Patron Reviews

Reviews of books, movies, CDs and audiobooks written by ELPL Patrons.

Night Soldiers

Review written by: Jan
5

Alan Furst has written 12 historical spy novels set between 1933-45. This is his first. It is the story of a young Bulgarian man recruited by the Soviet secret intelligence service. After training he is sent to Spain during the civil war. Then he lives in Paris, fights with the French underground near the Swiss border, and travels across Europe at divisions are being drawn at the end of the war. He works with people from various countries which leads him to compare characteristics of countries. Captivating story. Furst is known for his well drawn characters, his many minor characters, and his ability to recreate war-time Europe with its multi-layer intrigue. Several Furst novels are at ELPL, but I had to order this through MEL.

By Author/Artist: Alan Furst
Format: paperback

The Mockingjay

Review written by: Annmarie Rooski
4

The Mocking jay book is the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy. Like most other books and movies I tend to enjoy the first of the series as I did for this series. Although the Mocking jay isn't my favorite book of the series I still profusely enjoyed it. Suzanne never ceased to amaze me with her creativity and cleverness within the book. All of the characters were very interesting and entertaining. I especially enjoyed Peeta, Katniss, and Gales love triangle. I never once found the book predictable or slow going.

By Author/Artist: Suzanne Collins
Format: paperback

Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian

Review written by: mary adelman
5

A very satisfying finish to the complete Artemis Fowl series! Great to see/read all the old characters back in fine form, especially Mulch Diggums. Artemis is so clever and smart as ever - a very funny boy! The ending is open to a new series, about the younger generation, so, it will be interesting to see if the author does develop the leads in that direction. Regardless, I loved the whole series!

By Author/Artist: Colfer, Eoin
Format: hardcover

Jackdaws

Review written by: Lorri
4

Jackdaws is a fictional action/thriller about an all women team from the British SOE that went behind enemy lines in France to destroy a telephone exchange vital to the Nazis before D-day. The story was very fast paced and exciting and believable. It included the risks faced by the women and the France Resistance and the horrors of the Nazis especially torture during interrogations. This was my first experience with Ken Follett and based on this great read, I am looking to enjoy more.

By Author/Artist: Ken Follett
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0525946284

Negima! Volume 1

Review written by: Noel Owen
3

As usual, the manga section of the libary provides me with a nice, light read when I grab a random book off the shelf. Negima! is fun and silly, so don't take it too seriously, even when the female characters are not very... well, feminist. I gave it 3/5 stars, because it lacks the character depth of something like Death Note or really much of a plot, but it is cute and enjoyable for someone who's just looking to relax and read a quick manga.

By Author/Artist: Ken Akamatsu
Format: Paperback Book
ISBN: 0-345-47046-X

The Two Towers

Review written by: Lily Van Loh
5

"The Two Towers" by J.R.R. Tolkien follows the adventures of the individual members of the Fellowship of the Ring after they broke up at the end of the first book in the trilogy. Frodo, the ring bearer, and Sam, his friend, continue their journey to the heart of Mordor to destroy the ring of power. Along the way, Sam grows in his character to become a valiant defender of Frodo as the ring continues to take control of his mind. Merry and Pippin, the other hobbits who were part of the fellowship, discover their warrior instincts as they help the Ents (tree-people) defeat their enemy. Finally, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli continue defending Middle Earth along with the Riders of Rohan and Gandalf, who has returned from his challenging ordeal changed.

By Author/Artist: J.R.R. Tolkien
Format: paperback book

The Motley Fool Investment Guide

Review written by: mary adelman
5

I really enjoyed this book! After taking an on-line investing course, I appreciated the extra wisdom from these 2 brothers. Even more so, was their great humor! It was a great mix of witty, sound financial sense. The book is not too long & not too daunting for beginners, and has a handy, complete index. So, let's go make some money!!

