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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: 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: Vanessa Diffenbaugh

This was the tenderest book I have read it in a long time and it is multi-layered which kept me intrigued. The protagonist, Victoria, is as unpredictable as a person who has been shoved from foster home to foster home would be. Hanging in there as she makes unwise choices will make your stomach ache but also will make you keep reading in your eagerness for resolution! Hang in there, you will be satisfied! Strong on characters,this was a great book.
The book begins with Victoria's "emancipation". I was not familiar with this term but it is also layered with meaning. At the age of 18 individuals are "emancipated" from the foster care system. But are they equipped? Are they ready? Who will be their support network? Do they have the tools to ask for help? You will be pondering these questions and more after you have completed this book.
I loved this book just as much as I adored "Like Water for Chocolate". The symbolism of flowers and how the thoughtful choice of what is given to whom, for what reason, is attractive to me. You can name it superstition but it is still a very cool concept! (The companion dictionary in the book is a must keep!)

Title: I'm Down
Author: Mishna Wolff

This memoir reminded me a lot of "Glass Castle" in that you can't believe the immaturity, selfishness, and eccentricity of the father. Also, the girls in both books adore their fathers (despite everything) and just wish for some attention/affirmation in return. This book was particularly different because the author's father, although a white man, more than anything else in the world would like to be black. Mishna spends much of her childhood and adolescence trying to please her father by being "down" and being as black as possible. Mishna has a wicked sense of humor and there are laugh out loud parts. Ultimately, this very weird upbringing has contributed to the cool and versatile person that she is today! But you couldn't help but feel sad for her and the ending was a little disjointed. Maybe there is another memoir in the works? I would love to learn about Mishna from where this book left off.