Book Review


Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Well, it’s not exactly dinner, but the winners of our last drawing of Three Good Books prizes did get a Starbucks gift card good for a small treat. Not too shabby.

We drew names from reviews from the past two weeks, as well as another drawing with all the participants over the summer who had not yet won a prize. Congratulations to the winners!

Here are some of the books mentioned in the final group of Three Good Books reviews. (We are only listing the titles and not the reviews due to participants’ request.)

Everything I Never Told You,
by Celeste Ng

The Genius of Birds, by Jennifer Ackerman

Growing a Feast, by Kurt Timmermeister

Legend, by Marie Lu

 

 

Let’s Pretend this Never Happened,
by Jenny Lawson

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett

Rich People Problems, by Kevin Kwan

The Twelve, by Justin Cronin

 

Three Good Books was a program in conjunction with Alameda County Library’s Summer Reading Program for all ages. If you have not yet claimed your First and Second Prizes you are missing out. We have a limited amount of free books as prizes and the range of titles is getting smaller each day. So don’t dally any longer! You have until September 15, 2017 to redeem your prizes.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in our adult reviews program this summer. We hope everyone reading these posts found some good picks for their to-be-read list!

 

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of an older teen book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

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**

Jiwon H., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Author: Stephen Chbosky

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 1999

Who will book appeal to?: Teenagers

Rating: 3 stars

The protagonist is a fifteen-year-old boy named Charlie. He is currently coping with the suicide of his friend, Michael, and in order to lessen his anxiety of starting high school without Michael, Charlie starts to write letters to a stranger that he heard was nice but has never actually met in his real life. The letters mainly talks about his daily life at school and how he feels about other people around him. At school, his English teacher, Bill, becomes both Charlie’s friend and mentor. Charlie overcomes his shyness and approaches one of his classmates named Patrick who eventually becomes Charlie’s best friend along with his stepsister, Sam. Throughout the school year, Charlie has his first date and first kiss, deals with bullies, and experiments with drugs and drinking. He makes more friends, loses them, and gains them back again. He also makes his own soundtrack using mixtapes. At home, Charlie has a relatively stable life with his supportive parents. However, a disturbing family secret that Charlie has repressed for his whole life appears at the end of the school year. Charlie goes through several mental breakdowns and ends up being hospitalized.

The letters continue on despite these various incidents that Charlie experiences. I recommend this book to teenagers, especially the ones in high school, because the protagonist with the similar age as themselves will make the story more relatable and understandable, and they can put themselves in Charlie’s shoes. Some readers might not be interested in this story because it covers the dramas in school and they might assume that it would be a story that is too common. However, I think that this story shows the conflicts to its readers in a rather unique way. The format – letters – makes the plot sound more realistic and every book will talk about high school dramas in a different way, so I believe that it is worth reading.

Congratulations to Abby, the latest winner in our adult summer book review drawing! Abby let us know about three books that she recommends and she won herself a Starbucks gift card. A good book and a cup of tea, what more could you ask for? Adult readers in Dublin have until Saturday, August 13 to submit their Three Good Books review and qualify for the next prize drawing.

Three Good Books is a program in conjunction with Alameda County Library’s Summer Reading Program for all ages. If you have not yet logged your reading times and activities, be sure to do so by August 24. While participants have until September 15 to claim their First and Second Prizes (free books y’all!), the Grand Prize drawing for participants who have earned 500 points or more will be held on August 25! Those who have made it to 500 points by that date will automatically be eligible, no need for an extra registration.

If you’re still searching for something good to read as you rack up your reading minutes, come and check out our Three Good Books display in the library, see our previous posts, or try some of these patron picks…

Abby chose:

 

Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe, by Mike Massimino
(autobiography)
riveting, inspiring, fascinating

Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line, by Michael Gibney
(non-fiction)
interesting, humorous, high-brow

Mr. Mercedes, by Stephen King
(fiction)
gripping, edge-of-your-seat action, thrilling

 

 

 

Elena recommends:

Brain Storms: The Race to Unlock the Mysteries of Parkinson’s Disease, by Jon Palfreman (bio-medical non-fiction)
poignant, timely, understandable

Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, by Steve Sheinkin
(historical children’s non-fiction, WWII era)
African-American literature, Local History, Sadness

The Resurrection Fields, by Brian Keaney
(science fiction)
Young Adult, Horror, Absorbing

What three words/phrases would you choose to describe that great book you just read? Library patron Steve, who recently won our latest drawing in Dublin’s Three Good Books program, chose “timely,” “thought-provoking,” and “chilling” to entice readers to try the book Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid.

Sure, we could tell you the plot of a book, but sometimes it’s more fun and  informative to talk about how a book makes you feel, or what the experience of reading a particular book is like.  That’s what inspired this summer program for adults and I hope you’re finding it as interesting as I am.

There’s still time to submit your Three Good Books. You can reply to this post or come in to the library and pick up the form at our display. The last day to submit your entry is Sunday, August 14.

Here are Steve’s three books and two more submitted recently. Happy reading…

 

Steve’s Three Reads:

Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid, (dystopian fiction)
timely, thought-provoking, chilling

When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II,
by Molly Guptill Manning, (nonfiction)
touching, unexpected, evocative

Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing,
by Melissa Mohr, (nonfiction)
bawdy, clever, surprising

 

 

Alex recommends:

 

 

Ukridge, by P. G. Wodehouse (fiction)
entertaining, quick-witted, enjoyable

Leave it to Psmith, by P. G. Wodehouse (fiction)
gripping, fast, hilarious

The Clothes They Stood Up In,
by Alan Bennett (fiction)
thought-provoking, unusual, uncanny

 

 

 

 

Bethany’s picks:

Relativity, by Antonia Hayes (fiction)
intriguing, realistic, scientific

Dear Ijeawele,
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (non-fiction)
feminist, supportive, open-minded

The Martian, by Andy Weir (science fiction)
funny, futuristic, scientific

Have you told us your Three Good Books yet? As we mentioned a few weeks ago, the Dublin Library is asking adults this summer to share three good books that they’ve read recently. Tell us the title/author, what type of book it is (fiction/non-fiction) and three adjectives that describe the book and you will be eligible to win a gift-card in our monthly drawings now through August 13.

