FDL Reads: The Rook

Cover image for The rook : a novelThe Rook by Daniel O’Malley

Reviewed by: Carey Gibbons, Adult Services

Genre: Science Fiction

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Myfanwy (pronounced Miffany) Thomas wakes up in a park in the rain with no memory, surrounded by dead people, and with a letter that begins, “Dear You, The body you are wearing used to be mine.” This is only the beginning of Myfanwy’s strange journey as she while navigates this new life while attempting to maintain the illusion that nothing has changed. Because someone is trying to kill her, and not even the old Myfanwy Thomas knew who. New Myfanwy needs to find out who wants her dead before they find out that Old Myfanwy is no longer in residence. New Myfanwy has help in the form of letters from Old Myfanwy, but not even those are enough to prepare her for the reality of her new life as a super secret and also high ranking officer of the Checquy, England’s first and last line of defense against the supernatural. And to complicate things further, it turns out that New Myfanwy has strange powers of her own that are far superior to those of Old Myfanwy. The Rook goes back and forth between the life experiences of New Myfanwy and the instructional letters left behind by Old Myfanwy, both of whom need to find out who wants them dead.

My Review: This book was so much fun! I was torn between wanting to read it as fast as possible and reading a little bit at a time to make the book last as long as I could. Luckly for me, and anyone else who has enjoyed The Rook, the sequel, Stiletto, was released on June 14th. I liked this book because it hit all of the major buttons that I like in genre fiction. Super powered people – yes; super powered forces of evil – yes; an all consuming mystery – yes; a clever sense of humor – yes. This book was both fun and funny. It felt like a mix of television shows like Orphan Black and The X-Files, with bits of movies like Kingsman and comics like X-Men thrown in. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes any of those things. O’Malley does a great job of keeping readers curious and engaged, and he writes excellent heroes and villains.

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: A Meal in Winter

18469743A Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli

Reviewed by: Genna Buhr, Director

Genre: Historical Fiction

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Rather than participating in the daily executions carried out at their base, three German soldiers choose to go on a day-long expedition to find at least one of the many Jews still hiding from the Nazi troops. Carrying their orders and anxieties across the frozen Polish countryside during World War II, the men contemplate their decision, confront the harshness of their situation, and consider decisions to which there are no clear or good answers.

My Review: This novella may look like a typical wartime story, touching on Antisemitism and the Holocaust as so many do, but I found it unique in that it is from the point of view of a German soldier and more unique in that it allows the reader to see him as something more than what is portrayed in history. It’s a very quick, straight-forward read, that doesn’t proselytize. While plain spoken, there are layers of complexity to the story and the characters that were intriguing to discover. In some ways, it reminded me of the Alfred Hitchcock movie, Lifeboat, which also takes place in mostly a single location and deals with survival, prejudices, and moral decisions.

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

Summer Newsletter Available

The latest issue of Community Connection, Fondulac District Library’s quarterly newsletter, is now available! It is mailed to residences within the library district and also is available for download and printing from our website. Printed copies can also be picked up at the library.

Whether you are into history, writing, gaming, music, science, or crafts, we’ve got something planned for everyone at the library this summer! Please take a moment to review the newsletter and mark your calendars with the great lineup of programs happening at Fondulac District Library through September. Enjoy!

Download this file. (PDF, Unknown)

FDl Reads: Harbour Street

Cover image for Harbour streetHarbour Street by Ann Cleeves

Reviewed by: Dawn Dickey, Adult Services

Genre: Mystery

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Police Sergeant Joe Ashworth and his daughter, Jessie, are on a crowded Metro train heading home. Snow on the tracks has made the tracks impassable, so the passengers are transferred to buses to continue their trip. Jessie notices that one passenger, an elderly lady, has not exited the train carriage with the other passengers. Assuming the lady has fallen asleep, Jessie impulsively runs back onto the train to wake the woman. Jessie is horrified to find that the woman, Margaret Krukowski, is dead, murdered in the midst of the crowd. The dead woman lives in and works at a boarding house on Harbour Street in the fictional, decaying seaside town of Mardle in Northumberland. Margaret is an intensely private woman whose life is intertwined with the lives of many characters in the book. The mystery becomes more complex when a second woman is murdered.

