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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.

Title: Bossypants
Author: Tina Fey

Although I'm not a regular viewer of Saturday Night Live and I've never seen a full episode of Thirty Rock, I enjoyed this Tina Fey autobiography immensely. There are many laugh out loud passages, and Fey gives some entertaining insights into the world of comedy and show business. She also humorously conveys the challenges of being a working mother and being a woman in a man's business. Fey's chapter about her success playing Sarah Palin is especially funny. Now that I know her background, I'm anxious to actually view her work.

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Author: Kate Carlisle

I have not read many cozy mysteries, but when I happened upon Kate Carlisle's The Books Stops Here I was hooked.  Kate has created a funny, interesting fresh and believable character in Brooklyn Wainwright and her supporting cast.  Brooklyn is a book binder by trade and an accidental investigator when it comes to finding dead bodies.  This is a fast funny read that will entertain you and keep you guessing who the culprit is. 

Kate has caught my attetntion and I intend to read her previous 7 installments of the Bibliophile Mysteries.  Pick one up--enjoy how Brooklyn's love of books keeps her repairing them and solving mysteries surrounding them. 

Audiobook Review
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Title: The Target
Author: David Baldacci

Not my favorite David Baldacci book. Seemed really long and a lot more graphic than his normal good plots. A decent read nonetheless.

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Author: Brad Wilson

The majority of this book focuses on using credit card rewards points to travel cheaply. The savings comes from racking up thousands of frequent flyer miles points and rewards points for booking flights and hotels at extremely reduced costs. The author is convincing and gives many personal examples of expensive vacations he's taken at a fraction of the full cost. However, one must be ready to juggle multiple (we're talking dozens) of credit cards and keep track of rewards point to reap the  benefits. Wilson also gives savings tips for online shopping and personal finance that are useful and practical. His website, Brad's Deals, which he refers to frequently in the book, is a great place to find additional savings. For example, after reading a tip from his book, I went on his website, searched restaurant.com, and with a special coupon code, was able to get a $10 gift certificate to a local restaurant for $2.40. If you don't have the time or the fortitude to follow Wilson's extreme travel savings plans, quicker and simpler ideas like this make the book worth reading.

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Author: Douglas Preston

A.I. --artificial intelligence.  An interesting concept in itself, but can we really create it?  This could happen. I suspend my beliefs for the sci-fi genre.   So in The Kraken Project  Preston has his character Melissa creates a new programming language an articifical intelligence called "Dorothy".  "Dorothy" was to man the Titan Explorer and enter into an extremely hostile environment.  Unlike "Hal" from 2001: A Space Odyssey,  Dorothy felt she was being harmed and found a way to escape -- via the Internet. Her journey to self awareness leads her to find what she perceives as her purpose. 

Preston presented many levels of fear and ideas that could have been further developed.

This was a very fast read, but I was left wanting more of everything.  

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Author: Candy Spelling

This was a well written memoir. From the time Candy was 19 years old she was Mrs. Aaron Spelling. She lived a life of total luxury, which I think kept her from reality of how people really live. But then again, this life was her reality. When multimillionaire neighbors complained that the mansion the Spellings were building was too over the top, she just did not get the reasons why they complained. The highlight for me was when Candy sold the mansion and had to be 100 percent out in 30 days or the new owner would be able to back out of the deal. She and her moving company had 121 rooms plus a full attic to move. The author may have been trying to be an inspiration to other women who had to start over because of the loss of a husband, but most women wasn't left millions of dollars, a 121 room mansion and a full staff of housekeepers and butlers. As entertaining as this book was, at times it was just a brag fest of someone who had way too much.

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Author: Hilary Mantel

In this sequel to Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell continues to orchestrate Henry VIII's political and personal life as the king quickly loses interest in his second wife, who has failed to produce an heir. Although many of the key players at court despise Cromwell for his low birth and high ambition, he continues to be a favorite of the king, and his business sense makes them both wealthy. As Ann Bolyn struggles to maintain her power and position, Cromwell strategizes to put Jane Seymour in her place. Many of the courtiers realize too late the power Cromwell has over them all, yet he himself knows his own position is always tenuous, at best.

Audiobook Review
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Author: Susan Monk Kid

In this novel, Sarah is 11 years old when she receives Hettie as a gift for her birthday. Her aversion to slavery prompts her to try to give Hettie, know as Handful by the other slaves, back, or to free her, but her parents ignore her requests. Sarah teaches Hettie to read, a crime for which they are both punished. Although they are friends as children, their lives take different paths as they grow up. Sarah travels north with her dying father and takes up with a group of Quakers, which causes a rift between her and her family. She lives apart from them for several years, and along with her younger sister, becomes involved with the abolitionist movement. Meanwhile, Handful becomes involved in a slave rebellion plot and tries to secure her freedom. The book alternates between the two characters' points of view. Both women struggle to find freedom from traditional roles that have been assigned to them. Loosely based on the true story of Sara Grimke, a Charleston aristocrat who becomes a spokesperson for women's rights and the abolitionist movement, this novel scrutinizes the horrors of slavery and the limitations place on women in the early 19th century.

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Author: Rainbow Rowell

Set in 1999 before Y2K this is the story of 2 co-workers for a local newspaper whose emails get "flagged" for language or content.  The security IT guy starts reading their emails and ends up having a little crush on one of the women.  The IT guy lives with his mother which provides many comical moments where I did laugh out loud.  And there are tender moments in the book as well.  It's a quick read and definitely worth it.   The author also wrote a young adult novel titled "Eleanor and Park" which was very, very good.

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Author: Jason Priestley

Very entertaining memoir. Jason writes about his childhood in Canada to his adult life as a husband and father. He writes about his move to Hollywood and how he got the part of Brandon on 90210. I love the behind the scene stories, especially his view of the main three actresses on the show. One of Jason's passions is auto racing. In 2002 he had an accident on the racetrack at 190 miles an hour, where he almost lost his life.