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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!

Author: Julie Lawson Timmer

Mara has it all. She's a lawyer in a successful practice, has a wonderful husband and a beautiful adopted daughter. Her husband started to notice changes in his wife's behavior. He tries to tell her, but she is in denial. She finally sees what her family sees and goes to a doctor who diagnoses her with Huntingtons, an incurable disease.

Then we have Scott, who is a middle school teacher, who has agreed to take care of a former student's little brother for a year while their mother is in jail.

The two characters are connected by a website and even though share their thoughts to each other, have never met.

The 5 days left is a character in itself. Mara decided to commit suicide because she feels she does not want to be a burden. At the beginning of the book, she gave herself 5 days to get her life in order for when she is gone.

Scott, has 5 days left when he has to return his foster son back to his mother.

I will not share the ending. That is for each reader to experience on their own.

Audiobook Review
Author: Elizabeth Wein

Maddie is a British transport pilot and her new friend Julie is a special operations agent during World War II. The novel begins when Verity, Julie, begins writing her "confession" after she is captured by the Gestapo in France. She tells the story of her friendship with Maddie, who she believes died in their botched flight to France. Julie writes a detailed account of their exploits and her job as a special agent, hoping it will prolong her life. But is she telling the truth? Although classified as a young adult novel, anyone who enjoys historical fiction, adventure, or espionage will enjoy this book.

Author: Nicole M. Kelby

This book was just so great. In my family, the Kennedys were icons and I knew all about the pink suit. I do not know how many times my Irish mom told me the story of John Kennedy's assassination and Jackie's reaction. It became part of my fiber even thought I was not even born yet!

So this book really gave an interesting fictionalized account of the fashion world in which Jackie moved and all of the hard work that was put into her "knock-offs" in the US. The main character of Kate is a young Irish woman who is the assigned seamstress on some of the outfits for Jackie. She loves her job and takes pride in her work. She lives in an Irish neighborhood where she is dating an Irish butcher, Patrick. In the neighborhood some of her neighbors are jealous of her perceived status. Kate has to make a decision about Patrick. Toward the end of the book there is a heartbreaking day when Kate wears her own version of the pink suit. Soon,sadness follows for the real life Jackie and the tribute that Kate makes with the pink suit can be seen in your mind's eye. You will cry!

Great imagination and writing!

And the affirmation that fashion does have a place in our psyche is very interesting indeed.

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: 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.

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
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.

Book Features:
Audiobook Review
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.