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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: Liane Moriarty

A very smart read with characters that you find yourself becoming attached to.   It is the story of 3 women whose children are all beginning kindergarten in a small town in Australia.  The author captures the poitics of elementary school moms with humor and brutal honesty (in my experience with over zealous moms and PTA parents).   There is humor on one page and then on the next page I found my heart hurting for Jane or Celeste.   This was a story that I just enjoyed from the first page.  I didn't try to figure anything out (who died?  was it murder).  I just enjoyed the way the author gently unfolded the story.   My favorite character was Madeline.    

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Author: Janet Chapman

The 6th in the Spellbound Falls series The Highlander Next Door was a surprise to me.  I expected more involvement from previous characters.

Birch is a strong willed women who runs a women's shelter and is not afraid to do whatever it takes to protect the women who live there. She presents a tough-as-nails exterior, but has fears and longings like all women.  Her neighbor Niall MacKeage, a 12th century time traveler, is the new police chief in town.  I would have liked to learn more about Niall's history in Scotland.  Bits and pieace were thrown out, but it just left me wanting to know more.   There is also a new god, Telos,  that Chapman is toying with.  He steps in when he wants to and uses the excuse of not interefering with free will to help or not help at his whim. 

Remember the words of wisdom "you must embrace the entire journey to truly appreciate the destination".  Though not my favorite Spellbound Falls book The Highlander Next Door  does entice me to visit the destination of Spellbound Falls.  Enjoy a light and fast read.

“must embrace the entire journey to truly appreciate the destination” - See more at:
“must embrace the entire journey to truly appreciate the destination” - See more at:
“must embrace the entire journey to truly appreciate the destination” - See more at:
Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell

A different kind of time travel story.

Georgi could not go to Omaha for Christmas with her husband and two daughters because of work. Her husband was very upset about it, to the point that Georgi thought he was endng the marriage. She decides to go to her mother's house, the house she grew up in because she could not stand the thought of going home to an empty house. Her cell phone has a bad battery, so she decided to use the old yellow phone that was in her old bedroom. She gets a surprise when she starts talking to her father in law, who died a few years before. When her husband gets on the phone, she realizes that she is talking to him in the time before they were married.

The twist is when she calls her in laws house on a cell phone, she is talking to them in present time period.

Author: Regina Calcaterra

This is the story of two sisters and their siblings, living with a mother you may not believe could actually be a real person.   As a retired Social Worker, I can tell you these situations do in fact exist   The public is often unaware of the neglect and abuse that  goes on in their own communities.  In defense of Social Workers, the laws in Wisconsin would not have prevented more involvment than in the state this case took place in.   What is harder for me to believe, than their case and what happend to them,  is the amazing way the girls were able to overcome their childhood experiences.

If you can read about  some sad and deplorable situations you will be rewarded with a unbelievable outcome given what happened to these girls.  This part of the story, unfortunately, is not  what usually happens in real life.  (  I can also reccommend another memoir  similar to this one  : A Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls)

Author: Sarah Jio

This is the first time I read this author and look forward to reading more.

June lived in New York and was successful in finance. She inherited a children's book store when her favorite aunt died. She left New York to take care of her estate and decided to reopen the book store. Her aunt left clues in the store and June realized that her aunt was good friends with the author of Goodnight Moon and how the bookstore she now owned was the inspiration to the famous children's book. There is one big twist at the end I was not expecting. A real wow moment.

Great Thriller!

Author: Mary Kubica

This debut novel is not to be missed!  Mia Dennett, daughter to a prominent judge, is kidnapped after leaving a bar with a man she just met.  Halfway through the process, her kidnapper decides not to deliver Mia to his employers and instead hides her in a cabin.  The intricate story unfolds with more depth than anticipated and keeps the reader hanging on for the full story until the very last page.  The story is expertly written from the viewpoints of Mia's mother, her kidnapper and the detective desperately looking for her as well as told from perspectives "before" and "after" the incident.  The characters are deep, well developed and the lies they hide behind damaging.  This book has often been compared to the likeness of Flynn's Gone Girl.

Author: Herman Koch

This is the first time I read this author and looking forward to reading more of his books.

This is a story of a doctor who has celebrities as his patients. He and his family has been invited to his summer house, but he declined the invitation. The doc does make sure that he and his family go vacation in a campground that shares the beach with the summer house.

This vacation turns into a nightmare and as time goes on the celebrity dies and the doctor is found at fault. As the story goes on what really happened that summer night is revealed.

Author: Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber is one of my favorite authors. I just recently have been able to read as much as I want. So I am catching up on all her books! Susannah's Garden is great; characters you care about; interesting story line; plus I was caught by surprise with the ending!

Author: Sara Gruen

This is a must read for any fan of historical fiction.   Set in the time of the "great depression",  the book describes the account of a man in a nursing home reflecting on his history.  The movie was  finely done, but I much prefered the book.   The plot and story are outstanding and the characters are believeable.   I have reccommended this book to friends and they were very impressed,  they asked it I had more such reccommendations ! (  Sorry, books like these don't come along very often.)   This is a book that would be of interest to men, women, and older teens.  If you read only one book this year, read this one!

Author: A.J. Quinnell,

This is an excellent read, released in 1980.   A movie with the same title was also done, with Denzel Washington as John Creasy.   Because I enjoyed the story and the character of John Creasy in the movie, I read the book.  I was not disapointed.   The book takes place in Italy and has a different twist than the movie.   I recommend both.  This is a read that can be of interest to men, women, and older teens.   If you liked the movie, try the book.   If you haven't seen either, try one or the other.  It is violent so if that bothers you, this may not be the one for you.  Great story and characters !

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