Home Calendar About Us Locations & Hours Reference & Databases News & Weather Hot Titles Kids-Tweens Teens
All Book Lists
Featured Book Lists
New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Educated
by Tara Westover

Book list To the Westovers, public education was the quickest way to put yourself on the wrong path. By the time the author, the youngest Westover, had come along, her devout Mormon parents had pulled all of their seven children out of school, preferring to teach just the essentials: a little bit of reading, a lot of scripture, and the importance of family and a hard day's work. Westover's debut memoir details how her isolated upbringing in the mountains of Idaho led to an unexpected outcome: Cambridge, Harvard, and a PhD. Though Westover's entrance into academia is remarkable, at its heart, her memoir is a family history: not just a tale of overcoming but an uncertain elegy to the life that she ultimately rejected. Westover manages both tenderness and a savage honesty that spares no one, not even herself: nowhere is this more powerful than in her relationship with her brother Shawn, her abuser and closest friend. In its keen exploration of family, history, and the narratives we create for ourselves, Educated becomes more than just a success story.--Winterroth, Amanda Copyright 2018 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Raised on a secluded family compound in Idaho, Westover was seven before realizing the biggest difference between her family and others was not their remote home, or their Mormon religion-but that "we don't go to school." Westover helped the family maintain a minimalist existence through construction, scrapping, and midwifery, no matter how many injuries she sustained. But when the author's wounds go untreated, leaving her mother mentally compromised and herself an object of abuse, cracks in her upbringing began to appear. Westover's brother Tyler is the first to leave home for college, later encouraging her to do the same. "There's a world out there, Tara...it will look a lot different once Dad is no longer whispering his view of it in your ear." Starting her academic career at Brigham Young University, Westover continued to earn academic achievements, including a PhD in history from Cambridge University. VERDICT Explicit descriptions of abuse can make for difficult reading, but for a student who started from a point of near illiteracy, Westover's writing is lyrical and literary in style. With no real comparison memoir, this joins the small number of Mormon exposés of recent years. [See "Editors' Spring Picks," p. 29.-Ed.]-Jessica Bushore, Xenia, OH © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly A girl claws her way out of a claustrophobic, violent fundamentalist family into an elite academic career in this searing debut memoir. Westover recounts her upbringing with six siblings on an Idaho farm dominated by her father Gene (a pseudonym), a devout Mormon with a paranoid streak who tried to live off the grid, kept four children (including the author) out of school, refused to countenance doctors (Westover's mother, Faye, was an unlicensed midwife who sold homeopathic medicines), and stockpiled supplies and guns for the end-time. Westover was forced to work from the age of 11 in Gene's scrap and construction businesses under incredibly dangerous conditions; the grisly narrative includes lost fingers, several cases of severe brain trauma, and two horrible burns that Faye treated with herbal remedies. Thickening the dysfunction was the author's bullying brother, who physically brutalized her for wearing makeup and other immodest behaviors. When she finally escaped the toxic atmosphere of dogma, suspicion, and patriarchy to attend college and then grad school at Cambridge, her identity crisis precipitated a heartbreaking rupture. Westover's vivid prose makes this saga of the pressures of conformity and self-assertion that warp a family seem both terrifying and ordinary. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Staff Picks - Kelly in Andrews
Click to search this book in our catalog Bootlegger's daughter
by Maron, Margaret

Publishers Weekly Maron's ( Past Imperfect ) series launch introduces attorney Deborah Knott, the daughter of an infamous North Carolina bootlegger, in an atmospheric adventure mixing Southern politics and a mysterious killing`unsolved murder' in next sentence . While Deb campaigns for a district court judgeship, 18-year-old Gayle Whitehead asks her to investigate the unsolved murder of her mother, Janie, which took place when Gayle was an infant. The girl wants Deb, who knows the locals of Cotton Grove, to ask around and see if she can find clues the police might have missed. Deb visits Michael Vickery, the gay son of Cotton Grove's retired doctor and owner of the property where Janie's body was found. She discovers long-kept secrets, learning that Janie had a roving eye and that a lesbian friend and her lover had made overtures to Janie a week before the murder.sentence ok?see my revisions yes, fine But not until another death occurs does Deb begin to close in on the truth. Filled with good-ole-boy patter and detailed local color, the story flows smoothly, and if it lacks suspense, Maron's appealing characterizations and her knowing eye for family relationships more than compensate. Mystery Guild alternate; author tour. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book list Old crimes and old criminals are the legacy of a small town in North Carolina. For lawyer and aspiring judge Deborah Knott, it is the reputation of her reprobate father that she must live down, and for Gayle Whitehead, it is the memory of her mother's unsolved murder 20 years ago that haunts the present (as an infant, she was the one who discovered the body). Whitehead chooses Knott for the investigation, and Knott, already battling a formidable battalion of good ol' boys in the upcoming election, reluctantly agrees to look into the old murder. For the reader, Knott turns out to be an interesting and spunky new sleuth, every bit the bare-knuckle fighter her infamous old man was--though she, of course, is on the the right side of the law. Maron isn't completely successful in splicing her two plots together: when Knott gets political the crime factor abruptly nosedives, and vice versa. But the evocation of place is detailed, spirited, and by and large feels right on the money. Loose talk in a bar. Loose morals in a law-office partner. And a killer hiding in plain sight. ~--Peter Robertson

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Staff Picks - Jacqueline in Andrews
Click to search this book in our catalog Amber Beach
by Lowell, Elizabeth

Book list Popular historical author Lowell has published her first contemporary hardcover under this name. Previous contemporary novels were written under either the name Ann Maxwell or A. E. Maxwell (when collaborating with her husband, Evan). Recent paperback contemporary releases written by Lowell are actually expanded reprints of early Silhouette novels. In Amber Beach, Honor Donovan investigates the disappearance of her brother from his Pacific Northwest cabin. Refusing to believe he is dead, Honor advertises for a fishing guide to teach her how to use her brother's boat to search the local islands where she thinks he is hiding. She gets Jake Mallory, a man with suspect motives who seems to know more about her brother's disappearance than he is willing to tell. Toss in the possible existence of a priceless piece of a Russian czar's fabled Amber Room, government agents from Russia and the U.S., unknown assassins, and Lowell's engrossing storytelling; mix well and read straight through to the suspenseful conclusion. An excellent recipe for a thrilling evening. --Melanie Duncan

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly A wild-goose chase for the legendary Amber Room‘a collection of 18th-century Russian artifacts that vanished after WWII‘provides the backdrop for Lowell's (Winter Fire) fun but forgettable contemporary romantic thriller. Gem trader and suspected murderer Kyle Donovan is missing, along with a panel rumored to have been part of the Amber Room, and officials from Russia, Lithuania and the U.S. are hot on his trail. His sister Honor‘a sassy, naïve jewelry designer‘is determined to find Kyle first and prove that her brother is neither a thief nor a killer. When Honor hires one J. Jacob Mallory to teach her how to "fish" the Puget Sound, he pretends not to know that she actually wants to learn how to pilot her brother's boat well enough to search for Kyle on the surrounding islands. And Honor is clueless that hunky Jake is her brother's business associate, who is suspected of conspiring to appropriate the stolen amber. Constant bickering doesn't stave off their mutual attraction, and they end up in the sack only hours before Honor realizes she's been duped. Meanwhile, a busload of incidental international players has arrived at the scene, complicating the already convoluted political intrigue. Still, the moderately paced plot, solid main characters and an up-to-the-minute premise fortify a satisfactory, if unexceptional, romance. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.