Book Reviews from Deena

Check out these book reviews from Deena.  Deena was a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team who recently retired.  She has generously continued to share book reviews with us.  Thank you, Deena!  Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page

The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline  DB100662
1840: Evangeline becomes a governess in England.  She is seduced by the lady of the house’s stepson and is then accused by the maid, Agnes, of stealing a ruby ring.  However; the ring was given to her by the stepson. Agnes continues to harass and threaten Evangeline and she becomes angry and pushes Agnes down the stairs. Evangeline is charged with attempted murder and sentenced to 14 years and transport to Australia. Evangeline has a daughter aboard ship and other prisoners help to take care of the baby.  The life in Australia is hard and prisoners are punished and treated harshly for infractions such as talking to each other.   If they are lucky, they get to work for the new settlers in the nearby town. If you are interested in life in Australia or this time period you might enjoy this book.  Today, nearly 5 million people in Australia are descended from prisoners transported from England to that area.

The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom  BR20357, DB77804
The people of Coldwater, Michigan are receiving phone calls from those who have passed on.  Sully Harding, who lost his own wife in a terrible accident, is out to prove that this an elaborate hoax.

The Shadows We Hide by Allen Eskens DB93580
Joe Talbert is now a reporter for the Associated Press.  He learns a man with his same name has died in a small town in Minnesota.  Joe, knowing he was named after a father he never knew, goes to investigate.  Once there he learns his possible father was murdered and many town’s people are not sorry to see he is gone.  As Joe gets to know the people of this area a tangled tale is revealed, and if this is indeed his father, could stand to become a very wealthy landowner.
This is the sequel to The Life We Bury (BR21515, DB79908),but could be read as a standalone.  I highly recommend both books.

Book Reviews from Deena

Check out these book reviews from Deena.  Deena was a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team who recently retired.  She has generously continued to share book reviews with us.  Thank you, Deena! 

Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page

Look Me in the Eye: my life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison  DB64970
John Elder Robison tells the story of his life as a person with  Asperger’s and how he felt socially inept and did not fit in, thus the title “Look me in the eye”.
He came from a dysfunctional family.  His father was an alcoholic and beat him and his brother and his mother was mentally ill.  John found his niche in electronics and worked building circuits and special effects for the band KISS, among others. After several years of that he decided he needed a “real job” and used his electronic abilities to get another job. He married his high school sweetheart and became a father. It wasn’t until in his forties, when he learned he had Asperger’s that felt he fit into the world. Recommended for KISS fans, and anyone wishing to know more about people with Asperger’s and their reactions and how they think.

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson BR18651, DB69104
Lia’s best friend, Cassie just has died as a result of Bulimia.  Lia is Anorexic and continually sets goals to lose five more pounds.  Cassie comes back to haunt Lia and urge her to join her.

Alibi Man by Tami Hoag   BR16909, DB63498
Elena Estes, a former cop, now works at a horse stable.  She goes for a walk and discovers a groom, Irina that she works with dead in a canal.  Elena investigates Irina’s death and helps the police.  Irina was Russian and the Russian mob appears to be involved.  This was a page turner with an unexpected ending.

The Loop by Nicholas Evans  LT5749, DB46713
I really did not think I would like this as much as I did. This takes place in Montana where wolves were reintroduced to the area.  Helen Ross works to put radio collars on the wolves to track and protect them.  The ranchers in the area are against the wolves because they have killed cattle.  Luke, the son of the leader of the ranchers, assists Helen with the wolves, much to the embarrassment of his father.  It all comes to head when Luke is caught trying to save some wolf pups. Recommended for animal lovers and environmentalists.

Book Reviews from Deena

Heart shape filled with books on shelvesCheck out these book reviews from Deena.  Deena was a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team who recently retired.  She has generously continued to share book reviews with us.  Thank you, Deena! 

Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page

An Ocean in Iowa by Peter Hedges DB47261
Scotty Ocean turns seven.  His mother leaves him and his two older sisters. Scotty tries various ways to get his mother to return to the family.  Some are funny and some are embarrassing. If you are interested in a humorous book about a young boy growing up in Iowa, I would suggest The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson (DB63131).  This is a laugh out loud read that takes place in Des Moines.  The one thing I did like about An Ocean in Iowa is that a lot of the places mentioned in the story are very close to my home.

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf  DB79095
Ellen Moore has been a social worker in Iowa, working with abused or neglected children for many years.  One day when she is running late for work the unthinkable happens.  Ellen is investigated and arrested.
Meanwhile, Ellen’s mother. Maudene while working at a restaurant runs across a young girl all alone.  Jenny gets sick at the restaurant.  Maudene later sees Jenny walking alone.  She asks if she can take her somewhere and ends up taking Jenny to her grandmother’s house, she finds out the grandmother has died.  Maudene, tells her daughter about Jenny and Ellen urges her to call a social worker. This book handles some tough subjects with sensitivity.

Book Reviews from Deena

Heart shape filled with books on shelvesCheck out these book reviews from Deena.  Deena was a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team who recently retired.  She has generously continued to share book reviews with us.  Thank you, Deena!

Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

Wednesday Letters by Justin Wright  LT8199
The children return to the inn where both their parents recently passed away.  They find their father’s letters he wrote to their mother each Wednesday throughout their marriage.  As they look at the letters, a secret is revealed which will change the way they look at their parents. The oldest son, Matt is worried about his own marriage.  Samantha tries to calm her brothers down and seeks the facts.  Malcolm rages and runs off to think before coming to terms with the revelation.  If you interested in Christian fiction and a little mystery this is a great story.

The Day John Died by Christopher Andersen    DB50930,  LT7054
This book starts out with the plane crash that killed JFK Jr.; his wife, Carolyn; and sister-in-law, Lauren. The weather was foggy and a factor that evening, but ultimately the crash was caused by pilot error. Even as a young child John was fascinated with helicopters and planes and begged to go with his father. John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life was strongly influenced by his mother. She did not always agree with his life choices.  Even though he was very wealthy, he used his name to help others and was very down to earth and kind to everyone. This is for anyone who wants a peek into the Kennedy’s life.

The Red Book by James Patterson   DB102768
This novel is the sequel to The Black Book (DB87917). Detective Billy Harney returns to the Chicago Police Department after being on leave. He is paired with partner, Carla Griffin, whom everyone including his twin sister warns him is “bad news”. Their first case together is a drive-by shooting in which a child is killed. In the process of the investigation Billy believes this case is somehow tied to the death of his wife. Billy is finally able to sort it all out and realizes what truly happened to his wife.  As he is helping his siblings ready his childhood home for sale, he finds a red book hidden away with coded numbers.  I am guessing the third book in this series will shed some light on what this red book means.

The Survivors by Jane Harper  DB101853
This atmospheric story takes place in Tasmania, Australia on the coast.  Kieran has returned to Evelyn Bay to visit his mother, Verity and his father, Brian, who is suffering from dementia.  Twelve years ago, there was a huge storm and Kieran’s older brother, Finn and his friend, Toby were killed in a boating accident for which Kieran feels responsible. At the same time a young, fourteen-year-old girl, Gabby went missing and was never found.  All of this is brought up again, when a young waitress, Bronte is found dead on the beach after leaving her job.  To compound the mystery, Brian was the last person to see Gabby, twelve years ago, and the night Bronte was killed, Brian is found wandering outside. Or could the person who harmed Bronte be Liam, who gave Bronte a ride home that night?  Read the book and find out what really happened and if the two cases are connected.

Book Reviews from Deena

Heart shape filled with books on shelvesCheck out these book reviews from Deena.  Deena was a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team who recently retired.  She has generously continued to share book reviews with us.  Thank you, Deena!

Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger   DB96864
It is 1932, and three boys leave Lincoln Indian School in Minnesota when circumstances become unbearable.  Before leaving the area, they rescue their friend, Emmy, who was recently orphaned from the evil heads of the school, the Brickmans.  The foursome head down the river in a canoe.  Each boy is searching for something. Albert, the oldest is ever the protector, trying to keep everyone safe and together.  Mose, who cannot speak and is the only Native American of the bunch, is searching for who he is and where he came from.  Odie who is almost 13, is looking for a home. As they journey down the river they face danger, as they are pursued by the Brickmans.  They meet a cast of unique characters some helpful and some not so helpful.  Follow their adventures as they move towards the Mississippi River and finally find what they are looking for.

Five Days at Memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital by Sheri Fink  DB77656
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Louisiana. Memorial Hospital prepared for the worst, but the area remained dry until water from other flooded areas was released.  As the water rose, systems failed and generators lost power.  Memorial was left in the dark, and the building became unbearably hot.  The staff worked tirelessly to keep critically ill patients cool and comfortable.  As days passed, conditions worsened.  The staff was able to evacuate many patients.  Despite calls to the hospital owners, the national guard and the coast guard, patients remained waiting evacuation and several who were evacuated were left on a corner or just off the interstate with no food, water and no way of getting anywhere. The elevators in the building were not working and patients needed to be carried to a spot to be flown out.  After Katrina, an investigation was started and a doctor and two nurses were accused of giving a number of patient’s fatal doses of medication.  This chronicles all that took place after the storm and the ensuing charges against the three women.  Many are to blame for this disaster, the city of New Orleans, the owners of the hospital and the CEO’s of the hospital. The lack of disaster preparedness is appalling.

I am the Central Park Jogger: a story of hope and possibility by Trisha Meili  DB56125 , LT6959
In 1989, Trisha Meili went for a run in Central Park at night.  She was assaulted and beaten.  She was in a coma for nearly two weeks. Trisha explains due to a traumatic brain injury she had to relearn everything. Through therapy she had to relearn to walk, to do simple math, and other things, so she could return to her job as an investment banker. She kept her identity a secret for 14 years, because of extensive publicity and she was reluctant to tell anyone she was the Central Park jogger.  She came to believe in spiritual healing and how prayer can make a difference in the recovery process.  If you like survival stories this book is for you.

Book Reviews From Deena

Heart shape filled with books on shelvesCheck out these book reviews from Deena.  Deena was a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team who recently retired.  She has generously continued to share book reviews with us.  Thank you, Deena!

Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

Always by Sarah Jio  DB86940

Kailey is having dinner with her fiancé, Ryan in a fancy restaurant.  As they leave they encounter a homeless man, Cade McCallister.  Kailey suddenly recognizes him as a man she once loved and lost.  Kailey’s world is turned upside down.  She is torn between helping Cade and her loyalty to Ryan, a man she now loves.  Who will she choose?

House at Riverton by Kate Morton  DB66900

Grace, from the age of fourteen, worked as a maid in England called Riverton.  Today, Grace at the age of 98, is contacted by a producer who is making a film about Riverton and a poet who committed suicide on the grounds of Riverton in 1924 during a party. Grace was witness to what happened, so many years ago and has kept silent about what really went on that night.  Grace who feels her life ebbing away believes it is time that the truth be told.  If you enjoy the series Downton Abbey this book might be for you.

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld DB99840

Rodham is an alternative history.  What if Hillary Rodham Clinton never married Bill Clinton? Could she possibly have won the 2017 election? This is an interesting fantasy of the relationship of Hillary and Bill when they meet at Yale Law School.  They fall madly in love, but Hillary soon realizes Bill is a womanizer and leaves him.  Both move on with their lives, but their lives cross again several times in the book. This is a look at how things could have been through the author’s imagination. Don’t expect reality, her whole idea of who was president between 1988-2017 is completely different than the real world. This departure from reality is a fun read.