Here are my thoughts on books I have read. I don’t care for long book reviews or summaries of the book so below you will find some rather brief statements by me on a variety of books – children’s teen and adult. Why not read it all?!
by Debbie Tung
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I can relate to 99% of this book. Thank you Debbie Tung for creating this most relatable and funny book!
Muppet Show Comic
by Roger Langridge
Ok, so I realize some artists put their spin on graphic novels but I just cannot stand the way the Muppets look in this one. The dialogue though is very much the mood of the Muppet Show though! I finished it but wouldn’t pursue anymore!
We Contain Multitudes
by Sarah Henstra
This book was cool. It is written in letters between two high school boys who were unlikely to be friends in real life. I loved the idea of using letters since the young men would be part of a generation who rely heavily on smartphones for communication. I really enjoyed this book. I also enjoyed the constant references to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Well done.
Where the Crawdads Sing
by Delia Owens
Here is the hot new thing at my library. I ended up buying it because everybody is talking about it and the wait list is huge. Well, it was NOT worth the buy. The first 100 pages were too slow. As I kept reading, I realized this was going to be one of those books with a twist at the end (predictably so because this book wasn’t about great writing) and it that is exactly what happened. I kind of saw it coming. Slightly disappointed as well. Not very good closure either. Boo.
A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns
by Archie Bongiovanni & Tristan Jimerson
My library is gearing up for Pride month. I noticed this title in a Pride brochure that my supervisor made. I thought I would pick it up since I feel like I live under a rock!! This was a quick and fun read which is actually pretty educational without being overwhelming. I really appreciated the advice they gave to people about choosing your battles when it comes to trying to change people’s ways – choose your battles and if they don’t change then maybe reconsider being their friend. Fair enough. When it comes down to it, I think, if you are a respectful person then you will try to accommodate people for they way they are. I will certainly try my best to remember all of this!
Prince and the Dressmaker
by Jen Wang
I so enjoyed this graphic novel! It has a little bit of everything that I love – friendship, loyalty, acceptance, fashion and a happy ending. I recommend it!
The Alchemist: A Graphic Novel
by Paulo Coelho
I was skeptical about this novel as a graphic novel. I wasn’t crazy about the illustrations but I was able to finish it.
Prince & Knight
by Daniel Haack
My coworkers are really broadening my horizons, especially with children’s books. As Pride month approaches, I’ve been reading LGBTQIA+ books for children. I wonder how parents these days explain to children about their feelings and the way they should be (themselves of course)! This book kind of blew me away. Sure it is easy to write a book about two boys falling in love. But, I love the fact that the author took the traditional fairy tale of the prince/princess and broke the stuffy old rules about boys falling in love with girls and vice versa!
You’re Here For a Reason
by Nancy Tillman
I heard about this book at work. Our Youth Librarian chose this book for an upcoming StoryWalk in our community. This is one of the most beautiful, inspiring children’s books I have ever read. I loved it so much I actually wrote down a few lines from it and displayed it in my office. Funny how as adults, we can still learn from children’s books.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
I read a banned book! Well, it isn’t banned in my state anyway. This is a teen novel that always seems to end up on banned books lists. I think all teens should read this book. Even though it is a novel, it is clearly part memoir. This coming of age novel made me laugh and made me think. It was easy to read because the author has a truly unique voice and unique story. It’s packed with lots of lessons to be learned about race, persistence, family and loyalty. Truly worth the read.
Nothing Is Impossible
by Christopher Reeve
I listened to the audiobook, read by the author. It’s filled with lots of medical terminology but it is educational and easy to understand. Reeve helps us understand his journey after his accident and also shares his true feelings about it all. Kudos to him for being able to write this and share his feelings with the world. We can all learn a thing or two from his great attitude.
Of Love and Other Demons
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This is the third novel I’ve read by the author. The book is set in the eighteenth century. The daughter of noble family is bit by a rabid dog and believed to be possessed. The book filled with love, lust, exorcism and sheer madness. My head is still spinning.
A Spark of Light
by Jodi Picoult
I’ve been a follower of Picoult for a while now, but somehow her new book wasn’t on my radar until someone at work asked me about it. The husband & wife read Picoult and have conflicting opinions and wanted to know my point of view, so I picked it up!
Normally Picoult writes in the same style for every novel. She writes from each character’s point of view which helps her weave together a really great story (not to mention the subject matter is almost always a controversial, hot topic). This time though, she changed her writing format. She starts the story at the end and works backwards. Each chapter is by time, not by character.
While I thought the book was good, I had trouble understanding the character development. I felt a little lost. There was a twist at the end that was almost predictable, which is not true of most of her other books. I would still recommend it, but I hope she returns to her normal writing style.
Tiny Book of Tiny Stories Volumes 1 & 2
Edited by Joseph Gordon-Levitt
I never knew anything about these charming little books until I received a request to purchase form for them at my job. They are nice little books with great art with great writing. You can certainly finish them in one sitting. It is almost like poetry. But make sure you go back and look at them again. You might miss something. These books were made possible by an art collaborative called HitRecord: www.hitrecord.org
How We Roll
by Natasha Friend
Here’s a middle school book about a young girl’s struggle with Alopecia. This book also deals with Autism and amputees. Kudos to the author for tackling so many tough issues while keeping the story interesting and real.
by Cal Newport
Enjoyable & readable. Read it in four days. Interesting, this concept of solitude deprivation or never spending time quietly with your own thoughts. It is something I never really considered before but now I understand! He includes digital audiobooks under that category. Those are part of my quiet, relaxing morning walk. But it isn’t a truly quiet walk then. Maybe some days I should unplug and just listen to nature. This was pretty well researched and he quoted another book I enjoyed by Sherry Turkle called Reclaiming Conversation. Thankful this was not a self help book which I feared it might turn into. Worth the read.
by Stephen King
A memoir of writing? What the heck does that even mean? This is what I thought when I looked up the book in the library catalog. Really, it is a story of his life, then a story about writing, then lots of tough love for potential writers, then some instruction on how to write. Finally, a story of his major accident which was really the best story of all. Oh did I mention it is a little bit of a love story too? Love a man who loves his wife and credits her throughout his book! And at no point was this book about how to make money writing. I appreciated that. Very worth your time especially if you want to write. If you just love reading and writing, this is worth your time as well.
