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Posted on: August 4, 2018

The Summer Before the War

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by Helen Simonson

Reviewed by GF

I can't remember the last time I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish a book!  A wonderfully light read with a set of characters worth being invested in!

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Posted on: August 4, 2018

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

Whats Not Yours Is Not Yours

by Helen Oyeyemi

Reviewed by Naya

Oyeyemi artfully plays with the short story form in both subtle and radical ways. Her descriptions are engaging, poetic, and often mysterious. The stories are short, but their worlds are expansive, their characters richly c...

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Posted on: August 4, 2018

Truly Madly Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty

by Liane Moriarty


Reviewed by Amy

Sucks you in from the first chapter, making it very hard to put down.  Liane Moriarty is a master at creating compelling and complex characters.

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Posted on: August 4, 2018

Eligible

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by Curtis Sittenfeld

Reviewed by Ellen

This was a light, fun read - a modern telling of Pride & Prejudice.  I then read Pride & Prejudice after finishing Eligible and really enjoyed comparing the two versions.

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Posted on: August 4, 2018

The Rival Queens: Catherine de Medici & Marguerite de Valois

Rival Queens

by Nancy Goldstone

Reviewed by Bonnie

You though you had a difficult relationship with your mother?  Catherine de Medici controlled everything about her daughter Marguerite's life, until Marguerite became Queen of Navarre.

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Posted on: August 4, 2018

The Empathy Exams

Empathy Exams

by Leslie Jamison 

Reviewed by LPB 

Jamison is talented in her ability to capture emotions, even when in real life, they eclipse before we can make meaning out of them. A must read for anyone going into the medical field.

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Posted on: August 4, 2018

If the Oceans Were Ink

If the Oceans Were Ink

by Carla Power 

Reviewed by VIS 

Carla Power, an American, studies the Quran with a madrasa-trained sheikh, Mohammad Akram Nadwi. The sheikh preaches the Quran's message of peace, respect for women, and religious tolerance.

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Posted on: August 4, 2018

Red Rising (trilogy)

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by Pierce Brown 

Reviewed by HD 

This first book had a really interesting premise. Unfortunately, by the third (and final) volume, it had too much unbelievable fighting (like an action movie script). But I did enjoy books 1 and 2!

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Posted on: August 4, 2018

Bog Child

Bog Child

by Siobhan Dowd 

Reviewed by EA 

This book offers a snapshot of life on the border of Northern Ireland and the Republic during the troubles in the 80s. It is a coming of age story with history lessons mixed in. I enjoyed the voice of the m...

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Posted on: August 4, 2018

Read Bottom Up

Read Bottom Up

by Neel Shah & Skye Chatham 

Reviewed by Christine 

A breezy, easy to read book told in the form of emails and texts. A novel about relationships in the modern age. Not very deep, yet somehow revealing about men's and women's perceptio...

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Posted on: August 4, 2018

Revolutionary Summer

Revolutionary Summer

by Joseph Ellis 

Reviewed by PL 

A well written book that details the military and political events between May and October 1776, the connection between the Continental Congress and the Continental Army.

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Posted on: August 4, 2018

The Finest Hours

Finest Hours

by Michael J Tougias & Casey Sherman 

Reviewed by JH 

Overall, an enjoyable read about an amazing, if harrowing, set of experiences had by many unfortunates and fortunates on the unruly and unpredictable high seas off Cape Cod. Strong ...

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Posted on: August 4, 2018

Close Your Eyes

Close Your Eyes

by Michael Robotham 


Reviewed by JL 

Another fine psychological thriller featuring Joe O'Laughlin. Dark & scary with unexpected twists.

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Posted on: August 4, 2018

Anne's House of Dreams

Anne's House of Dreams

by Lucy Maud Montgomery 

Reviewed by JD 

Revisiting the Anne of Green Gables series for the first time since childhood was a real treat. The Anne books are truly timeless.

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Posted on: August 4, 2018

The Girls

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by Emma Cline 


Reviewed by Leanna 

A readable, subtly spooky book, recommended if you're feeling angsty, cynical, and rebellious.

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Posted on: August 2, 2018

Rain Reign

Rain Reign

by Ann Martin

Reviewed by Amy

This was one of the best books I have ever read.  I listened to it, which made the characters really come alive.  It was very moving without being sentimental.

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Posted on: August 2, 2018

The Geography of Genius

Geography of Genius

by Eric Weiner

Reviewed by VG

What do ancient Greece, Renaissance Florence, turn of the century (the previous one, that is) Vienna, and Silicon Valley have in common?  They all produced geniuses (Socrates, Leonardo, Freud, and Steve Jobs) who chang...

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Posted on: August 2, 2018

The Bayou Trilogy

Bayou Trilogy

bt Daniel Woodrell 

Reviewed by DM 

A reprint edition of Woodrell's first three novels, these stories are set n the fictional bayou town of St. Bruno. Pulpier than his later, more famous Ozark novels (especially Winter's Bone). Some rough ...

