Heaven is for Real

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Three year old Colton Burpo suffered a ruptured appendix which was not diagnosed correctly for over five days. He was a very sick little boy when he finally was taken into surgery in a small Nebraska town.

Colton’s father, Todd Burpo, is the narrator of Colton’s story as it unfolded after his near death experience. This Wesleyn minister and small business owner is amazed by the experiences that his small son shares. Several months after his lengthy hospital stay the family is traveling through the same town and Colton begins to tell of his visit to see Jesus. When asked if he would like to go to visit the hospital again, Colton shares “that’s where the angels sang to me”. Colton went on to share that, while he was having his surgery, he went up where he saw his father praying in a small room and his mother in another room making phone calls. Both events were accurate, although they had never told Colton those details.

As the months pass Colton relates events in a call-it-as-you-see-it way of preschoolers who have not yet “learned either tact or guile.” He tells of meeting his sister in Heaven, a miscarried baby that had never been talked about by his parents, and his great grandfather who died thirty years previously. Colton loved sitting on Jesus’ lap and is insistent that everyone needs to know Jesus so they can go be with Jesus when they die.

Todd intersperses scripture throughout the story correlating Colton’s story with the Bible. Heaven is for Real is an intriguing story that has compelling evidence for Heaven and life with Jesus.

The Peach Keeper

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Willa Jackson has worked hard to separate herself from her past and create a quiet life for herself in her hometown of Walls of Water, North Carolina. Her high school classmate, Paxton Osgood, is tackling another community improvement project of renovating the Blue Ridge Madam, which just happens to be Willa’s ancestral home. Paxton is a polished socialite on the outside, but inside she’s lost and afraid of standing on her own. The renovation brings Paxton, Willa, and Paxton’s brother Colin together to explore the secrets of their families’ intertwined past, shaking the foundations of their lives. With The Peach Keeper Allen delivers another magical story filled with southern charm and mysterious secrets.

Take a Chance on Me by Jill Mansell

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Humorous and quirky characters, witty dialogue and romance combine in this delightful new contemporary romance Take a Chance on Me. Twenty-something Cleo lives in the village where she grew up, working as a chauffeur and happy that she has finally found her perfect man in Will–until she learns he is married with two children. Her childhood nemesis, Johnny, has returned home and has set up his artists studio in his uncle’s old home. In a village where everyone knows everyone else’s business, it’s hard for Cleo to live down her involvement with a married man and she tries to build a wall against Johnny’s charms. Her sister Abbie has a crisis of her own, Will’s ex-wife comes to live in the village and her best friend Ash struggles with unrequited love. The interplay between Cleo and Johnny is engaging and believable, and the village setting and its residents charming–this is a fun and entertaining romance!

Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer

>Have you ever been frustrated by trying to remember something that seems to be just out of your mental grasp? Ever marveled at the memory capacity or speed at which a friend or acquaintance can memorize information? Joshua Foer wondered whether he could train his memory to attain the levels of memory champions over the course of a year after attending the U.S. Memory Championship to write a news article about the event. Moonwalking with Einstein is the memoir he wrote about his experiment in memory training. It was fascinating to read about the memory champ circuits and the people who participate, as well as the scientific experiments that have been conducted on memory and on people with abnormal memories. Foer writes in a coherent and entertaining manner about some quite disparate subjects, from chick sexing to savant syndrome. If you’ve ever read and liked A.J. Jacobs, you should consider picking up Moonwalking with Einstein.

Tales of An African Vet by Roy Aronson

>Dr. Aronson is a domestic animal veterinarian treating dogs, cats, hamsters, and monkeys at his practice in Cape Town, South Africa. But because of his expertise he is also called upon to help with wild animals in the bush, in zoos, and on game reserves. Each chapter is a new adventure as Dr. Aronson treats elephants, rhinoceros, cheetah, lions, crocodile, and many other African animals. It is fascinating to go on safari with Dr. Aronson as he endangers himself to treat these wild animals. Tales of an African Vet is entertaining as well as educational. Go on this safari for yourself and you will learn about the life of this veterinarian but even more about the land and animals of South Africa.

A Secret Gift: How One Man’s Kindness-and a Trove of Letters-Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression

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Ted Gup, a legendary investigative reporter for The Washington Post and Time Magazine and now the director of the Emerson College Journalism Center in Boston, has written a compelling memoir of his fascinating grandfather, Sam Stone.

Sam J Stone, a businessman from Canton, Ohio, died in 1981 at he age of 90. Ted thought he knew his grandfather until his mother handed him a briefcase filled with family papers. Letters addressed to B. Virdot were written responses to the generosity of his grandfather who had run a newspaper ad at Christmas 1933 offering money to needy citizens who described their hardships. At this time during the heart of the Great Depression, most families were struggling and many didn’t know from where their next meal would come. Ted discovered the true story of his grandfather’s painful background as he tracked down the families of these letters and researched the 75 years of hidden history of his grandfather.

Five dollars given to 150 different individuals brought far-reaching benefit to Canton white-collar businessmen. The thank-you letters revealed the immense suffering and psychological trauma suffered by ordinary individuals that had had good jobs, nice homes and money in the bank. Overnight many found their jobs gone, homes repossessed and banks closed. A Secret Gift encourages introspection as we look at the economic climate today and see how quickly life changed less than a century ago for our relatives and friends.

