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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.

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Author: Susan Page Davis

Another great book in this series of mystery quilt books!

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Author: John Sandford

Excellent book! Was told by a friend that I should read this series of books by John Sandford over a year ago, but had other books that I wanted/needed to read first. Really glad that I did listen to him when I was looking for a new series to read.

Usually read for 1/2hr to an hour a night before I go to bed. It's quite time and it lets my mind uncoil. Spent a good 1/2 longer than I wanted to reading because the story was so fast paced and enveloping. Could have read all night, but had to stop when I noticed it was a couple hours later.

 

Started on the second book in the series and will have to reserve the 3rd book so I can start reading that by the end of the weekend.

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Author: Maggie O'Farrell

This fast read leaves you with lots of food for thought. It has several mysteries running simultaneously. During parts of the book, the author uses a very interesting writing style in which she injects fragments of thought and/or action from the perspectives of different characters which also cover different periods in time. Don't let this put you off! Just keep reading and it will all come together!

Esme is the main character who is institutionalized for over sixty years. (She has been disrespected in a series of ways. First and foremost is that the administration in the asylum will not call her by the name that she goes by, Esme.) The psychiatric unit is closing down and a great niece named Iris finds out about Esme. She never knew about her great aunt before! Iris goes to meet Esme and feels responsible for her future. Iris feels connected to Esme on some level that she doesn't understand. She knows they are related but it goes deeper than that.

Esme and Iris have had a series of dysfunctional experiences and they intersect at the end over a horrifying realization.

I was especially put off by how men treated women in this book. Also, how the women were not familiar with their own sexuality. When you are done reading you are left wondering, was Esme sane or insane?

Good one!!!

(For some reason reminded me of THE DINNER, by Herman Koch.)

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Author: Bill Oreilly

This book gives a factual account of the events leading up to the assassination of a president who was greatly loved by many but not without his share of enemies. History buffs or anyone who has interest in the Kennedy family may enjoy this sad story.

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Author: Ann Hood

I have no idea what prompted me to take this book home to read- the title isn't all that catchy. But I am certainly glad that I did! This is one read that I had a hard time putting down. It is a tale of two women, without connection, until late in the novel- and their stories of love and loss. Spanning over decades, chapter by chapter, the women bring to life their experiences in love and life. The tales intertwine together in a most unexpected twist that only enhances the plot overall.

This is a story of a woman who found the love of her life, only to lose him in the great earthquake. She spends several years believing that he is yet alive and puts her life on hold for over a decade. The other story depicts a young married mother, feeling stifled by the limitations of her life in the early 1960's. She is infatuated with the Kennedy's, bored with her life "making her husband's life easy", and hungry for someone to listen to her and engage her in real conversation. Both tales of eras now past differ from opportunities afforded women now, but the quest for love and that connection is one that spans eternity.  I highly recommend it!

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Author: Marina Chapman

I found this book in a search for stories about feral /abandoned children.  It is the story of Marina Chapman, born in Columbia and kidnapped and abandoned in the jungle just before her 5th birthday.  Kidnapping and abandoning children is very common in Columbia due to drug trafficing.  Marina was adopted by monkeys and slowly learned to copy their behaviour in order to survive.  They taught her to find food, climb trees, etc After a few years she had lost her memory of human language.  One day she found a piece of a mirror and after looking into it realized how different she really was physically from the monkeys, then she also saw a pregnant woman in the jungle who had come away from her camp to give birth in private.  She knew at that point that she belonged to people and had a strong desire to be loved by a mother.  When 2 hunters, one of them a woman, came into the jungle, she showed herself  to them because she had such a strong desire to be a part of her own kind, even though she was very frightened.

But that is just the beginning of her story.  The hunters take her and sell her to a brothel which begins her new life back with humans and starts a story that is more exciting than any fiction book or movie one could ever make up.  I don't want to give it all away, but it was so exciting and moving that I couldn't put it down and has a happy (and true) ending.   And it only covered the first 15 years of her life, or so.

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Author: Stephanie Evanovich

This is a fun read with some unexpected sexy plot twists. The story is believable enough written without some of the overly dramatic romanticism that some novels are dripping with. The true nature of humans, to judge a person by the exterior package, is exposed and chastised in a realistic manner. Holly, the spunky femme fatale, ends up seated next to a fitness demigod on a flight home from the uncomfortable business of dealing with her late husband's acquisitions. The unlikely pair become very up close and personal as she takes him up on his offer to "get into shape". She ended up getting a lot more than she bargained for when she decided to take back her life-a fun, loving read!

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Author: Robin Sloan

BRILLIANT!! I loved, loved, loved this book!! The two worlds of reading collide--the world of a sleepy, dusty old bookstore which has a puzzle encoded within its walls and the modern world of Google and e.readers. This author deftly crafts a story where both worlds hold potential and value. I am a geek for both worlds and I just delight in how the main character, Clay, is one, too! Woven into the story are subtle comments on everything book related: from book burning to audiobooks. And the overriding question of how we achieve balance within so many choices. There is a quest in the book and the characters are cleverly drawn and presented to us to be a part of the quest. The question of what is immortality, really, and how and when it is a good thing, is lingering below the surface. Every thing is tied up neatly @ the end, even down to what the bookstore is eventually converted into. The ending, however, is sheer perfection. You can just hear the tinkle of the bell and all of us bibiliophiles have experienced this moment, so many times! It is always magical, having the right book fall into your hands @ the precise moment in which you need it. Well, this book was certainly that for me. I have been hungry for a hopeful book like this. (Serendipitously, I was reading non-fiction "Dot Complicated" on the very same weekend!)

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Author: Nancy Atherton

Not your typical "who dunnit" mystery, this is a light read that contains a bit of mystery, drama, suspense, and romance to make it quite enjoyable. While Aunt Dimity holds a smaller role in this the cast of charecters is still quite enjoyable. This book is highly romantic, like the first novel in the Aund Dimity series, but I feel it would be enjoyable to see this full cast of characters return in later "Aunt Dimity" novels featuring Lori Shepherd.

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Title: MaddAddam
Author: Margaret Atwood

In the final book of her distopian trilogy, Margaret Atwood draws her reader back into the harsh world of Oryx and Crake with the same relentlessness that characterizes the first two books.  The conclusion, though, has a beauty that haunts its reader long after the novel ends. 

Unlike many trilogies, Atwood's "speculative fiction" trilogy encompasses three versions of a story woven together with gaps and omissions that are resolved yet left open by the end of MaddAdams because of Atwood's carefully rendered, polyvocal story.  Each of these books includes multiple voices and perspectives, and the final story blends jadedness and suffering with optimism and hope (which Atwood exposes, through the entire text, as naïve and based on deliberately-fed misinformation yet sweet, pure, and ultimately sustaining—in a way at least). 

Oryx and Crake, After the Flood, and MaddAdams are books I will return to—each one requires careful reading, yet it is easy to become immersed in the world.