Syndicate content

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!

More of Eve Dallas

Author: J. D. Robb

I have not had enough of Eve Dallas.  The 39th installment of the In Death series is just as good as the first.  Eve Dallas is a person I would like to know. Gritty, focused, loved by her friends and utterly delightful in her naivety and as for her husband Rourke, well lets just say I want one just like him.  This Christmas Eve is still befuddled with the gift giving and receiving.  She doesn't shop and when she does buy somehting (there is a difference), it is perfect for the person receiving it.

The murder aspect could have been a bit more edgy, especially since I did not like the murdered person. Without giving away more, I can easily say read the book.  It is a fast read and holds your attention. You will laugh and cry and hope the next installment arrives soon!

Title: Driven
Author: Donald Driver

For Packer Fans this is a must read. For anyone who wants to read a feel good, rags to riches story, this is it! My husband is not a reader, but he enjoyed reading this book.

Author: Anna Quindlen

Fans of Quindlen and women over forty will appreciate this collection of essays on motherhood, careers, and aging. Quindlen has a style that makes writing look easy- a way of putting into words ideas many of us, especially women, have pondered. She can be sarcastic and heartwarming in the same piece. Quindlen, now in her early 60's, has been a reporter, Newsweek columnist, novelist, and mom. I'm looking forward to whatever she writes next.

Author: Cleo Coyle

As a lover of coffee, I was entranced when I found a coffeehouse mystery.  What could be better.  There is nothing better than settling back with a good cup of coffee and reading a book.  I do it every morning.  Billionaire Blend interested me right from the start.  And start with a bang it did when a limosine blew up in front of the Village Blend coffee house.  Coyle has a great insight into the coffeehouse and New York City culture.  You never know who you will be rubbing elbows with in New York, or any where. Clare Cosi, barista heuristic, comes in contact with billionaire Eric Thorner, founder and CEO of Thorn, Inc.  There are twists and turns, bombs and murders, and visits around the world. 

This was an interesting read and I will search for more of Cleo Coyle's  work.  Enjoy and check out the recipes in the back of the book!

Author: Sheila Connolly

The second in A County Cork Mystery  series, Scandal in Skibbereen finds Maura settling into the pub business.  There is more than offering a pint of Guinness for thirsty patrons at Sullivan's Pub.   Maura hears some of the most interesting gossip.  American Althea Melville enters the pub hot on the trail of an unknown Van Dyck painting.  Althea works for a NYC museum and enlists help from Maura and a local painter Gillian to search the local manor house in Leap for the Van Dyck.  Murder and mayham follow as they search for the painting and its provenance.

An enjoyable read that takes you back to the old country.    

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell

This is a new age, old school, high/low tech love story of life and marriage in the age of constant technological interruption and poor attention spans. Georgie McCool has an amazing job writing comedy television. Her husband takes care of things at home while she skates in and out- focusing mainly on her career. She takes her husband for granted, and pushes things to the limit when she decides she must stay behind during Christmas to work while her husband and daughters head home for family Christmas in Nebraska.

While the intent is that she will crank out work like crazy with no family to weigh her down, she finds that missing her husband and worrying about the state of her marriage cause her to be much less productive than she would like. Her husband doesn't answer his cell phone, but she is able to talk with him on the landline from her mother's house (her childhood bedroom). Is this a magical opportunity for her to rekindle her relationship before it is too late? This is a kitschy, fun read- who wouldn't like to right wrongs?

Audiobook Review
Title: Liar
Author: Justine Larbalestier

Micah is a 17 year old girl who is a self-professed habitual liar. When her principal announces at school that her secret boyfriend has died, and the death is considered suspicious, she is devastated but determined to keep their secrets. Micah's classmates, when they hear the rumors about their relationship, instantly suspect her, and she slowly reveals why she is a likely suspect. The use of an unreliable narrator makes the reader question everything Micah reveals, especially when she starts confessing the "facts" she has already told. This young adult novel is unique, but the ending is not quite satisfying.

Author: Michael Pollan

If you enjoyed Pollan's Ominvore's Dilemma, this is a must read. In this book, Pollan examines how what he calls "nutritionalism" movement, and how much about what we think about healthy eating is misguided. He argues that instead of breaking our food down into nutrients to determine what our bodies need, we should "eat food, mostly vegetables, not too much." He gives compelling reasons to avoid most of the food we find in grocery stores in favor of what is locally produced. He reveals that a lot of the science of nutrition has been disproved and focuses on these few core principles.The book definitely motivates readers to make healthier food choices.

Author: Phillipa Gregory

Mary Bolyn is married at thirteen and Henry VIII's lover at fourteen. Her life at court is manipulated by her uncle and father, who seek to use her and her sister Ann to advance the family. The two girls are competitive but close, and with their brother George, try to use their power for their own gain. Mary falls out of favor after having two children with Henry, and Ann becomes the new prize. The plot centers on Henry's desire to divorce his wife and replace her with Ann, and the Bolyn's play a dangerous game as they try to manipulate Henry, who must also consider the political and religious repercussions of his actions. Mary wishes she could extricate herself from the intrigues of court, but she becomes increasingly controlled by her power hungry sister. Her efforts to make a life of her own are at the heart of the novel.

Author: Arthur Miller

This play is an easy read, but what it reveals about human nature is troubling. Miller sees the communist scare of his own time as a modern reenactment of the Salem witch trials that he writes about, and they are indeed similar, but the human tendency to use fear to manipulate people and to follow the masses instead of taking a stand is reflected throughout history. When a group of young girls and a slave woman are suspected of practicing witchcraft, they direct the blame elsewhere to keep themselves out of trouble. Soon, their accusations touch even the most upright of citizens, with the majority of the town either supporting the witch hunt or hoping it does not affect them. A few try in vain to speak up in support of themselves or others. The play offers insights on this shameful historical event, but more importantly, shows how a few powerless individuals can incite fear and hatred on a large scale and leave a trail of destruction in their wake.