Adults

  1. Sworn to Silence

    Sworn to Silence

    I have found a new favorite mystery writer/series (unless the author tanks it in book 2 of the series...highly unlikely)! Kate Burkholder is the Police Chief in the small town of Painters Mill, Ohio, where she grew up in an Amish family. Some pretty dramatic and traumatizing events (detailed in the book) cause her to leave the Amish culture and join English society.

  2. The Waters of Star Lake

    For the first time since her husband’s death, Natalie Waters is returning to her family’s cabin in the secluded north woods of Wisconsin.  She expects to be surrounded by her memories and solitude, but what she finds is something altogether different.  After her dog is attacked by a wolf, Natalie finds herself in the middle of the heated conflict between local advocates of the Timber Wolf population and local hunters. Her once peaceful retreat is now threatened by violence. Natalie turns to some old friends for support and ends up on another little adventure.

  3. Jennifer Government

    If you are tired of dystopian tales read no further.

    Still here? Good, I have a book that you may enjoy. Jennifer Government was released in 2004 though I think the content seems more relevant today than it did prior to the 2008 financial meltdown and its subsequent fallout.

  4. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

    A crippled hospital, an orphaned young girl, and two heroic doctors provide the axis for a powerful story set in the war weary Russian province of Chechnya during a decade of tension that begins in 1994.  "A Constellation of Vital Phenomena" allows the profound despair saturating the intersecting lives of inhabitants in a small Chechen village to come alive one character, one page at a time.  Author Anthony Marra also weaves a spellbinding, historical narrative to accompany his story of loss, betrayal, love, and hope.  

  5. The Ocean at the End of the Lane

    I have been a Neil Gaiman fan since reading my first Sandman graphic novel many years ago, his book American Gods is the only reason I ever went to House on the Rock and he writes Dr. Who episodes – so enough said, I’m an fan boy. His latest work certainly doesn’t hurt his legacy. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a short book, if you get sucked in like I did you can knock it out in a night.

  6. Joyland

    Joyland

    I loved this book. Joyland is about characters, more than anything. Granted, there are a couple ghosts, but they are incidental characters. Since it is published by Hard Case Crime, there is a murder too, but it happened before the timeframe of the book and is peripheral until near the very end, where action takes over and we find out “whodunit”.

  7. The art of cookbooks

    Modern Art Desserts
    The Geometry of Pasta

    I love looking at cookbooks.  Though many of the recipes have the same basic background, each cook or chef can give them a little twist to make them new again.  Sometimes cookbooks are also art.  There are even awards for artistic merit in cookbooks.  Two recent additions to the Appleton Public Library cookbook collection fall into the "art + cookbook" niche.

  8. Jane Eyre & Wuthering Heights

    Jane Eyre
    Wuthering Heights

     

    The Little Miss Bronte series, part of the BabyLit book series published by Gibbs Smith, are an elegant way to introduce the youngest child to the world of classical literature.  Jane Eyre is a counting primer, and counts drawings, trees, pearls, and books, with quotes interspersed, such as "this book I had again and again perused with delight".

    Wuthering Heights is a weather primer, so for breezy, the quote is "the weather was sweet and warm" and for stormy we read, "the storm came rattling over the Heights in full fury." 

  9. The Song of Roland

    Song of Roland cover

    I love Paul. I love the black-and-white, curvy casual style in which his stories are illustrated. I would learn to read French if I were to learn that the Paul stories would no longer be translated into English. I've read Rabaliati's other semi-autobiographical stories, and have enjoyed following Paul's life in Canada from his summer job as a camp counselor to moving into his first place with his fiance in the city to his becoming a father. Rabagliati adds a new dimension to Paul's story by focusing on his in-laws, with emphasis on his wife's father, Roland.

  10. Act One

    Act One

    Moss Hart was an enormously successful playwright (“You Can’t Take It With You,” “The Man Who Came to Dinner”), screenwriter (“A Star is Born”), and stage director (“My Fair Lady,” “Camelot”), but this classic memoir deals not with those masterworks, but with his beginnings.  It tells the tale of his impoverished New York childhood and the steps leading to his first success, a collaboration with the legendary George S. Kaufmann.  This is one of the great memoirs of the era and a must read for anyone interested in theater.

