Saturday, April 19, 2014

WORD OF MOUTH: A GOOD WAY TO FIND GREAT BOOKS



Where do you find the titles of books to read? Are you a newspaper reader who likes bestseller lists?  Are you a devotee of book blogs (like the one you are reading) or to Amazon reviews?  Maybe friends, family or book group members are your best source. Word of mouth, finding out what others are reading, is a great way to learn about books and authors.  Here are three novels on the lips of readers and also on the shelves at the Monrovia Pubic Library. Interestingly, they all involve children who have lost their biological parents. 

The Language of Flowers by Jennifer Diffenbaugh is an unusual book which mixes floral interpretation and a dramatic storyline about a foster child. Young Victoria has spent most of her life in foster care, except for the time she spent with someone who taught her about plants and whom she thought would adopt her. Now a young woman and working in a flower shop, Victoria finds that she cannot escape her difficult past, but can eventually look to a happier future. A reader recently said, “I would have never have picked up The Language of Flowers had not someone recommended it to me.”

Set after World War I, The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman is about a couple who live on an isolated island in Australia. He is a lighthouse keeper and she is a woman who yearns for a child. When a boat washes ashore containing a dead man and a healthy baby, the couple takes the child as their own. It's not until they move to the mainland that the couple experience the heartbreaking repercussions of their actions. 

Have you ever heard of the Orphan Train Movement? From 1853-1929 this program took orphaned and homeless children from Eastern cities to foster families in the Midwest. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is the story of Molly, a young woman living in a foster home, and Vivian, an older woman.  The two exchange stories and their lives juxtapose as Vivian tells the story of being taken on the Orphan Train and Molly talks about her current and difficult situation. Several people have said that Orphan Train is one of their favorite books.


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