Adult Summer Reading 2016: Book Reviews


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42 Responses so far.

  1. Mary C says:

    The Children by Ann Leary

    Easy reading, somewhat of a surprise ending. Setting is northwestern CT.

  2. Monique B says:

    This book tells the tale of life in Nantucket and the gossip that fuels the charming island. Two best friends are in the center of these rumors and as the book unfolds we find them possibly losing the picture perfect life they are living. This is a perfect summer read – wealthy people, financial troubles, over-priviledged kids, two affairs – but at the heart of it, the realization that you should appreciate what you have in life….

  3. Terry R says:

    Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

    This is one of those books in a series (like J. Austen) where the old story is re-written in our time. This is from the Shakespearean series and is a retelling of The Taming of The Shrew. It’s not bad, better than the Austen ones I have read, although it does get rather silly in spots–but then again, didn’t the Taming of the Shrew?

  4. Terry R says:

    The Conspiring Woman Kate Parker
    Last in A Victorian Bookshop Mystery. The Alchemist Society, aided by The Duke of Blackford, solve missing women’s disappearances and discover some interesting underground activity.
    There are 4 books in this series which I am donating to the library next week. Hope you can enjoy them.

  5. Mary C says:

    Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty–Ramona Ausubel

    A family loses the wealth that they were living off of. The husband and the wife each react in the extreme. How it affects the family. It takes place in Cambridge and Martha’s Vineyard.

  6. Mary C says:

    falling by Elisha Cooper.

    This is non-fiction by a children’s author. It deals with how he deals with his daughter’s cancer. It takes place over about 4 years. They live in NYC. Each chapter has a different topic, such as Thanks and Laughter.

  7. Terry R says:

    Political Suicide by Erin Mc Hugh
    A book of snippets telling the tales of dumb mistakes, illegal activity, and other nefarious doings among the American politicians. You can read a couple of short tales while you are reading another book. Ranges from Aaron Burr to Spiro Agnew and lots in between. Some you will remember, others you will recognize and still others are unknowns. Fun summer read!

  8. Terry R says:

    Fatal Pursuit by Martin Walker
    Bruno, Chief of Police in St Denis France is back with a tale of classic cars–especially a long lost Bugatti which people will kill for–and do!! Part of a series but you can read this as a stand alone also. As usual, Bruno cooks up wonderful meals and has gorgeous girlfriends!

  9. Mary C says:

    The Last Painting of Sara De Vos by Dominic Smith. Interesting. Takes place in 1600’s Holland, 1950’s NYC and 2000 Sydney. Revolves around the painting and a forgery. Insights into art and an intriguing story.

    • Terry R says:

      I read this before the summer and enjoyed it a lot. woman artist were not given much support from their male contemporaries even though they were excellent painters.

  10. Terry R says:

    Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America by David O. Stewart

    Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Dolly, and Monroe are the 5 of the title. Each section covers one of the partners and their relationship with Madison against the background of the history of a period. I learned a lot about Madison: a prolific writer (the Federalist Papers, Bill of Rights), quiet and somewhat shy, very smart and inquisitive, disliked the spotlight. His relationships with the men were sometimes at odds, but basically, they helped forge the United States government that we have today.

  11. Lori L says:

    11/22/63 by Stephen King

    The story of a man who goes back in time to try to save JFK from the assassination. A very long novel of over 1,000 pages but I found it to be a very interesting and fast-paced read with a good love story intertwined. The ending wasn’t what I expected which I liked. Great read!

  12. Terry R says:

    Dishonorable Intentions by Stuart Woods Audio

    If you are a fan of Stone Barrington, I recommend that you take out at lest one of the Audio versions of his books. Tony Roberts is the reader and he IS Stone Barrington!! In this one, Stone one more time makes a mistake on the girlfriend, but he does manage to rid himself of a threatening ex=husband–fun ending!!

  13. Edna M. says:

    The Excellent Lombards, by Jane Hamilton

    I loved this slow-moving, slightly old-fashioned but very appealing coming-of-age novel, set on a family apple farm in Wisconsin. Frankie, the young girl at the center of the story, is in love with the way-of-life on the farm, and can’t believe it will ever change. But, of course, change is inevitable. Exceptionally well-written – a book I would read again, which is high praise.