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Posted on: August 1, 2018

The Island House

Island House

by Nancy Thayer 

Reviewed by Sandra 

A perfect summer beach read, especially while on Cape Cod. It needs a sequel. I became attached to the characters and want to know what happens to them.

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Posted on: August 1, 2018

Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA

Indentured

by Joe Nocera 


Reviewed by MJ 

A great read that exposes the NCAA's practices and how athletes are pushing back against a powerhouse.

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Posted on: August 1, 2018

Gitanjali

Gitanjali

by Rabindranath Tagore 


Reviewed by DK 

Collection of poems on love, religion, nature, and life. This book provides a refreshing world view.

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Posted on: August 1, 2018

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

by J.K. Rowling 


Reviewed by FS 

A great road trip read for adults and kids alike! Kept everyone's attention.

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Posted on: August 1, 2018

Maternity Leave

Maternity Leave

by Julie Halpern 

Reviewed by LS 

This book hit motherhood head on! Nothing like your first baby at home to turn your life upside down. Lighthearted but hits on some serious issues too.

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Posted on: August 1, 2018

High Season

High Season

by Jon Loomis 

Reviewed by Rebecca 

Murder mystery set on Cape Cod. Former police detective from Baltimore arrives back in Provincetown and has various people turn up dead. He needs to find the connection in order to stay alive.

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Posted on: August 1, 2018

Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights

Translated by Husain Haddawy, based on the text of the fourteenth-century Syrian manuscript

Reviewed by SK

Incredible book of literature. The translator preserves the original tales by providing thorough prologues and maps so the reader can appropriately co...

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Posted on: August 1, 2018

Love That Boy

Love That Boy

By Ron Fournier 

Reviewed by MB 

This true story of a dad's understanding and acceptance of his autistic son is very relatable. All parents can have a fresh perspective from this story about valuing the people in front of us rather than th...

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Posted on: August 1, 2018

A Home at the End of the World

Home at the End of the World

by Michael Cunningham 

Reviewed by Nicole 

This has been one of my favorite books since I read it a decade and half ago. Though less perfect than some of Cunningham's later novels, it has an appealing youthful rawness. The lyrical language...

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Posted on: August 1, 2018

Homegoing

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by Yaa Gyasi 

Reviewed by Claudia 

A fascinating and moving epic novel that traces 2 branches of a family through the generations. It was especially interesting to learn what life was like in the parallel time periods in the 2 locations, G...

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Posted on: August 1, 2018

Borden Chantry

Borden Chantry

by Louis L'Amour 

Reviewed by Julie 

This book is by famous American author Louis L'Amour, who wrote about the settling of the west. This book exemplifies heroes of noble character, fighting for a good life despite incredible savage and be...

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Posted on: August 1, 2018

Street of Eternal Happiness

Street of Eternal Happiness

by Rob Schmitz 


Reviewed by UP 

A great look at contemporary urban China through the eyes of an American journalist and the people who live on his street in Shanghai.

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Posted on: August 1, 2018

Peterchens MondFahrt (Peter's Trip to the Moon)

Peterchens Mondfahrt

by Gerdt von Bassewitz 

Reviewed by Annette 

The German equivalent of our Wizard of Oz, written in 1912. The story is a journey - to help a beetle find his missing leg, which was on the moon. Sometimes predictable, often poetic, the story ...

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Posted on: July 13, 2018

Devil and the Bluebird

Devil and the Bluebird

by Jennifer Mason-Black

Reviewed by Saadia

An intriguing tale that twists an old story, providing a strong female protagonist, rich characters, and a hauntingly mysterious atmosphere, right from the very first page.

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Posted on: July 13, 2018

Hungry Hill

Hungry Hill

by Carole O'Malley Gaunt


Reviewed by Marie

Vivid account of a family who lost first one parent to cancer, then one to alcoholism, yet managed to keep going.

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Posted on: July 13, 2018

Perfume: The Story of a Murder

Perfume

by Patrick Süskind

Reviewed by NM

A truly unique story, sensually focused on the themes of scent and identity.  The book highlights the power and danger of envy, desire, and all-consuming love.  A unique read.

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Posted on: July 13, 2018

I've Got Your Number

Ive Got Your Number

by Sophie Kinsella


Reviewed by MEA

Classic, fun chick-lit!  Sophie Kinsella again gets me to care deeply about one of her somewhat ditzy, but surprisingly resourceful, heroines.

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Posted on: July 13, 2018

Joy of Cooking

Joy of Cooking

by Irma S. Rombauer


Reviewed by anonymous

Great for trying new recipes.  My favorite is the strawberry shortcake!