The Blue Heron
by Isabelle Simler
Filled with simple words accompanied by with lovely illustrations. SO gorgeous.
The Good Egg
by Jory John
I LOVE THIS CHILDREN’S BOOK. Yes that is right, it is so good it is worth writing in CAPS. The illustrations are so fun. This might be my biography. We even look similar. Seriously….
Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury
by Lesley-Ann Jones
This book taught me that MANY people have a piece of the complex character that is Freddie Mercury and it would be impossible for anyone to write a good book about him because of that. I didn’t like the order and style in which the author presented the book. I almost quit a few times but I like Mercury a lot, so I kept going. If you have time to spare, read this, otherwise, don’t rush to read it.
Rhode Island Memories: The Early Years, A Pictorial History
by The Providence Journal
I so enjoyed this book. I saw it advertised in the Sunday Providence Journal a few times so I ordered a copy from the library. It is a little smaller than a standard coffee table book, so it is easy to hold but that doesn’t affect the quality of the photographs. I was pleased that instead of each chapter being a photographer’s portfolio, or by the town, they split it up by core items like agriculture, education, recreation and street scenes. I was delighted to see so many photos from my hometown! Well done.
Find MoMo: Coast to Coast
by Andrew Knapp
Love, love, LOVE IT!! It’s like Where’s Waldo but with this guy’s incredibly adorable dog. I laughed and had a great time looking at it. This book was a great after a long, stressful day at work. It was almost as cute as Maddie on Things!
Return to Fear Street
by R.S. Stine
Imagine my delight when I found out one of my favorite authors from my earlier days would be releasing a new series of books. I am laughing aloud because I recall my parents wishing I’d read something a bit more quality back then, but I would just plow right through every Stine book I could get my hands on. My, my how my reading taste has changed over the years. I enjoyed reading these. What a guilty pleasure! They reminded me a lot of the good old days of reading a simple, slightly suspenseful story just for fun.
Bird by Bird
by Anne Lamott
Wow. This whole book was brutally honest, a serious reality check and loaded with jabs of humor. What a perfect book to get me jump started with writing. Wish I had read this a little slower. I can tell this will be one of those books I will read again someday soon. Can’t wait to read more books by her.
Make Better Pictures
by Henry Horenstein
Wow this was a let down. I used Horenstein’s book Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual in my photography classes and it was good. This book was hodge podge of tips, tricks, quotes and professional knowledge which left me wondering who the heck this book was tailored to. A few spots of inspiration and reminders of what I learned in college, but still disappointed.
The Millionaire Next Door
by Thomas J Stanley & William D Danko
Some common sense stuff tossed in with some really smart points sprinkling with some super boring stuff.
by Tessa Barton
Alright, I will be honest here. I almost dismissed this book in the first few pages. I sometimes find it hard to take influencers seriously. Alas, the book was actually enjoyable and substantial.
My Sister, the Serial Killer
by Oyinkan Braithwaite
I saw this book reviewed in quite a few places. I noticed it hadn’t made the NYT best seller list yet so I figured there must be something special about it. It is a small book with super short, choppy chapters so I couldn’t take it seriously. But, I finished it and was left puzzled. Strangely, I enjoyed this book where we really only understood the characters on the surface. Bit of a conundrum here! Hmm….
If Beale Street Could Talk
by James Baldwin
I used to be totally on top of all the award nominated films. Then streaming services and greedy companies like Netflix and Amazon starting making their own shows and movies and don’t allow their made-for shows out on DVD in time for the awards, which means I can’t get them at the library, which means I won’t watch them. The only nominated film I saw was Bohemian Rhapsody. I turned the awards show on during Regina King’s thank-you speech. She won best supporting actress for If Beale Street Could Talk. I looked it up and it is actually a book (aren’t most if not all films today stolen from great books?). I have always wanted to read a novel by Baldwin, so I figured I’d pick this one up from the library. It was a quick story packed with tough characters and lots of emotion. Worth the read before seeing the film. Meanwhile I am still on the waiting list at the local library for the film. Stay tuned to the main page of my blog for a film review!
An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good
by Helen Tursten
The size of this book is adorable (as well as the cover art). I was initially concerned this would stink because it was translated, but it was great. Quick read in little stories revolving around the same elderly woman. It is dark but funny.
Regarding the Pain of Others
by Susan Sontag
My second attempt at a Sontag book. I quit halfway through this book. I just can’t get into Sontag. I thought because she covered history, art and photography that I might be interested but……NOPE.
by Jacqueline Woodson
It’s a coming of age story that is well written, interesting and could almost be read in one sitting (if I had the time I would have loved to!) I recommend it!
And Then You Die of Dysentry: Lessons in Adulting From The Oregon Trail
by Lauren Reeves
Little disappointed here. Probably my fault! Didn’t like the combination the old and the new. Just hyped myself up I guess! Oh well!
GMORNING, GNIGHT: Little Pep Talks for Me & You
by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Ok disclaimer – I only know Miranda from Hamilton (which I haven’t even seen yet) and the upcoming Mary Poppins remake. I don’t follow his Twitter so perhaps I am not as sentimental about this book as the rest, but it was just ok. You can read it in one sitting. Slightly inspirational and very simple. Illustrations were ok.
by Elizabeth Acevedo
I previously never heard of the author or the book. Someone at my book club mentioned it. This coming of age story in prose is a quick read with a nice impact.