  14. Edna M. says:

    They May Not Mean To, But They Do, by Cathleen Schine

    This novel could have been depressing. It deals with the indignities of old-age, the loss of independence, sickness and even death. Family members struggle to understand and support each other as they try to handle these issues. However, it’s leavened throughout by wry humor, and the writing is excellent. A very good read.

  15. Mary C says:

    Mary C

    Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

    Suspenseful. Two stories which intertwine for a surprise ending. Good escape reading.

  16. Mary C says:

    Mary C

    If I Forget You by Thomas Christopher Greene

    A quick read, a love story with more depth than a romance novel. Switches back and forth between 1991 and 2012. Told from each lover’s pt of view.

  17. Michelle Keough says:

    Michelle K

    Jonathan Keller

    This book is based on a very dysfunctional family with twist and turns, many interested characters that will keep you on your toes throughout the book. Great easy read, perfect summer reading book!

  18. Terry R says:

    Corpse in a Gilded Cage by Robert Barnard
    This author has been writing mysteries since the 70’s and is always a good “go back to for a fun read” type–=especially in the summer! This one is from 1984, set in England where a family has inherited an Earldom–much to their surprise. A death, family feuds, and funny characters emerge.

  19. Terry R says:

    City of Secrets by Stewart O’Nan

    I had never read this well-known author but found the review attractive. What I discovered is that he writes very well–his descriptions come alive and his dialogue is real. While I finished the book, the plot did not capture me. There was an assumption that I knew about the occupation of Israel by the British and the Jewish underground movement: that said, the action moved forward to a logical ending.

    I would like to hear an opinion from someone who is more familiar with this author.

  20. Mary C says:

    The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell.

    The story takes place in London. It has a mystery to it as well as dealing with family and friend relationships. Enjoyable.

    • Mary C says:

      All Things Cease to Appear–Elizabeth Brundage

      Engrossing story of a house, a murder, and a marriage. Takes place in upstate NY, although husband is from CT shore and a small part takes place there as well as Hartford. I recommend it.

  21. Terry R says:

    Dictator by Robert Harris

    This is the last in a trilogy about ancient Rome as told by the slave/stenographer of Cicero and presented from Cicero’s perspective. All 3 books are very well written, easy to read and full of well researched information about the politics of the time. In this last book, there are some moments that sound very familiar to our present day situations.

    I recommend that you read them in order–that way the timeline progresses in an orderly fashion.

  22. Terry R says:

    A Gap in Time by Jennifer Winterson

    Another modernized Shakespeare–this time A Winter’s Tale. The author, helpfully, provides a synopsis of the original in the preface which aided in identifying the characters in their new guise. The new story was very good and captured the jealousy, greed and tragedy of the original very well.

    Fast read-I finished it in one evening.

  23. Terry R says:

    Where Shadows Dance by C. S. Harris
    If you are into English mysteries set in the early 1800s, this series is a lot of fun. The “detective” is Sebastian St. Cyr who engages in solving mysteries. Each book contains the same cast of basic characters who have a variety of roles. This particular mystery focuses on multiple connected murders relating to Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, spies and pay offs, as well as early forensic medicine. Enjoy!

  24. Lori L says:

    Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

    A young girl seeks help from two unlikely adults to help her find her mother whom she hasn’t seen since she was two. The story takes place in an elephant sanctuary so be prepared to learn a lot about elephants and their behavior. Interesting book with a twist at the end

  25. Terry R says:

    Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick

    Another Philbrick history which is clear and readable and offers lots of tidbits of information that you never knew. Washington and Arnold make an interesting pairing: very different personalities, very different strategies, and very different ambitions for the Revolutionary War.

    The audio version is read by Scott Brick–easy to listen too and has a voice that matches the topic.