My Review: This is an engrossing mystery that kept me guessing until the end. As with most police procedurals, the intrepid Vera Stanhope and her team (including Joe Ashworth and Holly Clarke) slowly, layer by layer, uncover the details of Margaret’s life that led to her murder. Her life and her involvement in the community have many surprises, and I don’t want to say more so that I don’t spoil the plot!

This being the 6th book in the series, I was a little disappointed in the character development, finding some of the characters to be rather flat. And I can’t say that I particularly liked the main character, Inspector Vera Stanhope. At least one of her colleagues would say the same.  Here’s what Holly Clarke, one of Stanhope’s team, has to say:  “She felt every contact with Vera Stanhope was like an approach to a large and unpredictable dog. You never knew whether it would lick you to death or take a chunk out of your leg.” I am also not sure why the book would have used the American term CSI rather than the British SOCO (“scenes of crime officer”); other British terms and slang were used throughout the book.

Rating: 3.5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: The Eye of the World: Wheel of Time Book 1(audio-book)

Cover image for The eye of the worldThe Eye of the World: Wheel of Time Book 1 by Robert Jordan (audio-book)

Reviewed by: Sarah Baker, Circulation

Genre: Fantasy

Suggested Age: Teens, Adults

What is the book about?: Rand, Mat and Perrin are being hunted by the Dark One.  Trollocs and fades attack in their village on Winternight, and the mysterious Lady Moiraine and her companion Lan save them.  Now they travel to Tar Valon, the home of the Aes Sedai, where they might be safe from The Dark One and his servants.  But it is a long journey, and every day new dangers rear their heads.  Will they make it to safety?

My Review: After the announcement in April that the Wheel of Time would be getting a Game of Thrones-style TV series, I decided to try re-reading this fantasy epic.  I tried several years ago, and gave up after book 5.  But this time, it was much easier to get into the story.  The beginning of this book is a bit of a slog – the prologue is incredibly confusing (and seemingly unrelated to everything that follows), and the main story doesn’t really get moving until about chapter 5.  Once the events of Winternight take place, the story begins to move along at a good pace.  There is a lot of plot to follow, and a lot of characters to remember.  Our “main cast” has 8 people, and their travels introduce us to many more, as well as many different factions that use many different names.  

At 25 discs, this audiobook is no small undertaking, but it somehow made it easier for me to follow along than trying to read.  The two readers, Michael Kramer and Kate Reading, really bring the emotions and action to life, giving each character a distinct voice.  It also helped to hear the names of people and places instead of trying to figure out what they are supposed to sound like.  When you’re dealing with multiple languages, not to mention the old languages, having someone else say it really helps!  It also cut down on the visual confusion that fantasy language can sometimes cause.  All in all, I would recommend the audio version of this series.  

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Soundless

Cover image for SoundlessSoundless by Richelle Mead

Reviewed by: Barb Rude, Adult Services

Genre: Fantasy

Suggested Age: Teens, Adults

What is the book about?: Soundless is about a girl in an all-deaf mining village trapped on the top of a mountain. Their only food is sent daily via a zipline, but it’s never enough to feed the village. Worse, more and more people are going blind, which means less can work—and the less food they get. One night, Fei’s hearing comes back. She realizes she must travel down the mountain and negotiate with the line keeper, but what she learns about the world below will change everything…

My Review: This is a slow-building, sweet story that unfolds naturally if not a little predictably. I enjoyed the folk-story feel—there’s not a whole lot of magic, just a couple of kids doing the best they can in a bad and worsening situation. Fei is brave and compassionate and quick-thinking, and the story’s romance was just right.

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

We’re Hiring!

Picture1Love the library? Why not work here? We currently have a part-time opening for a Youth Services Assistant.

Visit http://www.fondulaclibrary.org/about-us/jobs/ for more information.

FDL Reads: King Dork

Cover image for King DorkKing Dork by Frank Portman

Reviewed by: Susie Rivera, Adult Services

Genre: Mystery

Suggested Age: Teens

What is the book about?: Tom Henderson’s ordinary teenage life becomes more interesting when he finds his deceased father’s copy of The Catcher in the Rye.  The book contains a mysterious code that may hold the key to a potential murder, conspiracy, and cover-up.  While investigating, Tom realizes that the code may solve the puzzle surrounding his father’s death and open up the possibility to hook up with a few hot girls.

