The Library Made Me Do It

Well, only because I signed up for the Summer Reading Program.  Yes, my public library is awesome enough to have summer reading programs for every age.

The theme is Literary Elements and you have a card with various genres that you have to read.  Twenty some odd books (24 including an online resource and the party in August).  I’ve already knocked out the online resource (NoveList which you can only access through your library), one Non-fiction, and one mystery fiction.  Woohoo!

So without further digression, summer reads so far.

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The Dreyfus Affair all told from the point of view of one of the officers involved.  You start off thinking the case is closed, Dreyfus is guilty and then doubts start creeping in.  So much so that an ensuing investigation causes major problems for the narrator.  Picquart, the narrator, is a sympathetic character and when things start moving you really start cheering him on.  You also get introduced to Bertillion, a famous name in the history of criminal justice who ends up proving that “experts” don’t know everything.

A definitely recommend.

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So a juvenile corrections officer ends up dead and everyone thinks it’s the thirteen year old inmate who escaped that did it.  Yes, he did kill him but there’s a nice little conspiracy that has to be uncovered before you understand it’s self-defense.  Nathan, the thirteen year old boy reaches out to a radio personality to prove his innocence.  It’s not just about him but about how society looks at teenage criminals as somehow more dangerous than adults and seeks to punish them more severely than adults for the same crimes.  This book is especially interesting in that it was written when violence committed by teens was on the rise.

A definite recommend.

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Same author as the book above.  You’ve been living under the radar for fourteen years when an FBI/DEA raid catches you.  You walk out the police station before anyone catches who your fingerprints actually belong to and put the plan in motion.  You are now on the run with your wife and son trying to avoid federal murder charged for crimes you and your wife didn’t actually commit.  So you run, staying ahead of the FBI while going back to the scene of the crime to prove you are truly innocent.  You end up involving the FBI agent who is tracking you, the clean up man for a Chicago businessman who is family, and the actual man behind it all, the deputy director of the FBI.  You’ll just have to read to see how it all plays out.

A definite recommend.

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I am currently wandering the stacks just to see what gems I can find.  This lovely piece of historical fiction written by archeologists is amazing.  Sympathetic characters, characters you love to hate, characters you love and cheer for, and a world that maybe different and yet contains so many of the human realities we deal with today: greed, corruption, cult leadership, misogyny, family, friends, hate, love.  Change happens and how you react determined how and if you survive.  And while there is misogyny espoused in the book, there are also several strong women that don’t bow to this garbage and stay true, not just to themselves but also their beliefs and way of life.

A definite recommend.

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I decided to bone up my history of economy and how monetary prosperity came to be.  While the author sets out a decent history and the four elements that are necessary (in his opinion) for economic growth, the author’s bias against religion is blatant though he was willing to concede facts instead of blindly propagating certain myths.  There is also the author’s blatant pushing that money is everything and that people who aren’t pursuing money all the time are idiots.

A recommend, with reservations.

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I thought this would be a good look at kids in foster care through their stories.  There are stories but it’s mostly points out, redundantly, that the foster care system is a mess, that most of the kids in it are considered already to have failed, and that race and poverty are the biggest contributing factors to kids in foster care. The author supposedly had experience as a foster parent but it doesn’t show in her writing. There are some highlights but also some serious red flags into our view of children and how they should be treated.  This came off more of an ageda piece for gay rights than for support of kids in foster care or any encouragement to change the system or help parents instead of taking their kids away.

Not likely to recommend.

These aren’t all the books I’ve read lately but they are ones I’ve read recently and two of those counted.for summer reading.  Plenty of books to read so definitely more updates.

Ratings Guide

A definite recommend
A recommend
A recommend, with reservations
Not likely to recommend
Not recommending
Never recommending

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