Susie Finkbeiner

Dear Readers,

It’s the 60’s and a time of unrest, riots, and war are dividing the nation.  The news is full of events in Vietnam and the race riots in Detroit, Chicago, and other large cities.  It seems to the world that no one in the US can agree on anything, no one supports the government, and that hippies are going to take over with sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. 

All Manner of things is Finkbeiner’s 5th book.

Into this time Susie Finkbeiner steps with All Manner of Things.  Set in a small community in Michigan, Finkbeiner gives us a different perspective of those turbulent times.  She gives us a snapshot of a town that proudly sends their boys to an unpopular war. 

It has been 12 years since Frank Jacobsen left his family “to walk off the war” as his note says.  Annie and her brothers Mike and Joel have adjusted well, and life has moved on.  But Annie is stuck in a rut and is not sure how to get out of it.  She has never forgiven her father, Frank, for leaving and now Mike has informed her that he has given Frank her address, and he wants to meet with her. 

Coming of age during a turbulent time is always difficult.  Add in the return of an estranged father does not make any of it easier.  I love that Finkbeiner doesn’t leave things comfortable in her books.  She lets her characters struggle with their lives and things that are happening around them.  It makes those characters seem so alive.

For anyone who grew up during the 60’s, All Manner of Things is a beautiful return to that decade.  The wonderful thing is, Finkbeiner doesn’t wrap her story in the doom and gloom of the news stories of that time.  She reminds us that there is good with the bad and there is hope at that end of a story no matter what has happened in the pages before. 

Happy Reading,

Spring Release

Dear Readers,

What a lovely cover to find on my desk this morning. Debby Mayne continues her family series, Bucklin Family Reunion series, with Out of Pocket.

What is Granny Marge up to? She is older than dirt and yet is helping with the next family reunion. If it really help? Or is she just getting into everyone’s business.

Join the Bucklin Family that will have you rolling your eyes at how much they sound just like your own.

Happy Reading,

Bethany Turner

Dear Readers,

Bethany Turner has a wonderful gift. She is able to write the most delightful stories that will make you laugh out loud but also contain deeper under currents that will make you think about the message of the book.

I am not sure what I liked about her books—the rom-com nature of them, from the meet-cute to the funny and encouraging background character, or that she mixes in such wonderful real-life situations. Whichever it is, her books are just a delight to read. Wooing Cadie McCaffery is Bethany’s newest, and she once again delivers a smart, funny, and just plain fun read.

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Cadie McCaffery has a list, abet a short list, of what she needs in her love life. But that list is not helping her find Mr. Right. Just as she has resigned herself to living life as a single, in steps Will who appears to be the perfect guy.

Four years later and no proposal insight, Cadie decides to end it. Through a comedy of errors, Cadie and Will break up. But Will is not ready to let things go.

I found myself laughing out loud at different points but also reading with interest when Turner focused on an important issue. I feel this book would be a great read for anyone who is dating. It also would not be a bad book for married people to read. It is a great reminder that all relationships have problems; it is a matter of how you deal with those problems. Do you only focus on the negative? Do you only see what the other person is doing as something to hurt you? Do you talk to the other person about your feelings? All these are important whether married or single.

So pull up a comfy chair, and instead of watching a rom-com, enjoy a fun, delightful rom-com book.

Happy Reading,

Stephanie Morrill – Book Review

Dear Readers,

Jessica is a fellow Baker employee who has the responsibility of helping me with the Teen Fiction department. She not only is in charge of keeping it clean and fresh, she will be doing book reviews for the department.

This is her first review and I hope to have her join us once a month for more titles for readers.

Happy Reading,

A little about myself. My reading passion has always been Young Adult Fiction, so when Chris asked me if I would be willing to help bring in books for that section, I was ecstatic and still very much am. My hope is to bring that same joy and excitement to many others through great books. Thanks for being a part of the experience.

A fellow enthusiast of YA reading, Jessica

Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill

            I have always enjoyed learning about history from Historical Fictions, since I’ve never been one for hard facts and specific dates.

Stephanie Morrill does a fantastic job bringing readers back to 1942 just after the attack on Pearl Harbor. What was it like being a Japanese American at the time? Why don’t many Americans know about one of our biggest mistakes as a country?

Evalina Cassano watched the man she forbiddingly loved, Taichi Hasmaski, forced from his home and sent to an internment camp. Through the interchanging perspectives of these two, we discover a bit of our own history, one that often gets bypassed in schools. So, what was it like to be a Japanese American teen during a time where looking like the enemy could get you killed? Find out as you brave the trip and step into 1942 Manzanar, California.

I’ve read the book Farewell to Manzanar by James D. Houston and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston( which I later discovered was one of Morrill’s inspirations for her book), so when I was asked to read this book, I was excited. I knew the topic already and was intrigued to see a different perspective of it.

Stephanie Morrill writes in such an entrancing way. Dividing the book into two different character perspectives allows us to enter deeper on the trials and hardships that happened within the camps, and the deceptive mirage those outside of the camps were fed. Even though I had read a book already on the topic, Within These Lines provoked feelings of excitement, horror, and surprise at everything our country did yet few know about.

I highly recommend picking this one up and traveling back in time for awhile. You won’t regret it!