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.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

images When was the last time  that you really looked at the moon?  What’s the difference between an ocean and a pond?  Can everyone see what something truly is?  The answer’s are seemingly clear, but Neil Gaiman gives us more unusual thoughts to ponder in The Ocean at the End of the Lane.  Most importantly, to be able to understand these things, Gaiman takes us back to being a child.  A middle aged man goes back to his roots for a funeral, and what does he do instead of accepting condolences from people he hasn’t seen in decades?  Driving to the end of his childhood lane, looking at a pond, and remembering that Letti Hempstock said it was an ocean.  The very ocean that the Hempstock women crossed from the Old Country.   And his memory of his 7 year old self’s experience with the Hempstock’s comes flooding back.   The Hempstocks, three women who are either grandmother, mother, and daughter- or three women, who no men took part in making, and who saw the birth of the world.   With them, he shared a terrifying otherworldly experience.  This is a book that opens your eyes to the forgotten, simple truths we overlook in our adult lives, that  “nobody looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.”  This is a book that is  otherworldly and mystical, but with an elegance, grace and simplicity that causes the reader to question his or her reality and  memories, not think that the book is science fiction.  We read and accept that as adults, we may often miss the magic and mystery of the  forces of life and the beauty and possibility of the world around around us.  I left this book, wishing it was longer, until I realized, all I had to do to keep the story it’s mystery and it’s truths going, was really look at the moon.

Denise P.


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Bootstrapper: from Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm by Mardi Jo Link

images“Perpetual good cheer, it turns out, can kill a marriage”-I love that line from Bootstrapper: from broke to badass on a northern Michigan farm by Mardi Jo Link.  After a 20 year marriage and 3 sons, the author finally gets to live on a farm with her family like she has dreamed of doing since she was a little girl.  Not too much time passes before her and her husband decide to divorce and she has to try to raise those boys and hold on to the farm that she loves.  Her husband claimed that it was hard “waking up every goddamn morning next to Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm.” This is the story of her and the boys working their hearts out to keep that farm functioning, the mortgage paid, the heat on and food in their bellies.   Although she makes thousands of sacrifices, she really only dwells on a couple-losing one of her horses and having to sell a small part of her land to stay afloat.  If I ever met the author, I’d tell her I understood completely and feel the same way about my land-I never want to be separated from it and pine for it when I’m away.  I hope the sales from this book allow her to buy even more land and animals!

Stacy W.


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Tell About Night Flowers: Eudora Welty’s Gardening Letters, 1940-1949 by Eudora Welty

imagesI know nothing about floral gardens…or any gardens for that matter, yet I was transfixed by Eudora Welty’s Tell about Night Flowers: Eudora Welty’s Gardening Letters, 1940-1949. Why? Certainly because these letters were written by one of America’s finest writers…and because they provide insight into a world long gone, that of the United States during World War II. The letters are between Welty, her literary agent and gardening aficionado, Diarmuid Russell and Welty’s good friend and fellow writer John Robinson. They are sensitively introduced and annotated by Editor Julia Eichelberger. Eichelberger makes some interested connections between Welty’s short stories and her daily concerns, prefacing each chapter with an extract from a story. In Tell about Night Flowers, we see the changing South as Welty shares the effects of the war on Jackson Mississippi and on its race relations. There is also a lot of interesting minutiae about the author/agent relationship. The care with which Welty gives to her flowers echoes the exactitude in her stories. A rewarding read for both gardeners and those interested in American literature.

Amy P.


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The Highway by C.J.Box

imagesAfter reading The Highway by C.J. Box my advice to anyone driving is to give those big truck drivers a wide berth and some respect!  It’s probably not a good idea to engage them in road rage episodes, especially if you are driving a small car.  And especially if you are a self- centered, young, attractive girl who already has a “check engine light” blinking in your vehicle and are driving through an area where cell phone service is unreliable.  This mystery features renegade police officer Cody Hoyt who last appeared in Back of Beyond.  His son Justin’s girlfriend and her sister are driving up to see him when they disappear on a remote stretch of highway and as usual Cody tries to come to the rescue.  The Highway has surprising plot twists and I would definitely rank it up there with some of my favorites from the Joe Pickett series by Box.

Stacy W.


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Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey

imagesRecently I found a newer YA author that caught my eye, Scott Tracey. His novel Witch Eyes is a supernatural thriller with a bit of romance thrown into the mix. The main character Braden grew up in rural Montana with his Uncle John. Braden was home schooled under his Uncle’s careful watch as Brayden has a unique gift that he must keep hidden from the world. It is this magical power that causes him to realize his Uncle John is in trouble and if he does not go to his Uncle’s hometown of Belle Dam his Uncle will perish. Brayden has quite an adventure that leads him into a good old fashioned family feud that is instigated by their attorney. Brayden learns quite a bit about his magic abilities and uses them to attempt to fix the tainted path the lawyer created for his family and the town. Over all this book kept my attention and was a great read.

Jolene L.


