Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Flamingo Rising by Larry Baker

Charming, bittersweet, and amusing do not begin to tell what a heart-warming novel this really is. Simply said, it is the story of a young boy growing up in Florida in the 1960s. The novel centers around the drive-in theater his family owns, and all of the characters that are in his life. And I mean characters! If you are looking for an excellent nostalgic read, this is for you.

Karen

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane

Part of Dennis Lehane’s series about romantically attached private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, Moonlight Mile finds Patrick and Angie searching for 16 year old Amanda McCready. The couple previously searched for a four-year-old Amanda in Lehane’s earlier Gone Baby Gone, and, even though this novel is something of a sequel, I was able to enjoy Moonlight Mile without having read the earlier book. Black market babies, Eastern European mobsters, and identity theft entrepreneurs spill out of the seedy underworld Patrick and Angie must navigate as the clues to Amanda’s whereabouts pile up. Patrick’s guilt over whether or not he did the right thing on his previous search for Amanda adds depth to the story, and the distinct dialogue and careful development of even the most minor characters make Moonlight Mile a very memorable read.
John

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Raising by Laura Kasischke

Booklist magazine calls this novel "[A] literary page-turner reminiscent of Donna Tartt's The Secret History." I totally agree with their review. Set at a midwestern university, this is a very intelligent, very dark story that centers around the death of one student. The secrets of sorority life play a huge role as the tale unfolds. Not an easy read, but worth the time and effort needed.

Karen

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

I can certainly understand why this is one of the most-read books for discussion groups, with all of the elements of mystery, tragedy, deception, etc. Those that enjoy historical fiction will love this, as it appears to be pretty accurate. (Yes, I did look up some of the "facts".) This is the story of a young Jewish girl in France in the summer of 1942, and the horrors she endured during the Nazi occupation.  It is also the story of a journalist in present day trying to find out informaton about this little girl. The novel is very well done; however, I would caution that this is a very, very depressing novel that really bothered me in many ways. Be prepared when you pick this up; it can be quite upsetting.

Karen

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West

The Bartlett Public Library District holds a Community Book Discussion on Tuesday, May 17, at 2:00 and 7:00 pm.  This featured book, which was published in 1945,  is set on a Quaker farm in Indiana during the American Civil War.  Paperback and large print copies of the book are available at the Information Desk.  The book is considered a classic of 20th century American literature and has received  stellar reviews over the years.  The Washington Post said, "West writes gracefully, occasionally poetically, in a voice both innocent and brave."  The New York Times Book Review writes, "West is an advocate of human respect, reason over emotions, and a tough, all-purpose femininity that can face and solve most situations on its own terms."  Check back in May for another posting on this book.

Dawn

http://www.jessamyn.com/jessamyn/jessbio.html for biographical information about Jessamyn West

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bible: the story of the King James Version by Gordon Campbell

2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version of the Bible.  Although many readers may be familiar with the translation, they do not know its legendary history.  It was not the first translation into English, as versions such as the Geneva Bible (1557 - 1560) preceded it.  Nor was it a new translation, but rather a revision of the Bishops Bible of 1568.  The translation was undertaken by six Companies based in Westminster, Oxford and Cambridge and completed between 1604 - 1611.  The first few editions, including the "He", "She" and "Wicked" Bibles, were printed by the King's Printer.  Years later Oxford and Cambridge publishes their own editions.  The book details the numerous revisions to the text that have led to familiar translations such as the Revised Standard Version of the 20th Century.  The enormous cultural influence of the KJV is also detailed, as many common English idioms originated in the KJV, and many American churches still hold the KJV to be the only true and ihnspired version of the Bible.

http://catalog.bartlett.lib.il.us/polaris/

Dawn