Book

100 Sideways Miles

By Andrew Smith
4
Rated by Kate M.
Oct 7, 2014

Finn Easton is like any other epileptic teenage boy with a famous author for a father who had a horse fall on him, break his back and kill his mother. Which is to say that Finn Easton is like no one you have ever met. The eerie resemblance between himself and the main character of his father’s best-selling book, has left Finn wondering if he is even real. Measuring time by the miles traveled by earth’s rotation, Finn has a different way of looking at things than anyone around him. Finn’s senior year brings opportunities to visit broken dams, see the world outside of California, kiss a girl, go

May 6, 2015

An epileptic boy named Finn is stuck and lonely in his dreary world. His only friend is a slacker named Cade who drinks and smokes. When Julia moves to town, he feels like she is his escape from the rest of the world. She also provides him an escape from his father's book, whom he thinks he is the main character of. 


I really enjoyed it. I didn't like how the summary described it because it said Julia moves away when in actuality she doesn't leave until the last 50 or so pages. It was kind of a slow read because the author used lots of description and memory flashbacks to fill the space

16 Things I Thought Were True

By Janet Gurtler
4
Rated by Peggy H.
Nov 10, 2014

Morgan measures her likeability by how many Twitter followers she has. Her goal is to reach 5000 and she is getting very close. If she has 5000 followers, she has to be likeable, right? Even if she doesn't have any real life friends, even if the father she's never known didn't like her enough to stick around and help raise her. She is currently tweeting about things she thought were true. For example, that working in an amusement park would be amusing (it's not), that heart disease happens to other people (how could HER mother be in the hospital with heart problems???), that rocking out to

300 Arguments

By Sarah Manguso
3
Rated by Helen H.
Apr 26, 2017

Here at Johnson County Library we're always on the lookout for insightful words about writing. Sarah Manguso's latest book, 300 Arguments, contains quite a few. At its most basic level, the book is a collection of aphorisms. And, since Manguso is a professional writer and writing teacher, some cover that topic. Here are a few to mull over:


Nothing is more boring to me than the re-re-restatement that language isn't sufficiently nuanced to describe the world. Of course language isn't enough. Accepting that is the starting point of using it to capacity. Of increasing its capacity.


-----

Mar 16, 2016

You don’t have to be vegan to love the smoothies in this book. I’m not a vegan myself, but I turned to 365 Vegan Smoothies because it looked like it would offer a range of healthy recipes to help you consume a variety of fruits and vegetables. I was not disappointed! With 365 recipes, you will find something to meet your nutritional needs and individual tastes.


There are many smoothie books on offer, but several things set this one apart, enough so that I decided to purchase it! I have never really been a smoothie person because the ones I had bought in stores were too pricey, too big, and

May 3, 2017

4 Blood Types, 4 Diets, Eat Right 4 your Type offers individualized diet plans based on blood type. Dr. D’Adamo uses history and scientific research to explain how differences in blood type can affect how different people respond to food and exercise. Using meal and exercise plans you can achieve your best health.


D’Adamo, a second-generation naturopathic physician, followed in his father’s footsteps, studying the correlation between blood type, diet and health. Where the senior D’Adamo subjectively linked blood type to diet, the younger confirmed the connection using objective, scientific

5 to 1

By Holly Bodger
4
Rated by Peggy H.
Oct 28, 2015

The year is 2054 and India has a ratio of 5 boys to 1 girl. Girls have now become valuable assets. To combat the selling of daughters to the highest bidder, a group of women have founded a closed country they named Koyanagar. In Koyanagar, young men are chosen to compete for a chance to marry a girl. It is now Sudasa's turn to witness the testing of five young men and then choose one to become her future husband. Sudasa does not want a husband, she does not want to marry and bear children. She wants the opportunity to decide her own future, but that's not an option for her at this time. 

