InformationAll PPLD facilities will be closed Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day.

Adult Book Reviews

Wells, Robison E.
3 stars = Pretty Good

Blackout changes perspectives throughout the story. It does get kind of annoying because it leaves you at a cliffhanger but other then that is a great book. I really hated how it didn't make sense before but then you see the entire story for what it is. I chose this because it's a Battle of the Books book and the cover looks really interesting. I wish that I had more details.

Isabella
Shaw, Susan
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

The Boy from the Basement is a story of a boy who escaped child abuse and neglect. This is one of the books that we are required to read for Battle of the Books. I went online to find a summary about this and I decided it would be a great book. I sure wasn't disappointed. It was so beautifully written that I could easily picture everything that was going on with the main character through all of this. This is one of the books I recommend to anyone who wants be moved and be captivated.

Isabella
Hugo, Victor
1 star = Yuck!

Les Miserables was one of the most boring books I've read. I chose this book because my mom told me that there was a movie about it and the new musical. Well I bought it and I almost fell asleep. I mean if you like the classics then go for it but if you're more of an action or adventure person then this could easily put you to bed. the historical facts we're seen clearly in this book but if you a lot about French history then this book is easily predictable.

Isabella
Sepetys, Ruta
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This book really made me want to cry. I loved how this entire story revolves around a 12 year old girl who is forced to move from place to place. I could relate to the protagonist because she has to make tough choices and she had to make sacrifices for the greater good. This story will cause sadness and also create a spark of hope. This is a beautifully written story and is perfect for any age.

Isabella
Green, John
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I love how this book really moved me and how it's written. This girl truly wants to be normal but having cancer makes it impossible. She hates everything and is forced go to a support group. Her life is seemingly unbearable until she meets a boy named Augustus Waters. This is a story that will make people enjoy the little things in life. I love how it was written and how it is a modern book.

Isabella
Book Review: 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness
Metaxas, Eric
4 stars = Really Good

A great book with mini biographies of 7 men who made choices that changed their society and left legacies for us. The writing style is informal. I learned things about these famous men that I hadn't known before.

A great inspirational book for teens and adults.

Julie
Book Review: Don't Get Too Comfortable
Rakoff, David.
1 star = Yuck!

The book description says it is "bitingly funny grand tour of our culture of excess". It turns out to be politically snide, not about the subjects declared. Not worth reading.

Dean
Shteyngart, Gary
4 stars = Really Good

This certainly was a super sad, albeit not really true, love story. I really enjoyed the near-future setting with the destruction of the U.S. and the "sci-fi-ish" element with the Post-Human Services idea, and the fact that it was written like journal entries is a plus because that makes any book crazy easy to read. Makes one wonder about the prospect of love and the future.

Cassie
Cameron, Graeme
2 stars = Meh

It started off really intriguing, almost like a Dexter meets Hannibal premise. Ended I don't know where. I couldn't tell how the author was trying to portray the narrator. Was he a psychopath with daddy issues or a hopeless romantic who deserved empathy and compassion? It's a big meh.

Cassie
Foster, Thomas C.
3 stars = Pretty Good

The book is a very practical book and an amusing guide to literature. It is about a chatty Professor from University of Michigan who talks about different elements of literature such as mythology, geography, faith, Bible, seasons, Shakespeare, etc... There are ample of examples and the language is friendly. The author is quite controversial about some topics but overall, the book is entertaining and fun to read!

Shivani
Pratt, Maureen
4 stars = Really Good

Millions of Americans experience pain every day of their lives. Maureen Pratt, who has lupus, is intimately aware of the toll chronic pain takes on people and their families. In this practical and spiritual guide, she shares how she navigates through the frustrations, fears, and complexities of living with chronic pain and illness. Pratt provides help on such issues as finding meaning in suffering, feeling guilty for being a burden to others, and resolving unmet expectations. The chapters are short and concise, written with honesty and humor. The book can be read from cover-to-cover or just choosing individual topics.

George H.
Hough, Jason M.
4 stars = Really Good

Any fan of adventure, aliens, sci-fi, Australia, daring innovations, zombie-like creatures, characters some could easily relate to, flying ships, and an interesting plot is sure to love this book. I randomly checked out this book for the summer and was surprised to enjoy it; unlike other books where it takes a few chapters to get to the point and books with boring dialogue, this book can take any reader to another world which, in a couple of decades and some imagination, a reader can understand happening for real.

Caitlyn
Book Review: Homeschooling FAQs
Orr, Tamra
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

By far the absolute best and most resourceful homeschooling book In have read on our journey. Very Informative!

Jill
Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss
Perkins, Stephanie
3 stars = Pretty Good

This is a cute story about a girl in her Senior Year of High School discovering the ups and downs of love. The beginning of the book isn't written as well as the middle of the book, and the ending is very cliche. But it was a pretty good read, likeable characters, and I would recommend it to any High Schooler looking for a fun read.

Elizabeth
Book Review: William Shakespeare's: Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope
Doescher, Ian
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Who knew that theater greats Willy and George were meant to be together???

Fans of Shakespeare will recognize both passages ripped from his major plays and the similarities of Lucas' characters to greats like Hamlet.

Wanna make it better? Get the audio version performed by Danny Davis, Jonathan Davis, Ian Doescher, Jeff Gurner, January LaVoy, and Marc Thompson.
The drama of C3PO's delivery alone makes it worthwhile.

