Friday, June 21, 2013

What YOU are reading: Eat, READ, Live!

Our adult summer reading program allows Burbank adults to share what they're reading with their peers in the community. If you are signed up, you can see some of the book reviews at the log-in site for the book club; but we thought we'd also feature some of them here, on the blog. Starting out appropriately...

The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson
Reviewed by Fay P.

Here is the way to start summer reading with a lovely book about a grandmother  (85 years old) and her granddaughter (six years old) who spend one summer together on an island off of Finland. It is a quiet book with no high drama.  

It is a book about the beauty of ordinary moments filled with summer activities – walking along the beach, swimming, playing make believe, finding stray pieces of wood to carve into animals and houses, celebrating Midsummer Night (a Scandinavian festival), camping in a tent, playing cards, drawing pictures and telling stories, hunting for wildflowers, gathering berries from the meadow, rowing to nearby islands, planting and watering the garden. 

It is a book about a young child asking questions concerning a world she is just beginning to discover, and a grandmother passing along her nuggets of wisdom learned over a lifetime of many years.

The author, Tove Jansson, lived on an island off the coast of Finland. Tove is famous in Finland for her children’s books, but she also wrote for adults.

The Other Typist, by Suzanne Rindell
Reviewed by Llyr H.

This spellbinding debut novel set in 1923 weaves the tale of a lonely young woman, yearning for companionship, who comes under the spell of a new co-worker. Rose is a typist in a New York City police department, and is used to hearing anything and everything in the interrogation room. When the new typist, Odalie, starts working there, Rose is soon pulled into a world much separated from her own…one filled with drink and debauchery. What will happen to Rose? Read and find out!

Beautiful Stranger, by Christina Lauren
Reviewed by Kare P.

Beautiful Stranger is a sequel to Christina Lauren’s New York Times best-selling novel Beautiful Bastard. In the sequel we look at the life of the supporting character Sara Dillon. Sara is a department store heiress (of sorts) who suffered a devastating breakup from her constantly cheating and religiously unfaithful fiancé of five years, then uprooted herself from her Chicago life, and decided to live on a completely different level in New York. With a new job, new apartment, new perspective, and the determination to be a new kind of Sara, she threw away all of her original qualities--naïve and quiet soul that she once was. Not only that, she was going to make a point of dealing with men differently as well: The days of the trustful, reliable, and committed Sara were left behind, and here in New York was the uncommitted, take-no-prisoners Sara who refused to be more than a stranger to the next boy toy she decided to take on. Her new toy happens to be British playboy Max Stella, who develops a particular longing to know more about this beautiful stranger, a first for him. The harder he tries to lure her in, the more resistance she gives.

Although the protagonist's behavior virtually mirrors that of the main character in the first book, there are plenty of little differences, steamy encounters, feisty language and intimate photographs that provide some differences. Plus, the main male character, Max Stella, has a British accent with the appropriate lingo to match! Naturally there is a shakeup that threatens to bust up Sara and Max's newly formed relationship, or what would be the point of reading an erotic romance? I won't spill the plot of the entire book, but this novel holds just the right amount of risqué, provocative sexiness to keep you reading. So, if you like slightly spicy novels, this is a good choice!

Beastly, by Alex Flinn
Reviewed by Jessica D.

This story is definitely a beastly tale. It is the story of a young man who had it all: looks, money, popularity and power. Rather, he had it all on the surface, except for what really mattered in life: love, friendship, and real emotions connected to real people. When one of his cruel jokes goes too far, he is cursed and becomes the beast that he is on the inside, a monster for all to behold. He would have spent his entire life as a beast, except that in a simple moment of decency he gives away a flower to a girl. That one moment of kindness has earned him some time to actually break the curse should he find true love and get someone to return his love. This is his journey to discover that the life he led with the looks and the money was a shallow existence, while the life he leads and what he finds during his journey is real. Does he find what he needs to break the curse?

Watch the blog for more reading "shares" from the adult summer reading club!

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