My Review: I have to say that I was disappointed with this novel.  While I did have quite a bit of empathy for the narrator’s plight as a bullied outcast, I didn’t really like him.  When I picked up the book I read the synopsis and was set up for a murder mystery.  I feel that the author didn’t really deliver in this respect.  I was somewhat engaged in the novel at the very beginning and thought the plot was going somewhere, but then it seemed like the narrative derailed in the middle of the book. The ending was disappointing and seemed tagged on at the last minute.  What I did like about King Dork was some of its humor about high school stereotypes and the author’s allusions to The Catcher in the Rye.   Having read Catcher myself, the many references to the plot and Holden Caulfield were enjoyable to me.  Tom’s opinions about Holden were witty and would speak to many teens today who have read The Catcher in the Rye as required reading.  This book would also appeal to teens who aspire to be rock musicians as the author is also in the band, The Mr. T Experience. Throughout the novel are references to classic rock and garage band nostalgia.

Rating: 2/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: The Disposables

Cover image for The disposables : a novelThe Disposables by David Putnam

Reviewed by: Diane Soffietti, Adult Services

Genre: Suspense

Suggested Age: Adult

What is the book about?: Set in the ghetto of LA, the title of this debut novel refers to the children of abusive and neglectful parents. The main character, Bruno Johnson, is a paroled convict, but also a former LA County Sheriff’s officer and a member of an elite Violent Crimes Team. Bruno has a plan to disappear with an ER nurse, Marie and the abused kids that they have rescued. He knows the streets and the people who populate the area. However, he is on a collision course with his former partner, Robby Wicks and the Violent Crimes Team, as well as the FBI; because Bruno is committing crimes to gather the money to make his escape with Marie and the kids. He has few friends, but plenty of street smarts. Bruno had been a great detective before his partner shot him and put him in jail. This tells the tale of how Bruno can survive and rescue his family from those mean LA streets.

My Review: Bruno Johnson is a flawed character, who did something wrong, and paid the price. He is also a champion of little children, who are abused and used. He used to be the one to put the bad criminals in jail, but then he ended there, as well. His story is one that the reader wants to see have a happy ending. The children are counting on him. I like this type of fast paced, action thriller. Bruno is worth reading about and cheering for until the very last page. David Putnam has written more novels with these characters: The Replacements and The Squandered under the series title of Bruno Johnson.

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: A Curious Tale of the In-Between

Cover image for A curious tale of the in-betweenA Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano

Reviewed by: Sharon Crawford, Youth Services

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal

Suggested Age: Tweens, Teens

What is the book about?: Pram (short for Pragmatic) Bellamy possess a strange talent: she can see and hear ghosts.  Orphaned at birth, Pram was raised by her aunts in a home for the elderly. Her aunts aren’t exactly the lovey dovey hugs and kisses type, but it is very clear that they cherish Pram and worry about her.   Her best friend is a ghost named Felix, who hangs out down by the pond.  Pram is home-schooled and seems to be much smarter than her peers. However, a social worker comes along and says that Pram must go to school because she is lacking in social skills. There she meets her first real friend, Clarence.  Clarence and Pram form an instant bond because they both lost their mothers. Pram reveals to Clarence that she can talk to ghosts. Clarence, missing his mother so much, decides to ask Pram to help him talk with her again. She accompanies him throughout town to meet with different spiritualists to help but who are all shams.  While this is going on, Pram decides she wants to find her father and receives an invitation from a Lady Savant who promises to help. But Lady Savant knows the true power Pram has and what she wants to do with Pram is scarier than any ghost could be.

My Review: I loved getting to know Pram, seeing how her mind worked, and how she viewed the world around her.  Felix and Clarence also are strong characters, each with his own interesting back story that unfolds as we get to know them. They are so very different yet the one thing that they undoubtedly share is their care for Pram. Felix and Clarence are such great friends and are so protective of Pram which I absolutely loved. Their friendships were portrayed so well and is one of the best things about this book.   This book was a really nice read. It was kind of dark, but never real scary. It was pretty fast paced, which I liked.

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

imagine, inform, inspire