 

Note from ELPL:  Thanks for the review, Mary.  ELPL doesn't own this title that Mary enjoyed, we do have another book by the Motley Fool folks:

The Motley Fool million dollar portfolio: how to build and grow a panic-proof investment portfolio
By David Gardner and Tom Gardner

By Author/Artist: Gardner, David & Tom
Format: paperback

Owls aren't wise and bats aren't blind

Review written by: John Paul Roboski
4

This is a nonfiction book about animals that have a reputation, such as owls being wise and bats being blind. Warner Shedd tells you all of the real facts behind these animals and stories of his encounters with some of them. He also explains the reasons why these animals do not have these debunks. The book also has excellent drawings of the animals for each chapter. You will enjoy this book if you are interested in animals and enjoy learning about them.

By Author/Artist: Warner Shedd
Format: Hardcover

Glass Castle

Review written by: Annmarie Roboski
3

I give the book Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls 3 stars. I gave this book three stars because I found it interesting but it was a very hard book for me to read. The author had a very hard life with her alcoholic father and distracted, unmotivated mother. At times I thought that Jean's life would never get better and then when it finally did it didn't last for long. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy reading about the struggles of people and how they overcame them.

By Author/Artist: Jeanette Walls

The Girls of Atomic City

Review written by: Lorri
2

I eagerly awaited the arrival of this book after reading a review soon after it's publication as it sounded like an incredible story and a wonderful read. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with the book. The book tells the true story of Oak Ridge, TN, a military reservation of 75,000 residents that was part of the WWI Manhattan Project. It is told through the voices of a few women that worked there. I found the story confusing as it moved back and forth through time for each highlighted woman. It also spent too much time on their personal lives and not enough on the history of the facility. I think the story would have been better told from the beginning to the end of the war with general information and data. A more complete picture of the facility would have been made if an overview was provided with more information on the housing units, etc. and then interspersing stories of the women that supported the war effort by working in the facility.

By Author/Artist: Denise Kiernan
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 35935004428997

Cry, The Beloved Country

Review written by: jan
5

This classic was published in 1948. Alan Paton was traveling in northern Europe and the U.S. studying prisons and reformatories when he began to write the book. It is a moving story of the price paid by both black and whites in South Africa under apartheid. It is a thoughtful tale of two families who become intertwined in a tragedy. It offers a model of changing a society not through hatred but by beginning with small yet powerful ways - forgiveness, friendship, growing food in the midst of deprivation, offering shelter and a future to the abandoned, etc. His writing is both lyrical and sparse.

By Author/Artist: Alan Paton
Format: papeback

Pride & Prejudice

Review written by: mary adelman
5

I didn't check this out from the library as I still have my own copy from high school & after just attending a milestone reunion, thought it'd be fun to re-visit this classic from my Brit.Lit. class! Not surprising, I found it just as intriguing as I did 30yrs. ago. I just love the character development of the main characters, Elizabeth & Darcy, & all the little ironies that occur along the way. I love the witty conversations. Most of all, I love Darcy & the true gentleman that he shows that he is. I love the happy ending & that Elizabeth can marry, ultimately, for love & respect & yet, gets a great bonus of great wealth as well! A true classic of literature indeed!

 

 

By Author/Artist: Jane Austen
Format: paperback

The Devil's Bones

Review written by: Eileen Reeves
4

This book is the third in the Body Farm series. Dr. Brockton is called in to investigate two cases. One is the case of a women possibly killed and burned by her husband. The other is the case of a crematorium that didn't actually burn the bodies sent to them. All along, Dr. Brockton struggles with his past and some an old enemy come back to haunt him. This book was quite good, and I recommend it to all who enjoy a good murder mystery.

By Author/Artist: Jefferson Bass
Format: Hardcover

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genuis Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

Review written by: Lorri
5

Longitude tells the incredible true story of John Harrison, a British clockmaker who solved the problem of longitude by creating the first clock (chronometer) sufficiently accurate to be used to determine longitude at sea. Longitude is a National and International best Ssller and won the British Book of the Year and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award among others. The book reads like a thriller and will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in astronomy, navigation and horology. I highly recommend the book.

By Author/Artist: Dava Sobel
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0802713122

The Bone Thief

Review written by: Eileen Reeves
4

Another forensic thriller from Jefferson Bass. This book revolves around Dr. Brockton's attempts to aid the FBI in a sting against an illegal body harvesting scheme. The twists and turns are exciting, and the science is cutting edge. I recommend this to all who like murder mysteries.

By Author/Artist: Jefferson Bass
Format: Hardcover

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