More great recommendations from the library!

Looking for a distraction from the holiday hustle? Check out one of our reading recommendations.

Eden Springs by Laura Kasischke (2010)
This novella relates the true story of the House of David commune and its founder, Benjamin Purnell.  Set in Benton Harbor, Michigan, this novel has local appeal.  Purnell creates an amusement park and a baseball team, among other things, to ingratiate himself with the public.  But he isn’t the good religious man people think; in fact, he seduces many of the colony’s young girls.  This seduction leads to the murder of one of his victims by the other victims.  The pictures and quotes from real people involved give the story credence.  Despite its dark subject matter, the use of language in this novella is reminiscent of poetry.  ~ Reviewed by Jennifer

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely (2008) 
Think you behave rationally?  Think again.  MIT economist Dan Ariely conducted a wide variety of experiments to show that people often act in ways that are not consistent with their best interests.  Not only that, but people acted irrationally in very predictable patterns.  With nearly every description of "irrational" behavior, I could see myself behaving the same way.  Yes, I will drive across town to save $10 on a $20 book - but I won’t make the same drive to save $10 on a $200 purchase.  But why not?  Either my time is worth $10 or it isn’t.  This book was informative and thought-provoking while also being very readable and entertaining.  ~ Reviewed by Jody

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson (2010)
Ever wonder how one-room houses expanded through history into so many different rooms?  Ever wonder how ice as a food preservative is linked to the Mason jar?  How about understanding the history of home illumination?  Bryson walks us through his 1851 English parsonage home room by room.  He describes not only the architectural origin of each room, but guides us through many of the items and thinking that went into everyday living through the centuries.  This is a fascinating, and sometimes humorous, journey of our homes, and how and why we live the way we do.    ~ Reviewed by Connie

Dead Cat Bounce by Sarah Graves (2009)
Jacobia, an ex financial planner from NYC, buys an old house on an island in Maine that needs lots of work.   One day she finds a dead body in her back room, who happens to be a local boy-turned-billionaire.  When Jacobia’s best friend, Ellie confesses to the murder, she refuses to believe it and decides to uncover the truth.  As in every mystery story there are twists and turns and someone trying to kill off the investigator.   Added to the main plot is a teenage son, an ex-husband, a bratty young neighbor and many quirky personalities in this small town of Eastport.  This first in a series of books, actually written in 1997, is just a delightful story of a woman dealing with life in a small town with some additional tips on home repair.   ~ Reviewed by Sue

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (2012)
Bernadette is like no other woman you’ve ever met. She’s a quirky and unconventional devoted mother who suffers from agoraphobia. When her brilliant daughter, Bee, receives all A’s in school, Bernadette and her husband promise to take Bee on a family trip to Antarctica.  That is, until Bernadette has second thoughts and disappears. Through letters and emails written between Bernadette, her daughter, her outsourced personal assistant in India, angry mothers at Bee’s private school, and her devoted husband, Bernadette’s eccentricities come to life as Bee tries to put together Bernadette’s whereabouts. Written by a former writer for the television series, Arrested Development, this book is hilarious and belly-laugh inducing.   ~ Reviewed by Rebekah

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