The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson

Find in catalogIf you like reading non-fiction with the pace of a fictional crime thriller then “The Feather Thief” is the book for you. Johnson explores the history of bird specimen collection in the 1800s, then fast-forwards to 2010 and a 20 year old musical prodigy who also is a genius at fly-tying. The two stories mesh when Edwin Rist, the 21st century character, plans and carries out a bird heist from a collection in an England museum. Johnson’s path to uncover the details of the crime are detailed as he pieces the puzzle together and the reader follows, captivated, along the path. “The Feather Thief” really is a page-turner to the end and one in which the reader will learn about the unique topics of ornithology combined with fly tying.

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The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

Find in catalogThere are few things better than reading aloud and sharing a book with a kid. My 7-year-old son requested that I put “The Book with no Pictures” on hold so that we could read it together (he read it in his 2nd grade class last year). Naively I checked out the book at the library and read it on a road trip for my son, 2 daughters, and husband to listen to as well. I won’t spoil the fun, but by the end of the “story” my 3 kids were laughing hysterically and my husband was entertained too. The book lives up to its claim of containing no pictures, but kids will love the creative text that completely holds their attention and plays to their sense of humor. A fun and funny book to read aloud!

Under the Stars by Dan White

Find in catalogSummer is the season for camping. To put you in the mood, read “Under the Stars,” a book that spans camping history. The author backpacked extensively in his 20s (hiking the PCT). Now in his 50s, he writes from the perspective of a middle aged man taking his daughter to the outdoors. Filled with fun trivia, “Under the Stars” also includes laugh-out-loud stories about White’s experiences renting an RV and connecting with fellow campers. This book is really a mash-up of Dave Barry humor meets well-narrated history. “Under the Stars” is a perfect book to take camping or just on your chaise lounge this summer!

How Bad do you want it? Mastering the psychology of mind over muscle, by Matt Fitzgerald

Find in catalogIf you want to be inspired to get off the couch and do something active, this book may be a good motivator. As a long distance runner, I enjoyed the collection of stories about athletes that Fitzgerald told, interspersed with scientific research about the psychology that helped them achieve their goals. The take-home message was that injury or physical disadvantages weren’t an excuse for not winning an athletic event; the human body can pull off incredibly amazing feats and the mind is at the core.

Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger

Revenge Wears PradaDon’t be mislead by this book! Title is misleading–there is no revenge that I could tell. The synopsis on the cover is really misleading–the situation it doesn’t lead to what I thought it would. Most of all, don’t be mislead into thinking if you like the book or movie of The Devil Wears Prada, you will like this sequel. Although the spectre of the bitchy Miranda Priestly haunts former assistant Andy Sachs, Miranda only has a few scenes. Andy herself is weak, and I was completely frustrated with her lack of communication skills with her husband and with her business partner/best friend (who unbelievably is Emily Charlton, Andy’s former sworn enemy). I kept thinking Andy should read Non-Violent Communication, and get herself a good therapist and a good lawyer while she’s at it. And while I appreciate the presence of a sober character (husband Max), Weisberger made so many references to him not drinking that I though it would lead up to an important plot point, but it never did. Ditto the letter Andy finds on her wedding day and the woman she thinks her husband is seeing–made much of, then dropped never to be mentioned again. The last part of that sentence is probably how I will deal with this book!

Reviewed by Jennie

Wedding Night by Sopie Kinsella

Wedding NightFlighty sister gets married to old flame after bad breakup from current partner; divorced sister does what she can to break them up. Typical Sophie Kinsella, and not one of her best. You have the air-headed character that you kinda hate and kinda root for, and shenanigans ensue before the happy ending that you see coming. Nevertheless, it wrapped it too abruptly, in my opinion. Some laughs, but worse character development than usual. Probably a good beach read, especially as part of it takes place on on a Greek island.

Reviewed by Jennie