Doescher's iambic pentameter treatment of Star Wars doth make me merry! Also, check out the Empire Striketh Back and the Jedi Doth Return.

Renee
Wolff, Isabel
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I love dual timeline novels, as long as they are well done. This one alternate between Jenni, who is a ghostwriter who prefers to dig into other people's lives rather than deal with her own past, and Klara, a Dutch woman who was interned in a camp on Java during WWII. Jenni is an interesting character, but I felt like she was more of a foil for Klara's amazing story of survival. Very powerful book, one that will linger in my mind for quite a while, I'm sure.

Krista
Dean, Josh
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Very interesting inside look at the world of show dogs. You follow the progress of Jack, the Australian Shepherd, but the author also gives you a brief history of dog shows in general, different breeds, and even the evolution of the dog from wild animal to domesticated pet. Well written and fun to read (I finished it in just a couple of days), this is a great book!

Krista
Bradley, C. Alan
3 stars = Pretty Good

Not my favorite of the series. SO many characters, I had a hard time remembering them all! I understand it must have been nice to have Flavia visiting his home country (the author is Canadian), but I preferred the books set in Bishop's Lacey, England.

Krista
Gruen, Sara
4 stars = Really Good

This was my first Sara Gruen book and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I have not read many books from this time period set in Scotland, so it was interesting to see how they were living their lives. I liked the characters (well, except for Ellis, but I loved that I disliked him so much). A slight mystical element rounded out a truly good story.

Krista
Book Review: Delicacy
Foenkinos, David
4 stars = Really Good

Accounting the death and rebirth of the heroine Natalie's love life, this book grants a portrait of delicacy that is both poignant and awkward--in a good sense. Subtle hints are expertly woven in with seemingly random facts that set the stage and build the characters to their climax. This whimsical and yet realistic tale of romance is a far cry from the brazen romantic novels that litter the shelves. "Delicacy" recovers a classic sense of romance in its honesty and unhurried pace, drawing the reader in to an intricate life story filled with metaphors and tasteful symbolism. Lyrically written and wonderfully charming!

Danielle S.
Book Review: Without You, There is No Us
Kim, Suki
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

A very unique perspective of North Korea. Kim's descriptions are hauntingly beautiful and poignant. I found this book hard to put down once I started, the suspense of Kim's situation will pull you through her story. I became so attached to the student's stories that it made this book both gut wrenching and heartfelt.

Mary N.
Book Review: The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Rothfuss, Patrick
4 stars = Really Good

For fans of his series, this novella may be a disappointment. It does not continue the main storyline, but focuses on Auri and her life in The Underthing instead. It is a short, quick read, but is beautifully crafted. It really lets you into the broken mind of Auri as she goes about her life, one day at a time. Rothfuss fully admits this book isn't for everyone, but I think his fans should at least give it a shot.

Becca
Book Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking
Cain, Susan
4 stars = Really Good

As an introvert, reading this book felt like coming home. There were many times when I so identified with the feelings and behaviors Susan describes it was like looking into a mirror. Cain examines different facets of personality and why we as a society value certain traits over others. She also looks at what introverts can offer to businesses and in leadership positions. Great read for introverts and extroverts alike!

Becca
Book Review: Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Asperger's
Robison, John Elder
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I put off reading this book because I didn't want to read yet another sad story about someone's rough time growing up. Finally, after seeing all the wonderful reviews about it, I decided to go ahead and read it. I am ever so grateful that I did.

John Elder Robison grew up having Asperger's before it had a name or had been widely recognized. In his book, John tells the story of how he figured out how to fit in with "normal" people without knowing why he didn't see things the way they did. The book is often hilarious, especially in terms of how John worked his way through various phases of growing up not being able to pick up on social cues then mastering self-developed workarounds to succeed in life.

I recommend this book to all adults, those who have Asperger's, who have relatives with the syndrome, or not because sooner or later, you're likely to encounter and try to communicate with someone who does. That's why I'm so glad I read this book. Asperger's isn't a disease, it's a way of perceiving that is different from most just like a left handed person has to learn to live in a right handed world...sometimes things don't fit right and adjustment needs to be made. Try using left handed scissors if you are right handed and see right away what Aspergians deal with in a "nypical" (neurotypical) world. The book is a GREAT read on its own, but has the added bonus of understanding. Such a rare gift in a book these days.

Pauline
Book Review: Your Brain: The Missing Manual
MacDonald, Matthew
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Your Brain: The Missing Manual is the book for "the rest of us" who don't want to or can't take in all the medical jargon that usually infests books about how the "little grey cells" work.

Matthew MacDonald takes the information about how the brain functions and breaks it down into usable chunks. He gives a brief but thorough explanation of several functions the brain performs in simple English, then explains how the brain's owner can make the best use of how the brain works. An analogy would be that instead of someone trying to explain what's under the hood of that great car, he shows you the control panel and HOW TO USE the car. Chances are, you don't need to know how many cylinders there are, what kind of oil it uses etc. because all you plan to do is USE the car and maybe do a bit of maintenance. Matthew MacDonald's approach is that of someone explaining just enough of how the brain functions so that it can be used more efficiently and to the owner's benefit. I heartily recommend the book, especially to staff and teens who could use the problem solving techniques the author includes in the book for learning, school problem solving, etc.

Pauline