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.

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

images“On the morning of its first birthday, a baby was found floating in a cello case in the middle of the English Channel.”  From this inauspicious opening sentence through to the satisfying conclusion, Katherine Rundell delights with an imaginative tale for middle grade readers.  While Sophie joins a legion of plucky orphans found in children’s literature, she and her guardian Charles, a fellow passenger on the doomed ship, have their own humorous and endearing ways of doing things, including searching for Sophie’s mother.  The National Childcare Agency threatens to separate them so Sophie and Charles escape England. They follow the only clue they have about Sophie’s past which is a Parisian address on the cello case that once saved her. It is in Paris that Sophie ventures up to the rooftops and discovers the world of “sky-treaders,” the children who live outside but are not homeless. Sophie never gives up the hope that she will find her mother. This strength of spirit, combined with the love and support of Charles as well as the new friendships she makes on the rooftops, give Rooftoppers a warm glow.  They follow the music throughout their adventures to find the things that matter most.  (AR 3.5, Lexile 490L)

Melissa F.


Bookmark and Share

Archetype by M.D. Waters

imagesEmma Burke wakes up in a hospital, with no memories of how she got there and of her life before. As she becomes stronger, her husband Declan and her doctor fill in her past, telling her she was attacked by enemies of Declan. These enemies are fighting Declan’s company, and are against his plan to improve the fertility rates among women in a world where babies are an increasingly rare thing. Declan is handsome and charming, and seems to genuinely care about Emma; surely he cares about others as much as he cares about her. But Emma’s dreams hint of a darker, harsher reality, one where girls are trained in large camps to be wives, and where the world is caught up in the turmoil of war. When Emma picks up a paintbrush and starts painting, it as if she is painting directly from the life of another. A man named Noah Tucker seems to recognize the memories captured on Emma’s canvases, and she is shocked to realize that her dreams may be the key to changing the world. Archetype is a rare book: it’s a brilliant blend of science fiction, romance, and mystery. The writing is fresh, and the storytelling inventive. You uncover the truth of Emma’s life as she does, and see, through her eyes, as her reality begins to unravel, revealing something new and unexpected. I won’t spoil it by giving away any more than that. Read it and enjoy it. I am already looking forward to the second book, titled Prototype, coming out in July.

Annette G.


Bookmark and Share

A Spider in the Cup by Barbara Cleverly

imagesI continue my passion for reading World War 1 novels with a foray into the Joe Sandilands series by Barbara Cleverly, reading A Spider in the Cup. While it’s the 11th title in the series, the novel can be read as a stand-alone. Scotland Yard is such a rich venue for detective fiction and Cleverly’s Joe Sandilands series mines the yard’s traditions very well. The novel opens with a dead body found on the shores of the Thames with an ancient coin in her mouth. Then the somewhat conventional police procedure turns into an espionage story complete with a stint in revolutionary Russia. Spider in the Cup is a good light read with excellent historical background. I will delve further into the series. Barbara Cleverly is a British author and a former teacher who is known for her Detective Joe Sandilands Mystery series, of which she has written eleven books, and her Laetitia Talbot Mystery series. Cleverly received the Crime Writers Association Ellis Peters Historical Dagger award in 2004. The Last Kashmiri Rose was a New York Times Notable Book. She currently lives in Cambridge, England.

Amy P.


Bookmark and Share

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

imagesMost of us have lost loved ones, and we have grieved the loss. Some of people carry the weight of their grief far longer than they should, and a very few let their grief consume them. Sara Harrison Shea is such a person. When her eight-year-old daughter, Gertie, is found dead at the bottom of a well, Sara is overwhelmed by her grief. But for Sara, Gertie’s death may not mean an end; for Sara may know of a way they can still be together. Yet, what is the cost of Sara’s knowledge, and how far will other people go to get it? The Winter People is a ghost story set in West Hall, Vermont, a quiet little town whose quaint appearance hides dark secrets, all of them centered on a local landmark called the Devil’s Hand. Sara Harrison Shea, from the past, is the keeper of the secrets, and she passes them on in her diary to those in present day. Ruthie and Katherine both learn Sara’s secrets, and together they learn a bitter truth: knowledge of dark secrets demands payment, and the payment may change more than just you own life. Jennifer McMahon is a master storyteller and she deftly drew me into her story. The story is compelling, and I literally couldn’t stop reading it. Creepy, and thought provoking, this is a book that maybe you don’t want to read in the dark.

Annette G.


