Saturday, August 27, 2016


Euphoria is by Lily King. Loosely based on the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead. Nell Stone, her husband Schuyler Fenwick (Fen) and fellow anthropologist Andrew Bankson are studying various tribes along the Sepik River in pre-WWII New Guinea. Nell and Bankson find themselves drawn together by love, loneliness, and a desire for knowledge, while Fen is jealous of his wife's success and capable of anything to have some of that success for himself. This book is a fascinating look at tribal cultures and colonial attitudes towards them, as well as a very human examination of a love triangle doomed from the start, and the lengths to which greed and jealousy can drive a man.

Ratings: Adult - 7 out of 10 - AC (mature thematic content).

Beautiful Darkness

Beautiful Darkness is by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl. The second book in the Beautiful Creatures series. Lena's sixteenth birthday has passed and she still has not been claimed. Ethan becomes concerned when Lena begins to pull away from him after Macon's death. When Lena runs off with Ridley and a strange Caster boy, Ethan, Link, and a Keeper-in-training from England embark on a journey through the Caster tunnels to find them and stop Lena from going dark. An action-packed novel that will delight fans of the series.

Ratings: 9th grade - 8 out of 10.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is by Anthony Marra. A magnificent novel set in Chechnya in 2004. This novel follows a group of characters whose lives are, for the most part, unknowingly intertwined. Things come to a head when eight-year-old Havaa hides in the woods and watches Russian soldiers abduct her father and burn her home. Their neighbor, Akhmed, afraid for Havaa, takes her to a nearby city to what passes for a hospital in the war-torn country. The hospital is run by Sonja, an ethnic Russian and the sole remaining doctor. Over the five days after Havaa's father's disappearance, we learn through a series of flashbacks the web of events which link the lives of all the characters. This book is a brutal look at war and what people do to survive. It chronicles both the humanity and inhumanity of humankind. It is a novel filled with pain, regret, evil, and yet incredible bravery and courage. A must read especially for those of us who have never known the horrors of prolonged war and the toll it takes on the human soul. Read this book!!! You won't be sorry. A Reader's Corner Highly Recommended Read.

Ratings: 12th grade - 10 out of 10 - AC (mature thematic content) - V (violence).

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Spellman Files: Document

The Spellman Files: Document is by Lisa Lutz. The first book in the Spellman Files series. Meet the wacky Spellman clan. Albert and Olivia Spellman own Spellman Investigations, they have three children David (a lawyer), Isabel (works for the family firm), Rae (13 - wants to work for the family), and Uncle Ray (drinks, gambles, whores around, and helps out when needed). To be a Spellman does not just include spying and tailing strangers, and bugging people suspected of wrong doing; being a Spellman means spying on, tailing, and bugging each other. When Izzy decides it's time to leave the family business for a more "normal" life, craziness ensues. A thoroughly enjoyable read, looking forward to the rest of the series.

Ratings: 12th grade - 8 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content).

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Everyone Brave is Forgiven

Everyone Brave is Forgiven is by Chris Cleave. Set during WWII London, this is the story of two roommates who fall for the same girl at the beginning of the war. The story follows the trio throughout the course of the war with all its horrors and displays of heroism. The author was inspired by the real love letters written by his grandparents during the writing of this book. This book makes you feel like you are with the characters in all their trials and tribulations; the writing is outstanding.

Ratings: 11th grade - 9 out of 10 - AC (mature thematic content).

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Seeing Stars

Seeing Stars is by Simon Armitage. A strange, yet entertaining, book of free verse prose poems. Those adverse to poetry, and a strange sense of humor, might find this collection worth reading.

Ratings: 9th grade - 8 out of 10.