By the Book

By Pamela Paul
Rated by Sarah A.
Feb 25, 2015

In By the Book, editor Pamela Paul has compiled 65 interviews of a wide range of popular authors and famous readers from her column by the same name in the Sunday New York Times Book Review. If you are not familiar with the column you are certainly familiar with many of these modern-day intellects, ranging from poets to pundits, singers to scientists and actors to authors of modern fiction. Some of the questions asked seemed pretty standard fare and were asked of most of those featured: “What book is on your night stand now?”; “If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be?” 


By Martine Leavitt
Rated by Becky C.
Apr 21, 2016

Calvin was born on the day the final Calvin and Hobbes comic strip was published. His parents claim that they didn’t name him after it, that’s it’s just a fluke. They don’t understand what’s the big deal about his grandfather putting a stuffed tiger named Hobbes into baby Calvin’s crib, either. Calvin understands the significance. He is special: eternally bound to Bill Watterson, the creator of the beloved comic strip.

Then his mom accidentally washes Hobbes to death and everything changes.

When I was nine or so, Mom washed Hobbes to death. She threw him into the washing machine with


By Martine Leavitt
Rated by Chris K.
Jun 6, 2016

It's been a long time since a book has transported me so completely. Has taken me so deeply into myself that I become oblivious to the world around me and my head spins with disconnection when I try to regain awareness. Just me and the book, and nothing else. I started reading and was supposed to stop because life was still going on around me, but I didn't. I couldn't find my way back. So life moved on without me until I finished the book. Now I must figure out how to catch up, but that's okay. It was worth stopping at a special place for a while.

That's not entirely different than what

Cambodia Noir

By Nick Seeley
Rated by Don M.
May 28, 2016

Cambodia Noir is a full tilt boogie from the get go!

Will Keller is a photographer for a Cambodian newspaper and has lived in Cambodia for nine years. He has a drug and alcohol problem and just doesn’t care. 

When a fellow reporter on staff goes missing, her sister comes to Cambodia to look for her. Unsuccessful, she offers the job to Will, who takes the job and begins the search. Let the fun begin! Everybody has a history and not everybody is who they say they are. Seeley does an excellent job of conveying atmosphere and building suspense. I enjoyed every page.

Camino Island

By John Grisham
Rated by Lisa J.
Aug 14, 2017

Bruce Cable is living the life he always wanted and has worked hard to attain. He lives on Camino Island and owns an independent bookstore that over the years has become the hub of culture and literature on the island. Bruce is a collector of many things: first editions, rare books, and works by young women. His bookstore hosts several book signings a month and he is a regular on most author's book tours.  

When the original F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts go missing from the Firestone Library at Princeton University the world of literature is in an uproar. The FBI and Princeton's insurance

Apr 6, 2018

Maybe lives on the streets with a tribe of homeless teens. These kids are runaways and throwaways, they have no place to go except cold city streets and have no family other than each other. They are abused, abandoned, and forgotten by society, every day they struggle to survive against the cold, hunger, and constant danger. But now there is a new girl, Tears, a 12 year old whose mother didn’t believe she had been abused by her stepfather. As the other kids start to disappear from violence, addiction, and exposure, Maybe tries to help Tears get off the streets before it becomes too late.


Caroline: Little House, Revisited

By Sarah Elizabeth Miller
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
Oct 21, 2017

Have you read every book Laura Ingalls Wilder has ever written? Did you watch every season of Little House on the Prairie over and over again and can you hear Melissa Gilbert cry “Pa!” just as clear as can be?  Did you even read Roger Lea MacBride's spinoff series about Laura’s daughter, Rose? Perhaps you’ve visited all the museums and still have documentation stating you belong to a LHOTP fan club you joined as a child. If you're nodding your head yes to everything I've asked you should pull out your calico bonnet and curl up in your distressed rocking chair with CarolineCaroline is a


By Peter Heller
Rated by Kari E.
Jul 1, 2017

Celine is a savvy, cultured, sixty-nine year-old private investigator and sculptor battling emphysema. Gabriela hires Celine to investigate her father’s death. Paul Lamont, Gabriela’s father, is a famous National Geographic photographer. Lamont’s frequent travels to South America cause friends to joke he is a spy. After Gabriela finds a passport with a different name, she is certain her father was not killed in a bear attack at Yellowstone National Park.

