Book Review


Thanks again to everyone who participated in Blind Date with a Book last month. The winner of the prize drawing has been notified. For the rest of you, how about a consolation read? Here are two books readers discovered through a Bind Date that were given a top rating of 5 stars.


Review by Valerie:

One of Us, by Tawni O’Dell

I give this book: 5 stars

What I liked about it:
Absolutely masterful, rich storytelling packing an emotional punch. Great look into a mental illness, class struggles and what evil really means. I have been recommending this book to my friends and coworkers.

Three adjectives that describe this book:
Captivating
Psychological
Poignant


Review by Roberta:

The Trolley Problem, or Would You Throw the Fat Guy Off the Bridge? A Philosophical Conundrum,
by Thomas Cathcart

I give this book: 5 stars!

What I liked about it:
This little book is a crash course in philosophy 101 presented in an easy-to-read delightful style using the classic “runaway trolley” scenario: would you pull a switch and divert the trolley to a different track thus avoiding killing 5 people, but killing one person on the second track? Is it the morally right thing to do, or is it manslaughter? Read the moral, ethical, philosophical and legal opinions of ancient and modern philosophers. Lawyers, jurors, journalists, educators, clergy, etc. Then YOU decide!

Three adjectives that describe this book:
Fun
Philosophical
Ethically challenging!

Did you pick up one of our specially wrapped books this year? If so, don’t forget to turn in your blind date book review! And if you haven’t yet gone on a Blind Date with a Book, then hurry now into the library. We’ll be taking down the display this Thursday night, February 21.

For the uninitiated, every February the Dublin Library wraps up some of our adult books, both fiction and non-fiction, where you can’t see the author or the title. Short descriptions or teasers are written on the books to help you decide if a book is right for you. You take it home, unwrap it, read it, and rate the book. Reviews turned in to the Information Desk by March 7th will be entered into a drawing for a gift card good for a movie night for two.

Even if you don’t win a prize, you can discover a new favorite author by participating in Blind Date with a Book. Here are two reviews that came in recently:

Review by Jeanne:

A Small Indiscretion, by Jan Ellison

I give this book: 5 stars!

What I liked about it:
Well-written with flashbacks carefully weaving all characters in the story mysteriously together. I also liked the description of Paris & London.

Three adjectives that describe this book:
Compelling
Emotional
Reflection
Impossible to describe in only 3 adjectives. A very good book.




Review by Misha:

The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy,
by Michael F. Patton and Kevin Cannon

I give this book: 4 stars

What I liked about it:
This book offers a thorough and impressive introduction to philosophy, which is an interesting and complex subject. Although I found some terms and explanations difficult to understand at times, I definitely enjoyed the clever and funny illustrations in the book along with the exceptional details about well-known philosophers. I recommend this book to everyone!

Three adjectives that describe this book:
Entertaining
Informative
Complex

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of a movie, The Upside of Unrequited.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Sahana N., teen reviewer

Book Title: The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 2017

Appeal: Young Adult

Rating: 5/5

 

At 17, Molly Peskin-Suso is filled with love, as unrequited as it may be, its still love. She’s had 26 crushes but never tried anything because of her insecurities of being fat. Her twin sister on the other hand, Cassie is the complete opposite. She’s stunning, looks amazing in whatever she decides to throw on, and is talented in the field of love.

One day, Cassie meets a girl named Mina. She’s immediately smitten and admittedly has trouble confessing to her crush. After she gets a bit more comfortable, Mina and Cassie start to date, making Molly feel lonelier, and more unwanted than ever.

Fortunately, Cassie has an idea and wants to set up Mina’s best friend, “hipster Will” with Molly. Anxious to spend more time with Cassie and maybe even receive her first kiss, Molly wills herself to like the cute redhead that keeps popping up.

When Molly starts her summer job, she meets Reid, a chubby Tolkien super fan with his interesting love for Cadbury mini eggs, and a dorky laugh. Suddenly she finds herself wishing to spend more and more time with this cute guy who seemingly occupies most of her mind. Could this be once more unrequited love? Could this be “Molly crush” number 28? Or could this maybe be true?

