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  • Work with all your cloud files (Drive, Dropbox, and Slack and Gmail attachments) and documents (Google Docs, Sheets, and Notion) in one place. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Now available on the web, Mac, Windows, and as a Chrome extension!



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Abide With Me by Elizabeth Strout

A protestant minister in a small town in Maine in 1959 deals with the loss of his wife and the impact this has had on his two small daughters, while trying to remain the steady shepherd to his congreagation he feels he needs to be. This is a wonderful, quiet, beautifully written novel from the author of Amy and Isabelle which really packs a punch at the end. Reviewed by: Reference Librarian Jane Brown


The Accidental by Ali Smith

A mysterious stranger appears in the dysfunctional household of a family on holiday in a drab English village. She affects each member in a different way and radically changes their lives forever. Superb writing gets into the minds of each of the characters who narrate the story. Reviewed by: Reference Librarian Jane Brown


Black Swan Green by David Mitchell

Reading Black Swan Green brings to mind a chorus from the song, "Home Town" by Joe Jackson,


"And sometimes I just . . .

Wanna go back to my home town

Though I know it'll never be the same

Back to my home town

'Cause it's been so long

And I'm wondering if it's still there."


A vivid reminiscence of life in 1982 Worcester, told in the words and thoughts of 13-year-old Jason Taylor, complete with memorable characters that live on long after the book is over. Best listened to in the audio version read by Kirby Heyborne. As Jason would say, "Lush. It's epic." Reviewed by: Librarian Janice Painter



Everyman's rules for scientific living by Carrie Tiffany

Simple and evocatively written, this first novel by an Australian short story writer, is a quiet meditation on love, male-female relationships, scientific knowledge and the realm of putting theory into practice, and the conflicts and bonds between living beings and nature. The setting is stark and the characters are sparely drawn using gems of detail. Tiffany is a writer whose craft is honed to a fine edge, and she leads you right into the poignant heart of a far away time and country. Reviewed by: Access Librarian Janice Painter


The Girls: A Novel by Lori Lansens

This novel is the enduring story of Rose and Ruby, the world's oldest surviving craniopagus twins. It is a fictionalized autobiography of two lives joined forever. Raised by "Aunt Lovey" and "Uncle Stash" after being abandoned by their birth mother, Rose and Ruby are simply known as "The Girls" in the small southernwestern Ontario town where they live. Rose has decided to write a book about her life as a conjoined twin, but of course her story can never be told without Ruby's story being told as well. She convinces Ruby to write her own parts for the story and promises not to ready what Ruby has written -- just as Ruby will not read what Rose has written. The result is an extraordinary story of everyday life lived under daunting conditions and of a profound love of two sisters for one another. A book worth reading and not to be forgotten.

Reviewed by: Janie Hermann, Technology Training Librarian



The Janissary tree: a novel by Jason Goodwin

Goodwin (author of Lords of the Horizons) uses his scholarly knowledge of the Ottoman Empire to weave a tale of theft in the sultan's palace, paired with a string of violent murders. Eunuch Yashim Togalu pursues his sleuthing from the royal court to the gritty passageways of 1836 Istanbul to piece together the connections between crimes. Instanbul makes for an exotic locale. The atmosphere is sinister, filled with intrigue and risky political business. This is a good read to start out a series that I am looking forward to. Reviewed by: Access Librarian Janice Painter

  • Read a review from Turkey and get a taste of Turkey while you visit this site.



Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Two magicians are at odds over how best to use magic to bring greater glory to Mother England in the Age of Napoleon. Great characters and wonderful dialogue! One of the best fantasy in many years, and Susanna Clarke's writing is on par with Neil Gaiman in the fantasy field. Reviewed by: Tom Hammel


The Lonely Empress: A Biography of Elizabeth of Austria by Joan Haslip

Beautiful, carefree fifteen year old Elizabeth of Bavaria is chosen by Emperor Franz Joseph, Holy Roman Emperor of the House of Habsburg to be his Empress. Neither was prepared to deal with marriage or the perilous politics of Europe at the time. The eventual result was World War I. History writing at its best, clearly demonstrating that history repeats itself. Reviewed by: Mary Louise Hartman


The March by E. L. Doctorow

Doctorow has created a sweeping and compelling portrait of Sherman's infamous March to the Sea through Georgia and the Carolinas in the last year of the Civil War. We see the struggles and devastation of the march through the eyes of dozens of characters, including Sherman, himself, other generals, regular soldiers, a medical officer, deserters, freed slaves and plantation owners. Both the characters and the time come to vivid and unforgettable life in Doctorow's convincing prose. Reviewed by: Sue Roth


Three-Day Road by Joseph Boyden

This riveting book intertwines two different stories: The plight of the Oji-Cree Indians in Canada in the beginning of the 20th century and the trenches of World War I and the use of Indian soldiers as snipers and sharpshooters. Based on the true story of Ojibwa war hero Francis Pegahmagabow, it is a best seller in Canada and is short listed for the Canadian First Novel Award.

Reviewed by: Reference Librarian Jane Brown


The Toughest Show on Earth: My Rise and Reign at the Metropolitan Opera by Joseph Volpe with Charles Michener

Joseph Volpe started as an apprentice carpenter at the Metropolitan Opera. He rose through the ranks and became the head of the Met in 1990. He gives a full account of his years at the Met and offers many colorful stories of the singers and major players of the great opera house. There is as much intrigue offstage as onstage. He will retire from the Met in August 2006. Reviewed by: Carolyn B.


Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich

Beach reading of the quick and local variety. If you're amused by Evanovich's characters, then you'll enjoy this book more than her last couple of Stephanie Plum installments. The usual good-guy characters are drawn with a bit more dimension, and the tension between Stephanie's love interests is pivotal to the plot. The bad guys' crimes involve identity theft, child kidnapping and gang warfare. Guess what kind of car blows up in this one? (I actually do know a Trenton cop who drives this car!) Reviewed by: Access Librarian Janice Painter





The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard

There’s something about Kansas these days. First the renewed interest in Truman Capote’s true crime novel In Cold Blood and now Nancy Pickard’s suspense novel The Virgin of Small Plains. The story begins in 1987 when two young lovers and an idyllic Kansas town are changed forever when a mysterious young woman, known later as the Virgin, is found dead during a snowstorm. The crime was never solved and the girl's identity remains unknown. Fast forward to 2004 when this cold case is reopened after apocryphal stories surface proclaiming the girl buried in the local cemetery to be a miraculous healer. This is a captivating mystery about solving a seventeen year old crime. It is also about young love, good people who do bad things, and parents whose good intentions damage their children. It is a great summer read, but beware, once you start this book you may not be able to put it down.

Reviewed by: Reference Librarian Carolyn Barnshaw

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