  11. Thirteen Reasons Why

    Thirteen Reasons Why

    You can’t stop the future,

    you can’t rewind the past

    the only way to learn the secret

    …is to press play.

     

  12. Gulp

    Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, by Mary Roach

    I had long heard of Mary Roach's titles but never tried one. Gulp fell into my lap when a coworker heard about it and placed it on hold for me, figuring I would like it. I can see why Mary Roach's writing is so popular: she mixes great, science-y information with a fantastic sense of humor that is typically presented in tongue-in-cheek or dry asides as well as side-splitting footnotes.

  13. The Apple Orchard

    Tess Delaney makes a living recovering precious artifacts and returning them to their rightful owners. Little does she know that when she reunites an heirloom necklace, stolen by the Nazis, to Annalise Winther, she has set in motion events that will turn her world on its end. Tess’s story unravels on an apple orchard located in the lush and beautiful backdrop of the Sonoma Valley. It won’t take long for the simple country lifestyle to begin winning over this workaholic, but will a loving family and a promising romance be enough to convince Tess to stay…?

  14. The Burgess Boys

    Family.  Few words evoke more emotion.  In "The Burgess Boys", Elizabeth Strout introduces a trio of siblings who wear the scars of unpleasant childhood memories.  Jim, Susan, and Bobby manage to keep the evidence of old wounds well hidden from each other by living relatively separate lives.  There exists an obvious pecking order enhanced by sarcasm and tainted with a profound sadness permeating all areas of their lives.  Change is put into motion when a nephew's unwise decision brings them together to solv

  15. Significant Objects

    Significant Objects
    Significant Objects (image in catalog)

    I picked this book off the shelf without knowing the back story on it. I thought it odd that is was in the fiction section, as it seemed to be a book that might be connected with Antiques Roadshow.  I opened it up to a page with a wine glass that had a Women & Infants logo. Wondering what the story was behind that I started reading and found myself pulled into a story about  family lies, abandonment, reunion, understanding and forgiveness. This, along with some great wine reviews. All on a single page!  (Tasting Notes, by Jeff Turrentine).

  16. Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society

    Miss Dreamsville

    Jackie Hart, transplanted to small town Florida from Boston, decides she needs to be more than just a wife and mother to three children.  She creates a radio persona who has a late-night show, and soon the whole town is talking about the mysterious Miss Dreamsville.

  17. The Shadow of the Wind

    The Shadow of the Wind book cover

    In Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind, a book seller takes his son Daniel to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, where he finds among its labyrinthine stacks a book by Julian Carax called The Shadow of the Wind. It's the best book he's ever read and he wants to learn more about the author and read more of his books, but he discovers that not much is known about the author and that copies of his books are notoriously difficult to find. Daniel isn't satisfied with this and endeavors to learn more.

  18. Unlikely Friendships

    Unlikely Friendships

    This sweet, sweet book is aimed directly at people like me who like pretty much anything with fur, feathers, or four feet.  Written by National Geographic  magazine writer Jennifer Holland, it was suggested to me after a co-worker --who also has a menagerie of cats (and birds) at home-- happened upon it one day while perusing the New Books display shelves.

     

  19. The Name Above the Title

    The Name Above the Title

    In my opinion, this is the best book ever written about Hollywood and the making of movies.  It’s the autobiography of Frank Capra, the director of such classic films as It Happened One Night, Mr.

  20. I Love Dirt!

    I Love Dirt!

    Ahhh Spring!

    I love being outside; hearing, smelling, and feeling nature.  As a kid, I spent many afternoons just sitting up in “my tree.”  I would read or write little stories about the things I saw in the clouds.  I would actually get excited when it rained in the spring so I could go searching for worms that had been flushed from their homes.

  21. Popcorn

    Popcorn

    This recipe book is separated into “Savory” and “Sweet” sections, as well as an “And More” section that incorporates popcorn into meals (I have never done anything from that last section).  The very beginning of the book talks a little about popping corn, including how to make your own microwave popcorn in paper lunch bags if you don’t own a popper or don’t like to make it on the stovetop.

