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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: Jodi Picoult

How would  it be if the man who killed your husband and daughter wanted to give you his heart (after the death penalty was implemented) to save your new daughter's life? And that is just the start of a book that keeps you on your toes! I was very intrigued by the fantastical elements in this book by Picoult. We begin to believe that the prisoner may have special powers especially because  a young priest (grappling with his own faith) starts to believe that the prisoner is Jesus. Great writing! This book leaves you both guessing and contemplating!

We have heard of finding non-fiction books that read like fiction but how about the opposite? Fiction books that read like non-fiction? Here is an article to get you pondering!


Sometimes when you are reading a terrific book you can "see" the movie in your head! That is probably why some books translate so well into great films (with help from good directors, producers and actors, etc.!). At Seymour, we have been keeping a list of movies that are good renditions of their book counterparts. Here are 40 (so far) in no certain order:

To Kill a Mockingbird; Anne of Green Gables; Snow Flower and the Secret Fan; Zen (PBS Mystery); Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day; Agnes Browne; Sarah's Key; I am Number Four; Seabiscuit; Secretariat; Water for Elephants; Flipped; The Help; Imagining Argentina; The Reader; Cider House Rules; Horton Hears a Who; Christmas Carol; Paddle to the Sea; Empire Falls; Murder on the Orient Express; The Count of Monte Cristo; The Green Mile; House of Sand and Fog; The Yellow Wallpaper; Skinwalkers; The Handmaid's Tale; Like Water for Chocolate; Sarah, Plain and Tall; Charlotte's Web; Mansfield Park; The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency; Memory Keeper's Daughter; The Devil Wears Prada; Julie and Julia; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Alice in Wonderland; Holes; Matilda.

Author: Deborah Rodriguez

This book is essentially three love stories: Sunny and Jack; Halajan and an Afghanistan gentleman; Yazmina and Halajan's son. Sunny is an American running a coffee shop in Afghanistan. It becomes the setting for exchanges of important ideas. It is also a place where relationships grow and flourish. Christmas is celebrated in this place. In order for the love stories to grow, traditional Afghan values have to be reshaped and a recognition of the power and importance of love needs to be underscored. That is exactly what happens. The war time troubles are not as prominent in the book. They serve as a backdrop to the more intimate stories of the three couples. I really liked the book because I love when things work out for people. A sweet, fast read.

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!