Celine and her quiet, yet always-on-top of things husband, Pete, set out to Yellowstone to travel Lamont’s path. As a champion of lost

Challenger Deep

By Neal Shusterman
Rated by Chris K.
Dec 21, 2015

There are two things you know. One: You were there. Two: You couldn't have been there.

Wondering how that can be? So is Caden. Sometimes. When he stops to think about it. Often he just goes along and doesn't question things, just accepts that's the way they are. But other times he feels out of sync with his family, friends, and others around him. He feels confused.

Readers sharing Caden's story from inside his head will feel confused almost all of the time. It skips around from one place to another--one reality to another. Caden is a high school student living a typical life. Caden

Jun 16, 2012

Even if you have no desire to ever own backyard chickens, Chick Days is wonderful fun. After making a case for keeping chickens, Woginrich describes her top ten breeds, and then illustrates the day-to-day development of three varieties of chickens. Professionally photographed, the pictures and layout are easy to follow, fun to look at, and complement the accompanying text perfectly.

Woginrich’s background in web design lends itself well to book design, and the book couldn’t be more informative. Not owning chickens, I have to trust Woginrich knows her stuff. If you are interested in her

Child 44

By Tom Rob Smith
Rated by Melody M.K.
Aug 7, 2014

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith is historical fiction set in Stalinist Russia when the Government was all powerful and all were constantly watched over by officials. One wrong move could send you to a work camp in Siberia, never to be seen again. Life was hard, and on top of that Smith throws in a serial killer that moves throughout Russia killing children and women at will. Defending this system is idealistic security officer Leo Demidov, a war hero who believes in the iron fist of the law. But when Leo begins to investigate the serial murders he makes a wrong move and becomes disliked by a higher


By Jessica Anthony
Rated by Terri B.
Feb 11, 2014

The book Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony is a love story in the form of a scrapbook; yet it is so much more than a scrapbook, more than just photos.  It is memorabilia from someone’s life, and that someone is Gloria Fleming.   It shows pictures of her parents' courtship, marriage and the eventual birth of their one and only child.  We can see how happy this family is until the unexpected death of 8-year-old Glory’s mother and how it affects both her and her father.  Glory immerses herself in her music, and with her father as her teacher she travels around performing at sold-out concerts.  At 16


By Chandra Hoffman
Rated by Helen H.
Apr 19, 2011

Chloe Pinter loves helping families realize their dream of having children through her job at a private adoption agency. And she’s good at it. But as one family’s dreams come closer to fruition, another family’s dreams are shattered, and Chloe is left to pick up the pieces.

In Chosen, Hoffman examines the motives of a private adoption agency and its staff, adoptive families, and birth mothers unable to care for their children. In some cases the situations are heart-wrenching, in others…well, in others it’s heart-wrenching. Each family, whether it is the Novas in persistent pursuit of a

Circling the Sun

By Paula McLain
Rated by Jed D.
Aug 30, 2017

Let’s get this out of the way first: while Circling the Sun is about Beryl Markham, famed aviator of the 1920’s, there are barely two chapters about her adventures as a pilot. What happens between the passages about flying is a compelling historical novel about a young English girl who is abandoned by her mother in Kenya and who eventually wins respect in the male-dominated worlds of horse training and aviation. 

The Spring Hill book discussion group found the love triangle exhausting, but Markham's escapades in the Kenyan bush involving lions, elephants, and colonial politics make it a

Jun 8, 2017

When her mother disappears, Clary is attacked by a demon, and is drawn into the world of the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. But why would demons be interested in normal people like Clary and her mother? How can Clary suddenly have the sight, these beings are invisible to everyone else. The Shadowhunters would like to know...

