Book Reviews

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Colonial Massachusetts was not an easy place to survive. Strained relations with the native peoples, smallpox outbreaks, and barbaric wolves (of both the four-legged and two-legged, human varieties) devoured all who showed weakness in mind, body, or spirit. But in Kathleen Kent’s The Wolves of Andover, the most treacherous forces in 17th century America were often unseen.

In a parallel universe where literature is pop culture and the lines between fiction and reality blur, a master criminal runs amuck in the pages of Jane Eyre, and literary detective Thursday Next is on the case. So goes The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, librarian Diana Hyle’s pick for the 2011 Adult Winter Reading Program. Click “Read more” to watch the video.

Whatever happened to English magic? That question’s at the heart of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, a Suggested Reading in the 2011 Adult Winter Reading Program at the Kansas City Public Library. In the first in a series of videos highlighting books that fit the program’s Altered States theme, we talked with librarian Katie Mediatore Stover about this tale of magicians in 19th century England.

It's always encouraging to come across an inspirational book that discusses human relationships in relation to biblical perspectives. God Will Make a Way is one of the rare books that combine biblical wisdom, psychology, and practical suggestions on how to develop and improve relationships.

Chosen as the March/April reading selection for the Inspirational Book Group at the Westport Branch,  God Will Make a Way: What to do When You Don't Know What to Do recommends eight principles for dealing with persistent life problems that might at first appear hopeless. The eight principles are included in Part I of the book. Part II reveals the principles at work in areas of life such as dating, marriage, parenting, addictions, and depression.

Authors Henry Cloud and John Townsend have worked as clinical psychologists, motivational speakers, and radio hosts of the nationally broadcast program, New Life Live! Their book is packed with real-life stories drawn from their extensive experience in the field of psychology and counseling. The book also includes interesting anecdotes from the authors' own personal lives.

When January rolls around, I’m often tired already of winter. And, by then, it has dawned on me that there’s a long hard time ahead before spring. Wanting something to read that fit that spirit of desperation (with a determination to see it through), I decided it was the right time to read a Russian novel. Nothing says "heroic determination in difficult circumstances" like a long Russian novel.

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