One Day

One Day

By: David Nicholls

Review by Stephanie Crean

When I received this book as a “blind choice” as part of TPL’s ‘Christmas in July’, I expected it to be a cute, brainless beach read. One Day chronicles the relationship between two people by visiting them on the same day, year after year. Dexter, an affluent, self assured individual struggles with womanizing, drugs, alcohol, and eventually, self esteem. He constantly relies on the kindness and support of Emma, who wishes she could have the Dexter she met in college. Continue reading

The Book of Polly

The Book of PollyThe Book of Polly

by Kate Hepinstall

Review by Kathy

This book is a delight, a laugh out loud, tear up a little, hold your breath in suspense delight!

The story is told from the point of view of Willow, the child born to a 58 year old steel magnolia who discovers she is with child within days of her husband’s death. All children fear the death of a parent, but Willow’s fear of being left an orphan is not irrational, considering the circumstances. While she has two much older siblings, they are long out of the house and Willow is like an only child. Polly is a strong, proud, snarky woman who feuds with her neighbors and her daughter’s teachers while scaring her daughter’s friends. Yet she lovingly attends to her garden and it is one of the few places she and Willow can share a space without conflict. This is a woman who loves deeply but cannot express it. Continue reading

No One Cares About Crazy People

No One Cares About Crazy PeopleNo One Cares About Crazy People

By: Ron Powers

Review by: Maria Salvucci

This book chronicles the lives of the author and his family whose two sons were diagnosed with schizophrenia. The author intersperses his family story with the history of mental health treatment in the US. It’s an eye opening look at how mentally ill people have been treated in harsh, cruel and ineffective ways throughout time due to the lack of compassion and understanding of mental illness. The author and his wife experienced this while trying to get help for their sons. It is obvious they are a family of means so could afford better care than the average American and it was still difficult to find. Continue reading

Empires of Light

Empires of LightEmpires of Light

By: Jill Jonnes

Review by Sarah Reisert

It’s one of the most epic scientific rivalries of the ages: Nikola Tesla, the dreamer, the willowy eccentric, purveyor of alternating current, vs. Thomas Edison, keen-eyed inventor, ambition personified, defender of direct current. They’d lead the world from a time of sizzling, blinding arc lights into the modern world of glowing filaments—but at what cost to themselves? Tesla gave up his patents to George Westinghouse so the world could have his inventions, leaving him poor and forgotten. Edison turned his genius to vile ends, electrocuting prisoners to “prove” AC’s danger. Continue reading

Untold History of the United States

Untold History of the United States

The Untold History of the United States

By Oliver Stone & Peter Kuznick

Review by Richard Xu

 

The Untold History of the United States is a long, but well-written exposé on U.S. history centered around the idea that since World War II, American hegemony has had a pernicious effect on sovereign nations all throughout the world. It substantiates this claim by providing a detailed look at U.S. military interventions from the 1950s and onward, which included South America, Central America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, and which almost always resulted in regime change through violent and/or covert means conducted by the CIA.  Continue reading

A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in MoscowA Gentleman in Moscow

By Amor Towels

Review by Shahnaz

This book is a very delightful, cosmopolitan oriented story, which is well-researched and written by an artful author. The main character of the book observes the changes in the history of the Russian revolution, the adaptation of its people and politics to the new rules as well as changes in his own circumstances by being confined to one building (having a room in a hotel with no permission to get out). Continue reading

Lean, Long, and Strong

Lean Long and StrongLean, Long, and Strong: The 6-Week Strength-Training, Fat-Burning Program for Women

By Wini Linguvic

Review by Roberta Earle

Recently I was given a copy of the book, Younger Next Year, which I dutifully read and decided to implement the recommendations for a comprehensive exercise program which has 2 main components – cardio and strength.   Since I have the cardio covered, I needed to add strength training. Continue reading

Lilac Girls

Lilac Girls

By Martha Kelly

Review by Susan Peterman

I discovered Lilac Girls while browsing in Wellington Bookstore. I had ancestors who survived the Holocaust, but did not communicate their stories and others who did not have an opportunity to tell their stories. I was interested in this historical novel of three heroic women whose stories converged following the war’s end. New York Socialite Caroline Ferriday, a former actress, assists a charity to rescue French orphans, Kasia, a Polish teenager who, unbeknownst to her, begins serving the resistance, and Herta, an ambitious surgeon, find themselves at opposite ends of history once Poland is invaded. The story is structured as separate narratives until their post-war activities bring them into contact with one another. The story is gripping and at times, horrifying. Continue reading

Kristy’s Great Idea

The Babysitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea

by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier

Review by Angela DeMott

It took me a chapter or two to get used to the graphic novel format, but once I trained my eye to follow the sequences of the drawings and stopped roaming the page, I really enjoyed this version of the BSC. I love the details Raina Telgemeier puts into her artwork – her faces are so expressive! Continue reading

Dr. Mütter’s Marvels

Dr. Mutter's MarvelsDr. Mütter’s Marvels

By Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

Review by Sarah Reisert

I can’t say if I’ve ever noticed the portrait of Thomas Dent Mütter hanging in his namesake museum on any of my previous visits.  Even if I had glanced at it amongst the walls of skulls and bottled tumors, I wouldn’t have known much about the man. I wouldn’t knowa bout the new plastic surgery method Dr. Mütter developed to help burn victims lead more normal lives. Nor how he was the first surgeon in Philadelphia to use ethyl ether anesthesia. I wouldn’t know about his weakness for splashy clothes that matched the color of his carriage, or how his students positively adored him until his untimely death at age 48.  Continue reading