Bookmark and Share

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett

imagesAnn Patchett is one of America’s best essayists and fiction writers writing today. Readers know her best for Bel Canto and State of Wonder.  She has written 6 novels and 3 works of nonfiction.  Patchett is the winner of the Pen/Faulkner award, England’s Orange Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year. What surprised me most about this collection of 23 essays is how much I could see them being enjoyed by both men or women.  It’s a given that each is well-written due to Patchett’s long writing apprenticeship leading to work at the New York Times. Her personal essays, however, transcend the personal and biographical, and could be touchstones for any of us as we reflect on our life’s journey. While many of the essays in This is the Story of a Happy Marriage focus on the writer’s life, the struggles therein are easily relateable to other professions.  Ann’s circuitous route to the ‘happy marriage’ in the title essay will provide encouragement to readers with their own relationship challenges.  I recommend this book as a gift to others, it would be great as well for family book discussions, at a reunion perhaps, and for discussion in book groups.

Amy P.


Bookmark and Share

This House is Haunted by John Boyne

imagesWhen London school teacher Eliza Caine’s dad dies, she answers an ad for a governess position in Norfolk.  There is no reason left for her to stay in London and she doesn’t know if she could anymore anyway, at least financially.  Eliza is very impressed with the estate in Norfolk and the children seem great but where are the parents?  She is instructed that solicitor Alfred Raisin takes care of everything and she will collect her wages from him.  At first, Raisin gives vague answers to Eliza’s questions and there’s something in the house that seems to resent her presence.  After Eliza finds out there have been 6 governesses in the last year, she is determined to find answers and protect the children at all costs.  This House is Haunted by John Boyne is a nice, clean, ghost story set in 1800s England.

Stacy W.


Bookmark and Share

Blackstone and the Endgame by Sally Spencer

imagesI love ‘period piece’ mysteries, especially those set around WW1 or WW2.  Sally Spencer’s Inspector Sam Blackstone mysteries, numbering 9 to date, are set between Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 through World War 1.  In Blackstone and the Endgame, our Inspector is ‘set up’ to intercept German espionage.  A great deal of the action also takes place in Russia where the political history is intense and fascinating.  I do plan to ‘go back’ and read 1-8 and eagerly await other entries in this series.  Spencer is also the author of 27 stand alone mysteries along with the Inspector Ruiz series set in Spain, the Charlie Woodend and Monika Paniatowski mysteries, 3 historical sagas and 2 novels.   Prolific and fun light reading.

Amy P.


Bookmark and Share

Snapper by Brian Kimberling

imagesBrian Kimberling’s Snapper is so easy to identify with!  The main character, Nathan, is a Hoosier who has a love/hate relationship with Indiana and its rural areas and college towns.  After college, Nathan gets by doing wild bird research in the southern Indiana woods for various government agencies and professors.  He carries a torch for a girl named Lola who indulges him once in a while when she is between boyfriends (and sometimes when she has one) but only sees him as a friend.  Evansville and Bloomington figure heavily in this story and any Hoosier who has spent any of their college years in either city should read this book.  When Nathan suffers partial hearing loss due to misadventure he can no longer work in the field as he can no longer identify wild birds by their song.  Friends suggest pursuing a doctorate in ornithology but Nathan knows that afterwards that will mean sitting inside at a computer making sense of data others have gathered in the field and he doesn’t want to do that.  Instead he ends up in Vermont at a raptor rehabilitation center but secretly pines for his long isolated days in the Indiana woods.  Apart from all the familiar references (Lafayette is mentioned several times), this book had me frequently laughing out loud and saying “Right on!”.  Hilarious and a fast read.

Stacy W.


Bookmark and Share

The Southerner’s Handbook by David Dibenedetto

imagesThe editors of one of my favorite magazines (Garden & Gun) have come out with a book entitled The Southerner’s Handbook which is a really good read.  There are essays on manners, hunting, gardening, clothing, food, drink, etc. by different authors.  My personal favorite was “Sweet Tea: A Love Story” by Allison Glock.   I have the same memories as Glock of soda not being allowed in our house but sweet tea was fine-even though as the author says  it’s “akin to drinking icing”.  Read this for a more in depth understanding of southern novels and life.

Stacy W.


Bookmark and Share

Crossing the Borders of Time by Leslie Maitland

imagesIt’s 1942 and at a critical juncture in this biographical work, the author’s mother, an 18-year old German Jew from Frieberg, leaves Marseille by ship for Cuba.  Her French Catholic lover rows after her until she disappears.  It’s an image that’s easily trivialized; we have seen it in countless movies.  How the characters got to that position and what happens in their future lives forms the rich tapestry of this refugee biography. The author, Leslie Maitland, is a former award winning investigative reporter for the New York Times, and she turns those research and investigation skills towards her own family history, especially that of her mother.  Crossing the Borders of Time is both detailed and riveting.  You gain a real sense of not only the horror of those times, but the ambivalence that was also shown towards the Jewish community.  There is much insight into life in pre-war Germany and in occupied France.  The interlude in Cuba is also vividly drawn giving you a sense of all the influences that informed the adult Janine Maitland’s eventual life in New York.  Highly recommended.

Amy P.


Bookmark and Share

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