It’s easy as sweet cherry pie to participate and… drumroll… we have our first winner!  Vivian submitted the following three good books and three reasons to read each title. Thanks, Vivian for your enticing descriptions!

Submitted by Vivian C.

1984, by George Orwell (dystopian fiction)
Thought-provoking, compelling, captivating

Stumbling on Happiness,
by Daniel Gilbert (non-fiction, psychology)
Interesting, informative, fascinating

The Outliers,
by Malcolm Gladwell (non-fiction, psychology/sociology)
Eye-opening, educational, helpful

 

And here are three more entries from Dublin Library patrons to whet your appetite for good reads this summer:

 

Submitted by Anonymous

Everything, Everything,
by Nicola Yoon (Young Adult fiction)
Fresh, twisting, loving

The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (Fiction)
Sad, passionate, fresh

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,
by JK Rowling (Children’s Fiction)
Powerful, funny, exciting

 

 

Submitted by Liane R.

 

 

Moloka’i, by Alan Brennert
(historical fiction about life, love & leprosy)
A great summertime read

Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks
(historical fiction about a woman during the time of the plague)
A heart-wrenching story

A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry
(historical fiction about India in the 1970s)
Makes you feel blessed to live in the USA!

 

 

Submitted by Elena S.

On the Road with Janis Joplin, by John Byne Cooke (biography)

Orphan Train, by Christing Baker Kline (historical fiction)

Gracefully Grayson, by Ami Polonsky (children’s fiction about a transgender person)

 

Come by the library today to see our display and add your own three good books! We’re having three more prize drawings before the program ends. Plus, if you haven’t yet signed up for the Summer Reading Program, you can still do so and get even more prizes. Yes, adults can play, too!!

Teen Book Talk features reviews by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of a teen book published in 2015. The book, Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon still has a waiting list, but you can add your name to the waitlist here: Everything, Everything.

Teen reviewers select which titles and movies they’d like to review, and opinions are their own. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Hannah A., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: Everything, Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Book Format: book

Year of Publication: 2015

Who will book appeal to: teens, and adults who are young at heart 🙂

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

 

Nicola Yoon’s motivation for writing this book is very encouraging and supportive of multiracial kids. Being married to a man of Korean ethnicity and having a multiracial daughter, she beautifully crafts a story around two people of different ethnicities, Madison, and Olly. Madison has lived her entire life in her house, and hasn’t stepped outside for the fear that her Severe Combined Immunodeficiency will be triggered. All she knows is her mom, her nurse and the house. All of this changes though, as a boy who moved in next door completely changes her life, as they find themselves falling in love.

While reading this story, I had a sense of deja vu, as the storyline is very similar to that of The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. Unlike Green’s novel, Everything, Everything incorporates its own uniqueness, with vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, and more. I loved the flair that these extras added to Yoon’s novel, along with the sweet illustrations by her husband.

I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, but enjoys more lighthearted books, with a more modern twists. It’s a quick read, I wasn’t able to put it down after starting it. Yoon’s take on romance is a reminder that anyone, and everyone, will eventually find true love.

Looking for a few good books? Come by the library this summer and see what others are suggesting, and leave your own suggestions, too!

Now through August 13th, 2017, the Dublin Library is asking adults to share three recent reads that they have enjoyed and three adjectives to describe each title. Come in and see our display at the library and fill out our Three Good Books form.

When you turn in your Three Good Books form you will be entered in our twice-monthly drawings for $5 gift certificates to Starbucks. Enjoy a snack or drink with your beach read!

Here are Three Good Books submitted by some Dublin Library staff…

Adult Librarian Diane’s choices:

The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon
Teen Fiction
smart, endearing, romantic

A Gathering of Shadows, by V.E. Schwab
Fantasy set in alternate Londons (book 2)
thrilling, engaging, clever

Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
Fiction- Family Saga
engrossing, intense, eye-opening,

 

Teen Librarian Mary’s picks:

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women, by Kate Moore
Non-fiction (history, science)
Engrossing, poignant, unsettling

Bull, by David Elliott
Teen/YA (verse, mythology)
Entertaining, twisted, comical

Daughter of the Pirate King, by Tricia Levenseller
Teen/YA, Fantasy/Adventure
Fun, sarcastic, daring

Adult Librarian Eugene’s books:

The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd
Historic Fiction
Informative, ante-bellum society, gripping

Rocket Girl, by George D. Morgan
Biography (of author’s mother, a space scientist in the 1950s)
Inspiring, informative, presentation of societal attitudes

City of Women, by David R. Gillham
Historic Fiction (Berlin in last years of Third Reich)
Thriller, spies, resistance

Now that you have some good books to read, sign yourself up for Alameda County Library’s online Summer Reading Program for all ages!  It’s not just for the kids. No matter how young or old you are, you can read books and do activities to earn free books and enter a grand prize drawing. Just register online, log the time you’ve read and/or do the activities listed to earn points.

That should keep you busy and entertained this summer! As always, come in to the library or contact us for more reading and listening suggestions.

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