When She Woke
by Hillary Jordan
Review by Rebecca Hoetger
This novel was a huge disappointment for me. I thought When She Woke had so much potential, but didn’t really deliver in the execution; it never made it past the “meh” stage, really. For me, this novel was all about the tease. You’re given a little bit of information, but not enough to be truly satisfied, though there were some really good parts—the futuristic world, its technology, the morality laws, etc. While I thought the America created by Hillary Jordan was interesting and thought-provoking, again I didn’t get quite enough of the backstory to really be a part of that world. Continue reading
Laurie Doan, young adult librarian at Tredyffrin Public Library is recognized for her “leadership in transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning” and named a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. She is one of only 10 librarians in the country this year to receive this national honor and only the second one from the commonwealth of PA in the 10 year history of the award.
The nomination for the award included stories and quotes from several of Laurie’s friends, coworkers, community partners, and the teens she has mentored. ALA received 0ver 1,200 nominations this year. Laurie’s dedication to our township teens has extended to donating her 5000 dollar prize money back to the library. She plans to invest this money into continuing to further the teen and performing arts programs at TPL.
Laurie shies from recognition, claiming that her work is successful because of help from the community, the township, the school district, and more. She hopes a matching $5000 be raised in response to the award.
Please read the nomination letter, written by community member Nora Margolis and including many first hand accounts of how Laurie has impacted and inspired our township teens. Also, see a mention of the win in the Washington Post & read the official press release from the American Library Association.
We also encourage you to share your own stories of how Laurie’s work has impacted you through social media using the hashtag #ILoveMyLibrarian.
The following is a quote from Laurie’s remarks upon receiving the I Love My Librarian award:
“I realize that I’m still being taught. By the parents and the teachers and my co-workers, and most of all by the teens themselves. I’m taught lessons every day by the very same people who nominated me for this award.”
Congratulations Laurie and thank you for your dedication!
By Anne Tyler
Review by Susan Williams
Anne Tyler’s retelling of The Taming of the Shrew is a winner. I listened to this book and I feel it is probably much funnier on audio since the readers, particularly the one who reads Pytor, are hysterical.
Tyler’s characters are typically quirky and that holds true here. Continue reading
Ready Player One
By Ernest Cline
Review by Kate Boyle
I just finished Ready Player One for the third time in three years. An exciting, futuristic romp with a 1980s nostalgic twist, I find Ready Player One firmly embedded on my top ten list. I find, however, that it isn’t all that easy to describe.
Living in the stacks of Oklahoma City (literally stacks of trailers,) Wade Watt’s derives joy from one thing. He searches for deceased tech guru James Halliday’s easter eggs in the OASIS. Life on Earth is bad. Extreme poverty and dangerous climate change has driven the majority of society to seek solace in the OASIS, a virtual reality world where you can do pretty much anything. Continue reading
By Daniel Woodrell
Review by Pam Blittersdorf
Author Daniel Woodrell creates a memorable heroine in 16 year old Ree Dolly. Ree desparately wants to escape the poverty of her Ozark community and enlist in the Army (“where you got to travel with a gun and they make everybody help keep things clean”), but she feels duty-bound to her family. Her meth-cooking dad has posted the family home as collateral, then jumped bail. To save her younger brothers and mentally ill mother, Ree has to ask some tough questions about her father’s fate. The folks with the answers to those questions don’t take kindly to being asked. The language of the novel is gritty, genuine and suspenseful. Ree’s grim humor and determination are certain to catch you up in her story. Continue reading
I Shall be Near to You
By Erin Lindsay McCabe
Review by Angela DeMott
I Shall Be Near to You is one of the rare cases where the novel itself lives up to the author reviews and jacket cover blurbs. While primarily a love story (a moving and realistic one at that), I Shall Be Near to You surprised me with its terrifying and riveting portrayal of 19th century life during war. The two main characters (Rosetta and Jeremiah) were extremely well-drawn, and Rosetta’s narrative voice was every bit as unique, engaging, and believable as any in the literary canon. Throughout the novel, I kept thinking, “I really wish Rosetta could somehow share a meal and conversation with Ada Monroe.” Continue reading
By: Caroline Kepnes
Review by Lois Plale
Guinevere Beck (“Beck” to her friends) is an aspiring author, who drops into a bookstore run by Joe Goldberg, who immediately believes she is The One for him. After she makes a purchase and leaves, he Googles her name from her credit card and discovers she is on both Facebook and Twitter. Joe finds out everything he needs to know about her and gradually and obsessively takes control of her life – convincing her that he is the perfect man for her. He sets up and orchestrates a series of events to make sure she falls for him, removing anything and anyone who gets in his way – even if he has to kill to do it. Continue reading
By Nathan Hill
Review by: Linda Parkyn
The Nix is a great rambling family saga, alternating chapters between a mother and son. The majority of the mothers’ life is told in five chapters that take place in 1968 and the five chapters primarily about the son take place in 2011. The chapters alternate and often enlighten each other. The story is huge, it tells the dynamics in their familial relationships as well as both of their underlying reasons for how they interpret the world. Continue reading
By Ottessa Moshfegh
Review by Jonathan Trice
As a former bartender I have had more than a few patrons share stories that were extremely personal, many seemingly too personal to share with a server you met only an hour ago. You don’t have to be tending bar to experience this, there have probably been times at parties or on a flight where a conversation with a stranger reveals more about themselves than you’re comfortable hearing. Remember that feeling and you will understand how I felt while reading the novel Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh. Continue reading
Under the Banner of Heaven
By Jon Krakauer
Review by Rebecca Hoetger
For non-fiction, this book captivated me right from the very beginning. The title! This is the true story of the double murder of Brenda Lafferty and her 15-month old daughter, Erica, at the hands of Ron and Dan Lafferty (the older brothers of Brenda’s husband). I would have liked more information on the actual Lafferty case; that being said, Krakauer does an amazing job relating the gruesome details that we have. Continue reading