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

Lilli de Jong

Lilli de Jong

by Janet Benton 


Reviewed by Gail 

This first book from UMass MFA grad is historical, touching, and also heartbreaking while being uplifting.

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

Off Stage

Off Stage

by Betty Comden 

Reviewed by Janice 

Here is a memoir by Betty Comden, who along with her long term business partner Adolph Green, wrote the screenplay and lyrics for "Singing in the Rain, as well as numerous movies and plays. Her col...

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

Austerlitz

Austerlitz

by W.G. Sebald 


Reviewed by Donny 

This is a great book and I'm so glad the Jones has it. I was totally absorbed. It's a book to re-read. Very layered reading.

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

Some Assembly Required

Some Assembly Required

by Ann Lamott 

Reviewed by LPB 

Anne Lamott uses a journal style to discuss her innermost feelings about her son, Sam, and his girlfriend's decision to have their baby Jax at 19 years old. The books FULL of racial slurs about "Hispani...

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

Thinking the Twentieth Century

Thinking the 20th Century

by Tony Judt & Timothy Snyder 

Reviewed by Marcin 

A stimulating conversation between two great intellectuals and historians of both Eastern and Western Europe. Topics include Tony's life, history of Jews in Europe, totalitarianism, an...

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

Every Heart a Doorway

Every Heart a Doorway

by Seanan McGuire 

Reviewed by JL 

If you've ever wondered "What happens after?" when reading a tale of other dimensions or worlds, this book is for you. Part murder mystery, part coming-of-age, a little bit dark humor. I loved i...

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

Supernova

Supernova

by C.A. Higgins 

Reviewed by Phelan 

Frankly, this book was far too dismal. That's not to say I don't enjoy dismal books, but Supernova makes everything so hopeless and generally terrible that I ultimately lost all motivation to finish it ...

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

Refrigerator Monologues

Refrigerator Monologues

by Catherynne M. Valente 

Reviewed by Amy S 

Really fun and different read. These are the stories of the "damsels in distress" from superhero stories, told from their perspective. Very funny and also kind of raw.

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

Bombay Anna

Bombay Anna

by Susan Morgan 

Reviewed by Marie 

A fascinating tale of Anna Leonowens, carefully researched to dispel misconceptions from The King and I and falsehoods from Anna herself.

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

The Shadow Land

The Shadow Land

by Elizabeth Kostova 

Reviewed by JRR 

Set in Bulgaria, this book is two intertwined stories - one "present" and one "past". The past story of Lazarov in the communist era is magnificent. The modern story, much less so....

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

Those Who Save Us

Those Who Save Us

by Jenna Blum 


Reviewed by MA 

Very well-written book about the Holocaust and its affect on one mother and daughter. Themes of family secrets, love, and forgiveness. Excellent.

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

TItan

by Ron Chernow 

Reviewed by PL 

A very detailed, well researched biography of the founder of Standard Oil (Esso). He contrasts the ruthless businessman with the Baptist philathropist, who founded a school for black women and the University...

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

A Discovery of Witches

Discovery of Witches

by Deborah Harkness 

Reviewed by Lara 

This book is a blend of Harry Potter and Twilight, but for adults. The author thoroughly immerses you into the witch/vampire/daemon world of England, and draws you into the start of this wonderful tri...

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

In the Heart of the Sea

In the Heart of the Sea

by Nathaniel Philbrick 


Reviewed by Frank S. 

The story that inspired Moby Dick. The real tale is after they sink!

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne Du Maurier

Manderley Forever

by Tatiana de Rosnay 

Reviewed by Valerie 

De Rosnay has written Manderley Forever in the emotional and literary spirit of Daphne Du Maurier. This book reads like a page-turning novel, unraveling the mysteries of this very popular writer.

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

Emma

Emma

by Jane Austen 

Reviewed by Amy 

I love all of Jane Austen's books, but Emma is a difficult character to like. The movie adaption Clueless captured Emma, who is blithely unaware of everyone around her.

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Posted on: June 30, 2018

A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside

Fine Romance

by Susan Branch 


Reviewed by CH 

A charming diary of a 2 month journey around lovely England - historical sites and walking paths. Wonderful!

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Posted on: June 29, 2018

My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend

by Elena Ferrante 

Reviewed by EA 

Everyone raves about this series, so I was ready to love this book. I couldn't finish it! I got to page 172 and felt like torture. I found the writing to be stilted and there was no plot. I didn't like th...

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Posted on: June 29, 2018

My Master Recipes

My Master Recipes

by Patricia Wells 


Reviewed by MDS 

Well organized cookbook with good recipes and great tips.

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Posted on: June 29, 2018

Boston's Massacre

Boston's Massacre

by Eric Hinderaker 

Reviewed by Becky 

Hinderaker tells history like a true storyteller (in the manner of David McCullough). A significant investigation into the use of violence by police, applicable to the present day.

