Roxi Reviews

Roxi Wilkinson has graciously agreed to share some of her recent reads with us. The following review is part of an ongoing series of guest posts written by Roxi:

The Good House by Ann Leary is a novelwhich gives us a glimpse into the mind of a middle-aged, out spoken realtor who is hiding her alcoholism from her family, her town, and herself. I couldn’t help but like Hildy Good despite her very human flaws. Hildy lives in a small New England tourist town where several generations before her resided.  In fact, one of her relatives was hung at the Salem witch trials. Hildy is good at several things. A successful mother, grandmother, friend and real estate broker. Hildy has a sixth sense about houses and people which adds spice to the lively life she leads. This story weaves mental illness, alcoholism, friendship and family dynamics into a book I didn’t want to put down. It is funny, poignant and terrifying. What more do you need?!


Reviews may be submitted for posting via our Contact form. We’d love to hear from you!

New Nonfiction

new bookwormAfter Visiting Friends by Michael Hainey: Journalist Michael Hainey describes his life and his quest to understand the mystery of his father’s death when Michael was six amid family secrets.

Dancing with Max by Emily Colson: Emily Colson tells about her struggles as a single mom with an autistic child.

Heaven Changes Everything by Todd Burpo: Todd and Sonja share their family’s responses and reactions to the “Heaven Is for Real” experience, answering questions about what it’s like to struggle with and question God.

Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis: Explores the causes of the 2008 American financial crisis, and looks at similar situations that have occurred in other parts of the world.

Carnivore by Dillard Johnson: Amid ferocious fighting that many times nearly took his life, Sergeant Dillard ‘C.J.’ Johnson is recognized by the Pentagon to have accounted for more than two thousand enemy killed in action while battling during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Whole by Colin T. Campbell: Argues that since eating whole, plant-based foods causes an infinite amount of possible biological consequences, current nutritional research that focuses on single chemicals is inadequate; and examines why eating habits have not changed despite the changes in nutrition science.

Bright and Bold: Cozy Modern Quilts by Kim Schaefer: Provides twenty projects for easy piecing quilts in bright, cold colors.

Ghost Brothers of Darkland County by Stephen King: A musical thriller of fraternal love, lust, jealousy, and revenge that centers on two sets of brothers: the ghosts of Jack and Andy, dead in an apparent murder/suicide, and their nephews, the living Frank and Drake, who seem headed toward the same downward spiral.

Dying for Joe McCarthy’s Sins by Rodger McDaniel: Joe McCarthy s Cold War witch-hunts targeted people with same-sex attractions as much, maybe more than those with Communist sympathies which set the stage for the most wretched political blackmail in American history.

Based on the Book

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones releases on August 23rd. Based on Cassandra Clare’s popular Young Adult series, this movie follows the first book. Clare’s books are available in the collection for checkout, and there’s still plenty of time to read the book before the movie comes out.

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know.

Who Am I?

Today is the first day of a new Alliance Public Library online “trivia” contest! Each week, I will post a literary character “Who Am I” hint. Submit your answer via the contact form on this site (be sure to include your name) and for each character you identify, you’ll be entered to win a prize!



Character #1

I am a young man living in the 1800’s.

I am both beautiful and ugly.

I have an affinity for art.

Women who love me tend to die of a broken heart.

Who am I?

Submit your answer via the contact form. I will reply and let you know if your answer was correct.

New Adult Fiction

new bookwormDeath in the Floating City by Tasha Alexander: Emma Callum, Emily’s childhood nemesis, turns to Emily when her father-in-law is murdered and her husband, an Italian count, has fled, and when a fifteenth-century ring is found in the victim’s hand, Emily must sort through a connection with a centuries-old love affair.

The Broken Places by Ace Atkins: After becoming sheriff, Quinn Colson is faced with the release of an infamous murderer from prison. Jamey Dixon comes back to Jericho preaching redemption, and some believe him; but for the victim’s family, the only thought is revenge.

Shattered Trident by Larry Bond: Jerry Mitchell, captain of USS North Dakota, is shocked to see a Chinese boat torpedo a Vietnamese ship. This blatant act of aggression is the opening in a war that has blindsided the U.S. and quickly embroiled all nations in the Pacific.

Inferno by Dan Brown: Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon finds himself on the run in Florence and in possession of codes, created by a scientist obsessed with Dante’s classic poem “The Inferno,” that may unlock a terrifying secret that could devastate life on earth.

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky: Two childhood friends reunite at a summer retreat, each harboring a horrible secret that would test their longtime relationship if revealed.

The Heist by Janet Evanovich: Just when it seems that international crook Nicolas Fox has been captured for good, he pulls off his greatest con of all, he convinces the FBI to offer him a job, working side by side with Special Agent Kate O’Hare.

The Kill Room by Jeffrey Deaver: Lincoln Rhyme and his partner Amelia Sachs investigate an assassination of an American citizen in the Bahamas.