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Home Made Summer by Yvette Van Boven

imagesHome Made Summer is a beautifully designed book.  It’s a cookbook written by Yvette Van Boven, with wonderful photography by Oof Verschuren.  Every second page contains a full page photo of the ingredients/recipe item.  The book is from stewart tabori & chang, an imprint of Abrams.  It’s appropriately European in context, given Van Boven’s day-to-day life in Amsterdam, Paris and Provence.  The recipes themselves are remarkably simple and feature the abundance of summer gardens.  Among those I have tried are Basil Canteloupe Soup, Salad with Fennel, Dates, and Parmesan, and Scallop Ceviche.  Yvette van Boven, born in Ireland from Dutch parents, divides her time between Amsterdam and Paris.   She is a freelance food stylist, recipe writer and columnist. She owns, together with her cousin Joris Vermeer, a restaurant & catering company in Amsterdam, called Aan de Amstel.  Yvette also works as an illustrator for either editorial or commercial clients.  Her work has appeared in magazines or newspapers such as Bon Appétit, Delicious, Elle FoodRed, Food & Wine, Volkskrant, Flow, Margriet, and many books.  She is the culinary editor for the woman’s weekly Libelle magazine.  Together with her husband, photographer Oof Verschuren, she made a number of cookbooks from scratch.  TCPL also owns Home Made.  She blogs at http://yvettevanboven.com/ and brings both a refreshing visual style to her blog and an informal tone.

Amy P.


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The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler

imagesWhen an employee and a resident are killed in a home for troubled girls, everyone thinks the newest girl, Vicky, is the murderer.  A bloody hammer is found under her pillow, her sheets are bloody, and she has escaped out her window.  Soon she steals a car with a child inside of it.  Her doctor cannot believe she is capable of this violence but as his wife was the employee that was killed, he wants her captured.  Detective Joona Linna is supposed to be just an observer in the case but of course he gets over involved and makes enemies left and right.  He is facing his own internal affairs investigation but has to keep cancelling meetings with them at the last minute.  Short chapters and fast-paced, The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler is another Swedish mystery that you won’t be able to put down.

Stacy W.


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Deadly Design and Deadly Will by Marion Moore Hill

imagesIt’s always fun meeting authors in person and I had the opportunity to meet mystery writer Marion Moore Hill at a recent TCPL program.  I was familiar with Hill’s paperback ‘scrappy librarian’ mystery series as I like occupational mysteries.  Those books were grabbed up by customers when I put them on display last April during National Library Week.  Hill is a good speaker and she gave her audience interesting insights into how she does her research and writes her books.  My own interest was piqued by another of her series,”The Deadly Past” and asked that TCPL order both Deadly Will and Deadly Design.  Because I am very interested in architecture, I read Deadly Design first.  The plot features both Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest retreat and the fictitious Highgrove, a nearby home purportedly also designed by Jefferson.  Recently wealthy single mom Millie Kirchner is our protagonist.  She also figures in the first book, Deadly Will.  Millie plans to spend her summer touring Jeffersonian landmarks with her 9-year old son.  Their first stop is Lynchburg where Mollie plans to volunteer at Poplar Forest while Danny attends the imagesarcheology camp.  One murder precedes them and another soon follows.  Whom among Millie’s housemates or the crews at both Highgrove or Poplar Forest have the motive and opportunity to commit the crimes?  While trying to solve the mystery, readers learn a reasonable amount about urban archaeology digs and historical research.  Light reading providing great ideas for future travel.

Amy P.


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Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

imagesAfter finally discovering and watching the first three seasons of the HBO series, Game of Thrones I became slightly addicted to the world of Westeros. So naturally, I was at a loss when season 3 ended and I realized I would have to wait until next spring for season 4 to begin.  So to fill the void I decided to start reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin which the HBO show is based on.  There are five books in this series so far so this should keep me busy for a while.  There’s a lot going on in the first book of the series, The Game of Thrones, but here’s the basic premise: It is an epic fantasy set in the fictional land of Westeros, a mythical medieval kingdom, featuring sword fights, dragons, direwolves and an unending cast of characters. Several noble houses battle to sit on the Iron Throne, while the entire kingdom is threatened by some rising supernatural threat in the north. The story is told from the point-of-view of different characters, mostly members of the Stark and Lannister families who, of course are rivals.  I have a couple of favorite characters-Tyrone Lannister, the clever dwarf and young Arya Stark, the sword wielding tomboy. Although I love the TV show, I actually like the books even more. There are just so many characters with crazy, hard to understand names that it’s a little difficult to keep everyone straight while watching. But after reading the first book in the series, I’m much more clear on who is who. There is just so much more info on each character and the history of their families in the books that the show doesn’t cover. If you love the HBO series and can’t wait for season four, I recommend these books.

Tia L.


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Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear

imagesI am a HUGE fan of Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs novels and the 10th installment, Leaving Everything Most Loved may be the best to date from my perspective.  Our heroine, Maisie Dobbs, is a psychologist and investigator working in London between the two world wars.  She carries many burdens from her World War One nursing career, and the novels are populated with the both the injured and the inventive and innovative characters of the period.  The plot  in Leaving Everything Most Loved  focuses around the murders of two women from the Indian subcontinent, the high caste Usha Pramal, and the working class Maya Patel.  The plot provides Winspear with an opportunity to assess multiculturalism and imperialism in 1930s Britain.  The two murdered women are not, however, the only characters who have left their homes.  Whither Maisie and James?  I am guessing that the 11th novel in the series will be published in March 2014. To follow along, consider visiting the author’s excellent website, http://www.jacquelinewinspear.com/ or you can “Like” Maisie on Facebook!

Amy P.


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