Monday, September 26, 2016

"The Singles Game" 
by Lauren Weisberger

Ms. Weisberger, who wrote "The Devil Wears Prada," here takes us in to the world of women's professional tennis.  Up and coming tennis star Charlotte "Charlie" Silver suffers a devastating injury at Wimbledon.  As she begins rehab, she decides to make some changes to increase her chances of winning a Grand Slam title.  She fires her old coach and hires Todd Feltner, who has previously only worked with men, and who has a reputation for doing whatever it takes to turn his players into winners.  Before she knows it, Charlie has  new sponsors, a stylist, hitting partner, and  publicist and has been turned into the "Warrior Princess." During the next year on the circuit, she visits glamorous locales, meets famous people, and climbs to the elite level of professional women's tennis.  This was a quick read-the reader never loses faith in Charlie, and will see the ending coming before getting too far into the novel-but it was fun.  Reviewed by Amy @ Harris-Elmore Public Library

Monday, September 12, 2016

 "The Evening Spider" by Emily Arsenault

The title perfectly captures the feeling of creeping dread that the reader gets while reading this novel of psychological suspense. The novel intertwines the stories of two young mothers who have lived in an old house in Connecticut.  Frances lived in the house in the 1880's, with her daughter, Martha, and lawyer husband.  Abby and her husband and 5 month old daughter live in the house in the present day.  Abby begins to feel there is a presence in the house, and does some research on the previous inhabitants.  She obtains Frances's journal, which tells of her fascination with an actual murder, and Frances also relates some troubling incidents with which she has been involved.  Frances is eventually confined to the Northampton Lunatic Hospital.  Abby, meanwhile, is increasingly convinced that a supernatural presence means to do them  harm.  Have both women suffered from post-partum depression, or is there an actual ghost?  This book was difficult to put down, (I even had to peek at the ending to make sure the baby was o.k.) and would make a great book discussion book.  I enjoyed one of the author's previous books, "The Broken Teaglass," and enjoyed this one even more.  Reviewed by Amy @ Harris-Elmore Public Library.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

WELCOME TO THE GADDAMN ICE CUBE



WELCOME TO THE GODDAMN ICE CUBE, CHASING FEAR AND FINDING HOME IN THE GREAT WHITE NORTH
by Blair Braverman


Blair's mom was from Whidbey Island in Washington State.  Her father was from New York City but after her parents married they settled in California.  When Blair was 10 years old her father took a year long sabbatical in Norway which is where her mother's family's roots were.  Blair fell in love with Norway.  Back in California, when Blair was in high school the school counselor announced that she was looking for students to study abroad for a year.  Blair filled out the proper forms with her plan to study in Norway.  She ended up with a family just a few hours away from Oslo, Norway.  From that time on, Blair felt the far north was her home.  This book chronicles her adventures in Alaska and Norway as she grows into a self-reliant adult.  I am always so intrigued by the far north so this book was a hit with me.
Reviewed by Mimi @ The Genoa Branch Library

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

ENTWINED


ENTWINED
by Joyce Wallace Scott

Joyce and Judith Scott, fraternal twins, had an extremely close relationship from the moment they were born, almost as if there were one person in two bodies.  They spent all their time together, and even though Judith was born deaf and with down syndrome, the two girls had an uncanny ability to communicate and understand one another.  When the girls were seven years old, Judith was sent away to "school."  After that, Joyce and Judith's mom seemed to lose interest in Judith.  Her name was rarely spoken at home but Joyce never forgot.  She felt like a piece of herself was missing.  This book tells of Joyce's struggles as she grows up until finally she decides that having her twin with her will finally bring her peace.  She brings Judith to live with her and fill the remainder of Judith's life with love and joy.  It is at this time that Judith's artistic abilities come to light and she eventually becomes a world renowned fiber artist.  This is a wonderful book that illustrates that everybody has talents if they can just be released and/or recognized.  No one should be written off or shunned from living a full life.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR

THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR
by Shari Lapena
 
 
A young married couple are happily enjoying life with their new baby daughter.  The wife, Anne,
has quit her job to stay home and be with the baby.  Everything is great until they are invited to a dinner party by the couple who live next door.  That night something terrible happens!  Anne and her husband find themselves under a cloud of suspicion.  As the novel twists and turns through its plot line, things get more and more sinister!  I totally did not see the ending coming!  This is an excellent psychological thriller!  I loved it!
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Monday, August 29, 2016

PATIENT H.M.



PATIENT H.M.  A STORY OF MEMORY, MADNESS, AND FAMILY SECRETS
by Luke Dittrich

The author's grandfather was a pioneer in the study of lobotomies.  Dittrich's grandfather, Dr. Scoville, was a brilliant and respected surgeon.  In the late 1930's it was thought that a new surgery, the lobotomy, would help patients suffering from epilepsy, schizophrenia, homosexuality, and other mental problems.  The surgeons who performed these surgeries were referred to as psychosurgeons.  Unfortunately, at that time in history, people's rights were not as protected as they are now.  Thousands of people in asylums, acting as human guinea pigs, had lobotomies performed on them.  One such individual was Henry Molaison.  Dr. Scoville performed a new type of lobotomy on Henry to try and help his epilepsy.  Henry's ended up losing the ability to construct any new memories.  Over the next 60 years of his life "patient H.M." became the most studied individual in the history of neuroscience.  This book was quite fascinating.  Not only was I intrigued by the way scientists learned about the brain but also the changing attitudes of society in regards to people suffering mental and/or physical issues.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library
"The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer"
by Cathy Ace

The women of the WISE Enquiries Agency (Annie, Mavis, Carol & Christine)  have set up shop in a small village in Wales, with the assistance of the Dowager Duchess of Chellingworth.  They are soon tasked with finding one of the key dancers of the Morris Dance, a traditional dance held to guide a bride and groom to their home.  Not only is the dancer missing, but  valuable artifacts necessary for the dance are also missing-and the wedding of the Duke and Stephanie is only days away.   The ladies make their inquiries and finally get the police to take the disappearance seriously-all in time for the wedding.  I liked that the group got together and summarized things for each other, which also helps the reader, and that the ladies don't go charging off with weapons drawn to confront the villain.  The book is certainly a "cozy," with the village setting, the emphasis on characters, and minimal violence-but I did find the motive rather odd-but because I care for the characters, I will probably pick up the next in the series.  Reviewed by Amy @ Harris-Elmore Public Library.