The David A. Howe Library staff invites you to try one of their favorite books. Each one is marked with this sticker on the spine or shelved in our special…
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is unlike anything else I've read, save for Neuromancer. Taking place in a world where people log into a pop-culture heavy, 80s loving virtual reality, this is one geeky read. Our hero is out to win the big prize left by the game's creator, but even a digital adventure can become life and death. To be read by anyone who wishes they could jump out of this world and into a brand new one. -Eric
This book was an intense, man vs. nature story about an astronaut left stranded on Mars. Left with only the remains of his failed expedition, Mark Watney needs to survive long enough to be rescued, even though he'll be run of food and oxygen before another shuttle can make the trip. A crazy, fun page turner that reads like some of the best science fiction, this book will keep you up at night trying to see how on Earth (Mars?) our hero will make it home. -Eric
I can see why people make comparisons to Crichton with this but it stands out on its own, even past the "World War Z" similarities. Unlike the zombie novel, this book keeps the focus on a select amount of people, who end up intersecting and helping each other in strange and unforeseen ways. Some of the characters are likable, some are bland, some are robotic. Either way, almost every chapter kept my attention. There is a creepiness to the early parts of the book, during the isolated incidents, and then Zero Hour. I couldn't put this book down and read it in one day, and it never felt like I was rushing through to just finish it. It was something I wanted to keep reading to see what happened next. -Eric
It is the 1840's in the Catskills. Abandoned by her husband, Lucy Ann returns to her parents' farm with her infant daughter, to find her father in decline and her mother hardened against her for marrying a man of whom they didn't approve. Lucy Ann decides to leave her daughter in her parents' safe care while she goes to make a life and enough money for them both - and she increases her chances for success by impersonating a man. Based on the real life Lucy Ann Lobdell, the story travels through
The Bean Trees is one of my favorite books of all time. The language is direct, uncomplicated and heartfelt, like the main character, Taylor Greer. Taylor grows up in Kentucky, poor and ready to leave as soon as she's old enough. Determined to head west unattached and on her own, she soon finds herself taking in a young Cherokee girl. The further she drives, the more she learns about the importance of connections to other people and the value of reaching out. -Allison
In Sycamore Row, Grisham has returned to the scene of his first major novel, A Time to Kill, and presents the reader with a sequel of sorts. Although the original story line does not continue, the main characters are the same. The year is 1988 and racial tensions still abound. When a black servant becomes the beneficiary to a million dollar estate, all ‘hell’ breaks loose. This is a well-constructed legal story that contains humor, a wise cracking judge and a very satisfying ending. This is one
Identical is the story of twins and the event that changed their lives forever. Turow has done an excellent job of combining different points of view and leading readers through many twists and turns until his end result is found. There is a political undertone in this novel and the question of justice is brought up. It also centers on how money and greed play a part in the election system today. Well written and a ‘can’t put down’ novel. Turow at his best. -Ursula
J.K. Rowling (writing as Robert Galbraith) has written a novel about crime and social issues. Our unlikely hero, Strike, sets out with his mismatched ‘Temp. Assistant’ to find the truth behind the murder committed in this novel. This has great plot development and was a pleasure to read. As the story line developed, so did our main characters. Galbraith/Rowling ‘s next adventure, The Silkworm will be released in the Spring 2014 which I am looking forward to reading. -Ursula
Carl Morck used to be one of Copenhagen’s best homicide detectives. Then a shoot-out destroyed the lives of two fellow officers, and Carl blames himself. A promotion is the last thing he expects. He is to head Department Q, which is a department of one, and is given a stack of Copenhagen’s coldest cases. He wants to put his feet up on the desk and nap but one file keeps nagging at him: a liberal politician vanished five years earlier and is presumed dead. But she isn’t dead – yet. This book got
Avraham Bahar leaves debt-ridden and depressed Albania to seek a better life in, ironically, Stalinist Russia. A professional barber, he curries favor with the Communist regime, ultimately being invited to become Stalin’s personal barber at the Kremlin. In the intrigue that follows, Avraham is not only barber to Stalin but also to the many Stalin look-alikes that the paranoid dictator circulates to thwart possible assassination attempts. Levitt illustrates the darkly humorous experience of life
Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town with Brown, who believes he’s a girl. Over the ensuing months, Henry conceals his true identity in order to stay alive and eventually finds himself at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry. An
If you want to improve your health, fight disease, and live longer, then read this e-book. This e-book will open your eyes to all the ways the Western diet has negatively affected our bodies and our health. Eating a whole foods, plant based diet will not only make you healthier, but can even reverse disease. There is also a documentary, of the same name, that makes a great companion. Don’t forget to try the recipes in the e-book though. I’m looking forward to trying out the layered tex-mex lasag
George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series continues to exceed my expectations with each new installment. He’s done a great job of keeping it interesting with new twists and turns that keep me wanting more. SPOILER ALERT: Just don’t get too attached to the characters, because everyone is fair game in this epic fantasy series! -Niki
How do you keep a diary if you can’t read or write? One man has cleverly collected small mementos throughout his life and kept them safe in matchboxes for years as a way of preserving his history. When his great-granddaughter comes to visit he shares his diary with her. As each matchbox is opened the great-granddaughter holds a small piece of history in her hands as the story unfolds. Through everyday ordinary items these two generations connect. -Amanda
Daniel is a man on a mission: to free the Jewish people from the oppression of the Romans. As he and other rebels gather strength in the hopes of overthrowing their oppressors, Daniel begins to question the methods used and grapples with what freedom truly is. This Newbery Award book is a quick read but addresses issues that are still prevalent in today’s world. -Amanda
When her beloved husband suddenly dies, young Ellie Hogan decides to leave Ireland and return to New York, where she worked in the 1920s. She hopes that the city will distract her from her anguish, but the Great Depression has rendered the city unrecognizable. Ellie pours her passion and energy into running a refuge for the homeless until, one day, someone Ellie never thought she'd see again steps through her door. A very touching story with a bit of Irish and American history. -Ann G.
Simply Beautiful Photographs by Annie Griffiths. Amanda Smith's book review: I've never outgrown the enjoyment of flipping through a picture book…honestly who has? This book is a compilation of some of National Geographic’s finest work from all over the world. Focusing on different aspects of photography and incorporating the challenges that a photographer faces, this book gives the reader insight and greater appreciation for this collection. An enjoyable read for any fan of photography. -Amanda
After World War I, Tom Sherbourne takes a job as lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, in Australia, where the supply boat comes only four times a year. His spunky wife, Isabel, suffers two miscarriages and a still birth in three years, so it's no surprise that when a boat washes up carrying a dead man and a live baby, Isabel persuades Tom not to report the incident and takes the baby as hers. Beautifully written and heart-wrenching. -Ann G.
Set in the mountains and farms of Southern Appalachia, Kingsolver weaves three stories of love and loss in a glorious celebration of nature. Kingsolver uses the predicaments of her Appalachian characters to dispense ecological insights, praise the old ways of living, and glory in the beauty of nature. She reflects the difficult lives of people struggling on the hard edge of poverty while engaged in the search for dignity and human connection. -Ann G.
An Indian request in 1854 for 1,000 white brides to ensure peace is secretly approved by the U.S. government in this alternate-history novel. Their journey west is described by May Dodd, a high-society woman released from an asylum where she was incarcerated by her family for an affair. He writes with insight and sensitivity about the political and religious issues of the time, many of which are still relevant today. -Ann G.
Jack Finney is my absolute favorite author. There are so many levels to his stories. I love his tone and find his whole approach really unique. Time & Again was the first Finney I read and it is one of his best. Some may be put off by the level of detail, but I felt like it really gave you a sense of the world Si Morley was in. The mysteries are tight and clever, the characters are fresh and relatable... I loved this book from start to finish. -Nic