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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: Nickolas Butler

I listened to this incredible book and there were 5 narrators. The lovesongs are many in this book. There is definitely a lovesong to Wisconsin and a lovesong to male friendship and lovesongs between couples in the book. The writing in this book was beautiful and gorgeous to listen to. It reminded me of Michael Perry, only it was fiction.(I enjoyed the richness of vocabulary). I loved all of the characters in their frailty and in their strengths. One quote that stayed with me: "Sometimes that is what forgiveness is anyway, a deep sigh." Just a great story with lots of intricacies. A detail is mentioned and you are not sure what it has to do with anything, but later all is revealed! I love that kind of storytelling!

This is also a debut. Congrats! A Wisconsin author to watch!

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.

Author: Graeme Simsion

For an entirely different kind of romance, read this book! Don Tillman, a professor of genetics with Aspberger's syndrome, is seeking out a life partner. In order to do this, he has created an application for the ideal life partner. (The application has a life of its own because Don changes the application as he sees which questions are working and which aren't.) His best friend, Gene, sends Rosie his way. Rosie is on a mission to discover who her father is. She enlists Gene's help to gather DNA from possible candidates and to check the subsequent DNA. (This is when we have a mystery on our hands.) As they work together they bond and find out that the meaning of love is not decisive. The expectations of what one wants in a mate can be overturned! The book is written from the perspective of Don and it is very, very funny! I could see this as a comedy. Gene, who is a womanizer, in an open marriage with Claudia, has a growth experience in the book, too. When Don discovers who Rosie's father is, it is perfect! This book is well set up, well written, and sensitive. It is a fast read and I just loved it! Thanks to Sue B. for recommending it to me!

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: Katherine Center

Libby is the mother of two young children who has been widowed after the sudden death of her husband.  Trying to get her life back together after she finds he has left her penniless, she moves in with her mother, who is none too nuturing and makes her life miserable.  She toughs this out for three years until she suddenly gets a letter in the mail from her Aunt Jean (her mom's sister from whom her mom is estranged) inviting them all to come live with her on her goat farm.

Leaving her city life with all its conveniences and heading out to the goat farm is a decision she regrets initially, but it soon becomes a life savior, both for her and her children, who bloom under Jean's patient guidance and the multitude of animals on the farm.  Aunt Jean is a hippie of the best sort.  There are no televisions, and cell phones do not get reception.  Soon, though, the family is immersed in farm chores and in healing themselves.

I loved the book start to finish and hated that it had to end.

Author: Gary Chapman

My boyfriend suggested we read this book together in order to build our relationship even stronger than it is already.  I strongly suggest this book to anyone in a relationship as Gary Chapman breaks down different "love languages" as well as a "love tank" philosophy.

I suggest people to read it before the relationship is strained for whatever reason, but if it is strained or not doing well check this book out and get some advice from Gary Chapman.

I am recommending this to many of my closest friends in family because it is that well written and informative.  A good read as well as a fast read.

Author: Ann Hood

4 Stars!

I really enjoyed this book and the writing style of the author.  I thought her characters were well developed and believeable, although I did not care for Claire's husband ~ then again ~ I don't think many women would!  May be good looking on the inside, but not so good on the inside.

Alternating between the early 1900's and 1960, and the lives of Vivien and Claire, their stories are told. Today psychologists/counselors would have a field day with them! So many issues! But in that time period their repressed opinions, feelings, desires (sexual or otherwise) were the norm, their lifestyles were what they were.

It was not until almost the end of the book that the connection between the two women became known. I thought the author pulled it all together very nicely.

I was troubled by the repression of both women, and how difficult lives must have been back then because of it, but it was a man's world ~ his opinion dominated.  But again, it was the norm for that time period.

Thank goodness, as the saying goes, "We've come a long way baby".

Author: Melanie Benjamin

This book tells the story of Anne Morrow, who became the wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh.  The daughter of a diplomat, Anne is sure the handsome, acclaimed "hero" will fall for her much prettier sister when they meet at a diplomatic function.  Much to her surprise, it is she who he seems to be drawn to.  He secretly takes her up in a plane quite early in the morning when the press and photographers, who bother him at every turn, will leave them alone.  They have a very hard time finding the time to be alone as they are stalked by the press, and if they try to hide, the press makes stories up to feed to their readers. 

The book casts an unflattering light on the Charles Lindbergh we have all read about.  He came from a home of tough love, and refused to allow Anne to coddle the children, or even to pick them up if they cried.  His attitude towards his children, including verbally belittling them quite often, was quite cruel; however, we are reminded he was treated the same way.  He left Anne alone much of the time, leaving and not telling her when he'd be back.

When their first son is born, Anne is thrilled, although the child is closer to his nanny, as Anne only sees him a couple of times a day.  His famous kidnapping and murder are touched upon in the book, and it is then we see the human side of both Anne and Charles.

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Author: Mark Karm, Jr.

This book is the emotional story of how far a sibling is willing go to carry out the wishes of his brother.  This book is both heart warming and heart wrenching. Set in the l970's, brothers Buddy and Jimmy Miley are normal boys who enjoy playing sports and both have the talent for a chance at a professional career.  Until the unthinkable happens, Buddy suffers a spinal injury that changes his families life forever.  Buddy spends the next twenty four years as a quadriplegic, dependent on his mother and brother for his every need.  Throughout the years Buddy remains optomistic that there will be some medical discovery or miracle that will allow him to walk again.  But, as Buddy's mother ages and he sees the toll it has taken on her he has one more request of his brother Jimmy.  This book will give you things to think about and discuss with your family.  How far would you go to carry out the wishes of your family member to help them end their life?  This is a great book and gives one the prespective of the bonds family members have for each other.  It is well written and just long enough to tell the story.

Author: Jane Hamilton

This is the first book I have read written by Jane Hamilton and it was well written. This is the story of the Maciver family. Some of the setting takes place during the summer  at their cottage  in Antigo, Wisconsin in the 1950's.  So, living here I could picture Mac and his cousins antics and practicial jokes played on one another during the warm summer days before hours spent in front of the television or playing video games. Shortly after Aaron and Madeline marry, Madeline suffers a brain injury in a bicycle accident leaving her with the mental capabalities of a seven year old child.  Aaron divorces Madeline and remarries Julia.  Aaron and Julia keep Madeline in their home, caring for her as if she is their daughter.  Then, the couple have two children, Mac and Louise.  The book is told from Mac's perspective, Mac growing up believing Madeline is his older sister.  Mac's cousin Buddy factors into his coming of age.

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