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

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Night Road is the story of the Farraday family–parents Jude and Miles and twins Mia and Zach. Lexi Baill is a new student at their school–abandoned by her addict mother, she is taken in by an elderly aunt after living in a series of foster homes, and does not fit into the upper-class school. On her first day at school, she becomes friends with Mia, eventually becoming a part of the Farraday family. She learns to love her aunt but also revels in her close ties to the Farraday family, a family that Lexi considers ideal. Both Lexi and Mia blossom in their friendship, and along the way Lexi and Zach fall in love. The trio attend a senior-year party, where all three make poor choices that result in a tragic accident. The repercussions send shock waves through the lives of all of the characters.

Kristen Hannah is a master at creating believable characters facing complex situations. Jude is a mother who is hesitant to allow her children independence, Miles attempts to strike a reasonable balance between the demands of his teens and the fears of his wife, Mia is dealing with typical teen insecurities, Zach is the golden boy for whom success comes easily and Lexi struggles to come to terms with her hopes for the future and the realities of her life. The characters must learn to deal with the tragedy they suffer and move on with their lives. This is a story about motherhood, family, love and loss and tells the story of how a family begins to find their way on the road to hope, healing and forgiveness.

My One and Only by Kristan Higgins

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Kristan Higgins has penned another gem of a contemporary romance with her latest novel My One and Only. Harper James is a divorce attorney looking for marriage with her long-time boyfriend, Dennis, despite her rather cynical views on love and marriage. Her sister Willa announces her upcoming wedding to Chris, who happens to be the brother of Harper’s ex-husband, Nick, forcing Harper to see him for the first time in many years. Forced to drive together across the country, Harper and Nick explore some of the issues from their past and try to resolve their conflicts. The characters are complex, quirky and likable with believable relationships. Harper’s emotional journey to find love and faith in others is heartbreaking at times but always rings true. Witty dialog and humorous, as well as touching situations, make this a most enjoyable story–a novel about love, family and second chances that you won’t soon forget!!

Tell Me Where It Hurts

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Nick Trout is a practicing veterinarian surgeon in Boston who actually met the famous Yorkshire country vet and author James Herriot. Some of my favorite books to share out loud with friends and family have been the tales of Dr. Herriott. Pick up a copy of All Creatures Great and Small if you haven’t before or if you are familiar with how funny and poignant his stories were when he wrote them in the 1970′s.
The stories Nick Trout shares in his first book Tell Me Where It Hurts may not be quite as poignant, but they do give us a great picture of the life of a twenty-first century veterinarian. We see what a single day is like in a Boston animal hospital beginning with being rooted out of bed for a 2:00am emergency surgery on a “bloat” by a resident out 0f her league. We follow the decisions that have to be made regarding high tech, expensive procedures that equal comparable human procedures such as joint replacements, chemotherapy and acl repairs (one of the most common problems)
There is much insight and humor in this memoir of a surgeon who has much compassion for the animals so many of us cherish.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

>The mood of We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson is set in the first paragraph which says, “My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the deathcup mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead.”

Mary Katherine Blackwood, also known as Merricat, tells this story in her superstitious twisted sort of way. She lives in the secluded Blackwood Mansion with her older sister Constance, her senile Uncle Julian, who is dying, and her cat Jonas. Merricat goes to town on Tuesday and Friday for food and library books. The village taunts her, making her trips to town very unpleasant, but, “Constance never went past her own garden and Uncle Julian could not. Therefore it was not pride that took me into the village twice a week, or even stubbornness, but only the simple need for books and food.” When Cousin Charles (who thinks there is treasure to be had) comes to visit, Merricat hates him and is determined he will leave. She pulls pranks that ultimately cause his departure but also changes their own lives.

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy

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Maeve Binchy’s latest novel, Minding Frankie, centers around Noah, a young man faced with raising a baby alone as he deals with his new-found sobriety. Noel is surrounded by friends and family who offer help, love and support to him and his daughter Frankie. His American cousin arrives for a visit to Dublin and organizes the community of St. Jarlath’s Crescent, who come together and rally around Noel and Frankie, offering meals, babysitting and encouragement. Noel must prove his worthiness as a father to a fault-finding social worker with the power to remove Frankie from their home. Binchy has created a community filled with well-developed, memorable characters who genuinely care about each others lives. This heart-warming story is filled with humor, joy, hope and characters you will care about. A touching story!!

Tales of an African Vet by Ron Aronson

>Dr. Aronson is a domestic animal veterinarian treating dogs, cats, hamsters, and monkeys at his practice in Cape Town, South Africa. But because of his expertise he is also called upon to help with wild animals in the bush, in zoos, and on game reserves. Each chapter is a new adventure as Dr. Aronson treats elephants, rhinoceros, cheetah, lions, crocidile, and many other African animals. It is fascinating to go on safari with Dr. Aronson as he endangers himself to treat these wild animals. Tales of an African Vet is entertaining as well as educational. Go on this safari for yourself and you will learn about the life of this veterinarian but even more about the land and animals of South Africa.

The Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman

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Since the death of her husband in a car accident, Ellen Woods’ life has been a struggle, financially and emotionally. She centers her life around her 11 year old son Charlie. When money becomes a problem, her sister convinces her to take boarders into her home. Sabine–a German woman working in London, Allegra–an elderly romance novelist, and Matt–a writer for a men’s magazine, all move into Ellen’s home and each begins to contribute to changes in Ellen’s life. As all of the characters begin to know and care about each other, they come to help each other with their individual problems. The characters are well-developed and interesting. This is a heartwarming story about friendships and family, and how family can be comprised of those you love, not just those that are related by blood. The Home for Broken Hearts is a sweet and charming novel–one that makes the reader care about the characters.

Manhattan Public Library owns several books written by Rowan Coleman–check our catalog for availability!