Children of Blood & Bone
by Tom Adeyemi
My young cousin requested this book for Christmas, so I decided to read it before I purchased it for her. This is a teen novel filled with just the right amount of fantasy, magic and suspense. Also, had a great pace. Granted the pace may have been heightened because each chapter is told from the point of view of each character. I’ve just heard this will be the first in a series of books. I might consider pursuing the rest some day!
by Justin Timberlake
Perhaps fans have been waiting years for a Timberlake autobiography. I feel like Timberlake is too cool an artist to write a standard size hardcover, so this almost coffee table-sized book is appropriate. It is filled with lots of graphics and photographs for a splash of artistic expression. I suppose it leaves readers with just enough information about his life to keep us satisfied but still wanting a little more. Exactly what I expected from this book.
The Library Book
by Susan Orlean
A story that was supposed to be about the great fire at the L.A. Public Library. Sure it was about that, but also a study of librarians and books. A little all over the place but makes me proud to work at a library!
by Bill Cunningham
I am going to tell my secrets. Once upon a time I dreamed of working for Vogue magazine as a photographer. My other dream was to be photographed by Bill Cunningham on the streets of New York City.
I was unaware of Bill Cunningham until I started to read the New York Times Sunday newspaper. I really enjoyed the small On the Street section by Cunningham. One day, I wrote his name down and looked for his work in books in the library catalog, but alas, I didn’t find any. But during my research I stumbled upon a documentary called Bill Cunningham New York. While I watched it, I just fell in love with Cunningham. He was portrayed as a simple, charming man whose lifestyle was never frivolous. He really did live for fashion. He woke up everyday, buttoned up the same blue jacket (which reminded me instantly of Mr Rogers) and started shooting the inspiration all around him taking only his faithful Nikon camera and bicycle.
I have been waiting months for the release of this book. If you love Cunningham, you will not be disappointed. How refreshing to hear his story in his own words. You can almost hear him telling you the story in person, really. His passion for fashion was so strong that he (somewhat respectfully) defied his parents and extended family and jumped right in to creating women’s hats. Most times he was poor and hungry but fashion nourished him. The point that strikes home hardest is sticking to your guns, being one of a kind and working at your art form despite the nay-sayers. How truly inspiring.
The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
by Michael Scott
I was recently listening to the first book in the Harry Potter series. If you’ve already read it, you know the author weaves Nicholas Flamel into the story. I remembered The Alchemyst was always a hit with teens so I thought I would finally pick it up. Great read! It was action-packed and fun! I may even tackle the rest of the series some day!
by Alice Hoffman
Coming of age stories are always a favorite of mine. This one took place during the Spanish Inquisition. I loved all of Hoffman’s teen books and this one is just as good as Green Witch and Green Angel. Don’t miss it! Quick read but well done!
by Raina Telgemeier
This teen book has come & gone over the desk at work for what seems like a million times. I have always been curious about it, but never had a chance to grab it. While working on the Banned Books Week display for my patrons, I noticed this made the challenged list. I decided this was a great excuse to read it. Well, I just loved it. What a sweet book. I will let YOU figure out why this book is challenged and/or banned. I see nothing wrong with it!
The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers
by Maxwell King
Even though I admire Rogers, I am afraid this book just didn’t do it for me. It may be that the movie (which I loved) is still fresh in my mind. Compared to the movie the book was dry. I would have liked more primary sources (but maybe they are not available?) The film made me love Mr Rogers even more. The book was text about the man. Yikes!
Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living
by Elizabeth Willard Thames
I appreciate the author’s honesty about her somewhat privileged upbringing, but it lingered in my mind throughout the entire book. While what they achieved was not easy and took lots of discipline I just can’t be AS excited as someone who might have achieved the same result with a different background. Still, slightly inspiring!
Iris Apfel: An Accidental Icon
by Iris Apfel
Nice mix of text, photos and illustration. She is fabulous!
by Ben Dolnick
Nice, quick read to gear up for the spookiest season of the year! Not TOO predictable either!
Return to Fear Street
by R.L. Stine
I had to look twice when I saw at work that R.L. Stine had a new Fear Street book out. Oh glorious trip back to my childhood. Oh how many Stine books I binge-read! This one was just like the novels I read in the 90s. Nice blast from the past!
It Ain’t So Awful Falafel
by Firoozeh Dumas
Great kid’s book recommended by my young cousin. Really enjoyed it.
by Barbara Ehrenreich
The beginning was great. She lost me somewhere in the middle then I caught up at the end. I think it is worth the read!
The Mermaid Handbook
by Carolyn Turgeon
This came over the desk at work and I was struck by how pretty the cover was. I had to take it home. You really have to love mermaids to read this because the author covers everything and anything in history about mermaids. Enjoyable mix of history and crafts. FUN!
Six of Crows
by Leigh Ardugo
I stepped into the world of teen fantasy. It was good!
How To Break Up With Your Phone
by Catherine Price
Most of this is common sense (to me)but maybe not to those who are truly addicted to their phones. This is a much needed book for many. It was a nice reminder to put the phone down and enjoy life!
Kind is the New Classy
by Candace Cameron Bure
Eh. It was ok. Some parts inspiring other parts too religious. Always nice to read things by Candace.
LOVE! Saw this at the gift shop at the museum and somehow managed to NOT buy it and wait to get a library copy.
by Daphne Du Maurier
Can’t believe I read this for the first time as an adult. What a great book!! Why didn’t I discover this earlier?!
War on Normal People
by Andrew Yang
File this under things I don’t want to read but need to.
by Carole Maurel
SO enjoyed this. My new supervisor recommended this and I am glad she did, otherwise I would have never know about it.
by Chelsea Fagan
Some parts were good!
Boston Public Library
by Catherin Willis
Grabbed this after my visit to Boston recently. I so enjoyed the library and this book was a nice quick history with great photos.
Why To Kill a Mockingbird Matters
by Tom Santopietro
Nope. Couldn’t finish it.
by Alex Johnson
If you have a chance, just look at the photos!! What awesome shelves.
Stranger in the Woods
by Michael FInkl
Good, fast read!
by Roxane Gay
I like her. I like her a LOT. I like her writing and her POV even though I might not agree with it every time.
