Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer Fun at the Harborfields Public Library

Learn more about some of the fun things you can do at  the library.

Excercise Your Mind at the Library 2016 Adult Summer Reading Club
Title: Elias (West Bend Series-Book 1)
Author: Sabrina Paige
Review: This book was about a woman named River who grew up poor but became a movie star. When she finds her soon to be fiancĂ© and her sister in a compromising position, River leaves Hollywood and heads to West Bend, CO where she meets Elias Saint.  He is just back from rehab after losing his leg in the war and who also has a unfavorable past.  He never thought he'd return to West Bend, but family calls.  I enjoyed reading this book.  The characters were interesting and the plot engaging.  Turns out Elias Saint - is no saint at all.
Rating: 4

Title: Silas (West Bend Series - Book 2)
Author: Sabrina Paige
Review: This is the second book in the West Bend Series and focuses on Silas (Elias' twin brother)  and Tempest Wilde.  Tempest is a grifter, but only cons people who deserve to be conned.  She like a modern day Robin Hood - gives money to the victims or those harmed by the people she's conning.
Tempest just happens to also be a past love of Silas - who he was supposed to marry until her parents whisked her away when she was a teenager.  When Tempest returns to West Bend after a heist and also bumping into Silas who was fighting in Vegas, the mystery of Silas father's death and then mother's death comes into play.  Will West Bend be Tempest's biggest con yet?  Read to find out.
Rating: 4

Title: Luke (West Bend Series) - Book 3
Author: Sabrina Paige
Review: This is book 3 in the West Bend Series.  Luke is a Smoke Jumper who returns to West Bend after is parents death.  A mining company is suspiciously trying to buy up all the land in West Bend, including Luke's parents' property.  While there he meets Autumn, a cider orchard owner who needs help running her orchard.  Luke steps up, not only to help out on the orchard, but also to become romantically involved with Autumn who has a 2 year old child.  Who is trying to run Autumn off of her property though?
Rating: 4

Title: Killian (West Bend Series) Book 4
Author: Sabrina Paige
Review: This is book 4 in the West Bend Series.  Killian is a recluse and an oil rig worker who has moved back to a cabin he built in the mountains in West Bend.  He bumps into Lily (the local bakery owner and mother of a 7 year old) and spills his iced coffee all over her shirt.  Lily's trying to escape her past- a betraying (now dead) husband and Killian is just trying to live a quiet life building his cabin.  Sparks fly and their lives will never be the same again.
Rating: 4
Title: Wanted
Author: Kelly Elliott
Review: This is the first book of the Wanted series.  Ellie grew up verbally abused by her mother. She got good grades and headed off to the University of Texas where she falls in love with her brother's best friend, Gunner. Gunner is a football player who is in love with his best friend's little sister, Ellie. Though many obstacles get in their way, will love see them through?
Rating: 5

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Excercise Your Mind at the Library 2016 Adult Summer Reading Club
Title: The Unfortunate Englishman
Author: John Lawton
Review: Like John LeCarre' this author delves into the motives of his characters. Berlin 1963, London,spies, Russians and all.  Very Good.
Rating: 4
Title: Guilty Minds
Author: Joseph Finder
Review: An untrue story about a Supreme Court Justice is about to post on a scandal website.  Nick Heller, a private eye investigator is hired to disprove it.Then all kinds of shenanigans occur.  Very Good.
Rating: 4

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Excercise Your Mind at the Library 2016 Adult Summer Reading Club
Title: Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Review: Beautiful Disaster takes place on a college campus where Abby meets Travis.  She's trying to escape her past and stay out of trouble while Travis is involved in an underground fight club and trying to escape his own demons with destructive behavior.  Jamie McGuire writes amazing stories and I always love watching her characters unfold.  I met Jamie McGuire at Huntington Book Revue a couple of years ago and she truly is a wonderful author.
Rating: 5

Monday, July 18, 2016

Excercise Your Mind at the Library 2016 Adult Summer Reading Club

Title: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Review: What a delightful book! A grumpy widowed book owner on Alice Island(fictional) finds an abandoned 2 yr old in bookstore with a note saying the mother wants her raised by people who love books. The characters are funny and real.
Rating: 5
Title: Kill and Be Killed
Author: Ed Begley
Review: This is a sequel to his Killer Come Hither and not quite as good. Trying to solve his uncle's faked suicide, he uncovered information linking a famous billionaire to any crimes. Now he is pursued.
Rating: 3
Title: House Girl
Author: Tara Conklin
Review: A young lawyer takes on a reparations case for her corporate firm and delves into the history of a slave girl and her descendants. An art exhibit of paintings from that time are also in dispute.
Rating: 4

