Library Treasures

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Three Brothers, by Peter Ackroyd (ACK), is a novel with a straight-forward story. Ackroyd’s writing is crisp and finely tuned with a dialogue that is sharp and to the point. It is truly amazing (and a quick read) that in under 250 pages, the characters interact with an inordinate amount of coincidence, which keeps the plot developing and moving forward. Look forward to an enjoyable read.

The recipient of the 2015 American Book Award, a NY Times Book Reviews Notable Book and winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize, A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marton James (JAM) is one of the most challenging novels I’ve read in recent years. James has written a complex story with lots of characters. Thankfully there is a list of seventy-six characters mentioned and sorted by location and time period where they appear, along with a brief description of their roles in the novel. Anticipate a slow start to this novel but well worth it. Most of the characters are from the ghettos of Kingston and speak in a patois that takes time to understand and decipher.

If you’re looking for a novel that is part mystery, part fantasy, part biblical history and part folk story, then Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman’s The Golem of Hollywood (M KEL) is for you. The layer upon layer of stories has one meeting Jacob, an alcoholic former police detective, Jacob’s father Sam, a rabbinical and Kabbalah scholar, the memory of (catch this, the memory of) Jacob’s bi-polar artistic mother, giant bugs, the family of Cain and Abel, and an unknown faction of the police who refer to themselves as “Special Projects” enlisting help in solving a bizarre case. There is enough to occupy the reader’s attention and provide a few surprises along the way.

To Assistant DA Holt Douglas, nothing is more yearned for than a confession of guilt. Lurking in his past is dark secret that could end his successful career and his relationship with Angelina, his finance. When Holt opens a case in The Confession by Robert Whitlow (M WHI), the reader comes to term with Holt’s guilt from the past plus solving a case involving the death of the town’s wealthiest businessman. You will not be bored.

The tale of the latest adventure of PI Sam Levitt found in The Corsican Caper by Peter Mayle (M MAY) is a delightful quick read. I would have preferred the story and mystery to be longer and more involved. Still, if you want just a quick read in-between other treasures, then pick up this mystery.

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan (TEEN RYA), is a grand novel that is sure to delight, surprise, stir emotions and inspire. While written for teens, it can equally be enjoyed by adult. One could say it examines the power of music in a world overrun with fear and intolerance. This is true. I found it an epic novel that tells the story of three children whose lives are changed by a harmonica. The stories are intricate and involved. I’ve recommended it to three patrons, each of whom has indicated it was worth every minute in digesting Echo.

What makes Staying Strong: 365 days a year, by Demi Lovato (Personal Growth, Lovato), different is that it’s written by a very young person and it is usually considered that life wisdom can only come from older and experienced people who went through many experiences in their life. This book manages to prove otherwise.

Lean Forward into Your Life by Mary Anne Radmacher (Personal Growth, Radmacher) is an ode to living a purposeful life. It is self-empowering and inspirational. Those seeking some prompts for the day can gain by picking up Radmacher’s treasure.

After a shipwreck, Barbar, his family and the Old Lady in Babar On Paradise Island by Laurent de Brunhoff (JE BRU), get used to tropical island life once a helpful dragon assists them in building a shelter and gather food. The large-scale line drawings, with bright watercolors bringing them alive, help define the settings and enable one to guess what the characters are like from the picture. The story is written in the past tense and has less dialogue than most Babar stories, making the drawing and watercolor even more important.

“Where’s Waldo” series of books presents colorful pictures books where the illustrations are filled with hundreds of tiny characters doing all kinds of things. The reader/viewer’s goal is to find Waldo, and after that miscellaneous special items that make each picture unique. It’s as much fun for children as it is for adults who cherish assembling a 10,000 piece puzzle. Returned to the shelves after multiple requests and needing to replace the one that was in shreds is Where’s Waldo in Hollywood by Martin Handford (JE HAN).

Dr. Leroy Hommerding
Beach Library Director