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The Son by Phillip Meyer
Reviewed by Lena Powers
In the 1800s, teenager Eli McCullough is taken captive by Comanche while living with his parents in Texas. Eli quickly makes a place for himself in his new home, learning the arts, language, and hunting styles of the people around him. When the tribe faces problems with settlers taking over their land, Eli is forced to return to living in the world he grew up in. Soon, Eli joins the Texas rangers, fights for the South in the American Civil War, and eventually, establishes a massive ranch in South Texas. Eli is ruthless, coldhearted, and cunning in his quest for money and power. This book tells the story of Eli, his son, and the impact that a villainous man can have on his family.
This is a good book for anyone who likes western sagas like Lonesome Dove and There Will Be Blood. The book has also been adapted into a new television series on AMC.
Available at TCPL: Book | Large Print | Book on CD | Digital Audiobook
Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
Reviewed by Amanda Miller
As the daughter of a famed wedding planner, Louna Barrett has become an expert on romance. When it comes to love, however, past tragedy has left her cynical. When a happy-go-lucky serial dater named Ambrose joins their wedding planning team, he encourages Louna to give “epic” love another chance. Soon she must decide weather to open herself up again even if there’s a possibility of being hurt.
Romance, humor, and just the right amount of painful reality makes this the perfect read for anybody who is looking for a sweet and charming story filled with lovable characters and happy-ever-afters.
Available at TCPL: Book | Digital eBook | Digital Audiobook
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti
Reviewed by Cassie Ogle
Loo spent her early childhood moving from place to place, usually on a moment’s notice. Belongings often left behind in the middle of the night, except for the guns and the shrine. Samuel Hawley has been running from a past that Loo knows nothing about. Hawley, seeing that Loo needs a more permanent home, goes to the last place on earth he is welcome – the hometown of his deceased wife. The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley follows Loo as she grows from a child adjusting to small town life to a young woman, while also telling the stories of each of Hawley’s twelve bullet scars. Loo is a strong willed child that becomes an even more headstrong young woman. Each of Hawley’s stories give a glimpse of how a parent’s past can unknowingly shape their child’s future. This book was a fantastic read and I was sad when it ended. I wanted to stay in Loo & Hawley’s world just a little bit longer.
Available at TCPL: Book | Book on CD
Ruined by Amy Tintera
Reviewed by Laken Lester
War has ravaged the land of Ruina. Emelina Flores’ parents have been killed and her sister kidnapped, leaving her with nothing except the burning desire for revenge. Although she is a useless Ruined-completely devoid of any magic-she plans to infiltrate the enemy’s kingdom, disguised as the crown prince’s betrothed, and kill the king and royal family.
However, the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. The guard she placed around her heart slowly falls. The saying quotes “all is fair in love and war,” but opening her heart could be her deadliest mistake.
Available at TCPL: Book
Final Girls by Riley Sager
Reviewed by Jami McDonald
While attending college, Quincy Carpenter became the sole survivor in a mass killing spree that left her five best friends dead. Ten years have passed, Quincy is now recognized as one of three famous “final girls” (a term popularized by certain types of horror movies that commonly end with only one lead female character having survived). Despite her traumatic experience, Quincy seems to be doing well for herself in the opening of the book. She is involved in a healthy relationship with her boyfriend and runs a successful blog about creative baking techniques. Things take a dramatic turn, however, when Lisa, another “final girl” who survived an equally disturbing experience, dies in an apparent suicide. Lisa’s death forces Quincy to reexamine her own tragic past, leading to a very exciting ending in this fast-paced thriller.
Told in segments that focus on either Quincy’s present life or the night that her five friends were murdered, Finals Girls is a novel that will appeal to fans of John Carpenter and Wes Craven films.
Available at TCPL: Book | Large Print
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
Reviewed by Jade Crabtree
If you think your holiday experiences have been crazy, just listen to David Sedaris recount some of his best (worst) memories. I highly recommend listening to this on Overdrive (read by Sedaris himself) in order to get the full effect. Sedaris’ writing is biting and laugh out loud funny. The author covers everything from his time as an elf to spending Halloween in the medical examiner’s office. You will laugh, cry and maybe pee a little listening to this.
Available at TCPL: Overdrive Audiobook
The Bird Artist by Howard Norman
Reviewed by Linda Shroyer
I love birds and art so when I stumbled upon the novel, The Bird Artist by Howard Norman, I was intrigued. The story opens with a confession, “My name is Fabian Vas. I live in Witless Bay Newfoundland….I am a bird artist and have more or less made a living at it. Yet I murdered the lighthouse keeper, Botho August, and that is an equal part of how I think of myself.” That is the reader’s first glimpse into the lives of the people living in a remote coastal village in 1911. I chuckled at Fabian honing his art skills via a correspondence course with the testy artist Isaac Sprague. The townspeople are quirky but endearing: Enoch Handle, who pilots the mail boat, his red-headed daughter Margaret, whose methodical bookkeeping skills run contrary to the way she lives her life—with gusto and abandon. And I loved the spirited Mrs. Paulette Bath who oversees the town’s library housed in her living room. Curl up on the sofa with a hot cup of tea and enjoy Fabian Vas’s story of what drove him to the lighthouse that dark night and how it altered the course of his life.
Available at TCPL: Book