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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.

Ireland

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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: 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: 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.

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Author: Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is one of my favorite writers. She rarly disappoints me.  Though I haven't read all of her work, the majority has a place on my bookshelves.  Shadow Spell, though similar to some of her previous work, brings the classic battle between good and evil into our lives through a small location in Ireland.  From friendship to lovers, this love story brings out the best in Connor and forces Meara to re-evaluate her past and what her friendships mean to her. Through the six major characters you see the strong friendships and committment they have developed.  A quick read, I enjoyed the bits of Ireland that float throughout the book.  Love, Romance, Falconry, Witches, and Ireland, what more could you ask for.

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Author: Patrick Taylor

More tales of country GP Barry Laverty and his partner, Fingal O'Reilly centered around Christmas.  One storyline centers around a little boy who doesn't want to go to school, it turns out he wasn't picked to play Joseph in the pageant, rather the innkeeper.  He has some choice words about the other little boy, which shouldn't be funny, but it is and later in the book at the pageant it happens he lets loose on this other little boy, so funny.  Just a feel good type of book.

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Author: Maeve Binchy

I have enjoyed Maeve Binchy's books for years and was glad to see a new one published.  This is typical Binchy storytelling.  She richly develops the story and characters.  If you aren't familiar with the author she is lives in Ireland and her stories take place around the Ireland countryside.  She discribes the landscape so well you could picture yourself there.  Most of her characters have their human flaws but are loveable.  Her stories usually involve families, cousins, or in-law's lives as they intertwine together.  Close friends, room-mates, or co-workers lives as one characters actions create a cause and effect reaction with one another.  She develops the storyline and it flows along and you want to keep reading to find out what will happen next.  Her books are clean written without curse words or explicit sex or violence.  Another good Mave Binchy read and her last as she passed away shortly after she finished this novel n July, 2012.

Brooklyn

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Title: Brooklyn
Author: Colm Toibin

A fast fictional read that was simply excellent. Eilis Lacey moves to Brooklyn, New York from Enniscorthy, Ireland based on the recommendation of a priest. (circa 1950s) Eilis is grappling with social norms on both sides of the ocean. In Brooklyn, she experiences culture shock, weather shock!, and homesickness. She is obedient at school, at work and to her landlady. Then she meets Tony and things begin to change. She appears to be finding her own identity. Suddenly she must return to Ireland and once again her destiny is being determined by others. What road will she choose and why? Which would be better for her--Ireland or Brooklyn? All I could think was there must have been countless women (from all cultures) who were in situations like this--I grieve for them.

Past Secrets

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Author: Cathy Kelly

The novel is set in Ireland but the place is incidental to the book. It involves 3 women that live on a street in a small village and how secrets from their past is still influencing their lives today. One woman rebelled as a 17 yr old with a man for a band and has a child by him. To shelter her daughter she invents a father with a wholesome past and lives her life for her daughter. The daughter thinks this is boring and rebels with---a boy in a band. The book is certainly character driven as each woman must confront the secret.

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Author: Cecelia Ahern

This is another book set in Ireland. The main character becomes obsessed with things that go missing when she is 10 after a girl on her street goes missing. When any of her things go lost, she forces her parents to help her search the whole house to find them, they usually remain lost. She labels everything, including her socks. As an adult, she becomes a missing person finder. As she goes to meet with a brother for the next case, she herself becomes lost and ends up in the place where lost things are. She finds all her lost possessions as well as the lost little girl, now grown with a family of her own. She also sees other people she has searched for in her career and in a round about way gives them information from their families