Patron Reviews

Before the Dawn

Wade, Nicholas. Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors. 2007. (599.938 Wade.N 2007)

Nicholas Wade is the science reporter for the New York Times. His topic is absolutely fascinating and I highly recommend this book. Recent improvements in DNA analysis allow us to relatively accurately trace our ancestral history back 50,000 years. DNA analysis appears credible as it corresponds well with anthropological evidence for the periods they overlap (anthropology is more limited in physical range and time compared to DNA analysis). The description of the science behind the DNA analysis is engrossing, and the history revealed by this new technique is worth the time spent reading the book. (Jeffrey S.)



At Home in Mitford

Karon, Jan. At Home in Mitford. 1994. (Fiction Karon.J)

This is a wonderful tale of small town life for a lovable small town Rector. Share the adventures and ups and downs with Father Tim, meet his congregation, and the townspeople of Mitford. You will feel like you are right there in Mitford while reading this highly entertaining tale. From his unruly mutt to the orphan whom he takes in and grows to love, you won't be able to put this book down and will look forward to the rest of the series. This is a great read for the Christian-minded, with many Bible references and real good clean entertainment. For readers of all ages--my 93 year old grandmothers and I are currently enjoying this series together and can hardly wait to discuss our previous day's read. Our thanks to the Evanston Public Library, as well as Jan Karon for bringing us closer together. (Christina L.)



Halpin, Brendan. Donorboy. 2004. (Fiction Halpi.B)

This title jumped off the shelf. I had never read a Brendan Halpin book, so I gave it a try. Halpin's writing style was witty, warm, and engaging. I really loved the book, its characters, and its unusual style of storytelling through a series of text messages, emails, and journal entries. The book tells the story of Rosalind, a teenager whose two mothers have just been killed in a car accident. Her father, Sean, who was the sperm donor for her mother, gains custody of Rosalind after the accident even though they have never met before. Sean is a public interest lawyer who lost his own mother when he was young and doesn't quite have his personal life together. I really liked the way Halpin talked about these characters and their unique family life. With a story that could have been sensational, it unfolded with dialogue that was real, compelling, and funny! In fact, his writing (with lots of fun pop music and cultural references) reminded me a lot of British author Nick Hornby. I will definitely be back for more, and am looking forward to another Brendan Halpin book. (Eileen C.)


Master of War

Simons, Suzanne. Master of War: Blackwater USA's Erik Prince and the Business of War. 2009. (956.704431 Simon.S)

An authoritative and very readable account of the military/security contractor Blackwater, including access to its founder Erik Prince; up to date and covers events from earlier this year. More balanced than the 2007 book on Blackwater by Evanstonian Jeremy Scahill, although I also recommend that one. (Richard K.)


The New Yorker Book of War Pieces

The New Yorker Book of War Pieces. 1947. (940.53 N49n)

The Evanston Public Library contains many forgotten classics--books that should be reread because they give us a view into the past that is not easy to obtain. This is a collection of non-fiction pieces by New Yorker magazine correspondents. When we read history we know how the future turned out, and that knowledge colors our understanding of those who lived in the past. These pieces were written at a time when no one knew what the future would be: in a larger sense who would win the war, in a smaller sense what would happen to many of the people who populate these accounts. These reporters did not write of the generals and statesmen who directed the war. Instead, they wrote of their daily contact with ordinary soldiers, sailors, and civilians caught in a momentous struggle. I recommend it to those interested in history. (Sergio D.)



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