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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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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: Nicole M. Kelby

This book was just so great. In my family, the Kennedys were icons and I knew all about the pink suit. I do not know how many times my Irish mom told me the story of John Kennedy's assassination and Jackie's reaction. It became part of my fiber even thought I was not even born yet!

So this book really gave an interesting fictionalized account of the fashion world in which Jackie moved and all of the hard work that was put into her "knock-offs" in the US. The main character of Kate is a young Irish woman who is the assigned seamstress on some of the outfits for Jackie. She loves her job and takes pride in her work. She lives in an Irish neighborhood where she is dating an Irish butcher, Patrick. In the neighborhood some of her neighbors are jealous of her perceived status. Kate has to make a decision about Patrick. Toward the end of the book there is a heartbreaking day when Kate wears her own version of the pink suit. Soon,sadness follows for the real life Jackie and the tribute that Kate makes with the pink suit can be seen in your mind's eye. You will cry!

Great imagination and writing!

And the affirmation that fashion does have a place in our psyche is very interesting indeed.

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Author: Randi Zuckerberg

Randi has a solid head on her shoulders. She is also positive, upbeat, and creative and that is shown in her writing. She expresses the fact that we are at such an interesting point in history and that, although fraught with complications, this is a very exciting time. I like how she highlights that the rapid technological changes in our world give us an extraordinary opportunity to be better people and better communicators, better relationship builders and better friends. I like how she imparts good, common sense advice about being mindful about how we use the technology, especially social media. She is also not shy about sharing her own blunders and how she has learned from her mistakes. I really appreciate that she is a thoughtful person who is willing to examine her own behaviors and keep learning! Her request for balance is invigorating!

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Author: Jane Maas

This book did make me "mad" just as the episodes of "Mad Men" have made me! The way adults operated in this time and place is very disheartening. However, Jane had an incredible career and she offers great insights into what was happening to her and around her. The most interesting part was actually learning about her tenure under Leona Helmsley. I liked the writing style because it was  conversational. It was as if the author was looking back at her life in a surprised and candid way. She doesn't make excuses for behavior. However, she clearly elucidates how people are products of their times. Interesting!

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Author: Adriana Trigiani

This book takes up where 'Very Valentine' left off. (Read 'Very Valentine' first). The book begins with Valentine's grandmother getting married in Italy. When Valentine returns to New York she is making new plans for her custom shoe business with the help of her friends, Gabriel and Bret, her brother Alfred, and her grandmother's colleague, June. June takes on a larger role in this book. We love her spunk and wisdom and her ability to be accepting. Valentine is grappling with her feelings about her short lived romance in Italy with Gianluca. And she unearths a family secret that takes her to Buenos Aires to meet a long lost cousin,Roberta, who is also in the shoe making business! The role of family is still integral in this book. Valentine witnesses several different marriages in her life and is deciphering what she would like for her own future. This soap opera was fun to listen to and I can't wait for the third in the series to tie it all up! (Ciao, Valentine)

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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.