A great book full of Marilyn’s own words (scanned copies of her written word). I always enjoy books in this format.
by Frank McCourt
I listened to the audiobooks, all read by the author. I enjoyed Angela’s Ashes, liked ‘Tis but couldn’t finish Teacher Man. What a life this guy had!
Julian is a Mermaid
by Jessica Love
A colorful, fun and fabulous children’s book.
Because of Anya
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
A story about a young girl with Alopecia. A GREAT read for anyone. Take it from me! I have been there!
Origins of a Story
by Jake Grogan
Disappointed. I may have had my hopes too high. I found this at a bookstore after spending an hour trying to find the perfect book while at the bookstore – because I never buy books a full price…..
Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters Who Puled Off the World’s Greatest Art Heist
by Stephen Kurkijan
Picked this up audiobook after a visit to the museum. Interesting!
50 Ways to Wear a Scarf
by Lauren Friedman
Almost worth buying! Illustrations are so sweet and I learned quite a few new ways to wear a scarf!
100 Best Albums Of…
by Peter Dodd and Justin Cawthorne
What fun we had reminiscing about our favorite hits!!
Kings & Queens of England
Found this tiny book at the library book sale. Each chapter had a portrait of the royalty along with a quick history lesson. Just a nice refresher!
What Belongs To You
by Garth Greenwell
I picked this up because the author was scheduled to speak at my library (and was too sick to come, BOO!) Such discomfort between the characters but it read really well.
Weapons of Math Destruction
by Cathy O’Neill
Scary, frustrating and not totally surprised about this topic.
Art of Invisibility
by Kevin D. Mitnick
YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK.
Avedon: Something Personal
by Norma Stevens & Steven M.L. Aronson
I was so looking forward to this. I am a photographer and I know quite a bit about Avedon (studied in college during my photography courses.) Usually I am put off by books this big, but I was hoping this tome would make for a well researched book. Well that is NOT the case. This book was far too long and unorganized. I often enjoy reading different points of view but the amount of interviews the authors used took away from Avedon’s story. What a disappointment. I dare say it borders PRETENTIOUS. BOO!
by Ann Hood
This was a nice, quick, slightly inspiring book about Hood’s obsession with books and how certain titles shaped her life.
by Stephen P. Kiernan
If you have read all the popular books on WWII (Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See, Book Thief, Sarah’s Key etc.) then this is the next title you should pick up. It is quick read but hard to put down. The writing isn’t anything to call home about, but still worth the read!
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
by Sherry Turkle
Wow. Just wow. Long and well researched. Lots to study and learn about the next generation and their habits and etiquette.
“My grandmother wanted me to understand that I could take out any book. But the books would be a secret between me and the library. No one had the right to know the list of books I read.”
Does this generation even understand what it is like to be offline? I think not.
Big Mushy Happy Lump
by Sarah Andersen
Laugh out loud funny. Loved her first book and loving this one even more!
Head-On: Stories of Alopecia
GREAT resource for anyone with Alopecia!
by Jodi Picoult
This is an Amazon Kindle Single Kindle in Motion book! Very cool! Looking forward to the novel!
The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
The title is taken from TuPac’s lyrics. I read this teen novel in two days. Tough subject but well done!
by Dr. Josh Axe
Ok, this was good but some parts were just far too OUT THERE for me like the fecal transplant. If you have a faint heart, don’t Google it. But he does have some interesting points about being an over-sanitized society! I listened to the audiobook, but they leave out lots of charts and resources at the end of the print book!
by Ian Leslie
I knew I was going to like this book because the author begins by saying robots can’t replace
curious people. This was an interesting read!
Crossing the Bamboo Bridge
by May Donohue
A great memoir that I could not put down! This woman is something else! Forced into marriage at age 14, Donohue’s dreams of reading and education were constantly squashed by her mother and society. This woman persisted and overcame so many obstacles. Do read!
This Fight is Our Fight
by Elizabeth Warren
This is hard to read. I actually listened to the audiobook, which is read by Warren. It left me with a sense of hopelessness. Focuses on the 2008 crash, greedy corporate execs and trashing Trump, as well as sharing with us some real life examples of middle class families struggling.
Adulthood is a Myth
by Sarah Anderson
This book is hilarious. I think this book’s hilarity will ring true with a small group of weirdos like me. And you certainly HAVE to be a woman to get it. Thank you Sarah!
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I saw this book right next to her other book We Should All Be Feminists, at the bookstore. After being so please with her last book, I figured this one would be great too. I did not realize these fifteen suggestions were meant for a mother of a new baby. I almost returned it to the library, but I thought it might be worth my time – and it was. Adichie encourages the new mother to combat gender roles and stereotypes with education & good communication. Packs a powerful punch for such a tiny book.
We Should All Be Feminists
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I saw this book and fell in love with the size of it. It was tiny and short, and just what I was looking for this busy week. I’d heard of Adichie but never read her novels. This particular book was based on a TED talk she gave (which I will immediately try to find online!) What a strong and intelligent woman. Her views on feminism are spot on and girls could learn a lot from her!! I recommend this book!
Touched with Fire
by Kay Redfield Jamison
This was good but filled with far too much medical terminology and far too long for me.
Man’s Search for Meaning
by Viktor E. Frankl
Wonderful & inspiring.
by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
This was awful. Awful characters, awful plot and awful waste of time.
by Thich Nhat Hanh
Just so inspiring.
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
by Amy Schumer
I want to like Schumer, I really do! Some of this book was very genuine but I am put off by some of her humor.
Unbanking of America
by Lisa Servon
This was interesting!
by Bryan Stevenson
It took me months to read this. It was hard to digest but totally worth the read. This was the 2017 Reading Across RI winner!
The Other Boy
by M.G. Hennessey
Fans of Palacio’s Wonder will enjoy this book. This is a children’s novel about a preteen named Shane, who in the beginning of the novel, we assume is a boy. Later in the book we learn he was born a girl. Throughout the book he faces some tough choices and shows his peers what it means to stay true to what you believe.
