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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.

Setting

Profound

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Author: Christina Baker Kline

Several copies of this book are circulating in Infosoup since the author made many appearances at the Fox Cities Book Festival in April of this year.

Oh, another piece of American history that I did not know about. Thanks to Christina for this important work of historical fiction. There are two alternating female characters in this book. Niamh is an Irish girl that is on the orphan train. This character is in first person. The other character is a teen named Molly who is living in foster care. Her character is in third person. Niamh, as an elder, and Molly form an unlikely friendship that strengthens both of them. It is wonderful to read about their bond--how they encourage each other and learn from each other!

Some symbols in the book that I liked a lot--the significance of the Claddagh ring to Niamh; the significance of portage to Molly.

This book is the Fox Cities Reads title for 2015.

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Author: Ellen Marie Wiseman

This is a page turning novel which comes to connect two women.   One, Clara who is committed to an asylum against her will by her parents and the second, Izzy a girl who is a ward of the foster care system in the 1990s.   Izzy's foster parents  have an interest in reclaiming items and articles left in the long closed local asylum soon to be demolished.  As we are told early in the story, people committed to the asylum in the early days would bring their belongings when they came, which were promptly stored in the attic never to be retrieved or accessed by the inmates.   A journal found in one of the trunks leads Izzy to seek more information about how Clara came to the institution and why she was not released.  The story provides the shameful history of early treatment of the mentally ill.   The absence of rights for those caught in the system is heartbreaking.  The novel is well written and although it is fiction, the author does not stray far from the truth.

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Author: John McElroy

I am neither a Civil War buff nor a history buff, however, I was very impressed by this true life account of the authors time spend in prision during the war.    I learned, through a genioligy study done by a relitive, that we had a relitive who died in Andersonville.   This peaked my interest in this account.   McElroy was a journalist and he gives an objective account of events, and points out to the reader when he is giving an opinion or quoting the opinion of another, rather than a fact.   The death toll in these prisions was tremendious and the reader will learn why that was the case.   After reading this story, one wonders how the author or any prisioner was able to survive.  I would give this at least a 4 star rating.

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Author: Ellery Adams

Having read the previous books in the Books by the Bay series, I was interested in the next installment.  It grabbed me from the beginning. Without giving much away, I was intrigued by the weddings being planned, emotional conflicts, the time capsule found and the body under the pier. The characters have evovled over time and have intriguing backgrounds.    There are secrets that come out in each of the books and most everything comes back to the main character Olivia.  Be aware even Olivia has secrets.  The past plays a major part in solving the murders and resolving personal issues of Olivia.

If there is a small town of Oyster Bay, I would find it interesting to visit as a tourist.  There  seems to be something being planned or happening all the time.  This cozy mystery is a quick read.  The book stands alone, but having read the  previous books I find the characters even richer.  The twists and turns are not always predictable.  Enjoy it.

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Author: Marnie O. Mamminga

This was uplifting to listen to. It was like a mix of "Star Lake Saloon and Housekeeping Cottages" and "A Christmas Story." It was a nostalgic love letter to the family cabin including funny and poignant anecdotes. The writing was lovely about nature and simplicity and how replenishing the spirit in the outdoors is vital.

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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

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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!

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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.    

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Author: Ellery Adams

Another new series for Ellery Adams--A Book Retreat Mystery.  If you find yourself at Storyton Hall in western VIrginia you myust be a book lover.  A retreat for book lovers, Storyton is more than it looks.  A little worn in places this retreat caters to book lovers. Manager Jane Steward went all out to attract famous detectives from literature in hosting a Murder and Mayhem week.  But they also attracted an actual murder.  An interesting read, colorful characters and plot twists, I look forward to reading more in this new series.

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Author: Sheila Connolly

I think of Ireland as the "old country" and apparently so does Maura Donovan.  She is visiting Ireland at the last request of her grandmother.  Maura's planned short stay was extended when she takes a job at a pub and becomes involved with the locals.  This short easy read brings a great sense of Ireland and the way of life for the local people.  Interesting characters abound and interesting problems in Maura's life are solved.  This is a first novel in the new "County Cork" series.  Another Cozy mystery that will hold your interest.