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Posted on: June 29, 2018

The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life

Nordic Theory of Everything

by Anu Partanen 

Reviewed by Ella 

This book outlines how unjust and unequal childcare, education, and healthcare policies are in the US. It offers wonderful and hopeful prescriptions for fixing these problems in America. A must read!

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Posted on: June 29, 2018

Moscow Nights: The Van Cliburn Story: How One Man and His Piano Transformed the Cold War

Moscow Nights

by Nigel Cliff 


Reviewed by Anonymous 

Van Cliburn was a true American hero, albeit by accident. His talents were undeniable. The book was a well-documented life of the pianist.

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Posted on: June 29, 2018

How to Not Hate Your Husband After Kids

How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids

by Jancee Dunn 

Reviewed by MB 

The title is inflammatory, which I did not like. I found myself hiding it from my kids. As for the book, there was thought-provoking information and ideas. It really is a self-awareness and relationship self...

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Posted on: June 29, 2018

The Book of Joy

Book of Joy

by Dalai Lama XIV and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Reviewed by Jeannine 

An intriguing combination of philosophy and self-help advice. Enjoyed how Abrams tied together the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism's Eastern approach to life with Tutu and Christia...

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Posted on: June 23, 2018

Belgravia

Belgravia

by Julian Fellowes

Reviewed by Rebecca

For fans of Downton Abbey, this period drama set in the mid-19th century has many twists and turns that make it an enjoyable read.  Lovers of English aristocracy will find this a treat!

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Posted on: June 23, 2018

Murder, with Peacocks

Murder with Peacocks

by Donna Andrews

Reviewed by Mandi

Cozy mystery lovers will enjoy this first book in the series.  Great character development that really makes you root for the whole family.  A wonderful summer read.

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Posted on: June 23, 2018

Miss Jane

Miss Jane

by Brad Watson

Reviewed by JR

Watson's beautiful prose and intriguing characters make this book a binge read-worthy page turner.  Readers will be drawn into the unique challenges faced by Miss Jane, a girl with a strong spirit and careful powers of...

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Posted on: June 19, 2018

Salvage the Bones

Salvage the Bones

by Jesmyn Ward

Reviewed by EZ

Enduring the challenges of onoing poverty and the looming crisis of Hurrican Katrina, 15 year old Esch narrates her family's flaws, incredible humanity, and resiliance.  A beautiful story - you can feel the humidity an...

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Posted on: June 19, 2018

The Namesake

The Namesake

by Jhumpa Lahiri


Reviewed by DR

A relatable book about immigration and assimiliation to the US from India.  The hardships Ashima endures as a wife and mother are captured beautifully.

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Posted on: June 19, 2018

Gilded Cage

Gilded Cage

by Vic James

Reviewed by Helena

Interesting premise - 10 years of slavery - that is believable within the story.  I got caught up in the characters and cared  what happened to them.  Looking forward to the next volume.

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Posted on: June 19, 2018

Mozart's Starling

Mozarts Starling

by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

Reviewed by Naya

Such a magical mix of memoir and biography, with plenty of ecology and natural history.  I was surpised at how engaging the story was, and it made for a quick, unique read.

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Posted on: June 19, 2018

If We Were Villains

If We Were Villains

by M. L. Rio

Reviewed by SKG

Rio carefully constructs  a tale of love, betrayal, desperation, and ultimate sacrifice.  Suspenseful 'til the very last page, the author's attention to detail can be appreciated by not only Shakespeare fans bu...

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Posted on: November 21, 2017

Same Beach, Next Year

Same Beach, Next Year

by Dorothea Benton Frank

Reviewed by L.A.G.

If you are looking for a summer read, this book is for you. Two couples and their families meet at the same beach for 20 years. A journey of friendships, love, and family issues. This author has a great sense of h...

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Posted on: November 21, 2017

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

by Sherman Alexie 

Reviewed by E.R.G. 

It's rare that I read a book and then listen to the audio again right after. This is one! Narrated by the author with his inimitable, passionate, fierce, authentic style, he shares his grief and longi...

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Posted on: November 21, 2017

All these Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown

All these Wonders

by Cahterine Burns, editor 


Reviewed by Lucy P. 

This is a collection of presentations on The Moth Radio Hour. Every one is a gem.

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Posted on: November 21, 2017

Midnight's Children

Midnight's Children

by Salman Rushdie

Reviewed by S.K. 

If not for the plot itself, Midnight's Children should be read for the style in which it is written. With historical, religious, and scientific references spanning the while text, Midnight's Children is a grippin...

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Posted on: November 18, 2017

The Fate of the Tearling

Fate of the Tearling

by Erika Johansen 


Reviewed by Kaitlin 

The conclusion to the Tearling series was an intricately woven story , where every detail seemed carefully positioned. A wonderful read!

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