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The Lowland
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (1970s)
This is a tangled story of reprehensible behavior and love. The Lowlands capture lives and the decisions a family makes through the generations and the effects those decisions have on one another. This book was pretty good, it became a chore to read the last 100 pages. I just wanted to get it done so I could move onto what was next. It was hard to relate with the story, because of the tragedy in involved. I'd like to read more of Lahiri to see if I'd enjoy some of her other works better. -- Added by mwcarlton on 02/20/2014

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Countdown City
Countdown City by Ben H. Winters (2000s)
The continuing story of a former policeman facing the apocalypse, by trying to find someone who's gone missing. Mystery and danger litter his path to find his former babysitter's husband. He continues to look, though he's not sure what he'll find. The Last Policeman trilogy's second book is just as good as its first. I'm really enjoying the series and look forward to reading the final book once it comes out. These books will likely find a home in my permanent collection. -- Added by mwcarlton on 02/17/2014

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The Last Policeman
The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters (2000s)
So yeah, what do you do when you find out an asteroid is heading for the Earth and it's going to potentially cause mass extinction in several months? Do you give up, crossing things off your bucket list, or keep going on as you normally do, hoping for the best? The Last Policeman follows a police detective as he tries to solve a murder which appears to be suicide, something all too common since the world learned its fate. I enjoyed Ben H. Winters' writing style. It flowed well and that made it easy to read the story engaging. I'll be moving to the second book in this trilogy next, I hope it's as good as this one. -- Added by mwcarlton on 02/17/2014

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Fables Vol. 3: Storybook Love
Fables Vol. 3: Storybook Love by Bill Willingham (2000s)
After finishing up volumes 1 & 2 I moved onto volume 3. it was good, but I think I liked the first two volumes a bit better. I'm looking forward to exploring the rest of this series. -- Added by mwcarlton on 02/17/2014

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Nature Girl
Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen (2000s)
This book had a lot of quirky characters, they were crazy and outrageous. The plot was funny and at times absurd. I thought the author did a good job marrying the two elements together to produced a fun book full of shenanigans. -- Added by mwcarlton on 02/17/2014

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Saga, Vol. 1
Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan (2000s)
I snickered when reading the first panels of Saga. It wasn't overtly funny, but it had a certain charm and grit that caught me. That held up through the whole first volume. Brian Vaughans writing and storyline was excellent, but it was Fiona Staples artwork that I enjoyed the most. Ill be reading volume two fairly soon, and will be waiting for volume three in April. -- Added by mwcarlton on 02/09/2014

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Fables 1
Fables 1 by Bill Willingham (2000s)
The idea of fabled characters and creatures living in the real world is fun. The idea of those characters being forced out of their words by "The Adversary", an evil being who's conquered the fables homelands, and you've got gold. If you can think of a fairy tale character from Snow White to Dorothy and Todo, they're in there. This collection of the first ten issues of Fables, covers two different story arcs. Bill Willingham's writing is superb, though it takes time to think about the characters in any other light than what you've seen or read in years past, yeah I'm talking about you Goldilocks. I have many more volume to catch up on. -- Added by mwcarlton on 02/09/2014

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Elantris
Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (Other)
When Elantris fell, it fell hard. Its God like people apparently cursed were shut behinds it's filthy walls and ignored. No one knows how someone is chosen to be an Elantrian, but no one wants to one & not anymore. Even in his first novel, Brandon Sanderson creates elaborate characters and worlds with ease. I really enjoyed this book and hope he writes a sequel as it's been rumored. I've yet to be disappointed with Sanderson's writing. -- Added by mwcarlton on 02/08/2014

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Mystic River
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane (2000s)
This gritty novel follows the lives of three estranged childhood friends: Sean, Dave, and Jimmy. They have to confront the past while dealing with the present when Jimmy's daughter is brutally murdered. That same night Dave returns home covered in someone else's blood and Sean, a State Police Detective, is brought in to the murder investigation as he deals with his own demons. The story went by quickly, I didn't intend to finish it so fast. Once I got into the meat of crime, I had a hard time putting it down. I hadn't read anything from the author before but had seen some of the movies based on his work. I will be reading more of Lehane's stories down the road. The writing style was something I really enjoyed and the novel was well constructed, polished, and raw. On to the next read, I hope it's as good as this one. -- Added by mwcarlton on 02/01/2014

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This us one of my favorite books! I loved the writing and the story kept me engrossed. -- Barken on 02/01/2014  
Running Ransom Road
Running Ransom Road by Caleb Daniloff (2000s)
No longer do I run from my demons, but run with them. We pace each other, the past and me. And some days, I go faster. That statement was made in the prologue of this memoir, I realized then I'd enjoy this book. I won't pretend or act like I know what it's like to go through the things Caleb went through before writing this book. I will acknowledge though, that I have a few demons that I still need to deal with. They're just not the same as Caleb's demons of drugs and alcohol. The book chronicles his ups and downs as he runs races in locations that are central to his destructive past and how he essentially used running as one of his main recovery tools. During the different chapters he recounts his bad deeds in the town he's running through, some of the stories are raw. He holds nothing back and let's everyone see the vulnerable bits of his former life. I think my favorite chapter was when he was recounting the Marine Corp Marathon, where he finally realized that he focused too much on the numbers and let it go. He ended up finishing shortly after his goal time and he was ok with it, something he wasn't able to accept before. This book made me realize how much I've missed running regularly due to the cold weather and snow we've had this winter. I can't wait for the spring. -- Added by mwcarlton on 01/28/2014

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Devices and Desires
Devices and Desires by K. Parker (2000s)
Gasp, I wanted to punch almost all of them in the face. They were conniving, annoying, too naive, and too ruthless, too much to one extreme. The one character that's more balanced than the others shines, go figure he was one of the noblest bound by duty. Maybe that gets better as the trilogy progresses? The book just ends. I know it's a trilogy and a certain amount of cliffhanging is order. The second book will probably resolve the same way, meaning it'll end for a time while creating tension and plot for the next portion of the story. Overall, I don't have to love the characters or the way something is plotted to like the story. That being said, I liked the story and plan to read the next book soon while this story is still fresh. -- Added by mwcarlton on 01/28/2014

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Running with the Mind of Meditation
Running with the Mind of Meditation by Sakyong Mipham (2000s)
It's the beginning of the year, so it felt right to try and refocus on running. I don't remember where I saw this, but I thought it looked interesting, so I put it on Christmas wish list. After receiving this book as a gift, I started reading it during my annual New Years vacation. I read the bulk of the book once I returned. The first twenty-five percent of the book was tedious for me to read, I couldn't connect with the material. Why? I'm not exactly sure. The book didn't really offer any earth shattering advise on how to improve, but rather how to focus and bring a mindful meditative mind along when you run. I did pick up a few things that I will try to apply to my next run, that is when I'm not snowed in or facing -15 degree temperatures. Winter is awesome. -- Added by mwcarlton on 01/28/2014

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