Blog Posts by SherriT

Posted by SherriT on 04/16/19
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In Tracey Garvis Graves latest book, The Girl He Used to Know, Annika is a high-functioning woman with autism spectrum disorder. Throughout the story, the reader is given an inside look into her life and how she copes with being on the spectrum. Annika struggled with life in a way most of us will never understand. Socially awkward, her experiences with college and daily life was so very different and only underscored how difficult just the simplest encounters could be.

When Annika gets to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has an understanding roommate that signs her up for the chess club she meets Jonathan Hoffman. Jonathan does not mind that Annika is different. He can see through her awkwardness to her beautiful heart, and they fall in love. After a tragic event and separating ways, their story picks up again ten years later when they meet by chance at Mariano’s in Chicago. Annika is the girl that Jonathan never forgot and Annika still hurts over their breakup.

I enjoyed this second chance romance very much, but the book also strongly focuses on the heroine's own personal growth. How she evolves from someone filled with anxiety that leans heavily on others to cope socially, to a woman who has fought for her own self-confidence and the skills to thrive on her own two feet. The book has dual points of view and alternates from the present time to flashbacks of the past in the couple's college years.

This is a unique book written with remarkable empathy. Although this is a fictional story, it is extremely relatable, inspirational, and insightful.
Posted by SherriT on 03/12/19
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Told in the style of an oral history, Daisy Jones & the Six chronicles the tumultuous relationships behind the music of a famed '70s rock band. Real-life drama, fame and fortune, tabloid gossip, drugs and addiction - everything you want in a music biography, this book has them in spades. Inspired by VH1’s Behind the Music series, Taylor Jenkins Reid shares the band’s untold fictional story in a way that makes it feel like nonfiction.

Daisy Jones & the Six gives you a backstage view of the epic rise, and agonizing fall, of one beloved rock band.

Since there is no narrator in this story, you are hearing everything from the characters themselves and that gives it a sense of authenticity.  The fact that I wanted this to be a real band and even Googled them says a lot about the charisma of these characters and the rich, vivid detail. I devoured this book in 2 days!  I was thrilled to learn that Reece Witherspoon is producing a TV miniseries based on the book that is set to consist of thirteen episodes and will air on Amazon Video. For those of you who loved the recent movies A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody read this book immediately!
Posted by SherriT on 02/22/19
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Kimmery Martin’s debut novel The Queen of Hearts is an entertaining medical suspense drama revolving around best friends and fellow doctors, Emma and Zadie. Zadie and Emma became friends during medical school and built a strong friendship. Both women are happily married with children. Emma is a successful trauma surgeon and Zadie is a pediatric cardiologist. There is a secret that each of them are keeping about Dr. X. During their third year of medical school, something happened that changed everything. Dr. X’s returning presence threatens to destroy their longstanding friendship.

The story travels from the present to the past in revolving POVs exploring medical school, motherhood, the pressures of being a surgeon, first love and, ultimately, the very core of Zadie and Emma's beautiful and complicated friendship.

The Queen of Hearts opens up a fascinating world and makes it both accessible and exhilarating. The author’s writing style is so warm, friendly, and funny, yet I did find at times that the medical jargon could be too much.

If you are a fan of the TV drama Grey’s Anatomy or Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies this book is a must read.
Posted by SherriT on 01/19/19
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Lyndsay Faye's book The Paragon Hotel begins in the year 1921 with a young, white Alice “Nobody” James running from her ties in NYC and from the mafia. Aboard a train bound for Portland, she befriends a black Pullman porter named Max who finds her story, life and run-ins captivating. Once in Portland, he takes her to The Paragon Hotel, an all-black residence in the city. Alice soon comes to realize that the crime on the west coast is just as troubling as the east coast when she discovers her new city is a stomping ground for the Klu Klux Klan. As a woman running from the New York mafia, she finds herself a new family of sorts and learns about the many faces of evil and love.

This was a compelling and entertaining historical fiction story about a difficult time in America's past told by a perceptive and likable main character. With a cast of colorful, tenacious supporting characters and a narrative so full of friendship and love, mystery and intrigue, this book is sure to be your first hit of 2019.
Posted by SherriT on 12/07/18
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It is that time of year again! Time for binge watching the Hallmark Channel Christmas movie lineup. If you are like me and love the guilty pleasure of knowing there is a happy ending with a kiss under the mistletoe, than you will love Karen Schaler’s book, Christmas Camp.

Workaholic Haley Hansen's idea of a perfect Christmas is a trip to the Caribbean with her sunscreen in one hand and her laptop in the other. She is determined to focus on her career and make partner at the advertising agency where she works. In order to do this she needs to land the coveted Tyler Toys' account. The problem is Tyler Toys represent traditional Christmas values, so as research she goes to Christmas Camp to find her holiday spirit.

Upon arrival at the camp, Haley immerses herself in all things Christmas. Because she must have that certificate, Haley reluctantly participates. However, with the help of Jeff Jacoby, who is son of the camp owner, and the other guests, she slowly discovers the Christmas spirit. Jeff is your classic strong, male character, handsome and closed off. Haley and Jeff’s banter makes for a funny and cute story that was easy to follow and even easier to fall in love with.
 
This delightful story is light and entertaining and definitely puts you in the Christmas spirit!
 
Posted by SherriT on 10/05/18
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I recently discovered with much excitement that 2018 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

There is something so comforting about escaping into the heartwarming pages of this story and each time I reread it I am struck by a different character or line. I know I am not alone in imagining myself as Jo and drawing strength from this smart, courageous heroine as a young girl. Now, as a mother, I also find in Marmee inspiration to be the wise, loving parent I hope to be to my children. Readers witness the sisters growing up and figuring out what role each wants to play in the world, and, along the way, join them on countless unforgettable adventures. Whether you are taking up Little Women for the first time or the twelth, it is a wonderful time to celebrate this incredible story.