Rich, vivid, entrancing. City of Bones is all those things and more. As I read this book, I felt that sense of childhood joy that I remembered from reading C.S. Lewis' Narnia series and Madeleine L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time, and the many

City of Heavenly Fire

By Cassandra Clare
Rated by Diane H.
Aug 14, 2014

City of Heavenly Fire is the sixth and final book in The Mortal Instruments series. Cassandra Clare has created a world in which supernatural creatures, magic, and humans coexist. Not an unusual theme these days, especially for a young adult book. The twist in this series is the addition of shadowhunters—​humans who have angel blood in their veins and whose mission in life is to keep demons and other supernatural creatures from harming mundane humans. The books follow the adventures, tragedies, dramas, and triumphs of several teens—shadowhunters, humans, and others.

The story continues, or

Oct 17, 2018

From our librarian Stefanie: Recently I was trying to describe the joy that I felt while reading the sinfully fun novel Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan to a coworker. It was the most deliciously romantic family gossip trilogy and, with two young children in the house and my daytime work duties, I gobbled them up in a mere 3 weeks! I like to call juicy love stories with a side of wit and elegance like this Clever Candy Lit. They are a rare breed of well-written novel that manages to capture your attention like a great adventure story, grab your heart like the sweetest romance, poke at your

Cocaine Blues

By Kerry Greenwood
Rated by Amy F.
Aug 5, 2014

This is the first book in the Phryne Fisher Mystery series, a charmingly written series set in in early 20th century Melbourne, Australia. The atmospheric and well-researched details in these novels create an engrossing view into 1920s Melbourne society at all levels. The cast has its regulars, like Jack Robinson, the long-suffering and orchid-loving policeman, Cec and Burt, the wharfies who hope for a socialist revolution, and Lin Chung, the well-to-do son of Chinese immigrants. Included in each book is an ever-changing variety of folks from all walks of Australian life, who round out the

Come Sundown

By Nora Roberts
Rated by Traci M.
Aug 6, 2017

Bodine Longbow is a fourth-generation Montana rancher and operator of the Bodine Resort. The ranch and resort are definitely a family affair with her great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, father and brothers all working together. Callen Skinner has returned home to Montana to reconnect with his family, both biological and honorary. Growing up, Callen spent a lot of time on the Bodine ranch and never imagined he'd end up finding love with the girl next door.

The mystery and suspense develop as the past and present collide. Alice Bodine, the aunt Bodine never knew, ran away from home over

Comet's Tale

By Steven D. Wolf with Lynette Padwa
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
May 7, 2015

Comet, a rescued greyhound, will win you over with her lovable, graceful and insightful personality.  Steven Wolf rescues Comet from the horrors of greyhound racing, and in turn she rescues him when his debilitating back injuries leave him disabled and unable to participate in everyday life. 

Shortly after adopting Comet, Wolf stumbles upon the idea of training her to be a service dog.  Comet learns how to open doors, provide stability so that Wolf can hoist himself up, and even pulls Wolf’s wheelchair around the local airport.  While Comet is not your average working dog, she tackles every

Coming Clean

By Kimberly Rae Miller
Rated by Colleen O.
Jan 16, 2014

Most of us have a general sense of what hoarding is, from popular TV shows such as Hoarders and other news programs. We've seen the pictures and heard the horror stories of the type of conditions that people live in when they live with hoarders. But as a child, author Kimberly Rae Miller had never heard the term, so she never knew what was wrong with her dad. She knew it wasn't normal, but she and her mom spent many years thinking they must be the only family living this way. She longed to have a "normal" childhood, to invite friends over and not be embarrassed if someone happened to drop by

May 5, 2017

In July of 2007, Catherine Tidd lost her husband, Brad, in an accident and suddenly found herself a 31-year-old widow with three small children. In Confessions of a Mediocre Widow, Tidd chronicles her experience with sudden widowhood and the journey of self-discovery her husband's loss prompted. 

