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Adult Winter Reading Program: Most Popular Titles

Mao's Last Dancer
Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin (8 Winter Readers liked this book)
"Very interesting history of China." -- ozgirl, 03/03/2014

"I loved this book!!! A window's view of one lucky boy's journey through Mao's China (beginning with the marriage of his parents in the 1940's and on through his retirement from professional dancing 1990's). It is so hard to imagine living with communism and coming out on the other side all the stronger for it. " -- Coco, 02/28/2014

"What an amazing journey!" -- wyperson, 02/03/2014

"The author was chosen at age 11 to leave his family to study ballet in China and the book shows how he went from not knowing anything about dance to his defection to the US to becoming one of the best dancers in the world." -- Grier, 02/25/2014

"Great autobiography of a man picked to train for the Chinese Ballet at the end of the Mao communist reign. He struggles with the guilt of leaving his family, hungry and poor peasant farmers, along his journey to become the best he can be." -- Kathy5, 02/24/2014

"A very long book. I would not know what to cut out. Again very good history lesson as well as lesson in family life in Communist China and the love of family members among each other" -- kathie, 02/21/2014

"One of the best books I've read in a long time. Li's story from peasant boy in China to his rise as world renowned ballet dancer will hold you riveted. Can't wait to see the library presentations about this book and watch the movie." -- ropass23, 02/21/2014

"This is the current Carmel Reads selection, and I'm glad it was brought to my attention. I learned much about China during the Mao period as Premier and I also learned much about the world of ballet. An extraordinary journey in the life of this young man." -- mrhofferth, 02/20/2014

The Book Thief
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (8 Winter Readers liked this book)
"This book is a great read. It is set near Munich Germany from about 1939 to 1943. It tells the story of a young girl during this time and the life she lead. I enjoyed the writing style of this book." -- BStrahl, 01/11/2014

"This is a Holocaust-era story, set in 1940's Germany, intended as a young readers' novel, and recently made into a movie. I found this book particularly interesting because it is narrated by Death, which offers an interesting point of view. I especially liked that Death is able to foreshadow, saying things like, "Don't worry. I'm not here for (character) yet." There was no need to skip ahead to find out if things would end well or badly... the reader already knows." -- Zivah, 02/06/2014

"This book was amazing! The creative way in which it was narrated was like nothing I have ever read. The character development was done so well that I felt like I was saying goodbye to people I knew. " -- jacks1997, 01/29/2014

"I enjoyed this even more the second time through (and after seeing the movie). Great book - and great movie! " -- fisherslisa, 01/21/2014

"Well written - I couldn't put this book down!" -- AF, 03/03/2014

"Good story and interesting writing style." -- Bernadette, 02/12/2014

"Great Book and the writing style is very unique. The narrator is Death which can be confusing at first if you don't know in advance. I highly recommend this book." -- Jean P, 01/28/2014

"Brilliantly written!" -- Readsforfun, 02/15/2014

Gone Girl
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (7 Winter Readers liked this book)
"I liked it because it kept me wanting to know more about what was going on. Just when the reader THINKs one way, the path leads somewhere else. I love a book that can keep me guessing. " -- carmelmommy, 01/11/2014

"Great twist in the end." -- ozreader, 02/05/2014

"Great read! I couldn't put the book down!" -- capinto, 01/15/2014

"Loved it!" -- ariacheney, 02/21/2014

"This story shows how a promising marriage can take one bad turn too many. Entertaining and fresh. " -- Roundabout girl, 02/16/2014

"I would definitely recommend this book. I was totally sucked in to this story about a missing wife and a sort of grieving husband; right when I thought I had the story figured the whole thing did a total 180. I read this book really fast because I was just dying to know how it ended. I can't wait for the movie!" -- lewiscm, 02/18/2014

"This is a wildly popular, intricately plotted mystery/thriller, with alternating narrators who prove both unreliable (and therefore intriguing) and ultimately unlikable. It's an excellent example of a book that is well-rooted in the decade it was published. In the end, I was fascinated by the author's mind and attention to plot, but can't say I found the reading experience pleasurable." -- AnnRaymont, 02/25/2014