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer & Longer
by Fredrik Backman
Fans of A Man Called Ove are sure to love Backman’s latest novella. This is a touching story about a grandfather and grandson. Get the tissues out!
The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort & Connection
by Louisa Thomsen Brits
Nice little book as an intro to Hygge, but a bit repetitive and not enough photos for me!
by Dinah Fried
Stumbled upon this at the library. What a great idea. RISD alum Dinah Fried chooses classic books and sets up these fictitious dishes and photographs them. VERY COOL!
by Sebastian Junger
This book was very short but packed a punch. Junger spends much of the beginning discussing tribes and societies. He points out how safe and united people feel as they are bonded together for a common cause. He uses war as an example of that bond (albeit it a destructive and frightening one). It makes complete sense. Do read.
by Chip & Joanna Gaines
Chip & Joanna Gaines share their love story and journey to their TV show Fixer Upper. It was nice to hear both points of view (which proved to be humorous when they disagreed!)
Sounds like they worked hard to achieve their fame today!
by J.D. Vance
Author J.D. Vance shares with us his childhood experiences in one of the poorest towns in the Rust Belt. Much more than a memoir, Vance digs deep into the culture that surrounded him. His childhood was challenging and at times heartbreaking. His honesty is brutal but beautiful. I promise you won’t be able to put it down.
Salt, Sugar, Fat
By Michael Moss
It took me a LONG time to finish this. I read some of the print book then mostly listened to the audio version. This is a super important book that everyone in America should read. This book is well researched and tells many truths about the science and marketing behind our food. If you don’t have time, do yourself a favor and look up the term “bliss point.” It isn’t easy to stomach the information (excuse the pun) but in his epilogue he closes with a crucial point:
“they may have salt, sugar and fat on their side, but we, ultimately, have the power to make choices. After all, we decide what to buy. We decide how much to eat.”
Talking as Fast as I Can
by Lauren Graham
Fans of Gilmore Girls will love Graham’s new book. The pace and humor reminded me a lot of her character on Gilmore Girls. While most of it is funny & genuine, it is just far too short! Certainly leaves you wanting more. If you like Graham she does have a novel called Someday Someday Maybe.
Revenge of Analog
by David Sax
If you are anything like me, you are feeling totally overwhelmed by the pace of technology these days, and may be yearning for more analog things. If that is the case, then this book is for you. Sax makes some pretty strong arguments for analog devices like record players, photographic film and handwriting! He might just have you believing they are making a comeback!
by Sharon Creech
OBSESSED! This is a children’s chapter book. It’s the story of two young children whose family moves from the big city to small town Maine. The children meet their rather peculiar, elderly neighbor with whom they will eventually spend lots of time. At first they are frightened of her but soon they will learn how important she is and she (and her cow) will change their lives.
Pogue’s Basics: Tech, Life and Money
by David Pogue
David Pogue’s books are great. I love a smart book!
These are all really smart books with good tips.
by Tori Spelling
Apparently, I am still on a 90s kick. Needed something brainless over the holidays- let’s say this was a good choice. She seemed pretty candid but not a fan of her story. It was a quick, easy and mildly entertaining read.
by Ellen J. Langer
While I did keep in mind that this book was published many moons ago, most of the content is still valid today. However, I found it read much like a text book, which turned me off a bit. I do like the comparison of mindfulness to mindlessness. It is interesting how our brain works on a mindlessness matter when it comes to tasks we do every day. If you are big on non-fiction and enjoy reading studies and tests then you’ll enjoy this one. I, however, admit, I had to scan a bit to get to the end.
Jason Priestley: A Memoir
by: Jason Priestley
Well, I was never allowed to watch Beverly Hills 90210 because my parents thought it too risqué. Recently I started watching it on HULU. I decided to pick up this books to maybe get the inside scoop on the cast. While there’s very little scoop it’s still a nice little glimpse into Priestley’s life. Nice quick read.
People I Want to Punch in the Throat
by Jen Mann
Yet another sarcastic, biting collection of essays about real life interactions with people the author hates. More trickle down from Fey & Poehler. Occasionally funny… Better to listen to the audio to understand her tone.
Murder at the 42nd Street Library
by Con Lehane
Who can resist a murder mystery set at one of the most famous libraries in the USA? This was a quick & fun read. Does include some sexual content that might make some uncomfortable.
The Invisible Library
by Genevieve Cogman
“I & Mr Strongrock are agents of a library which exists between alternate worlds. Our task is to collect books for the Library from all these worlds, to preserve them.”
Harry Potter fans may enjoy this 1st book of the Invisible Library series.
Our protagonist, librarian Irene, battles bad guys, vampires and all sorts of mythical creatures, in alternate universes to retrieve a very special book that belongs in a very special library. This is a quick, fun read.
Yes My Accent is Real
by Kunal Nayyar
I so enjoyed this! I mostly listened to the audio book.
I am a big fan of the TV show the Big Bang Theory so I thought I might enjoy this book. Nayyar gives us a glimpse of his life through essays and short stories. It wasn’t a total biography like one would think, but certainly his stories help us understand who he is, where he came from and how he obtained his role on the TV show Big Bang Theory.
He was funny & genuine. If you are looking for a quick, easy read about a celebrity who is NOT self-centered or isn’t trying to be too funny, then this one is for you.
Sad Animal Facts
by Brooke Barker
Super quick, mostly illustrated. Some parts are laugh-out-loud funny!
Bach, Beethoven & the Boys
by David W. Barber
I wanted to like this, really, I did. What a perfect size for a book about all these wonderful composers. I played piano many moons ago and thought it would be a nice refresher course while enjoying a good laugh here & there. Well, this certainly fell short of my expectations. While some parts were funny, there were FAR TOO MANY FOOTNOTES. And most of the footnotes were almost one-liners or sarcastic remarks. Kudos, anyway, to Barber for cramming all these wonderful composers into one book!
Small Great Things
by Jodi Picoult
I always jump at a new Picoult release. Her last two novels were great. I had high expectations but this novel fell short. The story was interesting enough to finish but not quite compelling. Yes there was a dramatic twist at the end but not good enough for me! Still love ya Jodi!
