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Recent Book Reviews

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Shouting Won't Help: Why I--and 50 Million Other Americans--Can't Hear You

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Bouton, Katherine(2013)Recently Added Review
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Shouting Won't Help: Why I--and 50 Million Other Americans--Can't Hear You

Hearing loss would only seem to be an annoying medical condition, but its results may be much worse. Professionally it hurts. Ask Katherine Bouton. The former New York Times editor writes about her deafness and the efforts to treat and hide it. She finds she can’t and leaves her job. Part memoir (Bouton shares about her life and journey with hearing aid treatment) and part research about the hearing aid industry, the book offers a great overview for hearing loss patients and others. Included are costs for products described as being “expensive, and in fact out of the reach of many people.” The book also wisely includes mini profiles of other professional individuals coping with their deafness and its frustrations.

Reviewed by Lawrence T., South County Regional

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Where They Found Her

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McCreight, Kimberly(2015)Recently Added Review
Where They Found Her

A lone infant is found in a creek in the university town of Ridgedale, New Jersey. Molly, a freelance journalist, is soon thrust into a world of secrets and hidden pasts while she is trying to cover the baby’s mysterious death. Not everyone in Ridgedale is as perfect as they seem. Meanwhile, Sandy is looking for her wayward mother who has abruptly gone missing. She’s not the best mom, but she’s not the worse. Told from multiple points-of-view, you will not be able to put this book down as you try to unravel the strings that tie all Ridgedale’s secrets together. If you are a fan of books by Tana French and other thrillers, this is a book that will have you guessing until the end.

Reviewed by Maeve C., University City Regional

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Street Craft : Guerrilla Gardening / Yarnbombing / Light Graffiti / Street Sculpture / and More

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Kuittinen, Riikka(2015)Recently Added Review
Street Craft : Guerrilla Gardening / Yarnbombing / Light Graffiti / Street Sculpture / and More

A fascinating look at guerrilla art installations or artistic expressions randomly placed in public areas in cities around the world. Featuring artists with such names as Knitorius M.E.G., El Bocho, and Slinkachu, this book showcases many works including progressive cross-stitch, yarn-bombed poles and statues, and “green” graffiti. Background information on the artists and their craft accompanies eye-catching photos. Whether beautifying neglected areas of cities, commenting on social issues, or exhibiting a creative spirit, each unique piece is a testament to the skill and inventiveness of these talented street artists. An enjoyable read that will have you doing many double takes and wondering “How did they do that?”

Reviewed by Jori F., Steele Creek Branch

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Ruth's Journey

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McCaig, Donald(2014)Recently Added Review
Ruth's Journey

In an approved prequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind, a young black child is rescued from the horror of the slave revolution of 1791 in Saint Dominque and raised by French couple Solange and Augustin Fornier who settle in Savannah, GA. She is baptized and named Ruth. Wise beyond her years, Ruth becomes friend and confidant to Solange, and then Mammy to her two daughters. Two generations pass before Ruth’s knowing eyes, and we learn the history of many characters we met in Gone With The Wind, including the famous, Scarlett O’Hara. Ruth and those who labor with her in the city and plantations of the pre-Civil War South provide a thoughtful perspective of the times. An engaging and moving story.

Reviewed by Annette N., Independence Regional

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Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

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McDougall, Christopher(2009)Recently Added Review
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Christopher McDougall had one question: Why does my foot hurt? This set off a series of events that lands him in the dangerous Copper Canyons of Mexico, desperately trying to find the reclusive Tarahumara Indians, a group of indigenous people capable of running a hundred miles without fatigue. With the help of Caballo Blanco, a loner who lives among the tribe, McDougall finds himself as an organizer of the greatest ultramarathon no one’s ever heard of and as a student of Blanco’s effortless, injury-free running form. Soon to be a motion picture, this bestselling book is the reason why Scott Jurek, Micah True, and Vibrams have become household names. Readers will believe that humans are truly born to run.

Reviewed by Kaitlyn M., Morrison Regional

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Natural Born Heroes

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McDougall, Christopher(2015)Recently Added Review
Natural Born Heroes

From the author of the best-selling phenomenon Born to Run comes Natural Born Heroes, which follows McDougall as he travels to the Mediterranean to discover how the Greek heroes of the past are still thriving in the present. On the island of Crete, we follow a band of amateur historians as they track the dangerous mountain trails of Crete’s most mysterious WWII heroes: the band of underdogs who successfully kidnapped a German general. On the way, McDougall researches the forgotten arts of natural movement, foraging the landscape for food, and finding inner courage, going all the way back to the legends of Odysseus and Phidippides and arriving at the doorsteps of today’s unknown and unexpected heroes.

Reviewed by Kaitlyn M., Morrison Regional

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

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Saenz, Benjamin Alire(2012)Recently Added Review
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Young Adult

Aristotle and Dante really have nothing in common. Ari is an angry teenager toughened by a frustratingly silent father but kept grounded by his loving mother. Dante is the curious son of open-minded intellectuals with his heart on his sleeve. They meet one hot summer day at the pool, and what starts as a challenge turns into a lasting friendship. Ari and Dante discover that finding their own way in a complicated world could be as simple as finding their way together. Saenz’s groundbreaking novel about two young Mexican-Americans struggling with their identity is a story woven with poetic prose, heartfelt honesty, and an ending every reader will be hoping for.

Reviewed by Kaitlyn M., Morrison Regional

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1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

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Boxall, Peter(2010)Recently Added Review
1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

Think of this as a sampler platter of 1001 books from around the world and across history! The book is set up in chronological order of publication, starting very, very early in history and proceeding through 2010. Peter Boxall is the main editor, but the synopsis-reviews are written by dozens of reviewers and academics from around the world. All of the inhabited continents, time periods, and genres are fairly represented with many books listed that you might not otherwise encounter. The reviews are 300-350 words long, so they’re “bite-sized.” And a bonus: the book isn’t only text. There are visuals, such as the book’s first jacket, an author picture, or the movie poster, sprinkled liberally throughout.

Reviewed by Marie H., ImaginOn

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Alan Turing: The Enigma

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Hodges, Andrew(2014)Recently Added Review
Alan Turing: The Enigma

This exhaustive, in-depth biography of Alan Turing is the story of a British mathematician genius who was instrumental to helping the Allied effort during WWII. At just under 700 pages, with extensive notes and bibliography, it may appear daunting, but the action and story moves along at a steady pace. The author skillfully mixes details of Alan’s work on the precursor to the modern computer and cryptanalysis during WWII with plenty of human interest, such as the working conditions during the war, his hobbies and interests, and his relationships. This book is highly recommended to those who enjoyed the movie The Imitation Game and wish to know more about the man behind the enigma.

Reviewed by Marie H., ImaginOn

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Lisette's List

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Vreeland, Susan(2014)Recently Added Review
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Lisette's List

Susan Vreeland presents her theme of art as a life changer in the story of Lisette Roux, a young Parisienne bride, who puts her city life aside to move with her husband, André, to a village in Provence to help care for her aging grandfather-in-law, Pascal. Pascal fortifies Lisette’s appreciation of art with stories of how he acquired some valuable paintings, his relationships with the artists, and his role in the creation of the art. Later, as Nazi forces invade France, Lisette endures personal tragedy, but her commitment to the paintings and to the fulfillment of the vows on her to-do list remains strong. After the war, secrets are revealed, love returns, and choices are made. Spunky Lisette will capture the reader’s heart.

Reviewed by Susanne W., Steele Creek Branch

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