The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt – Caroline Preston

I love this book – it’s quite a neat way to read about the 1920’s from an aspiring young woman writer’s point of view.  Lots of interesting memorabilia showing the highs and lows of the 1920s. Through a kaleidoscopic array of vintage postcards, letters, magazine ads, ticket stubs, catalog pages, fabric swatches, candy wrappers, fashion spreads, menus, and more, we meet and follow Frankie on her journey in search of success and love. For Frankie, opportunity seems limitless, but it’s also inhibited by social mores, class boundaries, and the rules of romance.  The narrative is very straight-forward.  It is woven in through the motif of a scrapbook.  It’s a real delight to read!   I think it’s a book that you will want to read a couple times because there is so much to take in. (submitted by DS)

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Still Life – Louise Penny

I would call this book a Canadian ‘cozy’ mystery that takes place in rural Quebec.  Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec is a complex but thoughtful man who is near the end of his career.  Part of the story looks at how he likes to work with his team of detectives while the rest, of course, helps us solve the crime from the collection on characters who live in the small town where a murder, or maybe more than one, were committed.  The book was interesting enough to get me reading the second book in the series, I really enjoyed it. (submitted by RZW)

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Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

It is 2044 and the earth is a dismal place with mass globalization, depleted natural resources,  world famine, and wars. Those who can, escape into the OASIS, a worldwide digital  virtual reality platform and gamers’ paradise. When OASIS creator James Halliday died, he announced that his entire fortune worth billions of dollars would go to  the OASIS Avatar who successfully completed a virtual quest steeped in 1980s movies, music, and videogames in search for three hidden keys. Years have gone by and no one has been successful in unravelling the mysterious clues from the deceased Halliday. Ready Player One tells the story of impoverished teenager, tech junkie, and Halliday-obsessed Wade Watts who becomes the first person to successfully seize the first key. As a child of the 80s, I loved the infinite references to 1980s pop culture and even though I’m not a gamer, I was sucked into the action-packed events as Watts and his friends competed against thousands of avatars including the henchmen of a murderous corporation in their race to solve the mysteries of the OASIS and to overcome the bleak realities of earth. (submitted by MR)

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Darkfever – Karen Moning

The first in a series, this book captivates you from the get go.  MacKayla flies to Ireland to discover what caused her sister’s death.  She discovers that both she and her sister (both adopted) were born in Ireland and that she has the power to see beyond the world of man.  Mac, along with the mysterious Jericho (friend or foe?), are on the hunt for a book called the Sinsar Dubh.  This book gives the person holding it the power to rule over both the  human and fae worlds – worlds where the dividing line is crumbling.  I’ve really enjoyed reading this whole series. (submitted by JB)

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Big Sex Little Death

I’ve been a big fan of Susie Bright for a very long time, so it should come as no surprise that I loved reading her autobiography.  While it is not an in-depth examination of her life, it is so wonderful to read about someone who has lived her life with such zeal and joy, in the pursuit of the freedom of expression, and in the good fight against injustice and closed minds.  (submitted by JF)

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Death of a Kingfisher – M.C. Beaton

The small village of Braikie, Scotland, is looking for ways to bring tourists to their area to help the town deal with the effects of the recession.  Town council decides to change the name of Buchan’s Woods, a lovely wood with a pond, to Fairy Glen.  Fairy Glen is advertised as a magical place a where brightly coloured  kingfishers nest.  The advertising is successful and the coach tours roll in. The town is shocked when the kingfisher is found hanging from a tree. Constable Hamish Macbeth is brought in first to investigate vandalism at Fairy Glen and then the death of a local woman. (submitted by WC)

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Agnes and the Hitman – Jennifer Cruisie & Bob Mayer

This duo has written a very funny and witty book about Agnes’s trials and tribulations that are all made better by food and a hitman.  Agnes has to cater a wedding by the weekend or lose her home and her business.  In the process, there are a few dead bodies, a traitorous fiancé, and the gorgeous hunk come to her aid.  Not to her rescue though as Agnes has a propensity for brandishing frying pans and sharp pointy forks. (submitted by JB)

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