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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.

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Author: Susan Wiggs

I have to read enough heavy material in my work, so I enjoy frivolous reads that don't really require me to develop opinions or perform research. This book fits the bill- it's fun, entertaining, and feel good with enough plot twists to keep it interesting. The settings are part of the draw, the romance is entertaining, the children and family are enchanting. This is a definite feel good book for a Christmas read. While I think the romantic aspects are a bit over the top, most of us don't like romance novels that consist of going to work, grocery shopping, and dirty dishes- that being said, it's a nice diversion on a cold winter night.

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Author: Mary Kay Andrews

While noted to be a Christmas novel, there isn't a lot of Christmas hype other than the time of year that the story is set in. This is an easy romance read that follows two different couples and the trials of their relationships. There is a bit of romance, weddings, babies, antiques, restaurant cookery, and friendship- something for everyone. The plot is interesting enough to keep you reading; it's funny and appealing.

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Author: Sonja Condit

This is a really good ghost story. Lacey is pregnant and she and her husband, Eric bought their first house. A dusty-rose colored colonial cottage that Lacey soon finds out is haunted by a little boy. Eric does not believe the house is haunted and brings in Lacey's mother to help out. Together they find out the history of the house and how no matter where they go the blonde little boy will find them.

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Author: Emma Brockes

The author embarks on a physical and psychological journey to uncover her mother's early life in South Africa. When the story begins, Brockes' mother is dying and makes an attempt to reveal a dark past to her daughter, but neither is ready for the confession. After her mother's death, Brockes, with the few pieces of the puzzle she has-vague knowledge of a shooting, a court case, and family abuse- goes to South Africa to meet with her mother's siblings and friends from the past. What she discovers explains her mother's unwavering loyalty to her siblings, her fierce protectiveness of her daughter, and her courageous attempt to start over by emigrating to England in her early 20's. Brockes is able to reveal her mother's sordid family life with honesty, humor, and compassion. She learns the details that not only shaped her mother's life, but her own as well.

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Author: Marina Chapman

I found this book in a search for stories about feral /abandoned children.  It is the story of Marina Chapman, born in Columbia and kidnapped and abandoned in the jungle just before her 5th birthday.  Kidnapping and abandoning children is very common in Columbia due to drug trafficing.  Marina was adopted by monkeys and slowly learned to copy their behaviour in order to survive.  They taught her to find food, climb trees, etc After a few years she had lost her memory of human language.  One day she found a piece of a mirror and after looking into it realized how different she really was physically from the monkeys, then she also saw a pregnant woman in the jungle who had come away from her camp to give birth in private.  She knew at that point that she belonged to people and had a strong desire to be loved by a mother.  When 2 hunters, one of them a woman, came into the jungle, she showed herself  to them because she had such a strong desire to be a part of her own kind, even though she was very frightened.

But that is just the beginning of her story.  The hunters take her and sell her to a brothel which begins her new life back with humans and starts a story that is more exciting than any fiction book or movie one could ever make up.  I don't want to give it all away, but it was so exciting and moving that I couldn't put it down and has a happy (and true) ending.   And it only covered the first 15 years of her life, or so.

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Author: Stephanie Bond

  First off, you should definitely read the beginning books in the series before this one or else it won't make a lot of sense. The series is centered around the Wren family and the problems from their past, their parents, and the problems in the present, Wesley's gambling debts and his new problem.. This book features a serial killer, some cake, a bunch of charms, and a seriously terrible ending. I love the series, but the ending really left me hanging. I couldn't help but wonder "where's the rest of the book"? It's the most frustrating book ending I've ever come across, so it's great that I can download the next book from the library and start reading ASAP. I gave this book 4/5 stars, just because everything aside from the ending was really great. This book is more of an adult novel, but you could give it a shot if you're looking for something similar to the Stephanie Plum series. Very chick-lit, murder mystery, and comedy, with romance mixed in.

Audiobook Review
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Author: Michael Perry

Michael Perry narrates this audiobook which adds to the entertainment, as he is a humorous and thoughtful speaker. I've read and enjoyed all of Perry's previous books on rural life in northwestern Wisconsin. He can be described as a redneck intellectual, and his stories of hunting, farming, plowing, and sawing are filled with detailed reflections on the joys and frustrations of working outdoors in the company of family and friends. Tom is Perry's 82 year old neighbor, and although the book centers around him, it is just as much about Perry's home and family.

There is not a lot of action in this book, or any of Perry's books, yet their folksy stories and humor provide many memorable moments. His tale of woe as he tries to prevent the highway commission from changing the road near his home to a configuration that would make it more dangerous mirrors Tom's past struggles with the state when they built a noisy highway through his property. This back story runs throughout the book and highlights a changing world where the values of the two men are somewhat antiquated. Like the Little House series, those Midwestern classics, Perry's focuses on the importance of place, being neighborly, the conflict between the old ways and modernization, and finding comfort in the outdoors. Listening to Perry is like a visit at the kitchen table with an old friend.

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Author: Jay Asher

Hannah, one of the narrator's in this young adult novel, has already committed suiced when the story begins. Her former classmate, Clay, has just received a collection of tapes that were mysteriously mailed to him and contain Hannah's 13 reasons for killing herself. The reasons are primarily classmates who have wronged her, and each of their stories is featured on the tapes, which were being passed from perpetrator to perpetrator before they reached Clay. If the tapes aren't passed on, Hannah threatens to expose them all. The narration switches between Hannah's descent into depression and Clay's struggle to come to terms with the information on the tapes and what he could have done to help Hannah, a girl he admired mostly from a distance. The novel scrutinizes the role we play in other people's lives, and the harm we may cause, even unintentionally. While the writing becomes melodramatic at times, it confronts serious teen problems, and many teen girls would enjoy it.

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Author: Stephanie Evanovich

This is a fun read with some unexpected sexy plot twists. The story is believable enough written without some of the overly dramatic romanticism that some novels are dripping with. The true nature of humans, to judge a person by the exterior package, is exposed and chastised in a realistic manner. Holly, the spunky femme fatale, ends up seated next to a fitness demigod on a flight home from the uncomfortable business of dealing with her late husband's acquisitions. The unlikely pair become very up close and personal as she takes him up on his offer to "get into shape". She ended up getting a lot more than she bargained for when she decided to take back her life-a fun, loving read!

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Author: Cathleen Armstrong

This is an easy read about a woman who has lost her way due to choices that she has made. While trying to run away from her life, she experiences car troubles that lead her to a place where she is accepted, learns about true hospitality, and ultimately finds new life. The novel creates a steady plot with interesting characters and a strong positive message. It is a good message of redemption and acceptance-of a small town offering new beginnings.