Finley Public Library

  Book Reviews   | |

October 2, 2011

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks.  Two high school students fall in love, have an affair, and go their separate ways.  Twenty-five years later they meet again at the funeral of their high school mentor.  In carrying out the instructions of this man who meant so much to both of them, they hope to better understand the choices they made so long ago and find out if true love can rewrite the past.  (large print)

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  This book is the inspiring true story of Louie Zamperini, who began as a juvenile delinquent, became an Olympic runner, and ended a hero of WWII.  Crashing into the South Pacific, he and two of his crew drifted for miles in a small rubber raft before being taken prisoner by the Japanese military.  Somehow, over three years as a prisoner, he managed to keep his selfhood and humanity despite the monumental degradations he suffered.  Not an easy read, but one we should all know about to help us remember how lucky we are to have had the men and women who fought for us in WWII and won the freedom we all enjoy today.   (large print) (paperback)

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffinbaugh.  Written much like a Jodi Picoult novel, this book segues from past to present in the life of Victoria Jones.  Also like Picoult books, this is not an easy read, but it is an important book to read for many reasons.  Brought up in the foster care system after both her parents left her, Victoria finally at age nine after a year with her new mother Elizabeth, is shown again that no one can be trusted.  When she is emancipated from that system at age eighteen, she has no where to go and no one to  turn to.  Then she finds she can show her emotions through the (Victorian) language of flowers which was taught to her by Elizabeth.  In this way she not only helps herself, but others as well.  Victoria may break your heart; you may want to shake her, but you can only keep reading and try to understand.  (A partial dictionary of the language of flowers Victoria used is included at the end of the book.) (regular print)

Visibility by Boris Starling.  In the summer of 1952, the Great Fog rolls into London fouling all means of traffic and human lungs with its noxious haze.  Herbert Smith, a demoted MI5 agent and now a detective inspector in the New Scotland Yard, is pursuing a suspicious drowning when MI5, the Soviet Union and the CIA intrude into his investigation.  Fans of Le Carre and Forsyth plus those that enjoy English police procedures should like this one.  (regular print)

The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer.  Jerry Siegel, the teen-age creator of Superman lost his father in a 1932 unsolved murder.  In this book author Meltzer attempts to tie that murder to the murder of Abel by Cain in the Bible.  A long leap perhaps, but with a variety of people trying to find the mysterious and lost Book of Cain, the story becomes quite compelling.  (regular print)

The Judas Strain by James Rollins.  (Sigma Force series)  Number four in this series, the 'super scientists' are in hot pursuit of another technology that could threaten the United States.  This time it is the devastating bacteriological plaque that afflicted Marco Polo and men on their last expedition to China.  Part prose comic book, part a lightly fleshed out movie treatment, this book will take you at whirlwind speed through adventures filled with energy and excitement.  The Finley Library has this one and the next two:  The Last Oracle and The Doomsday Key.  (regular print)

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