The First Phone Call From Heaven
The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom (7 Winter Readers liked this book)
"Good book, but not as good as his earlier novels. It is a short read and finishes quickly. " -- Joy, 03/08/2014

"Love this book!" -- cmstock, 01/11/2014

"A very nice, feel-good story." -- mattlane, 01/13/2014

"Graet fiction with inspirational message." -- rbellaver, 01/18/2014

"I have thought about this book and I wonder if Mitch Albom is looking for heaven or is trying to disparage it." -- kathie, 01/17/2014

"Wonderful read-one of my favorites!" -- lwernst671, 01/23/2014

"People from a small town are getting phone calls from loved ones who have died." -- texasrose, 02/23/2014

The Husband's Secret
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty (7 Winter Readers liked this book)
"This book is a great read. It is set in Australia in present time. It is about suburban women and the lives they lead. One lady gets a letter that tells about something that happened 30 years ago. Everyone's lives are changed by what he did. Perfect book club book." -- BStrahl, 02/27/2014

"Although not a great classic work of literature :-), I just loved reading this book! There are intertwined lives, secrets that are exposed, the consequences should-I-read-a-letter-my-husband-wrote-to-me-only-to-be-opened-after-his-death, interesting & flawed people. (Starts in the '80s and goes up to present day.)" -- bookaddict, 03/02/2014

"The book was wonderful!! It involves three different groups of people who are intertwined and a secret that most do not know of is what binds them. It was hard to put down!!" -- lklugar, 01/22/2014

"Interesting story of three sets of families whose lives are intertwined. The author does an excellent job of making her characters extremely human and life like. It is set in Australia, and so they eat Vegemite and April is when fall begins after a hot and humid summer! Would recommend it.y" -- Joy, 01/26/2014

"Great intertwining of characters. Epilogue concluded with all the secrets the various characters never knew." -- AF, 03/03/2014

"The best part is the epilogue but you have to read the rest of the book for you to see how secrets can change lives." -- raderc, 01/28/2014

"The premise of the book is disturbing. Imagine if your husband murdered someone - even by accident - what do you do with the secret? How do you continue life and family with this dark secret? " --, 01/12/2014

Takedown Twenty
Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich (5 Winter Readers liked this book)
"The newest of the Stephanie Plum novels is a little creepier than previous books. Stephanie is as plucky and incompetent and hilarious as ever, though the series is starting to show a bit of wear. " -- dabooklover, 01/31/2014

"Another great Stephanie Plum book. I have read and enjoyed them all." -- Deedah65, 01/24/2014

"More fun with bumbling bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum" -- ReadyMcBookerson, 01/28/2014

"This is the best Stephanie Plum book so far. It is hilarious. The interaction between Lula & Stephanie is spot on. It is very accurate. Can't say much as I would give the plot away. The love interests do not change from each book in the series. They ate just supporting characters in this book." -- kathie, 01/23/2014

"#20 in this series doesn't disappoint with many laugh out loud sections, especially escapades with Stephanie and Lula. Though her books are all very similar, they're good escape fare." -- ropass23, 01/21/2014

Divergent (Divergent, Book 1)
Divergent (Divergent, Book 1) by Veronica Roth (4 Winter Readers liked this book)
"Enjoyable book to read. Interesting topic. The movie is coming out in March 2014 so I read it with my teenage daughter. This is book 1 of 3" -- ScampSays, 02/10/2014

"The beginning of a juvenile science fiction series a la the Hunger Games. Thankfully it's a fast-paced page turner, so it doesn't give you much time to dwell on all the plot holes. ;)" -- natashaelise, 01/20/2014

"This is the first in a very popular Young Adult trilogy about a post-apocalyptic world in which every 16-year-old has to chooose one of five possible life paths in order to prevent the return of war. " -- Hope, 02/17/2014

"I read this to keep up with my 13-year-old daughter and I'm glad I did. It's along the lines of a Hunger Games-style survivalist story, but geared towards an older audience (in my opinion). This is the first book in the trilogy" -- mjcarmich, 02/19/2014

