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Discovered this series over vacation and what a great one - can't wait to read the rest of them! Junior Bender is a burglar and a successufl one for fourteen years, until now. Caught on camera, he now is being blackmailed by a powerful L.A. mob family to help get an adult film made with a former child star. The characters in this book are memorable and I was rooting for Junior to find a way out of the situation.

I've been on vacation so had plenty of time to catch up on my reading. I discovered a new British police procedural series that is pretty good. This is the first book in the series and features DI Carrigan and DS Miller as new partners. They are called to the scene of a murder at London College but soon discover that this has ties to the underworld of illegal immigrants and African genocide. I really enjoyed the characters, plot and story as the mystery intertwined with current politics.

This is the fourth book in Bolton's series featuring Lacey Flint, a young policewoman in London. I have enjoyed each book to date and this was no exception. If you are a fan of police procedurals that also feature a strong female protagonist, puzzling mysteries, set in England - give this series a try.

Rose has Aspergers and lives in a small town that does not quite know how to handle her. She loves homophones and the book is filled with them. She names her dog Rain, Reign. This is a beautiful story about a special needs child and her bond with her dog. A hurricane hits, and her dog gets lost, sending Rose’s world into a spiral. I became attached to the characters and missed them when the book ended.

Middle school student, Maya has very few friends and hates how socially awkward she is. She finds a book published in 1951 on how to be popular and decides to live the book’s advice during her 8th grade year. This includes girdles, Vaseline instead of eye shadow and gloves. Maya’s journey is funny, painful and above all, endearing. She learns that being popular is completely different than what she expected. Both adults and young readers will enjoy this one.

You may recognize Elizabeth Gilbert's name from her last book, Eat, Pray, Love. In this book, she takes a different tack and creates an engaging work of fiction. I really enjoyed this book as a look into science, lives of women during this time and characters who I cared about. This book is ending up on several best of 2013 lists and I can see why.

An African American teen leaves a convenience store at a run and is subsequently confronted, shot, and killed. From this seemingly straightforward event, Kekla Magoon spins a story that makes clear the disconnect between perception and reality. An all-too-real rendering that will help readers identify their own biases. This book begs to be read and discussed.

I really like Libba Bray. Each one of her books is different and takes you to a whole new world. This book is set in 1920's New York where Evie has been banished due to mishap back home in Ohio. There is a rash of occult-related murders and you find that Evie and others have mysterious powers. Between the setting, great plot and engaging characters, I was sad when the book ended!!!

Set in Mississippi during the summer of 1964, this unique mashup of a novel interspersed with first person accounts, song lyrics, and photographs tells the parallel stories of Sunny, a white 12 year old, and Raymond, a black boy of similar age. During the Freedom Summer, college students and activists come to their small Mississippi town to register the African American residents to vote.