A Bollywood Affair

By Sonali Dev
4
Rated by Rachel N.
Jan 3, 2015

At the age of four, Mili was married to 12-year-old Virat Rathod. Now, twenty years later, Mili is still waiting for her husband to show up. In the meantime, Mili has traveled from India to Michigan in order to further her education to make herself a better wife. Little does she know, Virat has a life of his own. When that life is threatened, Virat sends his younger brother, Samir, to find Mili in America so she can sign papers annulling the marriage. However, the initial meeting between Samir and Mili does not go well and leaves each dependent on the other for reasons both transparent and

May 4, 2016

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a historical fiction set mainly in 1996 and 2004. The novel opens with Dokka, a villager in the town of Eldar in Chechnya is kidnapped by the Feds, leaving behind his daughter Havaa. A kind neighbor, Akhmed takes it upon himself to care for her and brings her to a local hospital where he hopes she can find refuge. This novel is beautifully written with gorgeous intertwining storylines.


The cover is beautiful and the novel is wonderfully and lyrically written. Everything is described in detail and in the end it was well worth the read. I'm glad I stuck

A Face Like Glass

By Frances Hardinge
5
Rated by Chris K.
Jul 14, 2017

What a wonderfully original and twisty concoction this is.


Consider, for instance, the ruler of the strange, intentionally insular realm in which the story takes place. Kept alive by magic for centuries, his life is fueled by justifiable paranoia about assassination attempts, so much so that he has decided sleep is too great a risk. Instead, he has learned to let the two hemispheres of his brain alternate shifts slumbering, so that only one half of his body is ever active at a time. One eye is coldly rational and verbal; one eye is abstract and intuitive. Remember that if the Grand Steward

Affliction

By Laurell K. Hamilton
5
Rated by Melody M.K.
Jan 1, 2015

—An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novel—


Before there was Sookie Stackhouse, before the Twilight movies and Vampire Diaries, there was the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. It is one of my favorite vampire series and, although this book is #22 in the saga, I still found it engaging enough to tough out reading 569 pages in a week.


 Affliction has everything: vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghouls and more.  Anita is a serious necromancer and vampire hunter living in St. Louis, but she never really mentions which side of the state line, Missouri or Illinois. Then throw in a love affair

A Fine Romance

By Susan Branch
5
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
Feb 19, 2016

I couldn’t have read A Fine Romance at a more perfect time. It was the perfect book to read while cooped up in a hospital room waiting for a loved one to heal. I sailed right along with Susan Branch and her husband, Joe, as they journeyed to England via ship and explored the country for two months. This book is not only Susan’s diary during their vacation in England, it is also a very informational and exhilarating guide to both well-known and hidden places in England, many of which belong to the National Trust. Above all else, this book is a journey of the senses, using a mixture of her

Apr 29, 2015

Anglophiles listen up – this book is for you! Talented artist, writer, and blogger Susan Branch has put together a charming travel journal of her two month long trip to England. A Fine Romance is chock full of wonderful photos she and her husband took on their trip interspersed with the colorful drawings and lettering that have set apart her work and style as distinctly her own.


The trip starts off with a six day ocean voyage, onboard the Queen Mary 2, from New York to Southampton, England. This dream trip is divided into mainly three areas – the Southwest of England, the Lake District and

Sep 1, 2017

A Foxfire Christmas is an amazing collection of Christmas traditions from the people of Appalachia; food, gifts, decorations, and preparations. It also includes a wonderful compilation of interviews by Georgia High School students.

Learn how to make dough ornaments, simple crafts, and hear stories from elders who have spent their entire lives in the mountains. Holiday recipes are a big part of the Christmas holidays and these have been passed down for many generations. 

Jun 29, 2018

When Charlotte was eleven, she was kidnapped from a football game. For the past four years, she has been held in her kidnapper’s attic, and raped every night (just warning you, this book is hard core, don’t let that beautiful fantasy cover fool you), sustained only by dreams of her loving family. But now, she has finally escaped. But losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents are divorced, her dad is obsessed with fame, her mother drinks too much, and her sister is a druggie. Her father wants her to write a book and be the figurehead of a new charity and her mother  wants her to stay

A Girls Guide to Moving On

By Debbie Macomber
3
Rated by Lisa J.
Dec 22, 2015

Leanne and Nichole are unlikely friends and confidants. When Leanne learns that her son Jake is cheating on his wife Nichole, she is sorely disappointed to find her son following in his father's footsteps. Sean, Leanne's husband has been cheating on her for years and up to this point she has just accepted and ignored his infidelity. After telling Nichole of Jake's indiscretion she admires the way Nichole instantly refuses to accept Jake's behavior and immediately moves to dissolve their marriage. Leanne draws courage from Nichole and leaves her cheating husband of thirty years. The two women

