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The Hypnotist's Love Story

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Moriarty, Liane(2012)Recently Added Review
The Hypnotist's Love Story

Everyone knows that embarking on a new relationship brings joy, compromise and lots of baggage. Ellen suddenly finds herself enjoying a great career as a hypnotist while dating a boyfriend who has an adorable son. To top it all off, he has his own stalker! Things get even more interesting when Ellen decides to start looking into her new boyfriend’s life and finds out who the “stalker” is. But what she doesn’t expect is the biggest surprise of all. Told by both Ellen and the deranged stalker, this story will both amuse and baffle you as you begin to wonder why you’re rooting and sympathizing with “the bad guy”! Part comedy and part romance with a few twists, this book is an entertaining light read.

Reviewed by Alex O., Main Library

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Homeland

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Doctorow, Cory(2013)Recently Added Review
Homeland
Young Adult

Picking up where Little Brother leaves off, Marcus Yallow is now an unemployed college dropout, following the collapse of the US economy and his parents’ job loss. He’s trying to leave behind the brutality, but chance meetings at the Burning Man event leave Marcus with a lead on a job and with a USB drive chock full of documents that expose widespread government and corporate treachery. Doctorow takes the themes from Little Brother and adds the events that have arisen in the five years since: economic collapse, collusion between government and corporations, and damning documents that expose that collusion. For those who believe in watching their government with both eyes open, this powerful thriller will inspire action.

Reviewed by Sarah K., Morrison Regional

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Diary of the Fall

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Laub, Michel(2014)Recently Added Review
Diary of the Fall

A group of boys bully another boy on his birthday, leaving the victim seriously injured. One of the boys, as an adult, recounts the events leading up and including the act, and its impact on the rest of his life. In compact undated diary entries, the unnamed author purges himself of the demons that have plagued his family, from his grandfather surviving Auschwitz, to his father surviving his grandfather, and the narrator surviving childhood. Each succeeding generation has its own demons and desperation to escape and find their identity, without the knowledge of how or why. Laub’s unpretentious, meditative prose examines what it means to truly live and be alive. A great read for fans of Marilyn Robinson or Jonathan Safran Foer.

Reviewed by Sarah K., Morrison Regional

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The Housemaid's Daughter

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Mutch Barbara(2012)Recently Added Review
The Housemaid's Daughter

Young Catherine Moore leaves Ireland to travel to South Africa for an unknown future with her fiancé Edward Harrington, who she has not seen in five years. We come to know her through her diary, and through the eyes of Ada, the daughter of her housemaid and friend, Miriam Mabuse. Ada becomes like a daughter to Catherine, despite the differences in their “skin” and she shares with Ada her love of music, a gift that gives Ada a future that would have been impossible for her. Their relationship weathers the storm of the apartheid movement, and we see how their strength of character and love for each other overcome the historical events and tragedies that result. This story is a captivating and touching read.

Reviewed by Annette N., Independence Regional

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Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: a Memoir of Food and Love From an American Midwest Family

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Flinn, Kathleen(2014)Recently Added Review
Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: a Memoir of Food and Love From an American Midwest Family

Kathleen Flinn’s previous memoirs, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry and The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, recalled her time at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and what she did with her skills back in the US. In this memoir she explores her family history and you can see how her love of cooking and food can be traced back to generations of wonderful home cooks who expressed their love through food. Kathleen’s parents didn’t have much money when they started out, but they always had a big vegetable garden and Kathleen and her four older siblings grew up eating great homemade food. Family gatherings always centered around food and spending time with their large extended family. This is a wonderful memoir of food, family, and love.

Reviewed by Jessica B., Mint Hill Branch

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North of Normal: a Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both

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Person, Cea(2014)Recently Added Review
North of Normal: a Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both

Cea Person and her mother lived with Cea’s grandparents in the Canadian wilderness in tipis. Cea’s grandparents were hippies who did drugs daily, rarely wore clothes, and practiced free love - encouraging their children to do the same. When she was five, Cea and her mother moved into town and lived with her mother’s boyfriend Karl, who grew pot and robbed cabins for a living. Cea only realized how unconventional her life was when she started school. When Cea was thirteen she entered a modeling contest and won; that started a twenty year modeling career that provided an escape from her dysfunctional family life. North of Normal is a compelling memoir in the same vein as The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.

Reviewed by Jessica B., Mint Hill Branch

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Worst Nightmares

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Briant, Shane(2009)Recently Added Review
Worst Nightmares

When “literary darling” author Dermot Nolan finds a mysterious manuscript in his mailbox, he sees it as the answer to his plight. Under pressure from his publisher to meet a quickly approaching deadline and suffering from a chronic case of writer’s block, he decides to submit the manuscript to his editor as his own. But after the book is published he realizes the manuscript may be a serial killer’s tell-all journal describing gruesome murders in detail. Now he stands to pay the ultimate price for plagiarism with his life as the “true” author emerges to play a game of cat and mouse and the “fiction” becomes too real.

Reviewed by Alex O., Main Library

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The Woken Gods

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Bond, Gwenda(2013)Recently Added Review
The Woken Gods
Young Adult

Imagine if the entire world`s collection of gods and goddesses--Sumerian, Greek, Norse--who supposedly ruled the earth came back to life. They were awakened before the book opens, and humans are aware of them. The story is set in Washington, D.C., the seat of power for both the immortals and humans. Four teens--Kyra, Bree, Tam and Oz--are related to powerful adults within the human government. But, these four also become snarled in the business of the immortals. Kyra`s father has been accused of stealing an important, powerful relic. Since this relic has magical powers, he will be executed on the `Solstice` unless it is returned. The teens must prevent this from happening. The adventure has many twists and turns. Mysterious people, prophecies and misdirection abounds.

Reviewed by Thea J., South County Regional

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The Troop

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Cutter, Nick(2014)Recently Added Review
The Troop

This book will have you question what you would do to survive. A scoutmaster and his Boy Scout troop encounter something terrible and horrifying when a mysterious stranger shows up on a deserted island they are camping on. Each boy is different from the other in many ways. The events of this book is more than camping, merit badge earnings, and campfire stories. Nick Cutter’s book will leave you with a bioengineered nightmare that could one day be a reality. The book brings to mind the classic, Lord of the Flies, but to the extreme; it will leave you squirming in your seat. If you are looking for a good horror book and you enjoy Stephen King novels, this is the book for you.

Reviewed by Maeve C., University City Regional

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The Butterfly and the Violin

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Cambron, Kristy(2014)Recently Added Review
The Butterfly and the Violin

This book is written during two different time periods, but flows effortlessly. In present time, Sera James, an art dealer, is trying to locate a mysterious Holocaust-era painting she saw as a child. During WWII, Adele Von Bron’s life turns upside down when she is sent to Auschwitz by her father. Adele is soon part of the Auschwitz Women’s Orchestra, as she is a talented and famous violinist. Will Sera ever find the mysteriously beautiful women in the painting? This story is very enthralling and sheds light on the art and music that was produced in the concentration camps during WWII. It shows the reader than even during a time of pain and starvation, beauty can still be found.

Reviewed by Maeve C., University City Regional

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