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Recent Book Reviews

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Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

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Brown, Box(2014)Recently Added Review
Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

Whether he played the good guy, the heel or the Brute Squad, Andre Roussimoff made an indelible impression in the worlds of sports and entertainment during his brief and illustrious life. In Box Brown’s graphic novel biography of the entertainer, athlete, actor and generally nice guy, brief vignettes are presented with bold, spare artwork. Repeatedly, Brown lets the reader know that art and reality are not mutually exclusive, and the stories presented are proof, with their embellishments, exaggerations and possible half-truths. Like the storylines he used to act out, Andre the Giant was neither all good nor all bad, but a man who lived a life rife with pain and promise, and who consciously made the most of every sweet year he was given.

Reviewed by Sarah K., Morrison Regional

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Slow Dancing with a Stranger: Lost and Found in the Age of Alzheimer's

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Comer, Meryl(September 2014)Recently Added Review
Slow Dancing with a Stranger: Lost and Found in the Age of Alzheimer's

At the age of fifty-eight, Dr. Harvey Gralnick is diagnosed with early on- set Alzheimer’s. When his wife notices that little incidents are becoming problematic, she grabs the reigns and tries to steer him back on course, a course that seems never ending. It takes a while for his colleagues to notice Gralnick’s forgetfulness as he doesn’t seem frazzled or forgetful when busy seeing many patients and doing major cancer research. But this is more –much more. Angry outbursts toward family members, inappropriate behavior at public events, and the loss of concentration are only the beginning. To learn about the everyday life of an Alzheimer’s patient, read this memoir, written by Meryl Comer the wife of Dr. Gralnick.

Reviewed by Vera M., Beatties Ford Road Branch

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Making the Mummies Dance: Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Hoving, Thomas(1993)Recently Added Review
Making the Mummies Dance: Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thomas Hoving’s charm and wit shine right through the pages of his memoir about being the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Hoving, one of the most controversial directors of the Met, takes the reader on a journey of all the behind the scenes activities necessary to keep one of the public’s most cherished institutions up and running. Throughout his descriptions of month long buying trips and schmoozing with potential donors, the reader will be struck by Hoving’s intimate hold-nothing-back tone and his levity in the face of scandal. Overall, Hoving’s memoir makes for a great read either for the studied art critic or for anyone looking for a little scandal and a laugh.

Reviewed by Sarah F., Matthews Branch

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Apple Tree Yard

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Doughty, Louise(2014)Recently Added Review
Apple Tree Yard

A onetime tryst gone terribly wrong, an affluent professional testifying against her lover, and a shocking discovery that even keeps our main character in the dark. Part courtroom trial and part diary entry, this captivating story is told through a series of flashbacks and racy recountings of illicit liaisons. Respected, wildly successful geneticist Yvonne Carmichael faces her biggest fears as she realizes her mistake and is also forced to question her ethics as she vacillates between saving her life or ruining someone else`s. Louise Doughty weaves a tale of passion, crime and psychological suspense that will leave you breathless as you seek to answer the question: “What would you sacrifice to protect your carefully built life?”

Reviewed by Alex O., Main Library

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Who is AC?

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Larson, Hope(2013)Recently Added Review
Who is AC?

What happens when a high-school sophomore who would rather write about heroes finds herself becoming one? Supernatural powers aren’t apps; you can’t download them. Lin’s phone was hacked though, and now with a quick call, she can transform into a crime-fighting hero. As Lin fights evil, her choices keep intersecting with others, who, in turn, are caught in their own battles. Small town living may not be as safe or boring as some might think when fully realized here through Larson’s double-dose of magical realism and technology dipped in danger. Don’t ever underestimate AC.

Reviewed by Amanda D., University City Regional

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Robogenesis

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Wilson, Daniel H(2014)Recently Added Review
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Robogenesis

Robogenesis picks up 3 years after Robopocalypse ended. We’re still here, but scattered and disjointed. Some of the augmented “people” have attempted to re-join humanity, but are not welcome in most enclaves. Some of the machines are working to stop ARGOS from continuing the war against us, and some continue to evolve beyond their original programming. Takeo Noumura and his AI lover Mikiko may be on the brink of finding another way to fight, but sacrifices must be made and not everyone will survive. This fast, action packed read helps remind us what “being human” really means.

Reviewed by deLisle G., Main Library

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Fahrenheit 451

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Bradbury, Ray(1951)Recently Added Review
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Fahrenheit 451

Guy Montage is a fireman in the American future. His job is not putting out fires, but starting them; more specifically book burning. Books are terrible for humans; they’re full of ideas which sometimes make people feel sad or inadequate. Isn’t it much better just to sit with “the family” on your TV walls rather than think about your Country going to war? Mr. Bradbury, with poignant and sometimes flowery imagery, paints a picture most of us will recognize as very close to our own. This book is open to wonderful discussions and interpretations; a perfect book club pick.

Reviewed by Gina d., Main Library

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Written in My Own Heart's Blood

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Gabaldon, Diana(2014)Recently Added Review
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Written in My Own Heart's Blood

It is 1778 and the Revolutionary war is in full swing. Jamie, after being returned from the dead and discovering his wife Claire married to his best friend, is pulled back into the thick of it. William (Jamie’s son) is trying desperately to deal with his identity crisis, Ian can’t wait to marry his Quaker love, and John Grey is trying to figure out how to get back to the British side of the war. Meanwhile in the 20th century Jamie and Claire’s daughter Briana and her husband Roger are desperately searching for their son Jem, who has been kidnapped. Roger even goes back thru the stones to try and find him. Written in My Own Heart`s Blood is the eighth installment of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.

Reviewed by Carey G., South County Regional

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Splintered

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Howard, A.G.(2013)Recently Added Review
Splintered
Young Adult

Alyssa is the descendant of Alice from Lewis Carroll’s novels. Her family has been cursed with madness, for not only is Alyssa’s mother in an insane asylum, Alyssa also keeps the secret that she hears the thoughts of plants and insects. When her mother steadily grows worse, she is signed up for treatments that might kill her. Alyssa is willing to do anything to save her mother, even if it includes visiting Wonderland to break the curse with the two boys she holds most dear. If you are a fan of romance then definitely give this book a read.

Reviewed by Anna G., Matthews, NC

Patron Review This book review was submitted on-line by a Reader's Club patron.

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Barrier

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Patrick Jones(2014)Recently Added Review
Barrier
Young Adult

Jessica is smart, good at math and science, and interested in manga and anime. She also is diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. When her school counselor realizes her difficulties, it is recommended that she attend an alternative high school called Rondo. In addition, she begins private therapy. Jessica’s first days of school are filled with nervousness and the unexpected, but as she follows her therapy plan, she makes progress. Also, a manga club is started at her school and she joins. But will these changes help her deal with her numerous fears? Will she find a group of friends to call her own? This book is written in first person and describes one girl’s journey to finding her true self.

Reviewed by Jeanenne R., Matthews Branch

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