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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.

A Book Blog Farewell

In consultation with the primary staff reviewers, we have decided to discontinue the InfoSoup reading blogs. Since 2008, InfoSoup users and staff have posted over 3000 reviews to Books to Hoot About!, the book blog, & Books R Us. It has been a fun ride, but now seems the right time to bring the blogs to an end.

We would like to thank all the users who participated in our reading challenge in 2013 and 2014, all the kids and teens who posted summer library program reviews, and the InfoSoup library staff who gave their time and shared their insight.

We will keep the reviews up for the rest of the year and, relaunch the site in in the new year with more of a focus on booklists and other resources for readers.

Thanks, and happy reading!

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Author: Velma Wallis

I always thought that leaving the elderly behind to die was a) a survival mechanism for Alaskan tribes, and b) viewed as culturally accepted by Alaskan tribes. I loved this book because it explained that the group is not often happy about this decision. They are following the lead of the chief and feel disempowered to question this choice. This book brought humanity back to that painful tradition and although fictional, showed opportunities for growth and reconciliation. Super book for a book group discussion!

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Author: John Shors

Beneath a Marble Sky is written from the perspective of the daughter of Shahjahan, Emperor of India, ca. 1592-1666. It tells one man's enjoyable view of how the building of the Taj Mahal, and the personality of the architect himself, may have been. This story gives you a little history, a little intrigue, a little romance and a lot of imagination. It is about the frustrations of forbidden love, a woman oppressed, a kingdom divided, and secrets that must be kept.

By the Lake

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Author: John McGahern

This book seems to have a simple plot until you think about the emotionally charged encounters of the characters involved. A small community lives around a lake and their everyday comings and goings are chronicled by the author. The pace is slow. The members of the community are aware of the larger politics and larger world but they only serve as something to discuss. They really don't impinge on the closeknit relationships of these people. Yet, here is the interesting part. They are so careful and polite with one another--do they really reach depths of emotional connection? The answer is "yes". I find that idea appealing--that reticence and thoughtfulness are hallmarks of a better communication. The setting descriptions took my senses into high gear. Read more»

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Author: Caroline Kennedy

It's a wonderful collection of short stories, poetry, songs, etc. by many different authors. I really enjoyed this book because you can read it page for page if you like or you can selections that "catch your eye". I also listened to it on CD and I like hearing the stories read by different people.

Next

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Title: Next
Author: Michael Crichton

Crichton's book, Next, focuses on the ethical and legal issues involved in genetic testing and engineering. The story is woven around a set of characters whose lives have been affected by current scientific techniques. While it may have been a little slow in the beginning and often technical, I liked this book because it left me with questions: What are the implications of patenting something that is a part of nature? How will we cope/deal with the consequences of genetic research? How can such testing be regulated? Great book discussion book!

Nineteen Minutes

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Author: Jodi Picoult

"In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. You can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist. You can fold laundry for a family of five. Or as Peter Houghton knows... in nineteen minutes, you can bring the world to a screeching halt." After having been bullied from the first day of Kindergarten, one morning Peter walked into Sterling High School and killed ten people. What events would bring a seventeen year old to the point where they commit murder? Maybe his mother is to blame? Once again Picoult takes teen issues and places them directly under the microscope. You'll be thinking about this one for a lot longer than Nineteen Minutes!

Count Down Your Age

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Author: Frederic Vagnini

This book includes a lengthy quiz asking you questions about your lifestyle. Each questions is scored and you determine how far backwards you can count down your age. My husband scored far better than I did because he eats a healthy breakfast everyday and has a daily exercise routine. Needless to say I ate a good breakfast this morning! (I usually skip it!) The authors say it is never too late to make positive changes.

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