Book Reviews from Deena

Check out these book reviews from Deena, a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team.  Let us know if you would like any titles added to your book list or head over to BARD to download the titles now.

Stars Over Clear Lake by Loretta Ellsworth
Lorraine Kindred has lost her husband of many years.  The book switches back and forth from present day to the 1940’s when Lorraine met her husband as a young girl. The iconic Surf Ballroom figures into the story where Lorraine attended many dances. Lorraine’s son-in-law is very intrigued with the history of the Surf Ballroom.  He has done some research and found that the original Surf Ballroom was destroyed by fire in 1947.  It was later rebuilt. Knowing that Lorraine had attended dances about that time, he asks her about the fire.  Lorraine remains evasive. This is great love story with an Iowa setting and a little bit of mystery.  DBC15165

The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up by Rich Blake
This is the true story of Donny Herbert, a Buffalo, New York fire fighter who was injured on the job and went into a coma in December 1995. He woke up from his coma in April 2005 and talked to his family for 16 hours straight.  Was it the family’s faith in God, the doctor’s drug cocktail or Donny’s own determination to come back to his family or a combination of those things? Soon afterwards, Donny slipped back into his comatose state and died in February 2006 of pneumonia.  A wonderful story of a miracle, faith, and courage.  DB64976

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Tisha by Robert Specht
Based on the true story of Anne Hobbs who traveled to Alaska in 1927, on horseback to become a teacher in the small town of Chicken, Alaska.  Anne faces harsh weather and has some harrowing experiences as she finds love in this in this isolated wilderness.  She takes in two children when their mother dies of tuberculosis.  The boy calls her “Tisha” instead of teacher. She and her husband, Fred, adopt the two children along with several others. This is one of 100 Favorite Novels Recommended by Librarians.  DB41798

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The All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez, the superstar whose Life Ended of Murderer’s Row by James Patterson
Aaron Hernandez was an extremely talented young man drafted by the New England Patriots.  He was a rising star on the team. On June 18, 2013, for unknown reasons he killed his friend, Odin Lloyd who was the boyfriend of his fiancée’s sister.  All evidence pointed to Hernandez and he was convicted and sentenced to death row.  While on trial for Lloyd’s murder he was charged with shooting two men in their car.  Almost two years to the day of Odin Lloyd’s murder, Hernandez hung himself in his prison cell.  Recommended for football fans and readers of true crime.  DB90220

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Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance
J.D. Vance grew up in a poverty-stricken area in Ohio. His mother was a drug user and abusive. When things got too bad at home he would go to his grandparent’s house.  Despite his situation, J.D. grew up and joined the Marines and eventually graduated from Yale Law School. This is a touching memoir of overcoming the odds and becoming an inspiration to others.  DB85796
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Book Reviews from Deena

Check out these book reviews from Deena, a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team.  Let us know if you would like any titles added to your book list or head over to BARD to download the titles now.

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!  by Fannie Flagg
Dena Nordstrom’s life is out of control.  She is drinking too much, cannot maintain a relationship and it is affecting her health. Dena is beautiful and has a high powered job as a TV personality.  She goes into therapy. As the therapist pushes, she learns Deana’s mother, Marian Chapman abandoned her at age 15.  As Dena digs deeper into her past, she finds out Marian Chapman did not exist.  Who was her mother?  Why did she leave Dena alone? What happened to her?  DB47006, LT5786
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Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon
Rhonda Farr was at a gas station when she sees someone in a rabbit suit get out of a car and go over to a car with a young girl, take her by the hand and lead her to his car and take off. Rhonda can’t believe what she has just seen.  Thinking back, Rhonda remembers a similar rabbit costume from long ago. Her best friend, Lizzie’s father dressed up as the Easter bunny. Lizzie’s father, Daniel disappeared almost three years after that and Lizzie disappeared several years later. The last time Rhonda heard from Lizzie was a number of years ago, when she was in high school. Lizzie sent a postcard claiming to be with Daniel. Rhonda feeling guilty, turns “detective” to find out who took the little girl from the car.  DB67786
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Losing It and Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time by Valerie Bertinelli
This is a gossipy book about the girl next door and her tumultuous marriage to a rock star.  Valerie Bertinelli, star of “One Day at a Time”, writes of her dysfunctional marriage to Eddie Van Halen.  The couple always seemed to be going in different directions with their careers, never taking time to be together and work on their marriage. Valerie suffered from body image problems from her teens into adulthood. She learned she always tried to solve her problems with food.  She later became a spokeswoman for Jennie Craig and learned to love herself as she was.  DB66058
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Book Reviews from Deena

Check out these book reviews from Deena, a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team.  Let us know if you would like any titles added to your book list or head over to BARD to download the titles now.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
This book is told through the viewpoint of three women in the 1930’s and 1940’s as World War II begins. Caroline is a New England socialite whose passion is saving the orphaned children of France, Kasia, is a 16 year old Polish girl who eventually joins the resistance movement, Herta is a strong believer in the Nazi movement and wants to become a doctor. As the story progresses these three women’s stories cross paths. The story is based on the true story of Caroline Ferriday and her philanthropy for the children of France and those who survived the war.  DB84356
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Caroline: Little House, Revisted by Sarah Miller
If you loved Laura Ingalls Wilder as a child or enjoyed the TV show Little House on the Prairie this book might appeal to you.  The book Caroline is a fictionalized account of how life might have been for Caroline Ingalls, mother of Laura Ingalls. The Ingalls family left their home in Wisconsin and set out by covered wagon while snow was still on the ground, for Kansas with two little girls.  The book tells the story of the hardships they faced in Kansas away from civilization and family. The book was researched by Miller and the reasons they left and later moved from Kansas is well-documented.  DB89267
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Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
Pino Lella, as a teenager becomes involved in the resistance movement to ferry Jews out of Italy and over the Italian mountains into the safety of Switzerland.  Rather than be drafted into the Italian army his parents convince him to sign up for the German army.  Pino becomes a driver for Nazi General and a spy for the Allied forces. He faces several terrifying moments when he is nearly caught by the General working for the Allies. This is based on a true story.  DB90012
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Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim
California 1923:Mei Ling comes to America through a matchmaker for an arranged marriage.  Her husband, Kai Li is a merchant and a U.S. citizen needing a wife for his son. On board the ship to America Mei Ling meets a young orphan girl, who coming to America with an “uncle”.  Mei Ling comes to care about the girl.  Mei Ling and Kai Li have both been untruthful with each other. Can their marriage survive and will they learn to love each other?  DB93176
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Looking for something to read or add to your book list?

Check out these book reviews from Deena, a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team.  Let us know if you would like any titles added to your book list or head over to BARD to download the titles now.

Do you remember as a child enjoying fairy tales?   Return to a childhood fantasy by reading The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.   This is the story of an older estranged couple who build a snow child. During the night the girl comes alive, through the love of the child, she brings the couple together.  This is set against the harsh landscape of Alaska in the 1930’s.  It is a magical, nostalgic tale sure to please people of any age.  DB75862

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The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron–Mike Bowditch gets a strange phone call from his father on his answering machine.  Mike has not spoken to his father in over two years. Mike, who is a game warden, learns from his supervisor that a police officer was shot and they have arrested his father. While being taken in to custody, his father escaped and now there is a manhunt. If you find this book enjoyable, you might also like books by C.J. Box.  DB72532

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The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History by Garrett M. Graff.   I have read at least half a dozen books on Sept 11.  Having said that, there were many things I learned about that day from this book. They talked to many survivors, first respnders, and family members of those lost. I believe it is a must read for those who were born after the event or were too young to remember.  DB96933

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