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Staff Reviews 2011

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Wonderful ♦♦♦♦
Rewarding ♦♦♦
Average ♦♦
Forgettable ♦


Albom, Mitch.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
Eddie, the maintenance man at the Ruby Pier Amusement Park, dies one sunny afternoon in a tragic accident. On his journey to heaven, he meets five people who help explain his life. He learns that our encounters with the people in our lives are meaningful and significant, even if we don’t think so at the time. Janine’s rating...♦♦♦

Haddon, Mark.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone is a boy full of questions. He believes his mother died two years ago of a heart attack. He considers himself to be “a mathematician with some behavioral difficulties.” When he discovers the neighbor’s poodle dead on the sidewalk, his curiosity to solve the mystery is ignited. Thus begins his roller coaster ride toward the truth behind several of his life's conundrums. A journey of self-awareness told in a unique voice, this novel stands out as a remarkable portrait of an unusual young sleuth. Holly’s rating...♦♦♦

Liss, David.
The Twelfth Enchantment.
This is an interesting story about magic that takes place in a Jane Austen-like setting. Lucy Derrick is stuck living with an uncle who treats her as a burden and can’t wait to marry her off. When Lucy discovers her ability to create magic, however, she realizes that her entire life is about to change. Julie’s rating...♦♦♦♦

Moriarty, Liane.
What Alice Forgot.
This story of Alice Love is light, but moving; funny, but tender; and definitely a recommended read. During her weekly spin class, thirtynine- year-old Alice takes a spill, hits her head, and awakens thinking she is twenty-nine years old. Much has happened in the last decade of Alice’s life, only as the title suggests, Alice can’t seem to remember those past ten years. Don’t forget to give this novel from Australian author Liane Moriarty a try! Joanne’s rating...♦♦♦

Roberts, Nora.
The Next Always.
This is a classic Nora Roberts story with a little suspense, a resident ghost and, of course, romance. Interestingly, the town of BoonsBoro portrayed in the story really exists and Nora Roberts owns the Inn BoonsBoro. I am looking forward to the next two books in the trilogy. Aimee’s rating...♦♦♦

Sankaran, Vanitha.
The author makes it easy to envision daily life in a 14th century French village. While the story opens with a violent scene, it effectively sets the stage for the precarious life of the main character. A young woman, born albino and mute, Auda must go out with her face carefully covered to avoid startling onlookers with her appearance. It is the time of the Inquisition, when the Church is suspicious of anyone who appears different, quickly condemning them to torture, imprisonment, or death. Complicating matters is the fact that Auda can read and write, which is something not generally socially acceptable for women at that time. Schooled by her father, a papermaker, she seeks out opportunities for self-expression that won’t endanger her or her family. Elyse’s rating...♦♦♦♦

Sheehan, Jacqueline.
Now and Then.
Anna and her nephew Joseph are separated when thrown back in time to pre-potato famine Ireland. Anna, who finds herself involved with smugglers, struggles to find Joseph and find a way back home, while Joseph, who has lost some short–term memory, takes advantage of his situation under the wing of an Englishman. Soon Joseph discovers that he is only being tolerated by the Englishman until his usefulness runs out. Anna and Joseph finally learn that they will have to make a sacrifice in the name of love in order to return to their own time and set things right. Elaine’s rating...♦♦♦

Simonson, Helen.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.
This sweet novel takes place in a small village in the English countryside. Sixty-eight-year-old Major Ernest Pettigrew has settled into retirement and finds himself smitten with the widowed Mrs. Ali. As their friendship develops, other friends and family members are introduced and add to the charm of this debut novel by Helen Simonson. Debbie’s rating...♦♦♦

Waldman, Amy.
The Submission.
As The Submission opens, a committee is choosing the design for a memorial to be built at Ground Zero. Artists have been invited to submit their drawings anonymously, but once the design is chosen and committee members discover that the winning artist is a Muslim, some of them are horrified. The plot is reminiscent of the controversy surrounding the Muslim community center that some wanted built near Ground Zero a few years ago. Ironically the book came first. Sheila’s rating...♦♦♦♦

Young Adult

Colfer, Eoin.
Artemis Fowl.
Artemis Fowl is a teen book about the diabolical kid, Artemis, who sets out to steal a pot of gold from the leprechauns, while outsmarting the fairies and trolls who get in his way. Gina’s rating...♦♦♦♦


299 REI
Reitman, Janet.
Inside Scientology.
This is a fascinating overview of the history of scientology. Learn how a science fiction novelist invented a religion in order to make money. This book is included in several “Best Books of 2011” lists. Bruce’s rating...♦♦♦

917.47 DUL
Dulong, Jessica.
My River Chronicles.
As the engineer of the now famous retired fireboat, the John J. Harvey, Jessica Dulong takes us on a unique and beautiful journey down the Hudson River. She really writes from her heart. Although I completely enjoyed the book, it is a little dry with technical information and may not be for every reader. Maria’s rating...♦♦♦


Hingson, Michael.
Thunder Dog.
This true story tells of a blind man and his guide dog, Roselle, who escape down the staircase of Tower 1 of the World Trade Center on September 11. It adds a feeling of trust and warmth to an otherwise horrible day in American history. It felt good to read an uplifting story describing the events of the day. Liz’s rating...♦♦♦