Skip to main content

September '16 Books, Part 4 of 4

Almost done with September ... just in time for the end of October.

First, a note on a book that I did not finish: All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. I've said it many times, but I will repeat myself just for the heck of it. I like police procedurals. That's my mystery genre of choice. I read cozies ever now and then. I also read literary mysteries. I don't enjoy thrillers or mysteries solved by people who aren't detectives (there are a few exceptions). However, I read a lot of book reviews and sometimes getting a little caught up in the hype. All the Missing Girls sounded intriguing. I especially loved the part that most of the book is told backward (so, say chapter 2 is about September 15, chapter 3 is about September 14). But I couldn't get past the idea that this book was about rural white woman making really bad choices and doing really stupid things. It's a genre all to its own, I find. I'm not even curious about what happened. On to better books...

The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter
Ah. I love a good teen book I can recommend to young readers. It's nearly time for graduation and for three teens to get the heck out of their small town. But they each have demons to face. I wish this book had avoided a "manic pixie dream girl" character. It would have been perfect. Still, the problems the kids face seem real and the angst level is kept to a normal minimal.

Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
Oops. Breaking my own rule with this one. The detective isn't a detective, but rather a newspaper reporter. Journalists and teenagers solving mysteries are two of my exceptions. Anyway, you won't guess the ending of this book. When the body of a newborn girl is found in an idyllic New Jersey town, the newspaper reporter, who is still grieving the loss of her stillborn child, takes the case. New reporter Maggie does a lot of digging and in the end finds out more than she ever suspected. Book probably could have used another edit to smooth out some rough spots, but overall I liked it.

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
This children's book is a small gem. Three preteen girls meet while taking baton twirling lessons, each having their own reasons to win (or not win) a contest. In the end, though, it's their friendship that helps them make sense of their worlds -- and all the sadness and happiness those worlds contain. Another book I'd recommend to kids if I still worked in a youth services department.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What I Haven't Read in 2017

I made an odd sort of promise to myself this year: Read fewer books. The past few years, I been reading at a pace of about 100 books per year – a mix of children’s (but not counting picture books), young adult, and adult – and I felt as if I was reading too quickly and perhaps forgetting what I was reading. (Thank goodness for Goodreads.)
However, I consider it a very important part of my job as a librarian to keep up with what’s published, even if it’s a daunting task. Hundreds of thousands books are published each year in this country, so obviously it’s beyond even a superhero librarian (and I’m not one of those) to keep all those titles straight. But I try to at least know something about some books. We have two public-facing desks in my library – one is called the information desk; the other, reference. If you are working at the information desk, you will be asked for book recommendations. You will be asked, have you read this book? You will be asked to help select a book for a r…

"Beartown" by Fredrik Backman

I’m about to be overly effusive: I loved Beartown by Fredrik Backman and I think it is one of the best books I’ve ever read. (See Tangent 1.)

Backman lured us into his Swedish world of curmudgeons and the neighbors who love them with A Man Called Ove and his other novellas. But this isn’t A Man Called Ove. This book has a much larger scope. This feels like the book Backman has always wanted to write but had to wait to give to us until he developed an audience. You got it, bro. I will read whatever else you write in the future. This book more deeply develops his ideas about communities. It is also about parenthood and all the responsibilities that go along with it. It’s about family and best friends who are like family. It’s about belonging. It’s about sorrow and happiness. And there’s some hockey. (Tangent 2.)
You will hate some of the parents (Kevin’s, William’s). You will love some of the teens (Amat, Maya, Ana, Benji, Bobo, Leo...). Be prepared to feel emotions. The characters – a…