A Hero Born

By Jin Yong
5
Rated by Andrew P
Oct 11, 2019

Touted as a Chinese Lord of the Rings, Jin Yong's A Hero Born, makes it's debut English translation. This story follows Guo Jing who was born during the Song empire. After his father, a Song Patriot, is murdered, he is taken up into the Mongolian steppes. There he is raised in Genghis Kahn's army before meeting The Seven Heroes of the South who tell him he is fated to fight in a competition to determine who is the greatest master. Filled with historical intrigue and epic kung fu battles, A Hero Born will delight fans of Wuxia stories like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 8 diagram pole fighter

A Hundred Pieces of Me

By Lucy Dillon
5
Rated by Emily D.
Feb 8, 2017

If you love dogs (and I sincerely hope you do), you'll love this heart warming story of a woman finding her place in the world and a dog finding a home. Gina Bellamy suddenly finds herself trying to figure it all out on her own after her recent divorce. As she struggles to find herself in all the clutter of life she decides to keep only one hundred essential things. Little does she know, she will find that Buzz, a neglected and anxious greyhound, fits perfectly in her new life and happy moments.


 


More on Lucy Dillon:


I have read all three books by Lucy Dillon that Johnson County

A Hundred Pieces of Me

By Lucy Dillon
4
Rated by Colleen O.
Jan 28, 2015

A Hundred Pieces of Me is a bittersweet and inspiring story of loss, love, forgiveness, and finding what is important in life. Gina Bellamy has been through many struggles, and newly single, finds herself on her own. A divorcee and cancer survivor, Gina just wants to rebuild her life after her marriage falls apart. Starting from scratch in a tiny apartment, she decides to keep only one hundred things; one hundred pieces of herself. Dog-lovers will love the part that Buzz, Gina’s adopted rescue greyhound, plays in her path to healing. I highly recommend this book, and look forward to reading

A Hundred Summers

By Beatriz Williams
4
Rated by Heather B.
Oct 15, 2015

In 1931, Lily Dane is dragged along to a college football game by her best friend Budgie Byrne, where Lily instantly becomes smitten with Nick Greenwald. Despite the fact that Budgie is generally the popular one, Nick quickly falls for Lily as well. There is one major stumbling block to their happily-ever-after, however--Nick is Jewish, and while Budgie warns Lily that this will be unacceptable to their high society friends and family, Lily refuses to believe it. She concedes that her mother might be a problem, but Lily is convinced that even she can eventually be brought around. It is

Akata Witch

By Nnedi Okorafor
5
Rated by admin
Jun 9, 2020

“Lesson one,” Anatov said. “And this is for all of you. Learn how to learn. Read between the lines. Know what to take and what to discard.”
― Nnedi Okorafor, Akata Witch


This young-adult culturally diverse fantasy, set within the modern times, centers on Sunny Nwazue, an adolescent born to Nigerian parents in the United States. A couple of years before our story begins, Sunny's family moved back to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where our primary woman of steel currently lives with them just outside a tiny town. Sunny “confuse[s] people,” she explains in her own voice, not only thanks

Nov 21, 2015

A coworker turned me on to this 1953 Edgar Award-winning suspense novel, and I'm glad he did. Otherwise, this gem may never have crossed my path, as I do not habitually read suspense novels and tend to pick up recent publications. A Kiss Before Dying is fabulously twisted. Author, Ira Levin, offers a look inside the mind of a psychopathic college student hell-bent on marrying into a wealthy family and he will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. I could see his odd idiosyncrasies and his malicious, self-serving plotting and I wanted to scream “Run!” to his unknowing victims. With many well

A Lady Awakened

By Cecilia Grant
5
Rated by Amanda H.
Jul 26, 2015

Sensible young widow Martha Russell is all set to cede her late husband’s estate to his younger brother, until she learns of his past villainy towards the housemaids. As a champion of the weak and the poor, Mrs. Russell decides to cast propriety aside and take matters into her own hands. She looks to her new neighbor Theophilus Mirkwood, banished to the countryside for his spendthrift ways, for his assistance in getting her with child. She does not respect him, he does not understand her. Can mutual esteem grow from such a cold bargain?


