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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: Robin Sloan

If it is a book store, I want to stop in and check it out.  The same thing happened when I noticed the novel Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore .  This bookstore provides you with more questions than answers. When I opened the bookstore and walked in I didn't want to leave.  Characters came to life and were continually reshuffled in the context of the story.  The book contains a little something for everyone--adventure, technology, love story (for books), friendship and detective story.  This was a fun read that I hope you take the time to investigate.  Find your Reading Room and investigate the next stages of books

Book Features:
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Author: Laura Lippman

I love Laura Lippman's books. Bambi met Felix at a Valentine's dance in 1959. They quickly got married and because of his lucrative businesses, they lived in luxury. Bambi ignored that the businesses were not all legal. Felix eventually gets caught and one day disappears to avoid jail time. He leaves no clue of where he went or what happened to all his money. She does suspect Felix's mistress, Julie has something to do with his disappearances until exactly 10 years later she disappears and her body is found in a park. The book switches time periods from 1959 to 2012 where a cold case detective is bringing it all in the open.

Audiobook Review
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Author: Brian Freeman

This is my first time with this author. I usually listen to or read thriller genre, but I will say this was a fairly disturbing book. Pushed me right to the point of thinking I may not finish it. I did finish and it was worth the listen, but parts were hard to get through.

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Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Hayley attends a new school after being on the road with her truck driver father, who is suffering from PTSD, a result of tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. They've returned to the house Hayley lived in with her grandmother following her mother's death. She has trouble adjusting to school and her classmates, but makes a friend and starts a rocky romance with Finn, a teen with his own family issues. Hayley takes on the role of a parent, trying to keep her father out of trouble with alcohol and drugs, but his problems are too serious to manage alone, and their lives spiral out of control. Fans of Anderson,s other young adult books will want to read this. It's as dark and gritty as Speak and Twisted, but like those novels, at the heart is the story of a troubled teen yearning for connections with others.

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Author: Brian Freeman

Freeman's sixth Jonathan Stride novel is a sure hit!  The book picks up where his last novella "Turn to Stone" ended- Stride arriving home in the middle of the night "knowing" he's not alone in his own home.  Stride takes a troubled teenager under his wing as an act of redemption over the guilt he feels from her parents' murder-suicide a decade earlier.  Favorite character emerge once again- Maggie Bei, Serena, K-2, and the lovable Guppo.  The fast-paced suspense keeps the reader intrigued.

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Author: Amber Kizer

A different kind of organ donation story. A great young adult novel. It all started when Jessica's beautiful long hair was cut during a brutal attack by girls in her school. The girls claim that Jessica was donating her hair for a child with cancer. This led to a car accident that killed her. Four teens received the gift of donation. Jessica's kidneys went to Samuel who spent his time online looking to find who his donor was. Through his site he met Vivian, who received Jessica's heart and lungs, Leif, who received bones and tissue to rebuild his leg and Misty, who got the liver. Jessica, after death cannot move on. She seems to be attached to her recipients and observes them from beyond to find out that finally in death, she finally did something important.

Audiobook Review
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Author: James Patterson

A very different ending to this Alex Cross book. But, as always, Alex and John have a case. Only this time the tables are turned.

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Author: Graeme Simsion

For an entirely different kind of romance, read this book! Don Tillman, a professor of genetics with Aspberger's syndrome, is seeking out a life partner. In order to do this, he has created an application for the ideal life partner. (The application has a life of its own because Don changes the application as he sees which questions are working and which aren't.) His best friend, Gene, sends Rosie his way. Rosie is on a mission to discover who her father is. She enlists Gene's help to gather DNA from possible candidates and to check the subsequent DNA. (This is when we have a mystery on our hands.) As they work together they bond and find out that the meaning of love is not decisive. The expectations of what one wants in a mate can be overturned! The book is written from the perspective of Don and it is very, very funny! I could see this as a comedy. Gene, who is a womanizer, in an open marriage with Claudia, has a growth experience in the book, too. When Don discovers who Rosie's father is, it is perfect! This book is well set up, well written, and sensitive. It is a fast read and I just loved it! Thanks to Sue B. for recommending it to me!

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Title: The Dinner
Author: Herman Koch

(translated)

This is a well crafted and disturbing book. Of course, when a book is written in first person the reader is caught up in that person's thoughts and you become an ally as you read his reactions to the people and situations around him. In this case, the protagonist is Paul and the story begins as he and his wife Claire go out to dinner with Serge and Babette (after leaving their teenage son, Michel, at home). From the beginning, we understand that this dinner is going to be a difficult one because the meeting is fraught with so much stress and anxiety. The book is divided into the courses of the meal and as each course is presented new information is revealed. Basically, something has happened with the adolescent children, of both couples, that needs to be "addressed". Two thirds of the way through the book, flashbacks come closer together and we piece together a new image of Paul. We begin to question whether or not Paul and Claire should have reproduced. Paul's derogatory descriptions of both Serge and Babette start to ring false and, indeed, they (Serge & Babette) begin to appear to have an integrity that we did not at first grasp. This integrity is not part of Paul, Claire and Michel's collective or individual plans so they summarily "take care of business". It is shocking and haunting and violent and a book that you will be dying to talk to someone else about who has read it!

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Author: Maggie O'Farrell

This fast read leaves you with lots of food for thought. It has several mysteries running simultaneously. During parts of the book, the author uses a very interesting writing style in which she injects fragments of thought and/or action from the perspectives of different characters which also cover different periods in time. Don't let this put you off! Just keep reading and it will all come together!

Esme is the main character who is institutionalized for over sixty years. (She has been disrespected in a series of ways. First and foremost is that the administration in the asylum will not call her by the name that she goes by, Esme.) The psychiatric unit is closing down and a great niece named Iris finds out about Esme. She never knew about her great aunt before! Iris goes to meet Esme and feels responsible for her future. Iris feels connected to Esme on some level that she doesn't understand. She knows they are related but it goes deeper than that.

Esme and Iris have had a series of dysfunctional experiences and they intersect at the end over a horrifying realization.

I was especially put off by how men treated women in this book. Also, how the women were not familiar with their own sexuality. When you are done reading you are left wondering, was Esme sane or insane?

Good one!!!

(For some reason reminded me of THE DINNER, by Herman Koch.)