     

  22. The Watch That Ends the Night

    The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices From the Titanic

    Wow! This book (and audio book) are absolutely phenomenal. I will start by saying, as a rule, I never enjoy books written in verse. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this one - especially listening to the audio. Five different voice actors perform the role of two dozen passengers and crew, and even the Iceberg.

  23. Three Sisters

    After pediatrician Andi Gordon was left stranded at the altar, she knew she needed to make a fresh start for herself. She is now the owner of one of the famed Three Sisters historic houses on Blackberry Island. Here she plans on opening her own practice and start her new life. Her house is the only one of the three houses that has been neglected, the other two have been fully restored by their devoted owners. One neighbor is Boston King, an artist who shares her house with her husband Zeke.

  24. Reading Lolita in Tehran

    Reading Lolita in Tehran

    The transformative power of literary fiction is debated, challenged, and celebrated in "Reading Lolita in Tehran" by Azar Nafisi.  A former professor of literature in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nafisi uses prolific authors the likes of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov to connect with students coming of age during a  very tumultuous time in Iran's history.  The Memoir illuminates the delicate fabric that is Iran by weaving a story set against the backdrop of a revolution and subsequent war with neighboring Iraq.  

  25. Carrion Comfort

    Carrion Comfort

    In this novel Dan Simmons portrays psychic vampires in a horror genre, which he uses to illuminate real evil in this world.  I read this book in 1989 when it was first published and it has stayed with me.

  26. Code name Verity

    code name Verity

    A mesmerizing historical novel, well-researched and carefully written, this is one of those books where you want to sit down and read it straight through, not stopping for anything.

  27. The Redgraves: A Family Epic

    Donald Spoto’s account of the Redgraves has the feel of a readable “intellectual” soap opera, for the talented Redgraves were well known for their work in the theatre and film world but their private lives were anything but conventional. There are many instances of infidelity, divorce, dysfunctional parenting, and the insecurities that resulted from these issues.

  28. The Sparrow

    The Sparrow book cover

    I'm finding it difficult to begin a review of this book--this story packed into this little volume is large in scope and dense in detail. The story told is of a group of smart folks coming together as friends and being friends when one member finds evidence of life in Alpha Centauri. Another member, a Jesuit priest named Emilio Sandoz then makes a proposal to the Society of Jesus that this group travel to this other star system, find the planet these other beings live on, and go meet them.

  29. You came back: a novel

    I loved this book.   It's not a happy story, but it takes you on a journey every single parent can imagine.

  30. The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill

    The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill - Visions of Glory, 1874-1932 (1983)
    The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill - Alone, 1932-1940 (1988)

    Dozens, if not hundreds, of biographies have been written about Winston Churchill, but none are as insightful, or as gracefully written, as this brilliant work by William Manchester. The book is in two parts: Visions of Glory, which covers the first 58 years of Churchill’s life; and Alone, detailing the 1930s, when Churchill was out of government.

  31. Strings Attached

    It is the 1950s and seventeen year old Kit Corrigan has not had an easy life. She is part of a set of triplets that were raised by their poor, Irish, immigrant father in Providence, RI. The triplets (aka The Corrigan Three) lost their mother during their birth. Kit has always had big dreams of being a performer on Broadway and after the break up of her rocky relationship with boyfriend Billy, Kit heads out to New York City with stars in her eyes. Meanwhile, Billy and Kit's brother, Jamie, enlist in the Army together and are preparing to ship off to Korea.

  32. Gone Girl

    Gone Girl

    What do you get when a weak-willed compulsive liar marries a charming sociopath? You get Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. This gripping mystery begins on Nick Dunne and Amy Elliott Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary, when Amy disappears. The narrative weaves between the present, as Amy's disappearance is investigated (Nick, as the husband, naturally becomes a suspect) and the past, where we see how both characters are experts at manipulating each other. It is a rare for me to enjoy a book when I don't like the characters, but this novel is an exception to that rule.

