Monday, August 31, 2015

Evidence Not Seen

This is an old book but a wonderful book! Darlene Diebler Rose tells her story of when she was a prisoner in a Japanese war camp during WWII.  Darlene and her husband, married only one year, went to be missionaries in Dutch New Guinea.  Her story is difficult and yet beautiful.  Her God makes known to her His presence, His word sustains her and she gets through a most horrible ordeal... brutal camp commanders, lack of food, sickness and more.

Let this book build your faith, as it educates you on WW II in the South Pacific. You will want to know more of Darlene's story, that she lost her husband and that she made it back to the states to later return again as a missionary. This book was the August 2015 selection for Delphi Public Library's Faith Book Club.

Treasure Hunters by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

We often have patrons asking for a good series to read aloud with their families, and Treasure Hunters is the first book in a new series filled with adventure, action, humor, and excitement. The book includes many illustrations that help children to visualize what is happening while you read to them. Treasure Hunters is sure to be a hit with the entire family.

Growing up on a boat with treasure-hunting parents sounds like a dream for thrill-seeking children, but it may come with a hefty price to pay for the Kidd children. With parents who went missing during separate incidents at sea, the children must navigate the ocean and figure out what their parents were searching for. Determined to solve the mystery their father was working on so diligently, the children have to travel the world, fight with criminals and pirates, and fend for themselves to be able to survive long enough to complete the mission. Will the Kidd children find their parents? Can they protect their ship against pirates? Will they outsmart international criminals? Check out this book for your family to find out.

-Lauren Brannon

Friday, August 28, 2015

White Teeth by Zadie Smith



It isn’t often that I come across a “literary” novel peopled with characters who are almost universally likable and believable.  Such is the case with Zadie Smith's novel, White Teeth.  It isn’t so much that I find each person admirable, nor are their choices and resulting actions always on the up and up.  It’s more that these characters, well-written and compelling, become, by the fullness of the story’s climax,  like semi-close relatives;  you don’t necessarily respect their decisions, but you get them, you understand their behavior, even if you wouldn’t particularly want to have them over for dinner more than twice a year.
The novel opens upon the scene of one Archie Jones’s suicide attempt, on a side street of London, circa 1975.  Archie had just gone through a particularly disheartening divorce (all the more so because, rather than in spite of the fact, the marriage was never a happy one). Before taking his final polluted breath courtesy of a misappropriated Hoover hose, Archie is saved by a reluctant rescuer, Mo Hussein-Ishmael, a Halal butcher whose delivery dock was blocked in a timely (for Archie that is) fashion by Archie’s unlikely death machine.  Grateful for his reprieve, reminiscent and hopeful, Archie recalls his time spent in the service during World War II where we are introduced to Samad Iqbal, Archie’s battle buddy and life-long friend.

Upon being introduced to these two men, one pompous, one self-effacing, we are then well-met by their wives, both decades younger than their husbands.  The first to make the reader’s acquaintance is Clara, Archie’s Jamaican teenage bride. Desperate to flee an oppressive Jehovah's Witness mother, and an increasingly fractious boyfriend, she gravitates towards a middle-aged Archie and the improbable dream of escape. Next is Samad’s wife, Alsana, the product of a traditional Bengali arrangement in which Samad waited many years for the birth of his betrothed, a fiery pessimist, both acclimating and rebelling within a strange marriage, in a strange land.

The novel follows these incongruous friends and their equally odd domestic pairings, as they make and raise families in a time of unsettling changes in morality, media, and technical advancement.  Their tale measures up well in equal parts for both humor, and a deep vein of thought-provoking societal observations. I recommend this to fans of character-driven novels, and for those with a taste for something different, yet familiar all the same.

Jennifer Wilson

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

Full disclosure: Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere, The Graveyard Book) is one of those authors I would follow to the ends of the literary earth. If he published a phone book, I would read it knowing that he had put his own unique touch on the pages and that I would come away from it with a greater understanding of humanity.

Luckily, Trigger Warning is not a phone book, but a wonderful collection of “short fictions and disturbances." Gaiman admits that the collection is a hodge-podge of horror, ghost stories, science fiction, fairy tales, fabulism, and poetry. The collection features a number of well-known characters (Dr. Who, David Bowie, Sherlock Holmes, and Sleeping Beauty, to name a few) as well as a lot of characters one hopes to only encounter in the pages of a book. Fans of Gaiman’s award-winning American Gods will be happy to see a new story featuring Shadow, “Black Dog,” which was one of my favorites in the collection.

While the stories are quite varied in subject, Gaiman ties them all together with a thoughtfully written introduction. In it, he looks at the phrase “trigger warning” which originated as a way to warn people about content on the Internet that might trigger anxiety or other negative reactions for some readers/viewers. Then the concept began to expand into the “real world,” and colleges began discussing putting trigger warnings on certain works of literature and art. He ponders, “…Are fictions safe places? And then I ask myself, Should they be safe places?” Gaiman’s exploration of this idea is well considered and worth reading all on its own.


It is with these thoughts in mind that one can look at the stories in Trigger Warning not with an eye on the fantastical nature of the tales, but instead thinking about the truths we so often experience in fiction. For example, the imaginary high school girlfriend who later comes to life in “The Thing About Cassandra” may not seem like a story to which one can easily relate but the consequences of past lies and half-truths catching up to us is. This is where Gaiman truly shines, in taking the reality of everyday life and holding it up to a fun-house mirror, reflecting back at us a somehow truer sense of humanity.
-Portia Kapraun

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

After the Storm by Linda Castillo

It always pleases me when I catch an article in some journal or another that Linda Castillo has a new novel in the works. She writes solid mysteries which surprisingly enough, maintain my interest far longer than what I deemed humanly possible. (I'm not a fan of the mystery genre) Castillo's characters are likable and her plots are believable. What more could one possibly ask for? After the Storm, the seventh book in the Kate Burkholder series, captured my attention from the get-go.

Chief of Police Kate Burkholder has the task of identifying human remains which are discovered  after a tornado wreaks havoc on Painters Mill.  As it turns out, the bones are over thirty years old and after analyzed, it appears that the body had been eaten by hogs. And the Amish community? Well, they're not talking.

This particular case isn't the only issue that Burkholder is currently dealing with. During the aftermath of the tornado, she'd rescued a small child from a potentially life-threatening situation, only to have the little one die from its injuries. An impending law suit from the child's parents is now hovering over Kate as well as a secret in which she's harboring from her significant other, State Agent John Tomasetti.

A thrilling, quick read for those who are mystery buffs ; and even for those who are not.