by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
Our adult winter reading program, “Book Your Winter Getaway,” is done for this year. We had 46 people participate this year. Those who brought in three book reviews got to choose a small prize. Participants who brought back six book reviews were entered in a drawing for small gift certificates to local restaurants, sponsored by the Friends of the Litchfield Public Library.
The book reviews are interesting to read. They involve just a very short written description of the book, plus a rating of one to five stars and the question, “Would you recommend it?” I looked through the reviews at Litchfield to see if we had some popular authors reviewed by multiple people, and there were several.
Two people reviewed two different Sandra Brown books, Mean Streak and Mirror Image. Both gave the books five out of five stars and recommended them. Mean Streak was described as “nail biting suspense” and Mirror Image as “a twisty tale.”
Two of Jennifer Chiaverini’s books were reviewed by two different people. Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival was given three stars, and the reviewer did not recommend it, saying it was only fair and involved long political descriptions. The reviewer of The Spymistress forgot to give it a numbered rating, but they recommended this story of the adventures of Elizabeth Van Lew, who worked for the U.S. government as a spy during the Civil War.
Two of our participants reviewed The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, and one reviewed Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling. These books are the beginning of a new series by J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, writing under a pseudonym. Our adult book club read The Cuckoo’s Calling last month, and it was a hit. This reviewer gave it four stars, mentioning that the audiobook has a good reader. The two people who reviewed the sequel, The Silkworm, gave it four and five stars. One wrote, “Wow, can she write – we want more!”
Three William Kent Krueger books were reviewed by two or three different reviewers. I’m analyzing handwriting to decide if I have reviews from multiple people, so there’s some guesswork involved! Tamarack County got five stars from its reviewer. Thunder Bay got four, with the description saying it was suspenseful and “not as violent as some and that’s good.” Vermilion Drift got only two stars from its reviewer, and they did not recommend it. Taste in books is very individual.
It’s not surprising that six reviews were turned in for James Patterson books. He comes out with a book about once a month now, one bestseller after another. The six reviews were for six different titles. Gone received five out of five stars and was described as a “fast-moving adventure” but predictable. Kill Alex Cross got four stars, as did Merry Christmas, Alex Cross, Private Down Under, and Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas. A reviewer gave You've Been Warned only two stars and said they would not recommend it, describing it as a “chaotic read.”
Stuart Woods had two books reviewed by our participants, and both received four stars. D.C. Dead was described as “enjoyable enough” and Insatiable Appetites as “action packed as usual.”
149 book reviews were turned in overall, so you will find a much wider variety of authors and books if you stop in and look through the reviews, which you are welcome to do. You won’t know who in our community wrote them, but you can get some ideas about what people are reading and what they think of the books. I hope you find some four- and five-star books to read this spring!