CVCL Library Talk

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Random Reviews in Random order from Random Library Staff and Volunteers:

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We work in the library. We like to read. True. We do read. A lot! So… very short reviews that we hope will pique your interest. We’d love to have your short reviews to include next month. Just ask us!

THE SERPENT OF VENICE by Christopher Moore

It doesn’t hurt to know a little bit about The Merchant of Venice, Othello or the Cask of Amontillado to enjoy this book. If you know more about them, then this book is really funny. Oh, you will also need a ribald sense of humor. You might also wonder what an Edgar Allen Poe story has to do with Shakespeare and the city of Venice. That’s a good question that I will not attempt to answer here. Laugh yourself silly while evil doers devise idiotic plots, unbelievable creatures become lovable heroes and maidens may or may not have their “maiden” status altered. If you are still bewildered by the end of the story, the author takes pity on us and explains what it all means. You might want to start with that part of The End.


I haven’t read Stephen King for quite a few years. He had become too freaky for me, however, I really enjoyed this book. It is about a little 9-year old girl who gets lost in the forest of the Appalachian Trail on the Maine-New Hampshire Border. The story is so realistically written that you get lost with her! At least I did. It is not the usual unbelievable, gross, and creepy Stephen King. I decided I gave up on Mr. King too soon and am currently reading another one of his books!

DUST by Patricia Cornwell

I had such a good time reading the Scarpetta series when it first came ou,t so I am sorry to report that my degree of joy is like the chances of the D-Backs winning the National League West Championship… falling off precipitously. Pete Marino needs to be spanked and sent to bed without his supper, Lucy needs tranquilizers and Benton and Kay need a long vacation away from all of the others. Other than that it was a very intricate novel.


                Good vs Evil.  Alice Bell is the main character in this second book of the White Rabbit series.  I listened to it on an MP3 Playaway which turned out to be quite enjoyable if you like listening to a teen book about battling zombies, including the one she has within her. Inspired by the childhood classic, Alice in Wonderland.

CHANCE by Kem Numm

I laughed, I cried, I loved the hero even though he insisted on going into the basement at night, and I, never in a million years could have predicted the ending. Chance is the name of our hero and chance, one of the mysteries of life, is one of the book’s main “characters.” Chance, the hero, is a forensic psychiatrist in San Francisco finds himself involved with an abused woman who is in a destructive relationship with her abuser who is a bent, evil police detective. The villain is seldom seen but his malevolence is overwhelming. I found myself screaming (inside) for him to pull his head out and get away. Of course if he did it would have made a pretty sorry suspense novel. A rousing read.


This is such a wonderful book about a young man struggling with the Vietnam War and the war going on within his own family.  The entire story is written in haiku and takes place in Arizona.  I highly recommend this book.

AGENT 6 by Tom Rob Smith

This is the final book in a trilogy concerning most of the life of Leo Demidov. Leo, at the beginning of the series, is a KGB agent. He is a very good agent and that calls into question whether or not he’s a good man. Over the length of the series, we discover that he is a mostly good man. He acquires a family largely by accident and over the years they mostly bond together. The final volume, Agent 6, is the most intense, complex, and emotionally charged of the three. For fans of international mystery salted heavily with suspense and surprises, I whole heatedly recommend this trilogy. It’s best to start with Child 44. Trust me.

DOCTOR SMOKE by Stephen King

I vowed not to read this book because I was NO fan of The Shining and because this was a continuation of the story of the boy in that book and movie I could see no reason to waste the time. Mind you, I am a Stephen King fan (Pet Semetary and The Stand come to mind) but I have disliked as many of his books as I have liked. Put this one into the like column. It’s full of the dark side strange stuff that King can do so well and has a cast of embraceable heroes and hissable villains. There is plenty of suspense, some neat twists, and now I like Danny. Perhaps I’ll revisit The Shining.


I am a really big fan of Larry McMurtry, but not so much of this book. It is sort of an existential western, whose central cast of characters are named Clanton, McLaury, Holliday, and Earp. There is a bunch of close looking at the private lives of all of them. Some of it may even be true, but we must remember his motto for this book was, “when you had to choose between history and legend, print the legend.” It’s not that I didn’t like this book, it’s sort of like you get an invitation to a buffalo roast and you have visions of the big prize, the liver or second place the tongue. You have really high expectations and when you get there they hand you a little slice of buffalo chip on Russian Rye with precious little gravy.



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