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Recommended reading from northeastern CT libraries. Reserve or request any title at your area library!

Category: Thompson Public Library

DECEMBER 23, 2011
Kids books I've enjoyed
This time of the year makes many of us feel like a kid again.  So I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite reads and listens for the younger set.
 
A few seasonal favorites:
Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O'connor & Robin Preiss Glasser
How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky
How Santa Lost His Job by Stephen Krensky
Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
           
A few series:
Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke
Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Percy Jackson & the Olympains by Rick Roirdan
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott
 
A few good reads:
Ida B by Katherine Hannigan
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Holes by Louis Sachar      
Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

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Categories: Thompson Public LibraryJuvenile FictionAudio

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DECEMBER 23, 2011
Books I've heard this year

I love to listen!  Here are some books I’ve enjoyed this year in my car, the sewing room and even cleaning the house…that’s when you know it’s really good!
 
In no particular order:
Whiter than snow
by Sandra Dallas
Another great historical story from this author set in the west.

The invisible bridge by Julie Orringer
A beautifully written first novel that happens to be about the holocaust.

Lake of dreams by Kim Edwards
By the author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

The Athena project by Brad Thor
Not my favorite by this author, but still a good listen.

Major Pettigrew’s last stand by Helen Simonson
LOVED IT!

Book of unholy mischief by Elle Newmark
This has been re-titled and is now The chef’s apprentice

Gideon’s sword by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
The start of a new series by this powerhouse duo

Proper care & maintenance of friendship by Lisa Verge Higgins
Three women struggle with the passing of a friend and how to move on

Paris wife by Paula McLain
Hemingway’s early years through the eyes of his first wife

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
Another Scandinavian author crosses over, love Harry Hole!

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Categories: Thompson Public LibraryAudio

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AUGUST 15, 2011
Great summertime reads
There is never enough time to read it all, but it seems especially challenging in the summer to find reading time.  I like to make the most of things by selecting beach reading…that is, books with coastal settings.
 
I just finished reading Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews, featuring Nags Head NC.  The book I’m reading on my Nook is Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan.  The book I’m waiting to get my hands on is Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer.  I keep hearing good things about this author, it’s time I check her out. Plus, she lives on Nantucket!
 
More authors with a coastal persuasion…
Brendan Dubios with his Lewis Cole series set on the coast of New Hampshire.  The first one Dead Sand, and his new one is Deadly Cove.
 
Elin Hilderbran sets her stories on Nantucket – my favorite is Blue Bistro, her new one is Silver Girl.
 
Two more Massachusetts entries -- Richard Russo’s That old Cape Magic, and Philip Craig’s JW Johnson series placed on Martha’s Vineyard.
 
Randy Wayne White does Florida justice with his Doc Ford series. Great characters, great locations. The first book is Sanibel Flats.
 
Visit Quiet Corner Reads (QCR) on facebook and tell us your favorite summertime read.

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Categories: Thompson Public LibraryAdult Fiction

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AUGUST 15, 2011
Movie vs. Book

What’s better, the book or the movie?  This great debate will never end.  Hollywood loves to take great page turners for the big screen…The Green Mile, True Grit, Harry Potter.  Whether or not it becomes a blockbuster, well that’s another story!
 
Some great books are being turned into movies this summer…check them out!
 
Snowflower & the secret fan – in theaters July 15
The story of two childhood friends in 19th century China.
 
The Help by Kathryn Stockett – in theaters August 12
The south during the civil rights time as seen by maids and their white families.
 
For the younger set – in theaters now.
Judy Moody and the not bummer summer by Megan McDonald
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater and Florence Atwater
 
Available on DVD…the characters come to life in these adaptations.
Jesse Stone series by Robert Parker
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

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Categories: Thompson Public LibraryAdult Fiction

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AUGUST 15, 2011
Crafty books
There’s a time to read and a time to craft, but its best when the two can be combined!  Here are a few of my favorite…
 
Lacemakers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri
An American tourist meets up with a group of Irish lacemakers, no one is the same at the end!
 
Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas
Set in Depression-era Kansas, it's a story of loyalty and friendship in a women's quilting circle. This author writes some great historical novels.
 
The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil Mcneil
A widow looking for a new start takes over a yarn shop and discovers new adventures.
 
