husband and worrying about the state of her marriage cause her to be much less productive than she would like. Her husband doesn't answer his cell phone, but she is able to talk with him on the landline from her mother's house (her childhood bedroom). Is this a magical opportunity for her to rekindle her relationship before it is too late? This is a kitschy, fun read- who wouldn't like to right wrongs?