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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.

Audiobook Review
Author: Steve Sheinkin

This non-fiction book for young adults is an account of scientists' efforts to build the first atomic bomb. As Americans scrambled to stay ahead of Nazi efforts and sabotage their work, Russian spies infiltrated the U.S. project. The personalities of the scientists, spies, saboteurs, and soldiers, as well as their moral dilemmas, make this story more than a science book. If readers are interested in the theory, practice, and technology of the creation of the atomic bomb, that is all here, but even a non-science person can appreciate the historical significance and the intellectual impressiveness of this project. The author creates suspense and awe as an unlikely group of Americans come together to change the history of the world forever.

Author: Wolfe Tom

Set in Miami, Back to Blood follows a Cuban-American cop, a WASP newspaper reporter, a Russian oligarch/patron of the arts, and a sleazy psychiatrist who treats pornography addicts (of which he is one). Even the blazing Florida sun fails to encourage the mythical American melting pot, as Wolfe again masterfully depicts a major American city riven by ethnic differences. Wolfe's writing is mesmerizing — the plot pulls you forward; the characters fascinate and repel; and the language is dazzling. "Torn from the headlines" is often true of his fiction, as I was reminded when I finished the novel and turned to a story in the New York Times that could have served as the inspiration for one of the plot lines in the book.

Audiobook Review
Title: Dear John
Author: Nicholas Sparks

Really tried to  get into audiobooks, but I was having problems staying focused on the book. Yes I have read ALL of the Nicholas Sparks books, I choose a book that I have read before, because I knew that I was going to have problems listening instead of reading.When I read a book, I make sure I have the time to sit down and read it. When I was Listeningto the book, I keep finding things to do as I was listening. 

Book Features:
Audiobook Review
Author: Sidney Sheldon

I haven't listened to many of Sidney Sheldon's books, but I really enjoyed this one. It kept me going right up until the end and had a great epilogue.

Audiobook Review
Author: Janet Evanovich

I haven't listened to or read a Janet Evanovich in awhile so thought I would listen to one for an easy summer book. This wasn't as good as I would have hoped for, it was a little kooky.

Author: Amy Tan

Violet is the indulged daughter of Lucia, a Shanghai madam. The result of her American mother's affair with a Chinese national, Violet grows up not knowing her father, living in a world of courtesans and powerful Americans and Chinese. Violet resents her mother for keeping secrets and putting her business first. When news from Lucia's past threatens to change their lives, Violet is helpless to prevent the disasters that are about to befall her. She and her mother are separated, and Violet must reinvent herself to survive. Though not Tan's best writing, this story of love, loss, and distrust between three generations of women is typical of her other sagas of the hardships endured by Chinese women.

Audiobook Review
Author: Heather Graham

The 11th installment of the Krewe Hunters series is set near Nashville, Tennessee. Olivia is a therapist at a horse farm, which functions as a therapy center using horses.  The owner and founder is discovered dead.  Did he relapse and die from an overdose or was it murder?  His ghost speaks up.  Olivia contacts her cousin at the FBI, a member of the Krewe Hunters, and he sends a new operative to help.  As the plot thickens there are mysterious accidents, a closed room murder and even a blossoming romance.  I enjoyed the Civil War history that was sprinkled throughout the book.  The reader was pretty good, the first part of the story he seemed to have the sniffles but then he recovered!

Author: Karen White

This is the 4th book in the Tradd Street series.  The story,  a mixture of mystery, romance,  humor and even ghosts, takes place in Charleston, South Carolina.  I found the historic background of the area very interesting.  You could almost picture the old mansions and the refurbishing they were attempting.

In this story the quirky Melanie Middleton is 40 years old, pregnant & single.  Melanie is single only because she turned down the proposal of Jack, the love of her life.  The on again & off again relationship of these two is quite entertaining, and the trials of Melanie being pregnant will bring a chuckle or two.  Before the birth of her baby, Melanie must solve the mystery of the remains of a baby that was found in her historic southern mansion along with the ghostly crying of a baby in her house.  Melanie is a ‘ghost whisper’; she has seen ghosts all here life & can even talk to some. 

I can recommend the full series.  They are fun to read—mystery and humor.

Author: Ann Brashares

While fishing, Ethan has an encounter with a girl who seems to appear from nowhere after a change in the atmosphere. A few years later, the same girl appears at his school, though she does not seem to know him. Prenna is the girl, and the secret she is keeping is that she has come from the future, along with a thousand other time travelers, to both escape and try to prevent a blood plague that is ravishing her world. Prenna, along with the other travelers, are controlled and monitored constantly by their leaders, who don't seem to be doing anything to prevet the coming plague. When Ethan discovers who Prenna really is, they unite to take action against the coming disaster, not knowing exactly how or if it can be done. Romance, mystery, and action combine to make this an exciting young adult book that will provoke readers to think about our world and how we influence it for the good and bad.

Author: Danielle Paige

I love different takes on fairy tales or old children's stories. This time a take on the Wizard of Oz. At some point after Dorothy returned to Oz she  became evil. All the other Oz characters are in the story, the scarecrow, lion, tin man Toto and the monkeys and various witches.  Amy was in her mobile home in Kansas when a tornado hit and carried her to Oz. She is the one the resident's of Oz chose to kill Dorothy so Oz can go back to be the great place to live.