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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: 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!

Book Features:
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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.

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Author: Nancy Horan

This is a captivating read depicting the life of Mamah Borthwick Cheney, one of Frank Lloyd Wright's long time lovers. The story is an interesting read-including an emotional depiction of Mamah's choices and how they affected those in her life. Lloyd Wright is depicted as an eccentric brilliant who has great creativity and vision but lacks a real world understanding in his egocentrism.

I have always been interested in Lloyd Wright's design, but knew very little of his personal life. While the novel does little to elevate my opinion of him as a father and husband, it is an interesting view of what a woman in the early 1900's would encounter when seeking divorce. After finishing the book, I ended up checking out books about the construction of Taliesen and searching for more information about the happenings surrounding the tragedy that ensued.

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Author: Randi Zuckerberg

Randi has a solid head on her shoulders. She is also positive, upbeat, and creative and that is shown in her writing. She expresses the fact that we are at such an interesting point in history and that, although fraught with complications, this is a very exciting time. I like how she highlights that the rapid technological changes in our world give us an extraordinary opportunity to be better people and better communicators, better relationship builders and better friends. I like how she imparts good, common sense advice about being mindful about how we use the technology, especially social media. She is also not shy about sharing her own blunders and how she has learned from her mistakes. I really appreciate that she is a thoughtful person who is willing to examine her own behaviors and keep learning! Her request for balance is invigorating!

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Author: Robin Sloan

BRILLIANT!! I loved, loved, loved this book!! The two worlds of reading collide--the world of a sleepy, dusty old bookstore which has a puzzle encoded within its walls and the modern world of Google and e.readers. This author deftly crafts a story where both worlds hold potential and value. I am a geek for both worlds and I just delight in how the main character, Clay, is one, too! Woven into the story are subtle comments on everything book related: from book burning to audiobooks. And the overriding question of how we achieve balance within so many choices. There is a quest in the book and the characters are cleverly drawn and presented to us to be a part of the quest. The question of what is immortality, really, and how and when it is a good thing, is lingering below the surface. Every thing is tied up neatly @ the end, even down to what the bookstore is eventually converted into. The ending, however, is sheer perfection. You can just hear the tinkle of the bell and all of us bibiliophiles have experienced this moment, so many times! It is always magical, having the right book fall into your hands @ the precise moment in which you need it. Well, this book was certainly that for me. I have been hungry for a hopeful book like this. (Serendipitously, I was reading non-fiction "Dot Complicated" on the very same weekend!)

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Author: Julie Kibler

Isabelle and Dorrie are unlikely friends.Dorrie is Isabelle's hairdresser but she is only in her thirties and Isabelle is 89. Also, Isabelle is Caucasian and Dorrie is African-American. When Isabelle suddenly needs help she requests that Dorrie drive her from Texas to Ohio for a funeral. Whose funeral? Why Dorrie? All is revealed through the conversations and incidents that are shared in their car journey together. This a lovely tale of friendship and changes in the times. Dorrie is a gift to Isabelle and Isabelle is a gift to Dorrie. The ending is poignant and wonderful--LOVED IT! I am recommending this to my patrons who loved THE HELP.