Patron Reviews

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

Joan of Arc

Review written by: Lorri
5

I enjoyed this biography as it was concise and included just the most important information. I like to know about history and the people and places that formed it and so often biographies are very long and so detailed that I find them overwhelming and the person's story gets lost in the side stories. As the author mentions, there are over 20,000 books on Joan of Arc and for me it would be difficult to choice the best one. This version as mentioned above provided all the information needed to obtain a well rounded understanding of Joan of Arc. The book was also and easy read which common prose.

By Author/Artist: Mary Gordon
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 3593500203533

Murder in the Marais

Review written by: Keith
5

Very captivating book. Keeps you engaged from the first to the last page. I plan on reading more from this author.

By Author/Artist: Cara Black
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781569471593

Murder in Clichy

Review written by: jan
4

Murder in Clichy is the fifth mystery in a series about a young woman detective in Paris. Aimee Leduc is the daughter of a policeman who died in an explosion several years before. She owns a detective agency that does computer work, but she usually falls into some trouble. Her business partner, Rene Friant, is able to hack almost anything. Cara Black, the author, uses the various sections of Paris to tell various stories of its history. There is even a map of the section of town after the first book in the series. Murder in the Marais, the first in the series, focused on the occupation of Paris during WWII. This book focuses on the French in Vietnam and the veterans and colonizers who now live in Paris. She uses her connections with the police to help her, but there are times these connections may actually be harmful. Black enjoys doing research by wandering through the streets! I enjoy this series because of the ground level feel you get for Paris. I also like the characters that Aimee meets. The books are a fast read, but well written. Right now I have five more to go.

By Author/Artist: Cara Black
Format: hardcover

Mistress of the Art of Death

Review written by: Lorri
3

The book is a mystery set in Europe in the 1100s. I enjoyed the historical aspects of the book especially learning about Henry II and culture and superstitions of the time period. The author did a very nice job of weaving historical fiction into the murder story. Unfortunately for me the serial-killer story line was too gruesome especially as the victims were children. I would have enjoyed the book more without the details. If you are not affected by "bloody" details and want to read a historical fiction murder mystery, you should enjoy the book.

By Author/Artist: Ariana Franklin
Format: Hardcover

Chicken Chicken

Review written by: Alan
5
Chicken Chicken is a story about two siblings named Crystal and Cole living on a rural chicken farm. Crystal explains how her parents have always dreamed of leaving the urban city and going to a rural area to farm chickens, but Crystal and Cole hate chickens for being filthy. They seem to frequently argue about whose turn it is to feed the chickens or other tasks related to chickens. One day Crystal is told to watch Cole and finds Cole hanging out with his friends Anthony, Franky, and Jeremy. Cole has dared Franky and Jeremy to put water in a woman named Vanessa's mailbox. Vanessa is a strange woman who dresses in all black and tends to be solitary. Many kids call her a sorcerer and claim she practices witchcraft. Eventually Franky and Jeremy escape without being spotted, but Vanessa gives Anthony, Cole and Crystal dirty looks as they run away. The siblings are scared and Cole teases Crystal about being scared of Vanessa for the next days. One day Crystal sees Cole and Anthony fighting over an egg toss. Cole and Anthony bump into Vanessa carrying her groceries. Anthony apologizes and runs away with Cole and Crystal, but not before Vanessa points at Cole and Crystal in a sinister manner and mutters the words, "Chicken, chicken". Cole and Crystal find themselves slowly morphing into chickens, which interferes with normal activities such as eating and talking. Finally, after realizing that Vanessa must have cursed them, Cole and Crystal go to Vanessa's house to apologize in hopes that the spell will be reversed, but Vanessa is not home. Crystal sees books through a window that look like spellbooks, so Cole and her creep inside Vanessa's house to try to find a spell that will cure them. They try a spell but accidently make themselves bigger, then they do it again which makes them smaller. Suddenly Vanessa returns home and laughs at them. You'll have to read the book to find out what happens next! This book uses elements of mystery and horror to create a suspenseful experience. R. L. Stine's style is best for people who are younger teens, as many of them will relate to the characters in this book. The events associated with the characters are smoothly connected. This book is written in clear language and is easy to read. The word choice makes for a climatic feeling in some places in the book. However, the ending may not be what you expect! I recommend this book for anybody who is around the ages of 12-14 and is looking for a horror-mystery style book.
By Author/Artist: R. L. Stine
Format: Paperback book

you are special

Review written by: grace
4

this is a good book for kids.it shows how you are special.this is about a wemmick named punchinello that thought that he couldn't do anything.he alway got dots.he wanted to get star insted.he just couldn't.i would give this book a ten out of ten.the authers purpose is inform.this book made me feel special and that i could do anything

By Author/Artist: max lucado and sergio martinez
Format: hardcover

Shelter, a Mickey Bolitar Novel

Review written by: Logan "Bacon" Bahm
4

When I first picked up the book I saw that it had been praised by some of the greats, like Rick Riordan and R.L. Stine, of which authors I both enjoy. I then started to read. I found that the protagonist (Mickey Bolitar) has had a pretty rough life (dad dead, mom rehab (drinking problem)) and has his uncle take care of him. I found this book to contain marvelous amounts of mystery and excitement as Mickey attempts to solve the mysteries of the Bat Lady and Ashley (girlfriend) and also attempts to weasel out of bullies and even trouble with the law. This book contains many mind wrenching plot twists and keeps you reading as a Hunger Games can't-put-the-book-down type of book. Although this book is great and a recommend to mature adults and teens it cannot recommended to those younger due to the violence and the strip club part of the tale. Despite this, all in all it is a good book. ~ Logan

By Author/Artist: Harlen Coben
Format: hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-399-25650-9

tales of sherlook holmes: a study in scarlet

Review written by: andrew holmes
3

The story takes place in London 1878. After Watson was discharged from the war he was introduced to Mr.Holmes and they became roommates. After Mr.Holmes has had so many people coming over Mr.Watson asked what he did for a living Holmes finely told Watson that he was a detective.  