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
by Jenny Lawson
This book is absurd and partially made-up. The author admits it immediately in the beginning of the book. I wanted to like this. Listening to the audio version was like being stuck with a stranger who never stops talking. But I did appreciate the few times she was actually funny and how she was very honest and sentimental about her pregnancy and keeping her daughter safe. Can’t say I’ve ever read anything like it.
by Rory Raven
Here is a nice quick read for Halloween. Author Rory Raven shares ghost stories set in many familiar places in Providence.
A Little Bit Wicked
by Kristin Chenoweth
I listened to the audio version of this, read by the author. It was fantastic. She is candid & funny. I previously was familiar with Chenoweth only as a performer in the hit broadway show Wicked. Do read!
Advance Style/ Advance Style: Older & Wiser
If you love fashion then these books are a MUST. As with most books these days, this set started as a blog by photographer/writer Ari Seth Cohen. The book is full of color photos of the best dressed women around. You’ll notice they have something in common – they are not young girls fresh out of the fashion magazines. Most are 50+ and fabulous. If you don’t have time to read about the women and their theories on fashion and life, please at least pick it up for the photography & fashion.
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon
Here is one of those books you wish you’d known about sooner.
You can read this in 1-2 sittings!
Haddon’s novel is told from the point-of-view of Christopher John Francis Boone. It is obvious as you read along he has some form of autism. You will love him because he is honest and funny ( even though he doesn’t quite “get” funny.) I do enjoy reading from other’s perspective and his is very interesting. Ride along as Boone tries to solve the murder of a dog and learns a WHOLE LOT about his family & his life!
by Jodi Picoult
Before you read this, please note this novel is available only in EBOOK form. Picoult released this short story as sort of an introduction to her novel coming out this Fall, calledSmall Great Things. In her normal “Picoult” fashion, we are introduced to the main character, Ruth, who is about to attend a prestigious school. She is a bright young lady who is expected to do well in school. But there is something that is setting her apart from the rest of the class: RACE. Picoult does not disappoint.
Keep Curious and Carry a Banana
by H.A. Rey
YES this is a book for adults.
This is a sweet little reminder of what life is really about – and that Curious George is still our favorite monkey!!
Tiffany’s Table Manners for Teenagers
I recently booked a trip to NYC for my husband’s birthday.
I was watching a documentary about Tiffany’s called
“Crazy about Tiffany’s” and a reference was made to this book. The library copy I read was the 1989 edition. It was totally charming and some parts were laugh-out-loud funny.
Jim Henson: A Biography
by Brian Jay Jones
It took me a while to finish this. I wanted to read it slowly because it was so detailed. Jim Henson was a remarkable guy. I don’t want to put him too high on a pedestal, but we could learn a lot from him. While his ability to communicate his feelings and resolve conflict was not to be admired, his ideas about inspiring the world (and children) with his artistry was outstanding. I so enjoyed learning about his family and how his grandmother influenced his path to art. Just great!
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
by Nadia Hashimi
Outstanding. Just totally outstanding. Fans of Khaled Hosseini’s Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns will love this one, perhaps even MORE. I will be honest – I almost quit. I had a really hard time dealing with the way women/girls are treated in this book. I am glad I didn’t stop. These are some amazing people & amazing stories. And who knows – perhaps they were inspired by true stories? We will never know.
by Dan Brown
Brown delivers another super-fast, edge of your seat thriller with Digital Fortress. This time it revolves around the NSA, U.S. Intelligence and computer hacking. Although published in 2008 some of the circumstances would still hold true with today’s technology! Hard to put down.
by Peter Pezzelli
Quick, easy and entertaining with local references! LOVE IT!
The Industries of the Future
by Alec Ross
The chapter on advances in medicine & science are amazing. In the future doctors and scientists will be able to screen you for cancer with a simple blood test much like the one for your yearly physical. Most likely catching cancer at Stage 1 where it is much more easily treatable unlike Stages 3 or 4 when it may be too late.
A Man Called Ove
by Fredrick Backman
Read it in two or three sittings and I LOVED IT!! It’s a quick, touching little story that will make you laugh out loud.
The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
by Sarah Knight
Was totally looking forward to Sarah Knight’s
Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck. I read about it in Vogue so naturally I had to get it.
I waited months at the local library and finally got my hands on it.For those of you who haven’t heard about it, it is a bit of a mockery of Kondo’s Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In theory, it sounded like a good idea and funny since I kind of disliked Kondo’s book. Well, it was awful. I don’t mind an F-bomb here and there but JEEZ. I get the point lady but I didn’t need that many!! Nice idea, poor execution.
The Cry & The Covenant
by Morton Thompson
I think it was almost 10 years ago that I spent a week with my aunt in California. She was telling me that this was one of her all time favorite books. My cousin ordered it for me and I had it on my doorstep within a week (thank you Amazon). Well can I just say it actually took me almost 10 years to finish it? I know, you think, that’s awful. It was a slow read at times but SO worth it in the end. I tend to put the books on my bookshelf aside when I checkout library books, so that can be to blame…right?.. Anyway, it’s historical fiction regarding a physician by the name of Ignaz Semmelweis. He learns that by simply washing hands, medical staff can prevent the spread of child bed fever. Sounds simple right? Well, what happens when no one in your field believes you? Your students examine cadavers then head straight to the examining table to work on pregnant women. Some instances multiple women were assigned the same bed with soiled linens. We don’t realize how advanced the medical field is today. Let’s not take that for granted. Semmelweis’ journey was a long one and the ending will break your heart.
When We Are No More
by Abby Smith Rumsey
I have a post floating around somewhere about this book, but in case it gets buried….
What a fantastic book. I almost quit in the beginning because the author went on about history that I already know, especially about Thomas Jefferson. But she tied it all together so well.
