We Were Liars

We Were Liars

We Were Liars
Delacorte Press, 2014, 225 pages
Reviewed by: Katie Bava

This is one of the books that I can’t say anything about without giving something away. In short, there are four “liars”. One “liar”, Cady, can’t remember anything about a summer after a terrible accident and no one will tell her what happened. She spends most of the story slowly discovering what really occurred that summer. A mystery, a romance, and a drama. All mixed into a captivating and heartbreaking story. Adults and teens alike will enjoy it!

Food: A Love Story

Food A Love Story

Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
Crown Archetype, 2014, 340 Pages
Reviewed by: Katie Bava

Jim Gaffigan is a funny man and his book made me chuckle. I will never eat fish again (just bugs on the bottom of the ocean)! Expecting all new material, I was disappointed that many of his jokes are recycled from older comedy routines. I didn’t mind listening to the same jokes again, but I wish Gaffigan had been more original with his material.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 1926, 288 pages
Reviewed by: Katie Bava

Another exciting mystery with the famous Hercule Poirot! Agatha Christie manages to once again create an almost unsolvable mystery. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd involves murder and blackmail. The number of suspects and frequent plot twists will have readers eager to finish. I have read several Agatha Christie novels and this ending was one of her best. I highly recommend this book!

Check it out at Fontbonne!

Paper Towns

Paper Towns
Paper Towns by John Green
Speak, 2009, 305 pages
Reviewed by: Katie Bava

I found John Green’s newest film adaptation, Paper Towns, disappointing. The Fault in Our Stars did not impress me, but I thought I would give Green another try. However, Paper Towns was worse. The characters were boring (Q) or annoying (Margo), and the book dragged on. It wasn’t believable that Q would spend so much time looking for the runaway Margo, missing important events in his own life, when he wasn’t even good friends with her. The book’s message was good (we all have unrealistic ideas about people we don’t really know), but the overall book (especially the ending) was a letdown.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Quirk, 2011, 352 pages
Reviewed by: Sheryl Walters

Jacob, a young man who has lost his grandfather, travels with his father to a remote island in Wales in order to find out the mystery of his grandfather’s life. He meets a group of strange children and quickly learns they have fascinating secrets. He becomes involved in their world and learns about their unique gifts as well as those possessed by his grandfather that were passed along to him. He finally feels normal and decides to live in this new world with people for which he can relate.

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Girl in Hyacinth Blue

Girl in Hyacinth Blue

Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
Penguin, 1999, 242 pages
Reviewed by: Rebecca van Kniest

I liked this one. I actually had decided not to finish it about 100 pages in because it’s not really my kind of book. Virtually anything is forgivable with sufficient character development, and Vreeland’s form – a series of loosely linked vignettes – doesn’t exactly lend itself to the art. I had it in my bag when I needed something to read, however, so I picked it back up and got sucked into the story with “Morningshine,”; it’s really all downhill from there. Girl in Hyacinth Blue is beautifully written, and Vreeland captures characters and scenes like you might with a competent brush and a unerring eye for what really matters. I might even look for another.

Detecting Bull: How to Identify Bias and Junk Journalism in Print, Broadcast and on the Wild Web

Detecting Bull

Detecting Bull: How to Identify Bias and Junk Journalism in Print, Broadcast and on the Wild Web by John H. McManus
Createspace, 2012, 312 pages
Reviewed by: Jane Theissen

On a very timely topic, McManus provides a thorough exploration of the state of current journalism in all its formats, including some history to bring us to where we are today. Helpfully, he explains his own bias as a journalist and journalism instructor for many years in the introduction before pointing out the biases common to journalism as we know it. In eleven chapters, he discusses bias in news media from several different angles, and gives readers a tool to use in their own evaluation called the SMELL test. SMELL stands for Source, Motive, Evidence, Logic and Left out. A useful appendix: How to Evaluate the News, rounds out the book.

My favorite is chapter nine, “Detecting Bias in Images”. A picture tells a whole story without using words, and it is important to think about what is behind the presentation of that picture to get the whole story. McManus makes a number of great points here that I had never really thought about – What’s left out of the image? What part of the event was not the focus? Why? Who are the people included? Why were they included and others left out? Who/what is in the foreground? background? Why?

I have recommended this book to my information literacy students and anyone who is interested in staying up-to-date on information evaluation will find this a thought-provoking read.

Fontbonne has it!