I enjoyed this book because it explored many characters. The differences between each were vivid and easily spotted. The main theme of this book was also that different is okay. We see characters of different body weights and accepting that they are beautiful as well. We see characters who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and are proud to be so. Most importantly we see characters confident in being themselves, teaching readers a good lesson.

Love, Simon fans will enjoy this book very much because it’s written by the same author. Molly is Abby’s cousin and in this book we explore her background. This book doesn’t incorporate any aspects of fantasy but takes you on a journey through real life. That being said, I would still recommend it to any fans of The Selection, Red Queen, An Ember in the Ashes, or YA series with action, just because it’s an easy read and a great story! I would especially recommend it to John Green fans because the two have similar writing styles.

Another reason I enjoyed this story is the way it is told. Molly’s perspective is fresh, new, and unheard of previously. Most books we read with female main characters talk about how beautiful they are. Take Red Queen, the book isn’t centered on beauty but we do understand how beautiful Mare is. In The Selection, America’s beauty is unrefined and unique, making Maxon fall for her from the start. Finally, in The Ember in the Ashes, Laia catches Elias’ eye even as a servant just because of her looks. On the other hand, Molly is a girl who is chubby, a characteristic our modern world doesn’t encourage. We see as she finds herself and who she really is as well as becomes comfortable in her own skin.

 

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Lipi B., teen reviewer

Book: One of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. MacManus
Book Format: Book, Audiobook
Year of Publication: 2017
This book will appeal to those who enjoy murder mysteries and crime fiction with teen protagonists. You may enjoy this book if you liked the books Pretty Little Liars and Bone Gap.
Age Range: 14 and up
Rating: 4.5 stars

It’s Monday afternoon, and five students walk into detention. Among them are: Bronwyn, the Yale-bound and academically motivated rule follower, Addy, a ready made homecoming princess, Nate, a criminal on probation for drug dealing, Cooper, a star baseball pitcher, and Simon, the collectively disliked creator of the high school’s popular gossip app. However, Simon dies before the end of detention. After further examination, an accidental death is ruled out, leaving the four students that were in the room with him as suspects for his murder. What’s even more intriguing is the fact that the day before he died, Simon had secrets about each of the four students in the room queued up to post for everyone to see. So, which one of them was willing to kill to protect their secret? Or were they the perfect scapegoats for someone else? One of Us Is Lying is a story about deception, finding hidden truths, and above all, how far one can go to preserve their secret.

One of Us Is Lying is likely one of the most exciting books I’ve read in awhile. The book does not hesitate to jump straight into the action, with the story starting off with the murder that is the central focus for the rest of the story. Though this story is a murder mystery, Karen M. MacManus truly gives the characters their own voices and unique perspectives, providing the reader a real connection and attachment to each student. The character development in One of Us Is Lying is something of a marvel, as the case progresses, the characters become their own independent figures with different interests, romances, and lives. Even though each perspective change is labeled at the start of the chapters, I found the characters easily identifiable and distinctive. The pacing of this story is just right, fast enough to prevent boredom but not so fast that the events become confusing.

One of Us Is Lying succeeds where many other books tend to fail-providing an equal amount of personal information and case information. Many other stories tend to get carried away with the character’s personal lives and sideline the case until the very end. However, One of Us Is Lying manages to equally distribute both parts throughout the story. This book does have some thematic elements in it, but nothing too serious; I would urge only ages 14 and up to read it. I devoured this book in one sitting, and thought about it for days afterwards. It is my belief that no book can be
perfect, but this book was near perfect. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys murder and/or mysteries, and it is my hope that you will find it as exciting and intriguing as I did.

 

Here are the last of the Blind Date with a Book reviews for this year. The winners of our prize drawing have been notified. Over 90 wrapped books were checked out, but only 16 reviews were submitted. We had three Nothing Bundt Cake gift cards to give away. Your chances were way better than the odds in the lottery; so next year, don’t forget to fill out a review!