  26. Terry R says:

    Away in a Manger by Phys Bowen

    This is a fun series set in New York in the late 1800s-early 1900s whose heroine is an Irish immigrant who becomes a lady detective. Somehow I missed this holiday episode: it was fun to read about Christmas in July!!

  27. Terry R says:

    Couture Confessions by Pamela Golbin

    The author picked 10 of the most famous fashion designers–all deceased–can gather notes, quotes, writings from them. Then she created an “interview” about their life in fashion, how it works, the stresses, etc. and matched answers from their data she gathered. an interesting approach and fun to read.

    After I finished the book, I went on the internet and found sample pictures of the designs from these people. Fascinating to see how some things have changed over time and others keep repeating.

  28. Mary C says:

    Before the Fall-Noah Hawley

    Good story about the lives of people before a private plane crash and the aftermath for the survivors.

  29. Terry R says:

    The Bachelor Girl’s Guide3 to Murder by Rachel McMillan

    An easy summer read. 1910 in Toronto and 2 young ladies (24 yo) are not conforming: instead, they are being detectives–much to everyone’s dismay.
    Fun adventure.

  30. Mary C says:

    You Will Know Me–Megan Abbott

    Interesting look at how daughter’s gymnastics career affects family and what they do for her. Recommended.

  31. Terry R says:

    A Splendid Savage by Steve Kemper

    A little known individual, Frederick Russell Burnham, who was an Indian fighter, prospector, investor, Army Scout, and much more in the American West and Africa. A little slow at the beginning, but his adventures begin and it is fun to read. Died a rich man in his 80s having been friends with Baden-Powell, Teddy Roosevelt, Cecil Rhodes, and William Taft among others. Intermingled is the love story of he and his wife, Blanche, who followed him around the world or waited patiently for him to come home,.

  32. Terry R says:

    Chance Development by Alexander McCall Smith

    5 short stories built around 5 randomly selected old photos with no identification. The author had a good time creating fantasy relationships and characters.

    Fun Read!

  33. Terry R says:

    Eggs Benediot Arnold by Laura Childs

    I found this series by this prolific writer of ‘topic” mysteries and, despite the fact that the library doesn’t have book #1, I decided to give it a whirl. Turns out to be a fun read–a little silly, a murder to solve, and 40;s romance! I will definitely read more of the Cackleberry Club books.

  34. Terry R says:

    Patient H. M. by Luke Dittrich

    This book surprised me–I expected to be reading all about the patient. What it really is is the story of a physician who performed lobotomies in CT for many years. He was quite famous and the grandfather of the author. H. M. does get covered, but the book is much more than that. I learned a great deal about psychosurgery, its development, usage, and controversy.

  35. Mary C says:

    Siracusa by Delia Ephron

    Good story of family and friends, loyalty, and question of morality.

  36. Mary C says:

    All is Not Lost by Wendy Walker. CT setting for a novel told through the point of view of a psychiatrist and the ethics of a controversial drug and also the ethics of the psychiatrist himself. Good story.

  37. Mary C says:

    The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

    Very good, suspenseful. I read it in 2 days. It takes place on a small cruise ship. The heroine is a travel writer with her own issues. I can see why it’s a Best Seller.

  38. Terry R says:

    The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

    I had to take this book out twice in order to finish it! It is well written for the lay person, but still requires concentration. The first 2 chapters are very scientific but don’t let that turn you away. the remainder of the book discusses the miraculous advances that have been made, the types of uses the genome can be put to, the ethical issues involved, and the future.
    You finish the book more knowledgeable and in awe of the scientist who are doing this work.

  39. Terry R says:

    Jane and the Waterloo Map by Stephanie Barron

    If you are a Jane Austin fan you will enjoy these mysteries–there are 13 in the series so far. Jane remains puts her skills to good use to solve a mystery which includes not just the Prince Regent, but also the Duke of Wellington!

  40. Terry R says:

    Crowned and Dangerous by Phys Bowen

    Fun series with the heroine the 35th in line for the British Crown. Side-tracked on their way to Gretna Green to marry, Lady Georgianna and her fiancee end up solving the murder of a rich American who wasn’t who he seems and restoring the family estate.

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