“In Jefferson’s vision, access to organized knowledge is necessary to promote the progress and well-being of humanity. In the developed world, market capitalism plays important roles , but long term investment in the public good is not one of them. Google boasts
that they organize knowledge for the world. But the vision of Jefferson and the Founders proposes that the organization of access to knowledge is to be a public utility, wholly owned by the people for the purpose of self-government.”
“Free access to information is the sole guarantor of self-rule. Ignorance and secrecy are fundamental threats to freedom because the compromise our autonomy and freedom of choice. This is what Jefferson and his peers believed and why they established a national library funded by the public purse.”
Reflect upon those two statements from the book! Certainly put things in perspective for me…
The LCMOTU is a HUGE best seller and I cannot understand why! The companion book, I feel, is almost a back pedal to make up for the first one by throwing in particular ideas on how to fold clothes and really tidy up. I would not waste your money! Get them from the library!
The content of the book is tough to swallow. Koppel presents some scary scenarios of possible cyber attacks on our country. I think the scariest of all – an attack on our electricity grids. Are we as a country ready for this? Is the government prepared?? Read this book to find out.
Dancing Through Life
by Candace Camerone Bure
Enjoyed her other books. This one was a quickie that focused way too much on her religion. I’m not opposed to religion but I think all the passages took away from the story of her time on DWTS. Still finished though much skimming at the end.
EVERYONE MUST READ THIS BOOK. As a matter of fact, you should read it before the 2016 election. Let us not forget the foundation of our great country. This is a wonderful book about the wives and daughters of the founding fathers. This women changed the course of history, yet we barely hear about them in social studies & history classes in our schools! Check it out!
Eleanor & Park
This is a book for teens. I try to read young adult literature when I can since I work near the YA department at the library. Rowell’s book is award winning (including the local Rhode Island Teen Book Award 2015!). This is a unique teen love story set in the 80s that you will love!
Magic Strings of Franke Presto
by Mitch Albom
I LOVE MITCH ALBOM’S BOOKS. Seriously, the man just knows how to get to me! Told from multiple points of view, this book does jump back and forth in time, so it is very interesting. We follow the life and career of (fictional) musician Frankie Presto. A troubled young man with a tough life this story – the story slowly unfolds as to where he came from and how he became the famous (and important) individual he is! LOVE LOVE. 5 stars!
I will admit, I am can be a sucker for celebrity biographies, especially 90s TV stars. So, when I saw this I had to check it out. I do love when those who aren’t experienced with writing choose to write the book themselves, rather than have the aid of an experience co-author. This book was a brief view into her life, especially her career as Toping on the 90s sitcom Boy Meets World. She is honest, sarcastic and funny. The tone does get old halfway through, but not enough to hinder one from finishing the book!
To Kill A Mockingbird is my all time favorite novel, and Atticus Finch is my favorite character. The media has already labeled Finch as racist in this latest novel. I approached this book not as a sequel or prequel, but just took the knowledge I already have of Lee’s characters and read along. My verdict is – it’s great! Granted this is really a rough draft of a book, it is full of interesting characters and lots of tension between them and of course it’s setting – the SOUTH. While it isn’t fully developed, it is still well written. I highly recommend everyone read this book!
Looking for a nice little book with a unique love story? Then this book is for you. Sure to be a quick read, Moyes tell she story of Louisa Clark, who is down on her luck, unemployed and seeking work to support her family. She is assigned to a pretty challenging job – caring for a quadriplegic by the name of Will. Will is essentially standoffish and really depressed. You can expect to shed a few tears at the end of this book (don’t worry, it is a lovely ending!)
Doerr’s book was on the long list for the 2014 National Book Award. There are many World War II novels out there, but this is one of the best I have read in a while. Told from two points of view, the book moves back and forth and gives you two very different views of the war.
If you love fashion and photography then this memoir is for you. Renn shares with us her life story beginning from her unusual childhood through her modeling career. Sadly she fell into a nasty eating disorder. Fear not, she does triumph and you will be happy to know she is still a success!
This book was a quick read, but considering it was historical fiction, it was a bit too brief. This is a part of U.S. history that I was unaware of so I was glad to learn while I read the novel. Great book!
Selfish, Shallow and Self Absorbed:
16 Writers on the Decision NOT to have Kids
I am 33 and about to get married. My fiancé is 46 and has two children in his 20s. I have no interest in having children for a variety of reasons. This book was a breath of fresh air. It includes 16 essays by women AND men about their choices not to have children. These were not stereotypical or any kind of sob story as I expected. Great read!
A few years ago Sarah & I listened to Mann speak at Rhode Island School of Design. She was a wonderful speaker – very inspiring. I wanted to run out of the building and shoot amazing photography. Her book was just as amazing. She does address the critics who have labeled her work perverse or consider it child pornography. She addresses them tastefully and without negativity or insults. The book is written SO well, it’s amazing. I am going to read it again in the near future because I had to rush through a library copy!
A Paris Affair
Tatiana De Rosnay
Tatiana De Rosnay & I are through. I LOVED “Sarah’s Key”. I tried her other book “A Secret Kept” and was horribly disappointed. Why I ever picked this book up I will never know. This was a very short book of short stories about adultery in Paris. UGH! What happened to you Tatiana?!
Don Miguel Ruiz
WHAT A GREAT BOOK!! I think this should be required reading for everyone in the world. It might help with world peace! Regardless of some religious spirituality that I cannot relate to, overall the book is incredibly inspiring and a great resource on how to live your live peacefully for self fulfillment as well as your relationships with everyone else.
Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
Critics call it “the new Gone Girl.” I called it a waste of time.
Yes it is a typical page turner but I was not surprised at all and was rather annoyed but some of the characters. I suppose I am in the minority with this review, but I just didn’t love it.
Norwegian by Night
This is the 2015 Reading Across RI selection. I enjoyed it! A little action and family drama all rolled into one with an ending that will leave you wondering!
This was the second novel I read by Pearl Buck after the Good Earth. POOR CHOICE. This (in comparison to GE) was awful. It wasn’t even interesting.
WOW. This book was fantastic. I haven’t enjoyed a novel like this since Audrey Niffenegger’s novels. It was dark and magical and I couldn’t put it down!
