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Saxton Reads! & Reviews

We invite the public to post reviews to our catalog by logging into our online catalog. Reviews will then be posted to this blog. Comments can be added to existing posts or may be added as separate reviews on our catalog
APRIL 28, 2010
Betrayal of the Blood Lily ~ Lauren Willig
***reviewed by Mercedes
Betrayal of the Blood Lily by Lauren Willig

This latest edition of the Pink Carnation series was not quite a disappointment but didn't have the thrill that some of the earlier editions did. The love interest was discerned immediately, how to get to that love interest was predictable, and there wasn't enough suspense or action. I enjoy reading books set in British India - I find them intriguing and exotic so the local for Blood Lily was fun but it seemed to do little to further the basic Pink Carnation plotline. Willig is been reliably frequent in her publications so I'll look forward to the next book in hopes that she'll return to her earlier thrilling stories.

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by CarolK


APRIL 21, 2010
American Booksellers Indie Choice Awards 2010
Chosen by the  American Booksellers, the 2010  Indie (Independent Bookstores) Choice Awards of the Year are:


Adult Fiction: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Knopf)

Adult Nonfiction: The Lost City of Z by David Grann (Doubleday)

Adult Debut: The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam)

Young Adult: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)

Middle Reader: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb Books)

New Picture Book: The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (Little, Brown)

I'm happy to say we own all of these and individually each earned high marks with at least one member of our staff. Sue, our cataloger, raved about Cutting for Stone.

Lost City of Z was my pick for non-fiction last year. It is a tale of deadly obsession in the Amazon and can't be beat fore for adventure. Many seek the lost civilization of El Dorado, many die trying to find it. Grann's research into the disappearance in 1923 of Percy Fawcett, his son and their party, lures him into the Amazon's mysteries.

Megan and I both waited breathlessly for Catching Fire, the second installment of Collins's Hunger Games trilogy (Mocking Jay due August 2010) and were not disappointed.

Joanne, Pam, and our volunteer Pat, have put The Help in to everyone's hands.

Megan's book group, and both Megan and myself thought When You Reach Me was superior.

You truly can't go wrong with anything on this list! Check one out today.

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by CarolK


APRIL 16, 2010
Romance & Bromance
Last week the library received a copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, written by John Green and David Levithan, in what may become known as the best duo since Sonny and Cher (at least in the YA book world). Over the course of the past two years I have pretty much fallen in love with John Green, and I have really liked the stuff I have read from David Levithan. So, when we got Will Grayson in, of course I read it right away.
Here is a snippet from VOYA’s review:
“One Will Grayson wants nothing more than to shut up and not care; the other wants nothing more than to have someone to talk to and care about. But when Will Grayson meets Will Grayson, two worlds collide, and neither Will’s world will ever be the same. Both Will Graysons' lives are changed because of Tiny Cooper, "the world's largest person who is also really, really gay, and also the world's gayest person who is really, really large," who is in the process of producing an over-the-top musical about his life, trust, and true love…”
It is already an Amazon ‘Best Book of the Month,’ and has had starred reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus Review, so I figured it was going to be really good. My two cents…. it definitely lives up to all the hype.
It’s a story about love and bromance (i.e.; a plutonic friendship between two guys), and coming of age, and finding yourself, and all that jazz that makes for great Young Adult reading. It’s hard to tell what author wrote what characters because the story flows so seamlessly. On top of that, Tiny Cooper is one of the most fabulous and unforgettable characters I can think of, and in true John Green fashion the book includes a smart and snarky indie chick, who is the crush of Will Grayson #1. The meeting of the two Will Graysons' comes about through a series of weird coincidences, in a completely unlikely but entirely possible way. Without spoiling it I will say that ending seemed (very) improbable, but it did not ruin the book for me at all. To sum it up, I want to see this book made into a movie (mostly for the aforementioned over-the-top musical numbers). And I want to listen to the audio book (again for the musical numbers). And that’s really saying something. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a hilarious, memorable, sweet read for teens and adults.

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Megan Q.


APRIL 13, 2010
Pulitzer Winners Announced
The 2010 Pulitzer Prizes honoring excellence in journalism and the arts since 1917 have been announced. You can see the whole list here 

Of particular note these prizes were awarded in the category of

Letters, Drama and Music

Fiction - Tinkers by Paul Harding (Bellevue Literary Press)
Drama - Next to Normal, music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey
History - Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed (The Penguin Press)
Biography - The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles (Alfred A. Knopf)
Poetry - Versed by Rae Armantrout (Wesleyan University Press)
General Nonfiction - The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David E. Hoffman (Doubleday)
Music - Violin Concerto by Jennifer Higdon (Lawdon Press)

Have you read any of these? I've had the First Tycoon on my list forever. Perhaps it's time to move it up in the pile!

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by CarolK


APRIL 6, 2010
Favorite Discussible Books of 2009 from Reading Group Choices
Need a great book for your next book discussion?
Reading Group Choices has just announced the winners of their Favorite Discussible Books of 2009 survey. The following books were chosen by book groups across the country, groups just like ours, readers looking for a meaty book to talk about.

Saxton B. owns each and every one so stop by and check one out today! 

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by
       Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
3. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
4. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
5. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
6. TIE Still Alice by Lisa Genova, and Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
7. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
8. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
9. The Shack by William P. Young
10. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

When you're on Reading Group Choices website be certain to check out some of their other lists. One I particularly like is Great Group Reads! Selections for National Reading Group Month (2009) from the Women's National Book Association.

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by CarolK


APRIL 1, 2010
Book Tour or Guess Who's Coming to Town
Do you like to meet authors, hear them speak, get the lowdown in person? First you've got to know who's appearing and where.

Keep up to date on the latest author events by subscribing to BookTour.Com

Browse the events by plugging in your zip code or sign up for a weekly email update.  You'll get an automated email giving you details of the authors who will appear locally. My list this weeks includes:

Andrew Gross (author of Don't Look Twice: A Novel):
    Southington Library
    Wednesday, March 31, 12:00 PM
    Aqua Turf Club 556 Mulberry Street, Plantsville, CT, 06479

Jill Hunting (author of Finding Pete: Rediscovering the Brother I Lost in Vietnam):
         Saturday, April 03, Time TBD
    Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn.

Abby Stokes (author of Is This Thing On?: A Late Bloomer's Computer Handbook):
    Essex Library
    Saturday, April 10, 10:30 AM
    33 West Avenue, Essex, CT, 06426

Harlan Coben (author of Hold Tight):
    Mohegan Sun
    Saturday, April 10, 2:00 PM
    1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncassville, CT, 06382

Tommy James (author of Me, the Mob, and the Music: One Helluva Ride with Tommy James & The Shondells):
    Saturday, April 10, 2:00 PM
    1600 South East Road, Farmington, CT 06302

Ron Arons (author of The Jews of Sing Sing):
    Godfrey Library
    Sunday, April 11, 1:30 PM
    134 Newfield Street, Middletown, CT 06457

Chris Bohjalian (author of Secrets of Eden: A Novel):
    Tuesday, April 13, 7:30 PM
    335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT

Frank Delaney (author of Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show: A Novel):
    Alumni Center, UConn Storrs campus
    Tuesday, April 13, 7:30 PM
    352 Mansfield Road, Storrs Mansfield, CT 06269

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by CarolK


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