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2019 reading challenge survey!

We need your help! Our adult reading challenges have been very popular – so much so that our director, Jessica, will be bringing it back in 2019. As always, she’s got lots of ideas about the challenge but she’d also very much like to know your thoughts. So please take our 1 question survey and let us know what you think! Thanks!

The Silence of War: An Old Marine in a Young Marine’s War by Terrance Patrick McGowan

Book jacket cover of The Silence of WarOnce again, our guest reviewer today is the library’s very own ex-Marine, Gene Grave.  Here’s what he had to say about The Silence of War:

“After getting my science fiction fix by reading Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, I went back to one of my other favorite genres for a change of pace with The Silence of War. What initially caught my attention about the book was that the author spent a tour of active duty, left the service to serve in law enforcement, and then joined a Marine unit through a civilian program making use of his law enforcement experience. McGowan has a easy style of writing that conveys the mood of the story nicely and brings to light the motivation and dedication of today’s young Marines.
The book details his motivation and dedication to help in the conflict in both Iraq and Afghanistan. An interesting observation (for me anyway) was that we were both in 29 Palms, California a few months apart back in ’77. And yes, that does age me but the author is older yet! So, those of you who have read, or are going to read the book, place yourself at his age (59) and think of how your body would react to the physical conditioning and the living conditions he experienced while serving with the Marine unit in Afghanistan. I still marvel at the leadership and motivation of the the young men and women that are serving in this day and age in the military. The Silence of War is a story that can be read by military buffs and non-military buffs alike.
For those that have served, and their families, thank you one and all.”

The Shakespeare Requirement by Julie Schumacher

Book jacket cover of The Shakespeare RequirementThe sequel to Dear Committee Members) is just as wickedly funny and smart as its predecessor. If you haven’t read either, you are in for a treat! Booklist has a typically bullish review: “No one would envy Jason Fitger. The new chair of the English department at a declining midwestern university has a number of challenges to face in his first year: his counterpart in the opulent economics department is plotting to take over space in their shared building and perhaps even shut down English entirely; his ex-wife is now dating the dean to whom Fitger must appeal for help; a bright student struggling with the adjustment to college becomes his responsibility; and, on top of all that, a perceived threat to the Shakespeare curriculum sparks a campus firestorm. Schumacher satirizes the pitfalls of academia with searing wit, skewering everything from the abominable faculty offices to the eccentric personalities throughout the university. Beneath the comedy lies a tragic commentary on the state of higher education, when money counts for more than scholarship, and power is directly tied to fundraising ability. The Shakespeare Requirement offers a desperately funny take on campus foibles, as Schumacher stretches reality to the boundaries of absurdity in this raucous underdog tale.”