Finley Public Library

  Book Reviews   | |

October 9, 2015

Having had company for the last three weeks, it seems like I have not been in the library for months and I am writing this after not being in there since a week ago last Friday!  I am sure that things have been running smoothly, however, since we have some great volunteers--thanks to all of them.  Also "Thank you!" to those that have contributed at Finley Motors and to people that have brought in donated books.  Last month at our board meeting we decided to buy some large print books again.  Though we do not have them as yet, they are (so you don't have to purchase them yourselves):  Silver Linings by Debbie Macomber--#4 in the Rose Harbor series (2015); Hope to Die by James Patterson--Alex Cross series #22 (2014);  Robert B. Parker's The Devil Wins by Reed Farrel Coleman--Jesse Stone series #14 (2015); Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs--Temperance Brennan series #18 (2015); Make Me by Lee Childs--Jack Reacher series #20 (2015);  Nightingale by Kristin Hannah--(2015).  (To save money and shipping we buy our large print books in bulk when we are offered the chance to buy two books and get the third one free, but it seems the book club is offering this deal less than usual now--which is why it has been so long since we have purchased new large print books.)  We should certainly have these books and have them on the shelf by next week's open days.

Here's a couple reviews:

The Martian by Andy Weir.  (HC/RP)  (2014)  (Unless you have no TV, you are aware that this book has been made into a movie starring Matt Damon and was released last weekend.)  I have to admit that I have not read this book, so this review is from the person I live with, Howie Underwood, who HAS read it.  Though the title implies that this book is Science Fiction--and the idea of landing a group of astronaut/scientists on Mars is still fiction--that is where the "fiction" ends.  Our space travel capability is almost there, but the "science" and engineering already is.  Mark Watney is left behind for dead on the planet Mars after a severe wind storm damages the majority of the already set up facilities, making it necessary for the rest of the crew to evacuate the planet and return to orbit to prepare to return to earth.  If you have seen the advertisements, however, you know that Watney (Damon)  is NOT dead, and is NOT READY to die either!  Many of the reviews for the books (and movie) speak of Watney as a cross between McGyver and a first class engineer of all things.  In the majority of the book, Watney's need for a way to survive until he can be rescued--using the equipment left behind which is now pretty much debris and his agile brain is the main attraction.  This is an exciting book that cannot be put down except under extreme circumstances!

The Intruder by Peter Blauner.  (HC/LP)  (1996) Jake Schiff is  successful lawyer for a huge firm in Manhattan.  His family is very important to him.  His wife is a psychiatric social worker and his son is a fifteen year-old semi-reclusive "music is my outlet" student.  The reader meets first John Gates, however, who is about to go off the deep end due to the death of his daughter in a terrible accident on the streets of New York and his use of drugs as self medication.  When Gates goes to a psychiatric emergency room for help, he meets Jake Schiff's wife, Dana, who he thinks is his wife and thus begins his life as "the intruder".  He hangs around the emergency room and her home, scaring everyone--especially the son.  He causes all kinds of havoc there until Jake looks for another way to scare him off.  Stupidly trusting someone he just met, he heads for the underground tunnel where Gates is now living to talk to him.  In the end, the other fellow has different ideas and different connections and things go terrible wrong--including Jake being arrested for murder.  On another level, however, this novel asks the questions, "What would you do to save your family?  How far would you go?  What would you do that that would seem stupid in the end?",  and that is something we only know in our deepest heart of hearts.

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