Quilt series
Marie Bostwick ~ Cobbled Court Quilt Shop  A Single Thread is the first book.
A Texas transplant sets up her dream quilt shop in Connecticut then deals with devastating health news.
 
Jennifer Chiaverinni ~ Elm Creek Quilters The Quilter's Apprentice is the first book.
The series is set in Pennsylvania and tells the stories of quilters both past and present.
 
Earlene Fowler ~ Benni Harper Fool’s Puzzle is the first book.  These are mysteries set on the California coast.

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Categories: Thompson Public LibraryAdult Fiction

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MARCH 30, 2011
Books I read last month
Some months I read little, some months I read lots…last month was an average one.  Here’s what I read…all were good reads I’d recommend.
 
The Confession by John Grisham (audio)
Another legal thriller from the master, this time death row is the theme.

 Informationist by Taylor Stevens
Along the lines of The Girl Who series by Steig Larsson, but better.  A great twist at the end. 

 Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer (audio)                                                                       
A political thriller with historical conspiracy theories – and it happens at the National Archives….nothing wrong with any of that!

 Live Wire by Harlan Coben  
I love Myron Bolitar and the rest of the team, but wonder if this will be the last we hear from him?
 
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen                                                  
Another great read by the author of Garden Spells.

 Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith
The latest No. 1 Ladies Detective story, always enjoyed.
 
Union Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini                                                                        
Set in the Civil War era as the men go off to fight and the women of Elm Creek Valley support the Union troops.

 The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown                                                           
The story of three sisters finding their way in adulthood.

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Categories: Thompson Public LibraryAdult Fiction

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MARCH 30, 2011
Books I’m reading now
Ten years ago I read one book at a time, and did not listen to audio at all.  Now, I have multiple books going at all times.  Sometimes plots cross, but now I have a much better chance of reading all the books!
 
Audio in the car 
The forgotten man by Robert Crais.   I’m really liking this series with Elvis Cole & Joe Pike.
 
Audio in the sewing room
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson.  People have told me this is a great book… so far so good.
 
On the Kindle
Little Bee by Chris Cleave.  The story of a young Nigerian immigrant has piqued my interest.
 
Book 1
New Mercies by Sandra Dallas.  I thought I had read all of hers, but missed this one. Set in Natchez, Mississippi, in 1933 a new widow learns of an inheritance from an unknown aunt.
 
Book 2
Clara & Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland.  Started this on audio, but think I’ll do better with the book…it happens sometimes!

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Categories: Thompson Public LibraryAdult Fiction

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MARCH 30, 2011
Books about food
I hate reading cookie cutter books, ones that tell the same stories over and over.  These titles serve up a fresh batch of reading enjoyment.
 
School of essential ingredients by Erica Bauermeister is one of my top 10 favorite books.  The stories of those attending Monday night cooking classes are told.  Well written, a great read.
 
Particular sadness of lemon cake by Aimee Bender.  A young girl can taste the emotions of those preparing her food, and struggles with coming to terms with this gift.
 
Joanne Fluke series features Hannah Swenson, owner of The Cookie Jar in Lake Eden, Minnesota.  First book is Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder.  Recipes are included too.
 
Bread alone by Judith Ryan Hendricks.  Wynter Morrison reclaims her life with a move to Seattle and a job at a local bakery.
 
Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray.  A woman copes with all the trials and tribulations of life by baking cakes.
 
Blue bistro by Elin Hilderbrand tells the story of those working at a restaurant on Nantucket.

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Categories: Thompson Public LibraryAdult Fiction

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MARCH 30, 2011
Books about books
Obviously, I love books.  I even love reading books about books.  Here are a few of my favorites:
 
Angry housewives eating bon bons by Lorna Landvik follows the lives of members of a book club, their ups and downs over three decades. All her books are great.
 
The Burglar series by Lawrence Block -- Bernie Rhodenbarr is a burglar and bookseller living in New York City.  The first book is Burglars can’t be choosers.
 
The Collectors by David Baldacci (part of the Camel Club series) features a murder at the Library of Congress…good stuff!
 
Grand complication by Allen Kurzweil is the perfect mystery for true bibliophiles, and it features Marie Antoinette too!
 