If you loved Little Women and are looking for something else to inspire you try a book on this list: https://www.ahml.info/user/lists/5085.
Posted by SherriT on 09/11/18
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Since reading The Great Gatsby in high school, I have loved F. Scott Fitzgerald. His dynamic personality and glimpses into his own life through his novels has always intrigued me.

Another Side of Paradise by Sally Koslow is a book that will captivate readers from the very first page and tells the story of the affair between famous author F. Scott Fitzgerald and 1930's Hollywood gossip columnist, Sheilah Graham. The story is told from the perspective of Graham as we read of her tragic and sad upbringing to her short and tragic love affair with Fitzgerald. I found Sheila’s life story fascinating and filled with so many hardships. Their relationship is told with gritty detail, heartbreaking moments, and leaves the reader with no doubt about their love. I especially loved the old, nostalgic Hollywood feel of the story.

Sally Koslow has done extensive research, and writes so vividly with great description of the colorful cast of characters and various timelines. I recommend Another Side of Paradise for both fans of Fitzgerald’s and for those who enjoyed The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
Posted by SherriT on 06/20/18
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Karen White’s books are always a perfect blend of family, friendship, mystery, and a little romance. In her latest book, Dreams of Falling, she offers us two generations of strong female friendships.

After nine years away, Larkin returns to her childhood home in South Carolina when her mother, Ivy, takes a life-threatening fall, a fall that becomes the catalyst for exposing long held secrets. As Ivy lies in a hospital bed fighting for her life, Larkin begins her investigation. It is in this search that Larkin uncovers the secrets kept by three teenage friends on an unchaperoned graduation trip to Myrtle Beach fifty years earlier.  These three friends had sworn to remain best friends forever, never imagining the heartache that would result from that vow.

The story is dramatic and cleverly layered and there are tons of great characters. Most notably are the three best friends: the beautiful and rich Margaret; CeeCee, the preacher’s daughter; and the always smoking and redheaded artist, Bitty. Each one of them is flawed in their own way. And that is precisely what makes this book so real.

Lovers of Southern women’s fiction will appreciate this dramatic story.
Posted by SherriT on 05/05/18
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Kick off your summer reading list with The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner.

Lauren is the widow of NHL hockey star Rory Kincaid who leaves it all to fight as a US Ranger overseas. After he is killed in combat, Lauren is caught in web of grief that she has not been able to let go of for four years. When a filmmaker approaches her and her family to produce a documentary about Rory’s life, she fights him every step of the way. Lauren is determined to keep the memory of Rory high on a pedestal and in her heart. However, the secrets that Matt's documentary are uncovering are not what she wants to face.

While this book is truly Lauren’s story, it is also a story about the other women in her immediate family, her mom Beth and her sister Stephanie. I love nothing more than a story about a family of strong women with complex lives.

So many themes covered in this book: professional sports, celebrity status, the military, love, grief, betrayal, traumatic brain injury, documentary filmmaking, and some yummy baking thrown in! Love the way it all ties together to make The Husband Hour a favorite 2018 beach read.
Posted by SherriT on 03/16/18
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The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is an angst driven, clever, gripping, suspenseful and not your typical domestic psychological thriller novel.
 
The book starts readers off by introducing them to Vanessa, the wife that was. Vanessa is struggling to recover after her marriage and losing all that she once had all the while worrying and wondering what her husband is now doing. Then we meet Nellie, the wife that will be. Whom do we root for? Whom do we hate? As we dive into these characters feelings will form and thoughts on how the story will go will pop into your head but whatever you think you know, think again. With so many twists, it  keeps readers on their toes and guessing until the very end.

That is about all I can say without introducing spoilers. Believe me; you do not want to know what is coming. Just start reading and enjoy the ride, and try to keep up. Nothing is obvious. You will say "Whoa!" aloud and go back several pages to try to figure out why you did not see that coming.

This is a well-written, fast-paced story that will keep you guessing all the way to the epilogue. Fans of the psychological thriller – you do not want to miss this one!
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6.012 Patron-Generated Content

04/27/2011
The Library offers various venues in which patrons can contribute content that is accessible to the public.  These include, but are not limited to, blogs, reviews, forums, and social tagging on the Library’s website and catalog.  Any instance in which a patron posts written or recorded content to any of the Library’s venues that are accessible to the public is considered “patron-generated content” and is subject to this policy.
 
By contributing patron-generated content, patrons grant the Library an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use, copy, modify, display, archive, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works based upon that content.
 
By submitting patron-generated content, patrons warrant they are the sole authors or that they have obtained all necessary permission associated with copyrights and trademarks to submit such content.
 
Patrons are liable for the opinions expressed and the accuracy of the information contained in the content they submit.  The Library assumes no responsibility for such content.
 
The Library reserves the right not to post submitted content or to remove patron-generated content for any reason, including but not limited to:
 
  • content that is profane, obscene, or pornographic;
 
  • content that is abusive, discriminatory or hateful on account of race, national origin, religion, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation;
 
  • content that contains threats, personal attacks, or harassment;
 
  • content that contains solicitations or advertisements;
 
  • content that is invasive of another person’s privacy;
 
  • content that is unrelated to the discussion or venue in which it is posted;
 
  • content that is in violation of the Library’s Code of Conduct or any other Library policy