WOW. This book was very moving and at times made me cry. We all studied the horrors of war, but this book made it VERY real. And FYI the film was NOTHING compared to this awesome book!
A patron at the library asked me to read this because she enjoyed it so much. It is a really quick read but beware it is not very uplifting. Although reading things like this remind us how lucky we are for our freedom!
Legendary Locals of Bristol
Here is a book about the locals of my town! It was a lovely little book filled with lots of folks I know – like my library director!
SO WORTH THE WAIT! Huge twist at the end will leave you speechless!
Here’s an ebook novella that Picoult released while she delayed the release of her novel “Leaving Time.” I need not critique as I consider Picoult the master!
If I Stay
For teens, last year was the year of vampire and paranormal love. This year is the year of dying, death and teen love. My 12 year old cousin asked me to read this. It was a good, quick story (with some graphic car accident scenes). The movie was just released on DVD. I may just watch it!
This book has been on the New York Times best seller list for kids for quite some time. It was such a beautiful book for kids. The main character has a significant facial deformity and the story tells of how he and his school mates deal with it. Coming from someone who had Alopecia at a young age, and dealt with her share of peer teasing, I really appreciated this book.
Storied Life of A.J. Fiery
I LOVED Zevin’s “Elsewhere.” I read another teen book by her and was disappointed. So I must admit I was skeptical about reading her adult fiction! But she proved me wrong! What a quaint little story for all book & bookstore lovers!
I admit this is my first Elin Hilderbrand! Her books are wildly popular at the library and I figured it was about time I read one! It was a nice light read! Good beach book!
This is a lovely story about the spiritual journey of a young shepherd boy, Santiago.
The core of the story teaches wonderful ideas and lessons. The ending will truly touch your heart and bring the book back full circle. It is a story that will allow you to step back and examine your life as well.
I may be in the minority when I say I was very disappointed with this book. Fans of To Kill a Mockingbird long for the day when Harper Lee would release another novel. We’ll never see the day. Lee is clearly not one to step into the limelight. She also knows she hit gold when she wrote her first and only novel, so how does one top that? I would have done the same thing if I were in her shoes. Mills, a journalist from Chicago, writes about her time with Lee after moving next door to her & Lee’s sister Alice. Readers will learn about the town of Monroeville Alabama and a bit about her friends and family. The author is able to convey only the surface of Lee’s personality and intelligence. And while I appreciated that, the book just wasn’t fulfilling enough. Mills was constantly held back by Lee insisting she not publish particular conversations or statements. I am still left wondering about this mysterious Harper Lee. The book barely whet my appetite.
Johnson’s well researched and well written book will leave you frustrated and amazed. James Dewolf was undoubtedly the most powerful man in Bristol, RI and in the United States during the time of the slave trade. His pursuit of money and power was relentless. Even during the times the government outlawed the transportation of slaves from other countries, Dewolf was always able to find a loophole and bring them to the United States. Finally, a warrant was made for his arrest and he managed to flee to the West Indies to escape his trial. The book was just fascinating and gives you a better understanding of the foundation of Bristol, RI.
Invention of Wings
Sue Monk Kidd
Just as great as “Secret Life of Bees!” Nothing like a fierce, strong female character to stir things up!!
I can’t even remember how I found out about this. I was probably searching our awesome Ocean State Libraries catalog! This was a short book about Tom who is dating a very LARGE woman. Poor Tom has to fend of lots of insults about his choice of dating a “fat” woman. A very frustrating, but true book!
Melissa Explains It All
Melissa Joan Hart
Can you tell I am on a 90s kick?! Melissa Joan Hart’s book was a little disappointing.
Of course i enjoyed reading about her career and childhood, but most of the book was a little too “TMI” for me. I don’t really care to hear about all the guys you made out with Melissa! Yikes!!
Well, this was interesting. I know Saget best as the actor who played Danny Tanner on the ABC hit show Full House. I also know he is quite the comedian, so I was expecting something funny & possibly in appropriate! Lots of reviewers were disappointed with this book because of Saget’s dirty humor, but I saw it coming. Kudos to Saget for writing in his own words, rather than hiring a co-author to tailor his book to the market. Sincere at times, Saget comes across grateful for his life, good times & bad!
Have I ever mentioned I am a total sucker for 90s TV sitcom actresses & actors?
Of course I HAD to get Candace Cameron Bure’s (formerly of Full House, ABC) memoir, even though I knew it would be a total Christianized version of being the perfect housewife. Minus a little religious talk, I actually enjoyed the book. Real or not, it had just enough combinations of her childhood, acting career & current lifestyle.
After all the press Candace Cameron Bure got about being a “submissive wife” many people mentioned this book from the 1970s. This was very interesting to read. I cannot believe any woman would follow the instructions in this book on how to be “the total woman.” But is is a nice reminder for me on how to be the “total woman” that I want to be! It certainly is NOT the woman she describes here!
Call the Midwife Series
I cannot recommend the “Call the Midwife” books enough. I SO enjoy Worth’s memoirs. After you read this, be sure to watch the show on PBS!
Zen of Oz
Here’s a super quick, inspiring little read for all you Wizard of Oz fans. Green’s self-help interpretation of many of the elements of WOO is delightful. It’s nothing mind blowing, but still inspiring!
Art of Living
Epictetus (original author), Sharon Lebell (new interpretation)
This is my new bible. Totally inspiring. It will stay on my shelf forever.
You Learn by Living: 11 Keys for a More Fulfilling Life
I love Eleanor Roosevelt. Of course I had to read this.
War Within These Walls
Graphic novel about World War II and the Holocaust. It was great.
What the Heart Knows
Short teen book written in verse. Just loved it.
Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore
by Robin Sloan
I read this because it is the 2014 Reading Across R.I. winner. The beginning was good, then it lost my attention for a while, but finally it redeemed itself and I ended up finishing the book!
Found this beauty on a shelf at my library. I was on the hunt for something short.