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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.


Author: William Kent Krueger

I enjoyed being drawn into the life of this young boy at a certain place and time as he ascertains the events and circumstances around him. We judge his family, friends and neighbors with the information he doles out to us. But we also grow in knowledge whilst he grows in knowledge. The sermon that his minister/father does after a relative's death is poignant. This sweet book values faith and family but not in a preachy way. It affirms that life is a struggle for everyone and that little acts of goodness makes it bearable, even wonderful!

Living on the Edge

Author: Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl needed to change her life. Her mother, the anchor of her world, died when she was in her early twenties. She'd married for love and yet she couldn't remian faithful to her vows. She decided to walk the Pacific Crest Trail, which she read about. She embarked on her journey without proper training, knowledge, or gear. Through all of her struggles and hardhships she grew stronger and foumd what she had been searching for. 

This book speaks to my own fears that I am not strong enough to face my everyday trials. After finishing this book I am inspired to try things that are hard, things that I feel I'm not strong enough to do. This memoir was inspirational.

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Did you ever read the first sentence of a book and know right then and there that this was a 5 stars book? Well that happened with me and FOREVER INTERRUPTED. I felt connected to the characters immediately, I was part of their world from that first sentence and stayed connected through the whole book. This story is a sad/happy story. You know from the back cover that Elsie faces the death of her new husband, Ben, shortly after they are married. You are also told that she is to face her mother in law, who was never informed of her son's relationship with Elsie, let alone their marriage. What unfolds in this story is the stinging truth of loss and grief, so honestly portrayed that it breaks your heart and a love story that is so uplifting, powerful and unforgettable. This story is about loss, finding peace within life's harsh circumstances and loving with your heart each and every moment. This is an amazing debut novel from a writer who knows how to write characters that you are instantly attached to, with compelling and rich story line. I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed this book and like the front cover says "this is not your average love story". 5 stars!!!! (less)

Author: Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop

I rated this book 2 stars.  The author is a gifted writer, but after while it just seemed to drone on.

The Jacobs family is dealing with the sudden and tragic death of their oldest daughter, Sophie, age 17.  Left to deal with their grief and "the why of things", is Anders and Joan, and daughters, Eve, 15, and Eloise, 7.

I am being neither callous or insensitive. I have dealt with the tragic death of a child. It feels like someone has reached in, pulled your body inside out, and dumped salt on you. My apologies to those that feel this is too graphic ~ but the pain indescribable, at times incomprehensible. There are always the "what ifs". And for all the questions you ask yourself, sometimes there are just no answers. True, you do find yourself doing things you wouldn't normally do, but the death of a child is not within the realm of normal.

I was disappointed that book did not stress the importance of counseling. Support groups may help some, but you can't keep running away from your grief and pain by "doing things". That is basically what this family did. They are supposedly a close family, but have difficulty sharing their feelings.

If you are trying to understand what the family goes through with a familial death, I wouldn't put this on the reading list. It has been some time since I have read Life Without Summer by Lynne Griffin, but I thought that book was much more realistic.

Author: Amy Franklin-Willis

I would rather have rated this a 4.5, but thought 4 stars was too low. With that being said . . .

Ezekiel "Zeke" Cooper, Clayton, Tennessee, at his 25 year class reunion, ponders his life. How could the the smart boy with a full scholarship to the University of Virginia, end up living like this? Divorced, his ex-wife's wedding the week end before, living in a shack behind his mother's house, and working on the line in an elevator plant? And the drowning death of his twin brother Carter, defining his life? Seeking refuge, he leaves Clayton, on a mission. To end his life. But events change, and he ends up at Cousin Georgia, and husband, Osbourne Lacey's home near Bailey, Virginia.

I thought it was ironic that I should finish it on Mother's Day, as a lot of the book focused on the relationship of Zeke and his mother. Zeke had a lot of issues with his mother, and they were not unfounded. He felt ambivalence towards her, but refused to even speak with her to try to resolve it. His entire adult life was spent shutting her out.

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