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.

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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Big Bad Breakfast by John Currence

big badIf breakfast is your favorite meal, the cookbook Big Bad Breakfast by John Currence is for you.  Currence owns several restaurants in Mississippi (including Big Bad Breakfast) and was on Top Chef Masters.  This book makes me almost want to make road trip to Mississippi – everything looks so delicious (sausage cinnamon rolls)!  I love the author’s Ten Commandments of Breakfast and #9 “Thou Shalt Not Over Cook” is my favorite.  I like my steaks to be practically still mooing, my pork a little pink still in the middle and guess what mom?  I’ve been eating raw cookie dough containing raw eggs for 40 years and been fine (my mom always used to get on me for this).  So this cook is right up my alley.  Enjoy the recipes!

Stacy W.


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Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs

tales of PeculiarI loved Ransom Riggs’ YA series. I loved the imagination used, the world building, the character’s transformations. I loved the mystery and action. I cried and laughed and sung with the characters throughout all three books. Then the trilogy came to a close, and I was distraught about whether I would ever find a book (or dare I ask, a series?) that I loved so much. Then I found out he was adding a bit more to the Peculiar World with Tales of the Peculiar (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children 0.5). Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. The strange characters from the peculiar world return in the book and it was amazing. Throughout the tales of the book, Millard Nullings, tells us stories that so many peculiar children grew up listening and learning from. Millard even adds some footnotes in each tale that he finds important for us to know. We learn about the history of the peculiar world and we get to live for just a bit longer in Peculiardom. Through grim tales about ghosts to rather funny tales about cannibals, I was enthralled with the stories. I just wish the book was a bit longer..

Richelle B.


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Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

cop townKate Murphy is determined to be a police officer. Recently widowed, Kate has failed at all the other jobs she’s tried. If she doesn’t find a way to succeed in the Atlanta Police Department, then she’s going to have to go home to her rich family and admit defeat. That wouldn’t be so bad, for some people, but Kate feels the need to stand on her own two feet and find her own life. And this is a fine attitude, except Kate has chosen to become a female police officer in 1974, at a time when a cop killer is driving the Atlanta police force into a frenzy. Unless she is very careful, Kate may not last through her very first day.

Maggie Lawson is having her own difficult time on the police force. She isn’t a rooky cop, but she’s overshadowed by her domineering uncle Terry and the unpredictable actions of her brother Jimmy, both police officers as well. When Jimmy’s partner, Don Mosley, is killed by the unknown cop killer, Maggie’s life starts to come unglued. Lucky for her that she is partnered with newby officer Kate, because together, the two may just solve the cop killer murders and find the confidence to hold their heads high in their chosen career.

Ms. Slaughter has a bold, clear writing style that is easy to read, yet also conveys a great deal of information with very few words. She is a master at creating dynamic characters, and I was very impressed with her setting choice of Atlanta in 1974. This is a hard time in history to pull off well. Women were new to the work force, in many ways, and many of the workplaces were ruled by men. Political correctness was not so correct, and people did not have cell phones on every corner to record misdeeds and random events. Yet, Ms. Slaughter created two very different, yet very powerful women who were able to come together, in spite of their differences, to work together well and succeed in this setting. The dynamics of the female relationships in this book are superb.

I will say that, for me, this was not a mystery, but rather a thriller, and I prefer a good mystery. Yet the setting and writing style of this book was enough to make me try another Karin Slaughter title, in spite of that fact. Excellent writing, an unusual setting, and wonderful female characters. Cop Town is highly enjoyable.

Annette G.


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Security by Gina Wohlsdorf

securityGina Wohlsdorf’s Security takes place in a newly built luxury hotel, Manderley Resort, in California. The hotel is opening very soon and all the workers are scurrying around trying to put the finishing touches on everything. The resort owner, Charles Destin, is a complete jackalope who believes that he can inspire people to work harder by coming by the site periodically and screaming at them. The hotel is marketing itself as an extremely private and secure resort, especially for celebrities and politicians. One whole floor is devoted to the security team and no-one else has access to that floor. There are lots and lots of cameras-some the staff know about but most they do not. Also, the staff has been assured that there is no audio but there is. There is a secret security elevator that is much faster than the public one and is available to only a couple people. The main character, Tessa, is the owner’s on site boss and even though she eats, sleeps, and works at the work site (and is sleeping with the head of security), she has no idea about most of these things either. All of a sudden, staff start disappearing (they aren’t really disappearing, they just keep getting murdered in random places throughout the vast hotel) and as if the grand opening and hunting down errant staff members isn’t enough to deal with, someone from Tessa’s past shows up.

I liked how the author writes parts of the books split screen style as if you the reader are in front of multiple security screens. There is a sex scene that seems to go on endlessly so I started to get a little bored but other than that I thought it was a great read!

Stacy W.


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IQ by Joe Ide

IQIsaiah Quintabe and older brother Marcus are African-American youths living in a rough neighborhood in LA. Marcus is the bread winner for the family, and things are going well for the brothers when Marcus is killed in a tragic hit-and-run. The accident happens in front of Isaiah, but in spite of his presence as a witness, he doesn’t see anything of value that helps police track down his brother’s killer. Now, without his brother’s income, Isaiah is desperate for a roommate to help pay his rent. Enter Dodson–an idea man who likes to spend money. Dodson is helpful with paying the bills, at first, and then cash becomes harder to find. While Isaiah and Dodson struggle with their cash flow problem, Isaiah struggles with his inability to find his brother’s killer. He devotes himself to learning to make meaningful observations with the thought that somehow, he still might find out who killed his brother. Isaiah’s observations help solve some of their financial woes, and new type of Sherlock Holmes is born.

When an attempt is made on the life of a big name rapper, Dodson has the right connection to put Isaiah on the case. If Isaiah can figure out who is behind the murder attempt, both Dodson and Isaiah stand to score some big bucks. The case is an odd one, though, and might be difficult to solve. Who attempts to murder someone by using an attack dog as a weapon?

IQ tells two stories at the same time as it alternates between events in Isaiah’s past and events in present day. Isaiah is a fresh, engaging character. He’s smart, and yet makes some interesting life choices due to his circumstances. I also liked Dodson, who always has thoughts on his next big cash score. The way the story unfolds, and the way each character has his or her own quirks really reminded me of an Elmore Leonard. The dialogue in the book is superb, again reminding me of Mr. Leonard’s work. Joe Ide is of Japanese-American descent, and grew up in LA himself. His novel reflects his knowledge of the area, and adds some wonderful depth to the work.

Annette G.


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Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak

DarkestNightmareHer Darkest Nightmare is the beginning of a new series by Brenda Novak called The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles. I enjoyed this novel because it blends intrigue and romance seamlessly. I also liked that it is the beginning of a series, so we can journey with the main character in healing what she has long ignored about her past. It starts out with a sixteen-year-old Evelyn being kidnapped and tortured by her boyfriend, Jasper. The book then fast-forwards to a thirty-year-old Evelyn who is living in Alaska and and working at Hanover House, a maximum-security facility housing the most criminally insane that America has to offer. Hanover house is Evelyn’s own brain-child so she can work with psychopaths to possibly figure out why Jasper did what he did all of those years ago, and maybe stop a future killer from harming another innocent person. Then, a Hanover House worker turns up brutally murdered and Evelyn must work with the town sheriff to find out who the killer is and face her past in ways she never imagined.

Richelle B.


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