This book was not a book that I liked at the start it was slow and was very boring. but as I flipped the pages the became more mystery witch we know and love Sherlock Holmes for having and not a boring book about two people meting each other for the first time. All in all the book was not the best Sherlock Holmes story I have seen but It was still a good story.

By Author/Artist: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Format: hardcover

Signed By: Zelda

Review written by: Cindy
5
First of all, there are 4 main characters, Lucy Bertel, Nicky Gibson, Pigeon, and Nicky's Grandma, Grandma Zelda, and the book takes place in New York. Lucy believes every handwriting has a secret to it and has a heart for examining people's handwriting and signatures and just moved from Savannah. Nicky spends most of his time in his time in his room because of the time-outs his father gave him. He knows his father isn't a nice man and suspects that he has done something wrong. Pigeon can talk and is a pie eating pigeon. Grandma Zelda makes delicious Zeldaberry pie and is very adventurous. But later, Zelda goes missing, and Nicky, Lucy, and Pigeon join forces to find her, and the only clue they have is a note that Grandma Zelda left, that says "Help Me". http://nmlbookblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/signed-by-zelda.html Check link out for picture of the book.
By Author/Artist: Kate Feiffer
Format: Hardcover Book

12th of Never

Review written by: Linda Nuttall
5

The next installment in The Woman's Murder Club has the ramped-up personal life of Lindsay Boxer running side-by-side with the crazy crimes dotting her landscape. Every member of the club has a major rock-my-world event, good/bad/the jury is still out. I wanted to know what was going to happen for Lindsay and Joe and their expected baby as much as follow the careers and life course of Yuki, Cindy and Claire. Since Patterson never is completely predictable for me, I was afraid for this baby. No spoilers here-you'll have to read it to see what is the big deal in each woman's life, and the pain in the neck crime spree for the police chief. Fast read for me because I want to KNOW!

 

By Author/Artist: James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Format: eBook Cloud Library

The Beach at Galle Road

Review written by: Sarah Shaw
3
A collection of short stories woven together with a common character, sometimes a few more, “The Beach at Galle Road” gives voice to experiences in Sri Lanka during its civil war. Melancholy and madness hang over many of the characters including the westerners there to teach and do aid work. Perhaps the impact of the shifting people prevents you from becoming too attached to anyone as the book accelerates its pace toward its tragic end.
By Author/Artist: Joanna Luloff

A Child Called It

Review written by: Belle
4

A CHILD CALLED IT is the account of extreme child abuse of a boy growing up in California. While the story is disturbing, it also illustrates the human ability to survive and even to surpass incredibly negative experiences. It is the first in a trilogy and I plan to read the next two books: THE LOST BOY and A MAN CALLED DAVE.

By Author/Artist: David Pelzer
Format: paperback book, audiobook

From a Persian Tea House: Travels in Old Iran

Review written by: Sarah Shaw
4
In the late 1950’s, Michael Carroll and a friend travelled through Iran. A couple years after returning, Carroll published a summary of their experiences in “From a Persian Tea House: Travels in Old Iran.” The memoir beautifully captures a glimpse of an Iran that no longer exists. Carroll spends days lounging around a tea house in Isfahan developing relationships with locals that will help him the rest of his journey. He and his friend boldly drive through the country in their Land Rover, many times into areas even locals won’t go. In some communities they are welcomed and feted while in another they are chased out by an angry mob. Carroll also gives a master class in bargaining, in Chapter 4, where he discusses their efforts to purchase the rugs of their dreams as well as other vintage and antique items. Reading about the wonderful people and incredible destinations of Iran makes me hope for a day when I will also be able to visit safely.
By Author/Artist: Michael Carroll

A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True

Review written by: Sarah Shaw
5

Brigid Pasulka has written an enchanting novel that weaves Poland’s contemporary stories with those from before World War II. Each chapter alternates between the two time periods. I found myself becoming attached to several of the characters and would be frustrated at the end of each chapter knowing that I would have to wait awhile to learn what happens next. Yet at the same time, I was relieved that I was rejoining my other friends to learn the next event in their journey. This technique made it hard for me to put the book down which made it a fast read. This selection will easily make my favorites list for the entire year.

By Author/Artist: Brigid Pasulka

Lessons from the Monk I Married

Review written by: Sarah Shaw
4
While in South Korea to teach English, author Katherine Jenkins meets a Buddhist monk and begins to take his mediation class before work each morning. A friendship develops between the two and later a romance. In “Lessons from the Monk I Married,” the reader will learn basic Buddhist principles along with the author as you follow the development of their relationship. If you are new to Buddhism, this is a great way to learn about its approach to life. Although I have heard many of the ideas many times, I find that I can’t be reminded of them enough. It strikes me how often I seem to reach for the right book just as I need to read it. I suspect this book, will be that right book, for almost all of you.

By Author/Artist: Katherine Jenkins

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