BookClique

Here we will post our musings on a wide variety of titles. You can comment on our posts and find the titles in our catalog.

Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas De Quincey By Frances Wilson

guilty thingDespite being a school dropout, a lifelong deadbeat and drug addict, Thomas De Quincey was also an influential writer and critic ahead of his time.  He was a personal friend of several of the English Romantic poets and author Frances Wilson displays a deft understanding and descriptive style in recounting his virtues, his failings, and his many obsessions and idiosyncrasies, most particularly his fascination with sensational murders.   In Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas De Quincey the reader gains a sense of the events and influences that shaped De Quincey’s life and work, along with a fascinating peek at the Wordsworths, Coleridge and other more famous personages of the Romantic period.  An afterword details the many more recent authors (including Poe, Dostoevsky, and Borges) influenced by De Quincey’s life and work.

Alison M.


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The Shepherd’s View by James Rebanks

Shepherds viewI encourage anyone with a rural background or a longing for the rural life to read The Shepherd’s View by James Rebanks.  It’s actually a combination of reading and viewing the beautiful photographs of sheep and the Lake District in England where some families have been shepherds for centuries .  Rebanks explains the shepherd’s dialect, what judges and other farmers are looking for at sheep shows, the value of a good sheepdog, and all this he does with humor.  The people who live here are tough as nails and do not suffer fools gladly.  They have almost no use for “southerners” or those who dwell in big cities like London.  I thought it was funny that he says those in the area who have went south and “travelled on the Tube” consider it below the legal welfare standards for transporting sheep!  I could say the same about some flights. Not for anglophiles who are enthralled with the royal family or the “Downton Abbey” type England, this is a great book for those really interested in rural history and the common man.

Stacy W.


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Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

dark matterJason Desson is a professor at a small college who could have been a brilliant professor if he hadn’t gotten sidetracked by his life with his wife and son. Jason does not regret his choices in life, as he deeply loves his family. Yet, when a colleague wins a prestigious science award, Jason feels the bite of jealousy. When he is kidnapped and drugged, Jason wakes up to find his life altered. Somehow, he has become the brilliant, award-winning professor with all the fame and glory that goes with it. But his wife is not his wife. And his son was never born. How did this happen? Does Jason now accept this new life, or does he try to reclaim his old one?

Dark Matter is a rare book that crosses many genres. It is a mystery, it’s a thriller, it’s science fiction, and perhaps most importantly, it’s a romance. Jason finds himself in quite a pickle, and it turns out that his worst enemy is himself. This is a fast-paced book, but it is also deeply thoughtful as we get insights into Jason’s life and his choices. Blake Crouch’s previous books include the Wayward Pines series. Dark Matter is one of the best books I read in recent months.

Annette G.


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The Loners By Lex Thomas

lonersRecently I finished reading The Loners by Lex Thomas. This is an older novel that was released in 2012 and is part one of at least a four part series called Quarantine. The other titles in this series are The Saints (2013), The Burnouts (2014) & The Giant (2016).

An ordinary school day leads to chaos and quarantine for the students of McKinley High. McKinley High is put under an extreme quarantine due to a biochemical disaster that allowed an infect teenager to try to take shelter at the school and thus they have infected all the students that were under 18 in the school. Anyone over 18 meets a gory unnatural death.

With no adult leadership this book reminded me a bit of Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

The school breaks into groups such as the jocks, pretty ones, nerds and among the others the loners. It is a fight for survival for the students and with the government not giving them any updates concerning the disaster each student is left to join a group and try to survive.

This book has it’s fair share of action, drama and romance. If you are looking into a book concerning the above I would recommend this one for sure!

Be sure to pick up this great read from TCPL in the YA section.

JoLene L.


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Livia Lone by Barry Eisler

livia loneThere are two types of people I would gladly see put to death in this world and that is people who abuse animals and child rapists.  I’d even volunteer to be the executioner if no one else is willing to throw the switch or pull the trigger or whatever.  When I read Livia Lone by Barry Eisler, I was able to live vicariously through Livia, a detective based on the west coast who does her utmost to make airtight cases against child molesters and rapists but sometimes things she can’t control happen: a prosecutor just putting in their time, a judge who believes in rehabilitation, etc.  In those instances Livia makes sure justice is done (meaning the perpetrator meets an untimely death)  This woman kicks butt – she does not put up with any crap from anyone.  Although there is graphic sex, I think I would give this book to my teenage daughter if I had one and say now THAT is the definition of a strong woman.  Livia was not just born this way though – she was made into the machine she is and the story is all about the horrors she endured to become the adult she is and her quest to find her sister who was separated from her early in their lives as sexual toys for grown men.  Absolutely fantastic.

Stacy W.


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Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden

knightsborrowedDenizen Hardwick knows his name and his birthday, but nothing else about his life before coming to live at Crosscaper Orphanage. Just before his thirteenth birthday, Denizen finds out he has an aunt, and he is going to live with her. Denizen is picked up by a mysterious man named Gray, and on the way to his aunt’s the pair are attacked by a creature out of nightmare. Denizen learns that this creature is from another world entirely, and that his aunt and her colleagues have been fighting those creatures for years. Denizen finds himself drawn into their fight, even as he tries to learn more about his parents and past life. The group calls themselves the Knights of the Borrowed Dark, and each of the Knights has their own talent and strength within the group. Denizen, it seems, may be one of the most powerful of all. Meanwhile, more of the creatures invade Crosscaper Orphanage, putting the residents in deadly peril. Can Denizen learn how to use his true power and help to save them all?
I very much enjoyed this book, and my only complaint is that I wish it had been longer. Denizen seems to have a frightening fate. His power seems vital to the Knights of the Borrowed Dark and the creatures they face are terrible indeed. Yet, he bravely embraces this new life as he earns the respect of the other Knights. The story is dark and dire, but lightened with just the right sprinkling of warmth and humor. For those who love Harry Potter and the books of Rick Riordan.