The first half of the book focuses on the loss and immediate aftermath of Brad's death. Tidd discusses her last moments with Brad, the shock of his death, how her mind (like so many other widows) could only process the loss in pieces, the crowds of people in the days after, and her new relationship

Dec 29, 2008

In Cooked, Jeff Henderson tells an inspirational story of triumph over the odds. While growing up in the inner city, he is attracted to the wealth of neighborhood hustlers. Soon he is running drugs himself and making huge sums of money. At 24 he's arrested and spends ten years in prison where, while working as a dishwasher in the prison kitchen, Jeff discovers a passion that ultimately saves him. Drawing on the same tenacity that ensured his success on the streets, Jeff relentlessly pursues his goal of becoming a chef, ultimately earning a place in some of the most exclusive kitchens in

Cool Bacon Recipes

By Kuskowski, Alex
Rated by Terri B.
Mar 5, 2018

Do not let the unattractive cover of Cool Bacon Recipes fool you into not checking this book out for your child. Because if you like bacon, check out these easy recipes. This book did not have very many recipes, but what it did have looked appetizing. The explanation of utensils and terms is perfect for 3rd - 6th graders with the guidance of an adult. And the step by step pictures are always a plus!

Cop Town

By Karin Slaughter
Rated by Hilary S.
Sep 4, 2018

Cop Town is set in 1974 Atlanta. There aren't a lot of women on the police force, and for those that are, things aren't always what they hoped. The only female detectives are used as under-cover prostitutes to catch perps, and the rest of the women are denigrated and harassed to no end.

We meet Kate Murphy on her first day on the job, unexpectedly forced into the working world after the death of her husband. There's a cop killer in the city, and the Atlanta Police Department is in turmoil. Kate is shuffled around because no one wants her, and eventually gets paired with Maggie Lawson for

Courage for Beginners

By Karen Harrington
Rated by Peggy H.
Nov 10, 2014

Mysti Murphy is not having a good 7th grade year. Her only friend, Anibal Gomez, has developed a crush on a Cheer Squad girl and has decided to change his image in an effort to be noticed. Part of Anibal's "social experiment" is to develop a hipster persona that he thinks his new crush will admire. To see if his experiment works, he needs to ditch Mysti. Anibal decides that he and Mysti can talk and text in the evenings and on weekends, but they must have NO contact during school. Mysti has no other friends, so she now sits alone at the Loser Island in the cafeteria at lunchtime. At home

Court of Fives

By Kate Elliott
Rated by Chris K.
Apr 26, 2017

This offers a complex, rigidly hierarchical society and a protagonist stuck right in the middle of it, with plenty of tense action resulting.

Before the story begins, Jessamy's life has been rigidly dull. Her military father is a common man from the ruling race who has climbed as high in the social order as his station allows. Her mother is his faithful companion from the conquered race--which would normally be a dirty secret to sweep under the rug--but she and her four daughters have lived such impeccably perfect, honorable lives that his household is allowed a bottom rung on the noble


By Tracey Garvis Graves
Rated by Lisa J.
Nov 6, 2013

Claire and Chris Canton are living the quintessential suburban life in Johnson County Kansas when the recession hits and Chris gets laid off from his job.  With a generous severance package Chris is sure that he will be able to find a job with no problem.  However, as the months go on with no job prospects in sight Chris retreats both physically and emotionally from Claire, their two kids and life in general.  Meanwhile, Claire is left to keep things going the way they always have to minimize the impact on their children, Josh and Jordan, while working part time from home.  As Chris continues

Aug 15, 2015

Retired Army sniper Finn O'Donnell thinks he's buying a quiet little ranch near the sleepy little town of Burnt Boot, Texas. Near his family but far enough away that he can enjoy the peace, quiet and solitude after two tours in the Middle East. What Finn gets is a ranch right smack dab in the middle of two feuding Burnt Boot founding families whose shenanigans are always causing some uproar, a foul mouthed parrot, a tiny dog, an interfering bossy grandma and her busybody friends from town, and a ranch hand who hates ranching and her nephew who are trying to avoid witness protection. Not

Crazy Brave

By Joy Harjo
Rated by Helen H.
May 12, 2016

It took Joy Harjo fourteen years to write her memoir Crazy Brave. In it she tells of her parents' tumultuous marriage. Harjo's beautiful mother opposes her own father, traveling to Tulsa, Oklahoma in search of a mate. When young, Harjo's father had been sent to a military academy where he “learned anger as a method to control sensitivity.” When the violent marriage ends, an abusive stepfather steps in to consume the family. At sixteen, when her stepfather tries to send her to a Christian boarding school, Joy pleads with her mother to send her, instead, to The Institute of American Indian Arts.