The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

We read this book for last months book club pick!  I didn’t necessarily dislike the story, although I did learn insight into who Alexander Hamilton was and became.  Although I think I was more drawn to his wife, Elizabeth and her story.  The title of the book puts it as plainly as anyone could of guessed, Hamilton has an affair which causes turmoil and ultimately ending in his death.  Hamilton came to America to pursue his education and along the way became a hero of sorts and one of the most controversial leaders of the American Revolution.

Then we get to learn more about his wife Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, daughter of one of New York’s most exalted families—feisty, adventurous, and loyal to a fault.  When she met Alexander, she fell head over heels. She pursued him despite his illegitimacy, and loved him despite his infidelity.  In 1816 (two centuries ago), she shamed Congress into supporting his seven orphaned children.  Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton started New York’s first orphanage. The only “founding mother” to truly embrace public service, she raised 160 children in addition to her own.

The Hamilton Affair tells the tumultuous true love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from tremulous beginning to bittersweet ending—his at a dueling ground on the shores of the Hudson River, hers more than half a century later after a brave, successful life.

 

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The Good People by Hannah Kent

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

I think what I expected from the book was a little bit more thrill, a little bit more lore.  The story line was good, but I never really had the feeling that ‘I needed to get up and check the random noises of the house’ type.

The Good People is a story taking place in Ireland 1825, about Nora Leahy who has lost her daughter and husband in the same year.  She now has to care for her daughters 4 year old son who can’t walk or talk.  Nora tries her best to keep him hidden from the hateful gossips she knows would start from his deformity, whom they may think was caused by ‘otherworldly’ things.

Unable to care for the child alone, Nora hires a 14 year old servant girl, Mary, who soon hears the whispers in the valley about the blasted creature causing grief to fall upon the widow’s house.  Mary and Nora seek out the only person in the valley who might be able to help the boy. For although her neighbors are wary of her, it is said that old Nance Roche has the knowledge. That she consorts with Them, the Good People. And that only she can return those whom they have taken.

Rhyme Crime by Jon Burgerman

35733528Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Rhyme Crime is a fun new children’s book that will have everyone laughing!  The key to the story is the rhyming wordplay along with the bright colored creatures who are the victims of a rhyming criminal on the loose!

The thief is stealing things and replacing them with a rhyming object such as Marlow’s happy smile is replaced with a…..crocodile!  I read this book to my story time kids at the library where I volunteer.  The kids were getting so good at guessing what the thief was going to do next!  By the end of the book they were all coming up with other words that rhymed together.

A very fun interactive book, will you be able to guess the thief’s next move?  Grab this book for a rhyming twist of laughter and silliness especially when the thief tries to steal an orange…what rhymes with orange?!

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The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig by Steve Jenkins

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

About a year ago, I stumbled upon an Instagram account featuring a full grown pig that was dressed up in an outfit.  Then I discovered the story behind Esther and the fabulous life that she lives!  This is a children’s story about the TRUE adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig!

Esther’s dads Steve and Derek had adopted a mini pig, although they had no idea that she would turn out to be a full size of the sort.  Despite her size, her new family saw just how wonderful she truly was and she has changed their lives for the better.

The story tells about Esther from when she was first brought home, to her present life.  Following her though her many growing spurts with many different sizes of beds, to actually getting her own bedroom!  One day, Esther disappears…but found in a neighbors backyard eating some goodies!

Esther and her family outgrew their small apartment as she also has some dog and cat siblings.  So the whole family moves to a farm where everyone has more space to have adventures.  This farm has since become the Happily Esther After animal sanctuary, home to rescued animals of all kinds!

I read this book to my story time kids at the library where I volunteer.  They all loved the story, especially the real photos that were added at the end.  All of them kept saying….”SHE’S REAL? SHE LIVES IN A HOUSE?” it was lots of fun!

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What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is quite the unusual story.  Although I like the story line, I did feel like in some places, the story rambled on leading me to lose interest but then a few more pages and I was back into the story!

Maisie Cothay has never been allowed to touch anything, humans included.  She was born with the power to kill or resurrect almost anything with just the slightest touch.  In trying to keep her safe, her family sequesters her in the family’s manor at the edge of a mysterious forest.

Her father, an anthropologist sees her more as an experiment that a daughter.  He also strictly warns that she is never to go venturing into the woods behind their home.  Locals have told stories of people disappearing within and then coming back out with bizarre stories.  What Maisie’s father doesn’t tell her is that for hundreds of years, her female ancestors have also vanished into the wood, although none of them ever returned – for Maisie is descended from a long line of cursed women…..

Then one day Maisie disappears and returns several days later as if nothing has happened.  While gone, her father goes into the woods in search of his daughter.  Maisie must venture beyond the walls of all she has ever known and into the forbidden woods as she slowly uncovers the truth.

Annihilation (Southern Reach #1) by Jeff VanderMeer

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I’m finally getting to this trilogy on my to-be-read list!  I cannot wait to read the next book!

Welcome to Area X……cut off from the rest of the continent for a very long time since the event.  Mother nature has reclaimed the land and is turning it into something beyond the reaches of our minds and the world we are familiar with.  The first expedition returned to say that the land was amazing, almost untouched and fairy tale like.  Then, all the members of the second expedition commit suicide and the third, all dead in a hail of gunfire as they all turned on each other.  So the pattern goes as the eleventh expedition return as shadows or even shells of their former selves and within months, all die from an aggressive cancer.

This is the story of the twelfth expedition.  A group made up of four women an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, and the narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

The group arrived with only the information that was drilled into their minds before they arrived.  Within a few short days, things start to take a drastic turn…they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

What is the true nature of their mission, what have they not been told by the people who sent them to Area X……..there are too many secrets and nothing makes any sense to them.

People Like Us by Dana Mele

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now this was a whirl wind of a ride!  For fans of Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, you will want to dive into this book as soon as you can get your hands on it.  The story is twisted, thrilling and you won’t know what hit you in it’s completely unexpected ending.

Kay Donovan is the main character, who attends

 

an all girls academy called Bates.  Unlike all the other girls at the school, she is solely relying on her athletic ability and good grades to keep her at Bates where everyone else’s families are wealthy.  She’s the star soccer player who has gorgeous friends and are all high up on the popularity totem pole.

Everything seems picturesque until Kay and her friends discover the body of a girl in the lake next to Bates Academy. Then….Kay’s life she’s built begins to topple into chaos when the dead girl sends her an e-mail including a password coded link to a scavenger hunt website that implicated suspect after suspect in the case against who killed the girl they found in the lake.  It gets worse when Kay finds herself in the cross hairs of the murder investigation.

Will Kay let herself be backed into a corner and accused of a crime that she didn’t commit or will she do whatever it takes to keep herself from becoming the next victim to uncover the real murder?  Kay may have skeletons in her closet, but you will have to find out for yourself what secrets she hides as well as play the game along with her to uncover the truth behind everything……

Expected publication: February 27th 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

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Dana Mele is a Pushcart-nominated writer and a work at home mother. A graduate of Wellesley College, she is a former actor, lawyer, musician, and briefly, associate producer. She prefers tea to coffee, snow to sand, and stars to sunshine, and she lives in the Catskills with her husband and toddler. This is her first novel.

Here’s the People Like Us tumblr: https://jessicalanefinalproject.tumblr.com/