Ames Public Library's Reading Connection
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Ames Public Library's Reading Connection
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Staff Picks

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* New as of November 2007

The Trial of JobThe Trial of Job by Chuck Chitwood (CHI)

Attorney Charlie Harrigan has a beautiful wife, a wonderful daughter, and a nice home in North Carolina. Without warning, his family is taken from him. This contemporary consideration of the biblical trials of Job has it all: courtroom drama, tragedy, revenge, and ultimately, an upbeat message for those who seek life lessons from their reading.

- Roger

Sleeping DollSleeping Doll by Jeffrey Deaver (NEW MYS DEA) *

Kathryn Dance, an investigator with the California Bureau of Investigation, is the lead police officer handling the escape of a psychopathic, Charles Manson-like killer who cleverly evades capture. This thriller is full of unexpected, fast-paced twists and turns. It is not a book for readers who prefer gentle, cozy reads!

- Mary H.

A Thousand VoicesA Thousand Voices by Lisa Wingate (NEW WIN) *

Dell Jordan, a gifted musician, was adopted at the age of thirteen. She is now twenty and wants to connect with her Choctaw roots. This coming-of-age story features a road trip to the Kiamichi Mountains of Oklahoma where Dell meets people who share her Native American features and who teach her about her rich cultural heritage.

- Sarah B.

The Rest of Her LifeThe Rest of her Life by Laura Moriarty (NEW MOR) *

Teenage Kara is driving when she sees a dog in distress on the road. With her mind focused on rescuing the dog, she ends up hitting another teenage girl, killing her. This novel examines what the tragic accident means to the families of both girls with an emphasis on the tense relationship between Kara and her mother. Readers of Jodi Picoult's works might enjoy this title.

- Marianne

Dream when you're Feeling BlueDream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg (NEW BER) *

Set in Chicago during World War II, this is the story of the sweethearts, wives, and families on the home front. Two of the three Heaney girls send their boyfriends off to war. Through the girls' correspondence with their men and with the soldiers they meet at local USO dances, the horror of the war is revealed. The lives of the sisters, their three brothers, and their parents are examined with references to wartime shortages, coupon books, black out drills, and popular culture of the 1940s.

- Ann

The Eagle and the WolvesThe Eagle and the Wolves by Simon Scarrow (SCA)

The setting is England in 44 A.D. Two Roman soldiers, one an experienced veteran and one a young recruit, are among the Centurions in England charged with training the native people in order to prop up the local ruler. There are parallels to the U.S. presence in Iraq today in this graphic story involving political intrigue and heroism.

- Vickie

Confessions of a Slacker WifeConfessions of a Slacker Wife by Muffy Mead-Ferro (306.872 MEA)

Told from a wife's point of view, this is a witty, light-hearted look at modern marriage. The author's domestic life may not be picture-perfect, but it is good-humored. She makes it clear that living up to impossible standards touted in the media is not the only way to go when it comes to running a household.

- Tracy

RichistanRichistan: A Journey through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich by Robert Frank (NEW 305.5234 FRA) *

The lives of the super-rich (those who make $10 million and up) are the focus of this fun read. These rich folks have been known to develop "yacht envy," as having the longest yacht brings the most prestige. Fascinating survey results reveal that no matter how much people have, they believe they need twice as much to feel secure. A chapter on "butler boot camp" outlines the training program for household managers who can earn up to $100,000 working for the super-rich.

- Betty

Little House on a Small PlanetLittle House on a Small Planet: Simple Homes, Cozy Retreats, and Energy Efficient Possibilities by Shay Salomon (728.37 SAL)

Sustainability and healthy living are attainable in small, cozy spaces such as those shown in this book that advocates a move away from homes with huge square footage. Floor plans and plenty of advice for living in smaller spaces are presented.

- Jan

Into Thin AirInto Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (796.522 KRA)

Journalist and climber Jon Krakauer gives a riveting first-hand account of a 1996 expedition up Mount Everest that left eight people dead. In a book that reads like fiction, the author's storytelling skills are evident as he chronicles the event and his own feelings regarding its outcome.

- Anastasia

One PieceOne Piece, Volume 1: Romance Dawn by Eiichiro Oda (YA MANGA ONE V1)

Monkey D. Luffy may look like a goofy kid in a straw hat, but his goal is to find the famous treasure called One Piece and become king of the pirates. Luffy and his crew of misfits travel a world filled with goofy characters and danger around every corner, striving to meet their own impossible dreams.

- Jillian

HimalayaHimalaya by Michael Palin (915.496 PAL)

Palin recounts, with a great deal of respect for the environment and the people he meets, the six months he spent traveling the length of the Himalayas from west to east. His writing style makes this an entertaining trek for the armchair traveler. The book is a companion to the television series he made of his travels which is available on DVD (915.496 DVD HIM).

- Lynne