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Excercise Your Mind at the Library 2016 Adult Summer Reading Club
Title: Love Unscripted
Author: Tina Reber
Review: I enjoyed this book very much!  It's about a bar owner who happens to meet up with a movie star after he runs into her bar to escape some overly zealous fans.  If you enjoy romance novels and some twists and turns, you'll surely enjoy this book too!
Rating: 5

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Excercise Your Mind at the Library 2016 Adult Summer Reading Club

Title: 438 Days
Author: Richard Franklin
Review: Amazing survival story of a man who drifted at sea for over one year! His ability to overcome all sorts of difficulties, especially those of the mind, is inspirational. As an audio book it kept me on the edge of my car seat.
Rating: 4.5

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Excercise Your Mind at the Library 2016 Adult Summer Reading Club Vagabond
Author: Gerald Seymour
Review: Irish Provos who refuse peace need to buy arms and have an agent who has a Russian friend who is in the trade. However, the agent is also talking to the British so lots of deception ensues.  He tells a good story but is very wordy.
Rating: 3 1/2
Title: Back Blast
Author: Mark Greaney
Review: Their best black-ops soldier has been on the run from the CIA for 5 years for an op gone wrong. He now returns to the US to clear his name. It is a Jason Bourne rip-off but a lot of fun!
Title: Exiled
Author: Christopher Charles
Review: After 20 years "Exiled" to New Mexico, a police detective confronts his past while solving a current murder. Engaging characters.
Rating: 3
Title: Hero of France
Author: Alan Furst
Review: Once again, Paris during WWII with it's German occupation. Nice story and characters but nothing new. (Like his last 2 books)
Rating: 2

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Just the Facts: Book Discussion Recap from May 26

Spring at last! Or is it summer? Either way, many thanks to the fourteen people who passed up an evening in their yard or a walk on the beach to attend the book discussion last night. Their presence, as always, was much appreciated.

The book discussed last night was the Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the romance that changed the world by Greg King and Susan Woolmans. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, due to the death of his cousin, was the heir apparent to the throne of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. When he fell in love and wanted to marry a Bohemian countess, it scandalized the court and the royal family. She was beneath him in rank and was deemed unsuitable. His uncle, the Emperor Franz Joseph, was appalled and furious and refused to sanction the marriage. Franz Ferdinand insisted and after much turmoil agreed to a morganatic marriage and had to endure constant insults and humiliations to his much loved wife. Years into their marriage and with three non-royal children, the couple made a state visit to Sarajevo. During the visit, Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assassinated by a Serb nationalist. The result was World War I, the destruction of three empires and twenty-one million dead. Our discussion was very animated and covered the ethnic diversity of Europe and the current refugee crisis, why Sophie was considered unfit to be the heir’s wife, the role of alliances in the causes of World War I, Franz Ferdinand’s vision for the future of the empire, what Europe would have been like had the war not happened and whether there was a conspiracy involving Russia or the Austrian government to allow the assassination to take place. A good time was had by all.

Our next meeting will be on June 23, 2016. The book to be discussed, One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson, is available at the Circulation Desk. All are welcome.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Just the Facts: Book Discussion Recap from March 24

Many thanks to the seven people who braved a damp, chilly evening to attend the book discussion. Their attendance, as always, was much appreciated.

The book discussed was Empire of Cotton: a global history by Sven Beckert. Cotton, for centuries, has been one of the most important commodities in the history of human existence. In this book, the author describes how the growing, harvesting, milling, spinning and weaving of cotton fiber into cloth actually created capitalism as we know it today. Along the way, it also contributed to the spread of slavery, the destruction of subsistence farming, the creation of city based slums, child labor, environmental pollution and the exploitation of labor. As cotton went from a secondary crop grown by farmers between rows of grain into a huge plantation based industry, it created the need for massive shipping and railroad companies, the insurance industry, the futures market, letters of credit and exchange, modern banking and government and military support to insure access to markets and raw materials. Cotton provided the prototype for such future integrated industries as steel, coal, oil, agriculture and, eventually, technology. Our conversation covered many topics and everyone contributed to it. Issues discussed included the Erie Canal, the costs of slavery and colonialism, subsistence versus a cash economy, unions and labor, workers’ safety, social safety nets and much more. It was an enjoyable evening.

Our next meeting will be on April 28, 2016. The book to be discussed, The Family: three journeys into the heart of the twentieth century by David Laskin, is available at the Circulation Desk. All are welcome.