Pirate Alley by Stephen Coonts: A vacation cruise to the Red Sea turns into a nightmare when the ship is attacked and captured by Somali pirates. Jake Grafton is to negotiate with the pirates while his right hand man, Tommy Carmellini, and a team of CIA and SEAL operatives mounts a mission to save the hostages.

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris: When Sookie learns the reason why Eric’s vampires are keeping their distance from her, she is devastated. Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime in this final Sookie Stackhouse novel.

Roxi Reviews

Roxi Wilkinson has graciously agreed to share some of her recent reads with us. The following review is part of an ongoing series of guest posts written by Roxi:

The River Swimmer by Jim Harrison is a small book holding two intriguing novellas.  One is the story of an older man, the other tells of a young man both in the throws of love and battling society encroaching on pristine nature.

In “The Land of Unlikeness”,  Clive, a sixty year old art history academic and failed artist is called to care for his aging mother for one month at the Michigan childhood farmhouse he hasn’t visited in three years. The return to quiet triggers emotions, desires and dreams worthy of risking his shallow life on.

In “The River Swimmer”,  Harrison, a senior in high school,  is drawn to swimming and the magical adventures he encounters.  Harrison is a farm boy experiencing the social injustices of coming of age.  He takes to the river for solace and finds humanity abusing the precious waters.

Both stories are beautifully written.  The two richly drawn characters feel intimate by the time the last page is turned.  This is my first experience with Jim Harrison’s work and I plan to read his other books of which there are many.


Reviews may be submitted for posting via our Contact form. We’d love to hear from you!

Based on the Book

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters releases August 9th in theatres and is sure to be a blockbuster hit! The books are much loved and frequently find their way to the circulation desk.

The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan’s amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a “half blood” whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan’s series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book’s drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.


You must read this book!

“It was only a duck pond, out at the back of the farm. It wasn’t very big.

Lettie Hempstock said it was an ocean, but I knew that was silly. She said they’d come here across the ocean from the old country.

Her mother said that Lettie didn’t remember properly, and it was a long time ago, and anyway, the old country had sunk.

Old Mrs. Hempstock, Lettie’s Grandmother, said they were both wrong, and that the place that had sunk wasn’t the really old county. She said she could remember the really old country.

She said the really old country had blown up.”

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by the talented Neil Gaiman is a fabulous, horrific and magical tale, and at a mere 178 pages, this story is an ocean within a duck pond.

The narrative is that of a grown man, married and then divorced with children, who is drawn to his childhood home, more specifically a duck pond behind a farmhouse at the end of the lane. Once beside the pond, he begins to remember the events from a spectacular spring when, preceding the suicide of a houseguest, he is thrust into a fight for his life with powers he can only begin to comprehend. The threat is very real, and takes the form of the adult world from which he is, at the age of seven, powerless against. He is aided in the battle by a girl of eleven, Lettie Hemptock, who seems wise well beyond her age, her buxom and no-nonsense mother, and her mysterious and magical grandmother. Before long, the boy finds a solace and faith in the women that will save his life and that of his family.

I devoured this book in a mere three hours, satiated at the last page by the fabulous ending. This is storytelling at its finest.

New DVDs

movie nightA Place at the Table: Using personal stories, this powerful doc illuminates the plight of the 49 million Americans struggling with food insecurity. A single mother, a small-town policeman and a farmer are among those for whom putting food on the table is a daily battle.

The Bible Miniseries: The Bible features powerful performances, exotic locales and dazzling visual effects that breathe spectacular life into the dramatic tales of faith and courage from Genesis through Revelation.

Gangster Squad: When notorious East Coast mob boss Mickey Cohen looks to set up his operations in L.A., it’s up to a group of hard-nosed LAPD cops to take him down. Based on true events, this ’40s-era crime drama is directed by Ruben Fleischer.

A Good Day to Die Hard: New York cop John McClane goes to war with powerful criminal forces when his son gets caught up in a rebel Russian’s prison escape. Operating on foreign soil, McClane tries to free his son but soon has a much bigger fight on his hands.

Beautiful Creatures: Based on the best-selling novel, this supernatural drama focuses on the romance between teenager Ethan and Lena, the enigmatic new girl in his Southern town. As they get to know each other, they discover sinister secrets about their families.

Cloud Atlas: Six seemingly disparate stories take viewers from a South Pacific Island in the 19th century to 1970s America to a dystopian future, exploring the complicated links that humans share through the generations.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters: Hansel and Gretel have turned pro, slaying witches for hire. But when the seemingly unstoppable bounty hunters meet their match in an enemy so evil, it’ll take all their training, weapons and courage to survive.

Dark Skies: A couple has trouble convincing friends and neighbors that an alien is entering their house each night to terrorize their children. So they take matters into their own hands.

Jack Reacher When an unspeakable crime is committed, all evidence points to the suspect in custody who offers up a single note in defense: Get Jack Reacher! The law has its limits, but Reacher does not when his fight for the truth pits him against an unexpected enemy.

Into the White: In the early days of World War II, two military airplanes — one British and one German — are shot down over Norway. Now, the crews of both aircraft are forced to work together in a desperate attempt to survive the harsh winter conditions.