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke is written for the younger crowd, but enjoyed by many adults.  This may sound familiar, as it was made into a movie.  A young girl discovers that her mother is stuck in a story, great adventures follow.
 
John Dunning writes a great series featuring Cliff Janeway, a cop and rare book expert, in Denver, Colorado.  The first is Booked to die.

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Categories: Thompson Public LibraryAdult Fiction

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DECEMBER 10, 2010
Mysteries from the female persuasion
My previous entry featured books by male authors.  It’s only fair that I share with you my five favorite mystery series by women authors too! I enjoy reading these as they are light on violence and language; I’m not one for the gory details.
  • Susan Wittig Albert – First book…Thyme of Death. Features China Bayles, an herbalist and former attorney, in Pecan Springs, Texas.
  • Margaret Maron – First book… Bootlegger’s Daughter. Features Deborah Knott, a district judge in North Carolina, along with her colorful extended family. 
  • Donna Leon – First book… Death at La Fenice. Features Guido Brunetti, a police commissario in Venice, Italy. 
  • JA Jance – First book… Until Proven Guilty. Features J.P. Beaumont, homicide detective in Seattle, Washington.  She writes another series worth checking out also: Joanna Brady, a deputy sheriff's widow, now elected sheriff in Cochise County, Arizona.  First book…Desert Heat. 
  • Lisa Scottoline – First book… Everywhere That Mary Went. Features the staff of Rosato & Associates, an all-women law firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Bonus…Series written by a man featuring a woman: Thomas Perry writes about Jane Whitefield, a Native American guide who helps people disappear, based in Deganawida, New York.  First book…Vanishing Act.
Submitted by Alison Boutaugh, Thompson Public Library
Villager Papers, December 3, 2010

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Categories: Thompson Public LibraryAdult FictionMystery/Detective

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DECEMBER 10, 2010
Five on the Lighter Side
The holidays can be stressful.  Why not escape into a good book that makes you laugh out loud?! Here are my five favorite funny reads…
  • Spellman files by Lisa Lutz.  First in a series featuring Isabele “Izzy” Spellman, a 28-year old sleuth working for her parents’ private investigation firm, in San Francisco, California.  This family has issues. 
  • Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella.  It all begins with Confessions of a Shopaholic.  You don’t know money troubles until you read about Rebecca’s troubles!  Her standalone books are pretty good too.
  • Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books has written a series featuring Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, it begins with Portuguese Irregular Verbs  - enough said!
  • Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich (One for the money is the first).  Features Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter in Trenton, New Jersey.  My favorite thing about these books is folks of all ages read them!
  • I love all of Mary Kay Andrews books, but am particular to the Savannah series, set in Georgia and featuring Eloise "Weezie" Foley.  These books are: Savannah Blues, Blue Christmas, and Savannah Breeze.
 Submitted by Alison Boutaugh, Thompson Public Library
Villager Papers, November 26, 2010

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Categories: Thompson Public LibraryAdult FictionMystery/Detective

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DECEMBER 10, 2010
Mysteries by Male Authors
    I love a good mystery – especially well done series.  Here are my favorite mystery series by male authors:
  • Craig Johnson – First book…Cold Dish. Features Walt Longmire, veteran sheriff in Absaroka County, Wyoming with a great cast of supporting characters.  Think Janet Evanovich meets Tony Hillerman.
  • Lee Child – First book…Killing floor. Features Jack Reacher, ex-military policeman in the USA.  Jack has a white knight complex, always righting any wrongs to those he knows, and even those he doesn’t. 
  • Randy Wayne White – First book…Sanibel flats. Features Marion “Doc” Ford, ex-operative, marine biologist in Sanibel Island, Florida. Doc and his hippie friend Tomlinson get into all sorts of situations, some on land, some on water.
  • Philip Craig – First book…A beautiful place to die. Features Jefferson “J. W.” Jackson 30-something ex-Boston cop, in Martha’s Vineyard.  JW would rather be fishing, but trouble always finds him.     
  • John Dunning – First book…Booked to die. Features Cliff Janeway, a cop and rare book expert, in Denver, Colorado. Who knew solving murders dealing with the book world could be such a page turner?!  This guy knows his books, too.
     
Submitted by Alison Boutaugh, Thompson Public Library

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Categories: Adult FictionThompson Public LibraryMystery/Detective

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