After a serious car accident puts Paige in a coma, she wakes up with severe memory loss and doesn't remember her husband, Leo. Her parents, whom she hasn't seen for years, come and visit her and want to bring her home with them. When Leo brings her home with him she doesn't recognize anything and questions their marriage. After much confusion she goes to live with her parents. Leo tries to win her back by courting her again. Because my husband was in a terrible motorcycle accident nine months ago I knew I had to see this movie. I could understand the frustration Paige and Leo experienced and the determination of Leo trying to get back a normal life. Fortunately, my husband didn’t experience the extreme memory that Paige did, but he has had many issues. I would highly recommend this movie. We hear of so many people who suffer head injuries after an accident but we never hear what a struggle it can be to get back to ordinary life. This movie reminds us all that anything can happen at anytime and things in life need to be prioritized.
This book showed up on just about every “Best of 2011” list I looked at, but I didn’t pick it up right away. I’m not a serious sports fan, and a book about Life and Baseball sounded like a bit of a chore. The Art of Fielding turned out to be fantastically entertaining. Henry Skrimshander arrives at Westish College with incredible talent as a shortstop and not much else to recommend him. As Henry passes his days at school, the story moves out over campus to include a range of fascinating characters affected by Henry’s rise to the top of his game — and the tragic nosedive that follows. The author’s balance of affecting humor and acute observation make the book an absolute joy. It’s a good, old-fashioned novel, so nearly probable but altogether more satisfying than anything but a good story can be. Read it!
Reviewed by Lisa Gricius, Library Clerk & Substitute Librarian
Kristin Hannah writes women's fiction from the heart, and in her current novel, Home Front, she takes us on an intimate journey of women serving in the military and those they leave behind.
Michael and Jolene Zarkades, married twelve years have lost their way and as divorce becomes imminent, Jolene and her best friend Tami are deployed to Iraq. Michael, an anti-military workaholic now has to juggle the demands of single parenthood along with his daughters’ turbulent emotions.
This is an emotionally packed powerful novel exploring the facets of love, family, friendship, grief, and forgiveness! Keep a box of tissues close at hand! Another great read from Kristin Hannah. We have many of her novels available both on the quick book shelf and in our stacks!
A sweet, sad love story set in the Russian enclave of Brighton Beach, two children (Vaclav and Lena) find each other and become fast friends. They are suddenly separated, only to be reunited as teenagers. We are slowly let in on some of the secrets behind Lena's immigration and why she disappeared as she did. Vaclav also now knows what happened as they try to come to terms with Lena's past. We don't know whether they will be together as adults (as children they promised to marry), but we do see the beginnings of reconciliation and understanding. Five stars!
Let’s go back in time, to 1893, and explore New York City, a very different place than the modern metropolis of today. The streets are crowded, filthy, and dangerous, and people are crammed together in tenement buildings without light or running water. This is the world 13 year-old Maks Geless deals with every day, as he earns money to help his family as a “newsie” on the Lower East Side. Follow Maks through his days as he deals with threats from the Plug Ugly Gang, rescues a homeless girl, and fights to save his sister from an unwarranted charge of theft. This plot is so full of action, you won’t want to stop listening!!
Retreat from the blustery December weather and follow Dr. Marina Singh, research scientist, into the sweltering Amazon jungle. Sometimes descriptions of exotic places get bogged down, but Ann Patchett’s setting for this story springs up naturally around her characters, giving a dangerously attractive glint to each conflict. News of a coworker’s death and pressure from her employers push Marina into a hunt for the fabled Lakashi tribe and the incredible possibilities the tribe might offer to the rest of world. Along with the difficulties of her journey, Marina must face a former teacher and adversary and the memories stirred by this meeting. Though she doesn’t consider herself adventurous, Marina is quietly determined and observant, and these qualities lead her to a final shocking discovery and a critical choice. Although readers enjoy many fascinating revelations throughout this book, Patchett leaves us in the end with some room to wonder. Find this item in the library catalog!
Reviewed by Lisa Gricius, Clerk & Substitute Librarian
This is a powerful little book. Similar to When the Emperor Was Divine, Julie Otsuka knows how to pack a punch into a short novel. Her lyrical prose and ability to captivate her readers in one sentence amazes me. The Buddha in the Attic tells the story of a group of young women brought over by boat from Japan to San Francisco under false pretenses. Their hopes for the "American Dream" are soon shattered and survival becomes their way of life--along with the "American Betrayal". This is an important reminder of how our country betrayed their own during a time of paranoia and fear. Hopefully, we can learn from past mistakes and Ms. Otsuka does an amazing job of reminding us!
Although this is fiction, the author has based her novel on true stories from female soldiers who have served in Iraq and on interviews with Iraqi women. A disturbing story, but well-written in the voices of Kate, a young female soldier, and Naema, a female Iraqi medical student. Alternating stories from these women, told through their thoughts and experiences, depict very realistically the horrors they have to withstand. Kate is a guard in a prison camp, where she is harassed by the prisoners, as well as by her own fellow soldiers. Naema has had to flee her home in Baghdad, to hopefully find refuge at her grandmother's, only to find they're not safe there either - her father and brother are arrested and taken to the prison camp. In between the war narratives, Kate tells of her struggle upon returning home; she is not only injured, but she also has to face her PTSD and cope with a new everyday life. Will she ever be whole again? Then we ask the real question: How many of our soldiers (sailors, Marines, airmen) return from war in her condition?
Looking for a good recorded book to listen to while travelling? Check out The Star of Kazan! Set in 20th century Vienna, you will meet Annika, an orphan, and the unusual family that adopts her. The plot thickens when her "real" mother suddenly appears and Annika's life is turned upside down. This tale is told so well you won't want to stop listening. The narrator, Patricia Connelly, adds so much to the story with her amazing voice. Check it out today!
Many people may read this book solely because it is the 2011 Newbery winner, but I want to tell everyone in the world- adults and children - to read this book!!!!! It amazes me that this is the author’s first novel. It is the BEST children’s novel I have read in awhile, and, as a children’s librarian, I read a lot of books every year.
Young Abilene Tucker is sent to her father’s home town of Manifest, Kansas, when he feels he can no longer take care of her properly. At first the town doesn’t seem like much, but as the story unfolds she realizes there is much more here than meets the eye. Abilene and her new friends Lettie and Ruthanne go on a treasure hunt of sorts, learning more about the town’s history and its inhabitants past and present. How can you not be curious about characters named Shady, and the Rattler, and the mysterious Hungarian woman who lives down the “Path to Perdition?” Many different plots wind together seamlessly to come to a satisfying conclusion! I would highly recommend this book to anyone 5th grade and up. It is a joy to read, and little Abilene will touch your heart!