Annette G.


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Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

ghostlandGhost stories “reveal the contours of our anxieties, the nature of our collective fears and desires, the things we can’t talk about in any other way.”  What do accounts of haunting, local legends and eerie tales tell us about our surroundings, our history, and ourselves?  How do stories of haunted places help us to make sense of the past? Ghostland: An American History of Haunted Places, despite its title,  is not a book that will instill chills and shivers.  Instead, author Colin Dickey delves into both lore and the historical facts behind select locations traditionally considered “haunted” and the possible reasons for the genesis and development of the “haunted” reputation.

Exploring locations familiar to devotees of the paranormal such as the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri, the LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans, the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana, and the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, Dickey compares legend with facts and endeavors to account for the differences.  He also treats us to detailed descriptions of lesser-known paranormal entities like the Red Dwarf who has haunted Detroit, Michigan for centuries,  to why massive insane asylums in the late 18th and early 20th century were designed the way they were, to intriguing ruminations on why places “feel” haunted and to theories such as that stories about hauntings will be less prevalent since the increase of information due to technology.  The book suggests that ghosts and hauntings fill particular needs in our lives and society.    Of particular interest to me was the author’s choice of subjects and his contrast of actual historical fact with the details of the associated legends.

Alison M.


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Earth Girl By Janet Edwards

Earth GirlCan a “disadvantaged” girl survive in a classroom full of “norms”?

Recently I finished reading Earth Girl by Janet Edwards. This is an older novel that was released in 2013 that is part one of at least a three part series. The other titles in this series are Earth Star (2014) & Earth Flight (2015). The main character in this novel is Jarra whom is considered handicapped as her immune system will shut down if she leaves Earth’s environment. Thus she is forced to live on Earth permanently without a chance to explore the rest of the star systems that Earth had setup after the portal’s that are used to go in between worlds came online.

Jarra signs up for university coursework with an off world college to study pre-history. She thinks the first year will be a cinch since it takes place on Earth but she could not be more wrong.

What adventures and discoveries will Jarra and her classmates have during their first year of prehistory coursework on Earth?

Will she be treated the same as the “norms” or will they pick on her due to her
disability?

Be sure to pick up this great read from TCPL in the YA section.

JoLene L.


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A Wedding for Christmas by Lori Wilde

wedding for christmas‘Tis the season for cheesy, but adorable, romance novels. This is not the first Twilight, Texas book that I have read by Lori Wilde and each time I read one I fall in love with the quaint town and hilarious characters all over again.
In this novel we visit the other side of the story from I’ll Be Home For Christmas (Twilight, Texas #6), in which Gabi Preston hightails it from Malibu, California to Twilight, Texas to swap house with Katie Cheeks whom she met online. Subsequently, Gabi falls in love with Katie’s older brother, Joe, while she is living in Katie’s yurt.  Surprise, surprise!

In A Wedding For Christmas (Twilight, Texas #7), we learn a bit about how Katie spent her time (involving a tackle, a surprise from the past, and a one-nighter) in Malibu, California while living in Gabi’s apartment. A year later, those events come back in full force for Katie while planning Gabi and Joe’s Christmas Eve wedding, when Joe invites Ryder Southerland (Katie’s surprise visit and one-nighter from last Christmas) to be his Best Man. Let the drama and laughs commence!

Richelle B.

 


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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

darker shadeKell is a rare mage who can travel between worlds, the adopted son of the King and Queen of Red London. It is Kell’s job to travel to the other worlds on royal business. Red London is a world where magic permeates everything. White London is ruled by those who can wrestle magic to do their bidding. Grey London is a land without magic at all. And Black London? Black London is a place that no one travels to, and no one speaks about.

When the story opens, Kell is visiting mad King George in Grey London. As he travels back to Red London, we learn that Kell has a hobby: he smuggles items from one London to another for the right price. This hobby soon lands him in big trouble, and he is charged with treason in Red London. When he flees to Grey London, he finds himself entangled in the life of one Delilah Bard, a pickpocket whose middle name is clearly trouble. And trouble finds them, for they are again forced to flee from a dangerous enemy. It will take all of Kell’s skill in traveling between worlds as well as Lila’s scrappy street smarts to keep them both alive.

I really can’t tell you how awesome A Darker Shade of Magic is. The world is unique, with its four very different Londons. Kell is a fascinating character, at once both naive and wise beyond his years. Lila is keenly intelligent, loves adventure, and yet she has failed at every turn to change her life for the better until she meets Kell. And Kell’s enemies! All I can say is they are true villains, unlike many stories where the bad guy is only misunderstood.

I adored this book. Amazing storytelling. Simply splendid!

Annette G.


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Tippecanoe County Public Library * 627 South Street * Lafayette, IN * 47901 * 765 429-0100