Sycamore Row
Sycamore Row by John Grisham (4 Winter Readers liked this book)
"Great read, good sequel." -- ozreader, 01/13/2014

"A suicide and a handwritten will begin a fight over millions of dollars in this new novel which takes readers back to Clanton, Mississippi and re-introduces Lawyer Jake Brigance. Readers may remember Brigance from Grisham's first book, A Time to Kill. " -- Peter, 01/11/2014

"Vintage Grisham! What appears to be a well-planned suicide turns into a local scandal when the housekeeper is the beneficiary of the will." -- Ethel Hartman, 01/31/2014

"Enjoy reading Grisham's book to escape!" -- mkkrambeer, 02/03/2014

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg (4 Winter Readers liked this book)
"I really liked how the story went back and forth between two time periods. It was a good balance between the story in a time of war and the present day which had some comic relief." -- jacks1997, 01/13/2014

"Light hearted story about a southerner who finds out late in life that she was adopted. Story goes between her life and that of her birth family during World War II. Several twists and turns!" -- Kathy5, 02/21/2014

"Loved listening to this book. The author's voice made the characters jump out. Just a lot of fun especially with all the southern characters. Great book for a car trip." -- ropass23, 02/21/2014

"It is about the WASP program during WWII" -- texasrose, 02/23/2014

I Am Malala
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (3 Winter Readers liked this book)
"Very inspiring" -- JamieBeckman, 01/28/2014

"An inspired account of one girl's efforts to make a difference. Highly recommended!" -- KeziaE, 01/19/2014

"Good History Lesson. Would be a good book for teens about Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls" -- kathie, 02/21/2014

King and Maxwell
King and Maxwell by David Baldacci (3 Winter Readers liked this book)
"Baldacci never disappoints." -- Young Grammie, 02/08/2014

"Love all of David Baldacci's books and especially the King and Maxwell series. This does not disappoint. Loved it!! Must read." -- lklugar, 01/30/2014

"Baldacci at his best! " -- Alzfighter, 02/17/2014

Longbourn by Jo Baker (3 Winter Readers liked this book)
"Great combination of Pride and Prejudice along with Downton Abbey. Highly recommend." -- Duckyb, 01/27/2014

"This is Pride & Prejudice (by Jane Austen) told from the servants' point of view. If you liked P&P, I bet you will enjoy this, too." -- Hope, 02/27/2014

"This book tells the story of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, but from the point of view of the servants...especially the teen-aged Sarah. " -- Ethel Hartman, 03/08/2014

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)
Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins (3 Winter Readers liked this book)
"The Hunger Games trilogy was out of my reading comfort zone, but once started, I wanted to finish the series. I thought the first 100 pages of this book dragged, but then the action and suspense picked up." -- CindyW, 01/25/2014

"A good ending to the Hunger Games series." -- kjoe815, 01/16/2014

"This was the final book in a series and although many others felt this ended on weak note, I enjoyed the culmination. I like dystopian literature. Gets me thinking about how our future may look if we are not careful about our forward progress." -- fiveredhedz, 02/03/2014

One Summer
One Summer by Bill Bryson (3 Winter Readers liked this book)
"Recommend. Very insightful, very pithy writing style. Some laugh out loud phrasing. Plus, interesting subject!" -- Ecseitziii, 03/03/2014

"With his usual humorous style, Bryson offers an interesting and informative narrative of 1927 America. Charles' Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic, Babe Ruth's 60 home runs, and the invention of television are just a few of the extraordinary events that occurred during that long ago summer. " -- LCE, 02/02/2014

"Very interesting...he wove the stories into each other very well." -- Fast reader, 02/06/2014

Orphan Train
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (3 Winter Readers liked this book)
"Loved this book. Historical fiction. Moves between the story of 2 orphans, Vivian, who was on the orphan train in 1929 and the contemporary story of Molly, from Maine in 2010. Their stories are eventually intertwined and unfold with the telling of each of their stories. I would highly recommend. " -- kcheesman, 01/24/2014

"I would definitely recommend this to others. I couldn't put it down!" -- jacks1997, 01/13/2014

"Nice story about search for family and some forgotten American history." -- Bernadette, 02/04/2014