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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.

Reviews by Elizabeth: (Seymour) Muehl Public Library

Author: Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Do yourself a favor and acquaint yourself with the glossary in the back of the book first. That will make for easier reading.

Kavita gives birth to a daughter who is promptly murdered. She gives birth to another daughter and (with her sister) defies her husband and takes the baby to an orphanage in Bombay. Later she gives birth to a boy who changes the life of her and her husband. However, a price is paid.

In America, two doctors marry. Somer is American and Kris is from Bombay. They find out they are infertile and go to Bombay to adopt a daughter which happens to be Kavita's secret daughter.

The two stories begin to run parallel. What is happening to Kavita and her family in India? What is  happening to Somer, Kris, and the young girl in America?

The stories eventually intertwine in a beautiful and meaningful way. This book is about familial love in all of its forms and the importance of identity. There was a lot of food for thought with this book!


Author: Alexander McCall Smith

I am in love with the character of Mma Ramotswe who runs the detective agency in Botswana in this series. She is smart, compassionate, ambitious, and thorough in her investigations. Her cases are very interesting, too. I like how we learn about Africa and African customs and lifestyle through the story. But also, we see how all human nature embodies the same motivations and contentments. Very good. Can't wait to read another.

(the made for HBO shows are outstanding)

In the United States, we bring focus to the genre of poetry during the month of April. In the April, 2011 issue of O, The Oprah magazine, on pages 172 through 175, famous people talk about the poetry that most moves them.  The responses are very interesting and a great jumping off point for you to try something new!

Author: Maya Angelou

This is the mother lode! The poems are great because they are accessible to us. Angelou can draw the picture and/or tell the story that makes sense to us and we can relate to. My favorites in this book are"

"Phenomenal Woman" and "Seven women's blessed assurance"

Author: Kim Edwards

I loved this book! Lucy is a career woman who has been living in Japan. She finds her way back to her childhood home where she has a lot of unfinished work about who she is. She needs to deal with her father's death of long ago, she needs to sort out a romance from her teen years but most importantly, she discovers that in her family tree she has a connection to feminists at the turn of the 20th century. Unearthing this information gives her the resolve to move forward with who she is. This book is great on all levels: the plot, the writing, the characters,and the setting. It is always a challenge to come out with a book after your debut was wildly successful. Congratulations to Kim who did it!

Author: Jodi Wing

This was a winner! Stacey and James are trying to break into the Hollywood social scene as newlyweds. Stacey was well established in New York City but for James' sake (he has just become the head of a new Hollywood studio) she agrees to move to Hollywood and give it a trial run. They quickly find out that there is a "party of three" from the new studio that are out to sabotage them. The three are at the wedding and start all sorts of havoc and that is only the beginning. The ringleader is Simon who is an ardent follower of Sun Tzu's, THE ART OF WAR. The author deftly peppers this book with quotes from that book and shows how one needs to be on the defense or offense, depending! Every time you think that Simon can sink lower, he does. What is really great about the characters of Stacey and James is that they don't enjoy having to participate in "the war" and they do bring some scruples to bear on the situation. There are many twists and turns in the book and questions about who do you trust after all? I found the intertwining with the actual "ART OF WAR" very intriguing. The book culminates with a great ending which also could be a platform for a follow-up. We will see!

Author: Rainbow Rowell

This was a delightful book. I read it from cover to cover in one sitting. It is a "modern" love story as it involves the electronic communications of e.mail. The protagonist, Lincoln, works at a newspaper where he is "computer security" at night--he is monitoring the internal e.mail of the staff. He finds himself following the conversations between two good friends, Jennifer & Beth. Further, he finds himself falling in love with Beth! It sounds weird, but the characters are so well written that it actually makes sense. I really liked the fact that the protagonist was male and sensitive and we kept seeing things from his point of view. I think that in the tangles of love we don't realize how hurt and confused and fearful males can be, too! Great story with a happy ending! Congratulations to the author on a great debut!

Author: Liane Moriarty

Not to be confused with "Still Alice" this novel is about Alice who hits her head at the gym and enters a time warp of sorts. When she awakes she thinks it is ten years earlier. As she takes in clues and evidence about her current life she is horrified to find out that she is in proceedings for a divorce and that she has children who she doesn't even recognize. Also, all reactions point to the fact that she has evolved into a quite mean and self-absorbed person. As she looks through the lens of her younger self she can't believe who is counted in her circle of friends and how her values have changed. This book provides a fun way for looking at "second chances". This is an entertaining read and perfect for the beach or a relaxing weekend.

Author: Tom Franklin

I highly recommend this book. A great thriller but more than that it is a story of redemption and how a community can so easily make the wrong assumptions about someone. I don't want to say much more because it is easy to give away. But the two main characters were friends as boys and their friendship begins to reassemble itself when they are adults after a series of harrowing experiences. Amazing writing and a gripping tale. Thanks, Holly, for the recommendation and I listened to the audio (the reader Kevin Kenerly was phenomenal).

Author: Martin Eidelberg

If you enjoyed the fictional "Clara and Mr. Tiffany" as much as I did, this makes for a stunning visual accompaniment. In this non-fiction book you will see the photos of Clara and the lamps and the windows and learn so much more about the women of Tiffany studios!