  33. Loving Frank

    I purchased this book in the spring and it was on my "to read" shelf for months. Then, someone in my book club suggested the title and it was chosen for our October book selection. I don't know why I didn't start reading it sooner! I LOVED it! Loving Frank is a historical fiction novel based on real events. It tells the story of world-famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and his affair with one of his clients, the also married Mamah Borthwick Cheney. The unique perspective of this book is that it is told from Mamah's point-of-view. Wright is a larger than life character.

  34. Letter to My Daughter

    On the night before her fifteenth birthday, Liz gets into a heated argument with her mother that ends with Liz running away from home. Laura, the anguished and guilt-ridden mother, is left sitting in their Baton Rouge home praying for Liz's quick and safe return. To pass the time, Laura decides to write her daughter a letter about her own troubled adolescence. In doing so, she hopes to give Liz insight that she does understand what she is going through.

  35. Beauty Queens

    An airplane full of teen beauty queens, on their way to the Miss Teen Dream pageant (sponsored by The Corporation), crash lands on a remote tropical island. Many of them, of course, do not survive, but never fear...Miss Texas, Taylor Rene Krystal Hawkins (don't you love it?), is there to assume the leadership role! She promptly divides the girls into two groups. The Lost Girls trek into the jungle to check out their new surroundings, while the Sparkle Ponies stay on the beach and salvage what they can from the wrecked plane.

  36. The Immigrant Advantage

    The Immigrant Advantage

    The Immigrant Advantage recounts 7 separate cultural traditions observed by some members of immigrant groups after coming to America: the Vietnamese Money Club; the Mexican Cuarentena; South Asian Assisted Marriage; Korean and Chinese Afterschools; West Indian Multigenerational Households; Barrio Stoops, Sidewalks, and Shops; and Vietnamese Monthly Rice.

  37. Amy and Isabelle

    This book was sitting on my shelf at home for quite a while after I picked it up at a book sale somewhere. I quite literally had to dust it off in order to read it! I am sorry I didn't pick it up sooner because I really enjoyed it. Amy and Isabelle are a teen daughter and her single mother living in a small town in rural Maine in the 1960s. As typical mother-daughter relationships go at this age, the two cannot relate to one another at all.

  38. Happily Ever Madder

    When we last left Ace Jones (Diary of a Mad Fat Girl) and her adorable Chiweenie Buster Loo, she had decided that the love of her life, Mason just may deserve to be given the second chance he has asked for. In Happily Ever Madder we find that Ace is ready to leave Bugtussle, Mississippi and follow Mason to Pelican Grove, FL. If leaving her beloved home wasn’t hard enough, leaving behind her smart-mouth and sassy ways may be even harder.

  39. Rage of Angels

    I read this book in 1980 when it was first published.  From the very first chapter, the story grabs your interest.  An envelope is given to a new district attorney assistant, Jennifer, to deliver to the star witness.  From there the story has twists and turns.  Every few years, I will read this book again.  This still is my favorite Sidney Sheldon book.  I am signing off now; I have to check this book out again.

  40. Gone Girl

    July 5th, 2012 was the fifth wedding anniversary for Nick Dunne and Amy Elliott Dunne.  They did not celebrate the day together.  In the bestseller "Gone Girl", author Gillian Flynn takes the classic elements of a good mystery novel and transforms the story into a psychological thriller by shining a provocative lens onto the intimate details of a fragile marriage.  Circumstances trigger that which once was meant to be private and between husband and wife into tantalizing fodder for a hungry public.      
  41. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

    Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore cover

    Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore mixes books and research with romance and friendship to make a fun, light story. Pop culture references make this book feel a bit like Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, but the prevalence of Google and ereaders ground the story in the present.

  42. Luck or Something Like it: A Memoir

    Kenneth Ray Rogers traveled a long way from roots in the “projects” of Houston Texas. He knows what it is like to eat beans and rice for dinner, father a child while a senior in high school, suffer through multiple divorces, feel guilt over estrangement of his older children, and he was downright broke when most of us would think he was living well. His is a true rags to riches story of overcoming adversity with a lot of bumps along the road. Rogers got his start performing in a high school band called The Scholars, even though the band members were all C students.

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