Even if you weren’t lucky enough to win one of our gift certificates, we hope you all had fun choosing a wrapped up book and reading it. If the book you chose didn’t tickle your fancy, try one of these books enjoyed by other Dublin residents, or come by and ask a librarian for a suggestion!

 

Here’s JonMichelle’s review:

 

Finding Casey, by Jo-Ann Mapson

I give this book: 4 stars

What did you like/not like about it?
I enjoyed how much the setting was like another character.

Three adjectives that describe this book are:
heart-tugging
emotional
satistying

 

 

Monica shared this review:


Countdown City, by Ben H. Winters
(book 2 in the Last Policeman series)

I give this book: 4 stars

What did you like/not like about it?
I liked how descriptive and detailed the writer is. He wasn’t too wordy but got to the point. I was able to picture the scenes very easily, and the people. Can’t wait the read the other books by this author.

Three adjectives that describe this book are:
intriguing
touching
original

 

 

 

Dublin readers found all types of books when they went on a Blind Date with a Book this year. Here are a few of them.

This Wednesday, March 7, is the last day to turn in your Rate-the-Date book review to be eligible for our prize drawing. So don’t dally any longer!

Alyssa’s review is for…
mrsthumb

 

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb,
by Melanie Benjamin

What did you like/not like about the book?
I liked that it was from the perspective of a little person, which is rare even today.

Three adjectives that describe the book are:
Thoughtful
Pensive
Determined

 

 

 

Xiaoyu sent in a Rate-the-Date for…

spinoza

 

The Spinoza Problem, by Irvin D. Yalom

What did you like/not like about the book?
Psychiatrist wrote about philosopher in novel format, combining the two fields that have always interested me. Better yet, the writing is very good. I want to read other novels by the author.

Three adjectives that describe the book are:
Inspirational
Enlightening
Thought-provoking

 

 

 

Amy picked up this mystery novel…

died-macpherson

 


Died in the Wool
, by Rett MacPherson

What did you like/not like about the book?
I enjoyed the historical information and the sense of community established with all the longtime residents. It was a quick and enjoyable mystery.

Three adjectives that describe the book are:

Clever
Heart-warming
Unexpected

 

 

Ushaben found the following memoir…

glitter-corrigan

 

Glitter and Glue, by Kelly Corrigan

What did you like/not like about the book?
“Things happen when you leave the house!” and “Be awake to the possibilities,” are two quotes that sum up the book and what I liked about it.

Three adjectives that describe the book are:
Endearing
Memorable
Uplifting

 

 

 

Thanks for your reviews everyone!  Want to see more reader reviews? Look back at our past Adult and Teen book review blog posts.

Tomorrow, February 14 is the last day to pick up a Blind Date with a Book! Don’t forget to turn in your reviews by March 7. Even if the date was a dud, you can still win a tasty treat (courtesy of Nothing Bundt Cakes). Luckily, our first two submitted blind dates were rave reviews. Come by the library to pick up these books or for help in finding your next 5-star read.

Jeanne’s review:

lively- dancing

Dancing Fish and Ammonites, by Penelope Lively
I give this book: 5+ stars

What did you like/not like about it?
I liked everything about this book. I can relate to reminiscing about the past (I am 71 – Penelope was 80 when she wrote the book). We both appreciate passions of childhood — the love of literature, gardening. There is an awareness of how times have changed in the last 50 years.  This book was pure pleasure to read. I can’t give it enough kudos.

Three adjectives that describe this book are:
sentimental, historic, attitude – reflection, age/metamorphosis

 

Tiffany’s review:
crusie-agnes

Agnes and the Hitman, by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
I give this book: 5 stars

What did you like/not like about it?
I love the pace of the story & the dynamic between the two main characters. The writing is very engaging & the story full of humor. ♥ this book! What a romp!

Three adjectives that describe this book are:
quirky, fun, good

 

Thanks Jeanne and Tiffany for your reviews! They are now eligible for our prize drawing, and you can be to, if you turn in your Rate-the-Date review card by Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

 

 

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