Thursday, March 23, 2017

[Book Review] Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie


Marilyn reviews DEATH COMES AS THE END by Agatha Christie (Bantam Books, 1984, c1944)

Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie is set in Ancient Egypt. Reniseneb lives on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes in Egypt about 2000 B.C.

Reniseneb’s family will soon be killed, and because of this, she can trust only two people, Esa, a relative, and her friend, the family's scribe, Hori. It is up to Reniseneb, Esa, and Hori to identify the silent killer by using their wits alone. Reniseneb has suspected the killer might be even someone within her family. Unfortunately, she has no real proof, but she does have Esa’s and Hori’s suspicions and loyalty. These suspicions are keeping Renisene alive.The killer must be exposed, but first Reniseneb must stay alive.

When I initially chose this book I expected a Poirot or Miss Marple mystery and for it to be set in the late 19th century. This story was a pleasant surprise when I discovered the mystery was set in ancient Egypt. Like her other stories, Agatha Christie will have readers wondering to the end who the killer is. 

Marilyn U., Staff

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

[Library Events and Programs] Best Selling Author Greg Iles at Central Library March 24, 2017

Greg Iles

New York Times best selling author of Mississippi Blood, Natchez Burning, and The Bone Tree 

FREE Meet & Greet and Book Signing

Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library 
3030 Poplar Ave

Friday, March 24, 2017
Noon – 2 p.m.  

Click for event details

Browse the catalog for novels by Greg Iles

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Friday, March 03, 2017

[Book Reviews] Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Fiction/ Science Fiction/Fantasy/ Young Adult

Melissa reviews THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare Blake (HarperTeen, 2016)

What happens when the glorious war of sisterly rivalry becomes a matter of life or death? When the right to reign supreme is eclipsed by the ever-consuming desire to win at all costs? Kendare Blake answers both questions in this novel, by giving readers a glimpse into the minds and hearts of the eponymous crowns’ bearers.

The island of Fennbirn bears witness to the birth of a set of triplets every generation. Each sister, all of them queens, has a magical gift that marks her as a worthy candidate for the title of Queen Crowned. In Rolanth, the elemental temple, Mirabella appears to be the most promising candidate with her ability to summon lightning, fire and windstorms...but she cannot escape the persistent dreams of a long-forgotten childhood, nor can she ignore her own reluctance to kill her sisters. In the naturalist city of Wolf Spring, Arsinoe is shadowed by her feelings of inadequacy regarding her late-blooming powers--to the point that she is willing to resort to some less-favorable means to further her chance at victory. And lastly, there is the poisoner city of Indrid Down. Within it resides the powerful Arron family, responsible for grooming Katharine, who is the youngest of the triplets...and also the most physically and emotionally unstable due to her poisoner's gift.

With the festival of Beltane rapidly approaching, all three sisters have nothing to lose and everything to gain from becoming the Queen Crowned. Will Mirabella find a way to overcome both her hesitance the visions plaguing her mind? Can Arsinoe, the underdog, unlock her true potential and become the dark horse of this battle? Fragile Katharine’s support from the Arrons can only go so far--but will it be enough to secure her victory?

As the tagline says, “When kingdom come, there will be one.”

Melissa W., Staff

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Monday, February 27, 2017

[Book Reviews] Rainbow Cottage by Grace Livingston Hill


Marilyn reviews RAINBOW COTTAGE by Grace Livingston Hill (J.B. Lippincott Company, 1934)

In this novel by legendary author, Grace Livingston Hill, the story revolves around Sheila. Unfortunately, our main character is facing danger. Sheila has encountered a man who has threatened her because he wants something that was only entrusted to her. Sheila needs a way to escape from this man but she thinks there is no one who can help her. Reaching out to a grandmother she has never met, because Sheila's own mother was a poor Western and the "black sheep" of the family, Grandmother sends a train for Sheila. She will be taken to Rainbow Cottage but will Sheila find acceptance and safety there? As the story progresses, Ms. Hill weaves a tale of love and forgiveness.

I found this book a pleasure to read of the believable characters and realistic emotions the author created. Grace Livingston Hill wrote over 100 novels during her lifetime. The Rainbow Cottage was actually written toward the end of her life, but is one of the most well-known books she has written.

Marilyn U., Staff

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017


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Friday, February 03, 2017

[Book Review] The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Readers' Advisory Genre Spotlight 

Gay and Lesbian Fiction/LGBT Fiction

Syma reviews THE COLOR PURPLE by Alice Walker (Harcourt,1982)

Celie and her sister, Nellie, were raised by their mother and the man they discovered later to be their stepfather in rural Georgia.

Even though younger, prettier Nellie was the sister “Mister” desired, she was not allowed to marry him. Instead, Celie was expected to marry “Mister.”

This, of course, caused a separation between the sisters. While Celie was married to Mister, she endured rape, abuse, and slavery while raising his four children from his previous marriage. To make matters worse, Mister disrespected Celie and their marriage even more by allowing his true love, Suge Avery, to move into his house. Even though Mister was over heels in love with Suge, she and Celie began their own secret, sexual relationship.

While Suge and Celie’s love and understanding for one another grew, their relationship helped both gain independence away from Mister. Sensing this, Mister wanted to redeem himself so he contacted the Department of Immigration. Through this rare act of kindness, Celie and Nellie were finally reunited.

Knowing how much adversity the sisters had to endure, this novel is a true tear jerker.

Syma C., Staff

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

[Library Events and Programs] FREE Writing Workshop at Central Libray

By: Marcey Wright, public relations supervisor

Got a writing assignment or want to become a better writer? Don’t panic. “Compose Yourself” is a free writing workshop series hosted every Wednesday beginning February 1 – April 5, 2017 at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Ave., L-56). Hosted in partnership with the University of Memphis Center for Writing and Communication, these classes cover a range of topics from Grammar 101 and Using Style in Writing to Being Aware of Audience and even How to Write an Apology. 

Each session will be taught by University of Memphis staff and contributors. No registration is required.

Click to view course descriptions and schedule 


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

[Book Review] As I Descended by Robin Talley

Fiction/Horror/Young Adult

Allison reviews AS I DESCENDED by Robin Talley (HarperTeen, 2016)

Maria and Lily are roommates at Acheron, an exclusive private school on the grounds of an old Southern plantation. They’re also head over heels in love with each other, even though they’re keeping their relationship under wraps. Both girls want to continue their relationship in college, but the only way they can do so is if Maria wins the coveted Kingsley Prize - a scholarship that will let her attend the college of her choice at no cost.
Maria is second in the class, and Delilah, ranked number one, is just slightly better than Maria in every way possible: more popularity, more extracurriculars, better grades. Even with all the extra credit in the world, Maria’s GPA won’t top Delilah’s.
So the girls have to get rid of Delilah. And they know no bounds.
Lily buys an old wooden Ouija board off eBay and holds a seance with Maria, whose belief in spirits was instilled by her Hispanic nanny. The girls use the board to open the door to the spirit world - then forget to close it.

This twisted retelling of Macbeth is delightfully creepy and unsettling. The atmosphere the story creates is dark and spooky, and the suspense builds while the reader wonders what havoc the spirits will wreak on campus next. The history of the slave plantation on which the school is built adds depth to the story.
Allison R., Staff member

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