So begins Cecilia Grant’s explosive debut on the

Nov 10, 2017

In the current political climate, one might think the transition from comedy writer to politician would be rather seamless. In Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Franken describes his struggles trying to get elected by the people of Minnesota in 2008, the balance he has been able to find when working with ideologically opposed members of congress, the work ethic that enabled him to more easily secure re-election in 2014, and the current political climate in Washington.


Franken's latest book is, of course, humorous with several moments where I laughed out loud or held the person nearest to me

Alive

By Scott Sigler
4
Rated by Diane H.
Oct 4, 2015

What’s going on? Where am I? Who am I? Both the characters in the story and the reader wonder. Sigler has achieved an interesting balance between a thriller-like atmosphere and a slowly unfolding reality.


A group of twelve-year-olds wake up in older bodies, in coffins, with no memory of who they are and how they got there. Thus begins what is slated to be a trilogy.


There’s a somewhat Lord of the Flies flavor to the behavior of these “young adults.” With more questions than answers, and anxiety levels rising, the need for a leader quickly arises. While most of the small group are happy

All American Boys

By Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
5
Rated by Becky C.
Feb 1, 2016

All American Boys is a big-issue book that also makes an excellent character study. Rashad, a sixteen-year-old African-American boy, is the victim of police brutality. Quinn, a sixteen-year-old white boy, is a witness to Rashad's beating. These two guys live in the same city and go to the same school. Quinn plays on the same basketball team as some of Rashad's friends. And yet they barely know each other. The story takes place during the week Rashad recuperates in the hospital. Quinn comes to terms with the fact that he saw the beating that put Rashad there--and that the police officer is his

All Our Wrong Todays

By Elan Mastai
5
Rated by Catherine G.
Apr 14, 2017

If science fiction isn’t your favorite genre, but you’re willing to dip a toe in, All Our Wrong Todays is a highly entertaining read about self-discovery, family and love; with a time machine and alternate realities. 


The story begins with Tom Barren, present day, as he's writing a book describing his experience with time travel. His voice is witty, sarcastic and feels like a friend who's relaying their crazy dream. The future Tom comes from exists because in 1965 a man invented a machine that creates endless clean energy. That machine transformed the whole world into something like the

All That's Left to Tell

By Daniel Lowe
5
Rated by Cheryl M.
Apr 2, 2017

Sometimes you begin a book, and you know after a few chapters that the book is "reading you" instead of you reading the book. It hits your core hard and churns stuff up, compelling you to turn pages. All That's Left to Tell is such a book, and it's Daniel Lowe's debut at that. From its first sentence to its last, it doesn't let go--making you question your own life and choices. Do we choose? Or does life choose for us? Is there a difference? What motivates a hostage? Or a kidnapper?


Marc and Claire are a father and a daughter. Josephine is both a truth-teller and a liar. Set in the chaotic

All the Birds in the Sky

By Charlie Jane Anders
5
Rated by Josh N.
Mar 7, 2016

"Genre mashups," where an author takes two different genres or sub-genres--for example, romance and steampunk or hardboiled detective and science-fiction--are not exactly new, but they have become a hot topic lately. With her debut novel All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders has done something different, taking a character in a modern fantasy story and a character in a near-future, dystopian SF story and having their lives intertwine in friendship and romance, without mashing up the different genres they belong in. It's like if Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen lived in the same world

All the Light We Cannot See

By Anthony Doerr
4
Rated by Megan K.
Aug 8, 2016

Have you ever begun reading a book, and by the first few lines already accepted the fact that you probably will not sleep until the book is finished? All the Light We Cannot See is one of those books for me. I thoroughly enjoy historical fiction books, and this was no exception.


The city in which much of this story takes place- St. Malo, France- is such a beautiful place, and provides an excellent backdrop for many of the events in this book. The story centers around Marie, a sharply intelligent French girl, and Werner, a German boy with the unique talent of working with radios. The story