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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.

Author: Heather Gudenkauf

This story is taken right from the Headlines of what happens when small children are left alone in a hot car.

The main character is a social worker who did not realize that her 1 year old baby was in the van when she rushed off to help another child in need. The social worker got to live through what she herself put other parents through while she is on the job. Very well written story. I like all of Heather Gudenkauf's books.

Audiobook Review
Author: Laura Hillenbrand

We were going on a long road trip. We heard that Unbroken was being made into a movie. Decided to get the audiobook to listen to while we traveled. OH BOY! This book really touched me. This is the story of Louie Zamperini and his fellow POW's experience in Japanese POW camps. This book is a must for anyone who wants to read a story about the bravery, courage, perseverance and resilience of those who defend our freedom.

Author: Frances Mayes

Frances Mayes, the author of Under the Tuscan Sun recalls her childhood in Georgia, a place she can't wait to abandon. Her parents tumultous, alcohol-fueled marriage frightens and frustrates her, and when her father dies a slow death from cancer, her family crumbles further. A young teenager at this point, Frances hopes her mother will pull herself together and find a life's purpose, but instead, Frankye, spoiled and restless, sinks further into alcoholism. Entwined with this dysfunction are portrayals of eccentric relatives, stalwart servants, and lost lovers. Mayes recreates a place that she is glad no longer exists but has indelible memories. The landscape and her stories from a past era resonate for readers.

Audiobook Review
Author: Steve Sheinkin

This non-fiction book for young adults is an account of scientists' efforts to build the first atomic bomb. As Americans scrambled to stay ahead of Nazi efforts and sabotage their work, Russian spies infiltrated the U.S. project. The personalities of the scientists, spies, saboteurs, and soldiers, as well as their moral dilemmas, make this story more than a science book. If readers are interested in the theory, practice, and technology of the creation of the atomic bomb, that is all here, but even a non-science person can appreciate the historical significance and the intellectual impressiveness of this project. The author creates suspense and awe as an unlikely group of Americans come together to change the history of the world forever.

Author: Wolfe Tom

Set in Miami, Back to Blood follows a Cuban-American cop, a WASP newspaper reporter, a Russian oligarch/patron of the arts, and a sleazy psychiatrist who treats pornography addicts (of which he is one). Even the blazing Florida sun fails to encourage the mythical American melting pot, as Wolfe again masterfully depicts a major American city riven by ethnic differences. Wolfe's writing is mesmerizing — the plot pulls you forward; the characters fascinate and repel; and the language is dazzling. "Torn from the headlines" is often true of his fiction, as I was reminded when I finished the novel and turned to a story in the New York Times that could have served as the inspiration for one of the plot lines in the book.

Audiobook Review
Title: Dear John
Author: Nicholas Sparks

Really tried to  get into audiobooks, but I was having problems staying focused on the book. Yes I have read ALL of the Nicholas Sparks books, I choose a book that I have read before, because I knew that I was going to have problems listening instead of reading.When I read a book, I make sure I have the time to sit down and read it. When I was Listeningto the book, I keep finding things to do as I was listening. 

Book Features:
Audiobook Review
Author: Sidney Sheldon

I haven't listened to many of Sidney Sheldon's books, but I really enjoyed this one. It kept me going right up until the end and had a great epilogue.

Audiobook Review
Author: Janet Evanovich

I haven't listened to or read a Janet Evanovich in awhile so thought I would listen to one for an easy summer book. This wasn't as good as I would have hoped for, it was a little kooky.

Author: Amy Tan

Violet is the indulged daughter of Lucia, a Shanghai madam. The result of her American mother's affair with a Chinese national, Violet grows up not knowing her father, living in a world of courtesans and powerful Americans and Chinese. Violet resents her mother for keeping secrets and putting her business first. When news from Lucia's past threatens to change their lives, Violet is helpless to prevent the disasters that are about to befall her. She and her mother are separated, and Violet must reinvent herself to survive. Though not Tan's best writing, this story of love, loss, and distrust between three generations of women is typical of her other sagas of the hardships endured by Chinese women.

Audiobook Review
Author: Heather Graham

The 11th installment of the Krewe Hunters series is set near Nashville, Tennessee. Olivia is a therapist at a horse farm, which functions as a therapy center using horses.  The owner and founder is discovered dead.  Did he relapse and die from an overdose or was it murder?  His ghost speaks up.  Olivia contacts her cousin at the FBI, a member of the Krewe Hunters, and he sends a new operative to help.  As the plot thickens there are mysterious accidents, a closed room murder and even a blossoming romance.  I enjoyed the Civil War history that was sprinkled throughout the book.  The reader was pretty good, the first part of the story he seemed to have the sniffles but then he recovered!