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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.

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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.

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Author: Kazuo Ishiguro

As Jim Stevens embarks on a journey to meet a former colleague whom appears to be more, he reminisces about his career as a butler in the manor of a prestigious English gentleman, Lord Darlington. His desire to succeed in his profession has limited his personal life, a fact that he is just beginning to regret. Stevens' memories of his conflicted relationship with Miss Kenton, whom he is going to visit, reveal that he has sacrificed much to be the epitome of the perfect butler, compromising not only his personal feelings but his values as well. Yet Steven never reveals how empty he now feels, but remains the stoic English butler throughout. Through Stevens' flashbacks, the reader is transported to an elegant time that no longer exists, revealing that what Stevens has devoted his life to is no longer relevant. 

Audiobook Review
Author: James Loehr

Sports pshychology is used to help non-athletes perform better at work and in personal relationships. Instead of focusing on time management, the premise is that people need to manage their energy better by focusing on maximizing their potential physically, emotionally, and mentally. Those feeling burned out and overwhelmed will benefit from tis emphasis on personal values and putting those values to action. The book is filled with many real life examples of how clients transformed there lives by building in rituals in their everyday lives in order to live by their values.

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Author: SI Robertson

What a fun book! For Duck Dynasty fans, this book gives us a look at the serious side of SI without losing sight of his zaniness.

Audiobook Review
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Author: Laura Hillenbrand

Audiobooks are great for road trips! Seabiscuit was an amazing horse. This book showed the love the main characters had for this phenomenal horse. It must have been quite a time to live, to see Seabiscuit race.

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Audiobook Review
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Author: Adriana Trigiani

Ever since being exposed to this author in book club, she's become a favorite and I wasn't disappointed with this book.

Peony

Audiobook Review
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Title: Peony
Author: Pearl Buck

Another very good book by this author. Slow starter, but it finishes strong.

Audiobook Review
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Author: Mary Kubica

This was a good book, but took awhile for me to get into the meat of the story. Had a great twist at the end.

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Title: Valhalla
Author: Robert Mrazek

Vikings, Norse mythology and world domination come together in this suspenseful novel.  This first novel in a new series was fast paced.  The characters were compelling and interesting.  But the storyline really intrigued me -- Archaelogy under the Greenland icecap. The twists and turns on Vikings, secret religions, and conspiracies that the author led us through were great.  I couldn't figure out the end and was surprised at the conclusion.  It should be interesting to see what these characters will be up to in the next book of the series.

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Author: Donalyn Miller

All reading and language arts teachers will appreciate this book on the importance of giving students reading time and reading choices. Those who've been in education for awhile will find it very similar to Nancy Atwell's reader's workshop approach for the 90s. There may be nothing new here, but for teachers who value reading above all else, this book is an affirmation of what we're doing right.