The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

The Library Book Club meeting for this book was held Thursday, March 16, 2017, at 6:30 in the entry foyer.

Book club reading copies were available for checkout from the circulation desk about a month prior to the meeting.

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars

by Diana Peterfreund

It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret—one that could change their society…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

book 1 in the For Darkness Shows the Stars series

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Miranda rated it ★★★★★.

First Bite by Bee Wilson

First Bite by Bee Wilson

First Bite: How We Learn to Eat

by Bee Wilson

We are not born knowing what to eat; as omnivores it is something we each have to figure out for ourselves. From childhood onward, we learn how big a “portion” is and how sweet is too sweet. We learn to enjoy green vegetables—or not. But how does this education happen? What are the origins of taste?

In First Bite, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson draws on the latest research from food psychologists, neuroscientists, and nutritionists to reveal that our food habits are shaped by a whole host of factors: family and culture, memory and gender, hunger and love. Taking the reader on a journey across the globe, Wilson introduces us to people who can only eat foods of a certain color; prisoners of war whose deepest yearning is for Mom’s apple pie; a nine-year-old anosmia sufferer who has no memory of the flavor of her mother’s cooking; toddlers who will eat nothing but hotdogs and grilled cheese sandwiches; and researchers and doctors who have pioneered new and effective ways to persuade children to try new vegetables. Wilson examines why the Japanese eat so healthily, whereas the vast majority of teenage boys in Kuwait have a weight problem—and what these facts can tell Americans about how to eat better.

The way we learn to eat holds the key to why food has gone so disastrously wrong for so many people. But Wilson also shows that both adults and children have immense potential for learning new, healthy eating habits. An exploration of the extraordinary and surprising origins of our tastes and eating habits, First Bite also shows us how we can change our palates to lead healthier, happier lives.

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

The Infinite Sea

by Rick Yancey
How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

book 2 in the 5th Wave series

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Lorna rated it ★★★ and said, “3 1/2 stars. I loved the lyrical prose and plot twists. It was confusing at times though, and didn’t hold my interest as well as the first one did.”

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

Firefight

by Brandon Sanderson

They told David it was impossible—that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart—invincible, immortal, unconquerable—is dead. And he died by David’s hand.

Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And there’s no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs.

Babylon Restored, the old borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David’s willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic—Firefight. And he’s willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

book 2 in the Reckoners series

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Miranda rated it ★★★★ and said, “A decent book 2 for the series, although I didn’t connect with this one as well as the first. I will be watching for book 3.”

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Winter

by Marissa Meyer

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

book 4 in the Lunar Chronicles series

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Rebekah rated it ★★★★.

Miranda rated it ★★★★ and said, “This is a huge book, but it almost has to be in order to get all of the details right and wrap the story up in the best way. Winter and her friends are ready to make the final stand and take back Luna from the evil Levana. Through death, destruction, and pain, they must overcome all or lose it forever. This was a great finale to the series. I love how all of the characters remain individuals, and even though there are many, they are also easy to keep track of and follow their individual storylines. Love this series!”

Bekka rated it ★★★★ and said, “I really enjoyed this final installment of the series! I think all the plot lines were tied up quite neatly, and all the questions were answered. Our characters stay true to themselves, and all is right with the world (and moon!)”

Betsy rated it ★★★★.

The Game of Lives by James Dashner

The Game of Lives

by James Dashner

Michael used to live to game.

Now the games he was playing have become all too real. Only weeks ago, Sinking into the Sleep was fun. The VirtNet combined the most cutting-edge technology and the most sophisticated gaming for a full mind-body experience. And it was Michael’s passion. But now every time Michael Sinks, he risks his life.

The games are over. The VirtNet has become a world of deadly consequences, and Kaine grows stronger by the day. The Mortality Doctrine—Kaine’s master plan—has nearly been realized, and little by little the line separating the virtual from the real is blurring. If Kaine succeeds, it will mean worldwide cyber domination. And it looks like Michael and his friends are the only ones who can put the monster back in the box—if Michael can figure out who his friends really are.

book 3 in the Mortality Doctrine series

The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

The Ghosts of Heaven

by Marcus Sedgwick

A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.

Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet’s obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book’s final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick’s gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae

by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

book 1 in the Illuminae Files series

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Miranda rated it ★★★★★ and said, “When you read a 600 pg book in 1 day, you know it was good. Written through IM, email, and classified reports, this book tells the story of Kady and her fight to save her ship (and maybe her very recently ex-boyfriend, if she can swing it). When her mining outpost is attacked by a competitor, only a few thousand people make it to the three ships fleeing for safety. Those ships head for the nearest location with a transport portal, more than six months away. They are stalked by the enemy, a well armed attack vessel. Throw in a twist with a rogue AI and a killer virus, and this makes for a great story. I loved These Broken Stars, and this has that same feel to it. The uniqueness comes in the style it was written in, including the wonderful pages with the ships flying through space. It also includes schematics of the ship and the distance the characters have to travel in order to make it out alive.”

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