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Important Messages
Welcome to the Summer Reading Clubs of the Woodbridge Public Library System!
Join us in celebrating the joy of reading. In the summer reading club for adults, Color Your World, you can read any book you like. Each time you rate and review a title, your name will be entered into a weekly drawing for a prize. The Main Library will host a film series, three exciting programs, plus an end-of-the-summer Color-Full Party and Book/CD/DVD exchange. Main and branches will hold mini-book discussions paired with a simple but fun bookmark craft. (You'll receive an extra prize entry slip for each program you attend.)
GRAND PRIZE: A $399 Apple Gift Card!!


Reviews
Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Review
This continent is not usually associated with such an adjective: the British author depicts a completely different image of Europe (after World War II) and wants to set the record straight about the massive socio-economic, moral and physical destruction of individuals and institutions that the World War created all over Europe.

Beyond the narrow idea of a war between Nazi and Allied forces and the overall chaos, WWII was more about a myriad of old and unresolved ethnic conflicts that continued throughout Western and Eastern Europe, and resurrected again decades later, like the conflicts in Bosnia, in the former Yugoslavia and in other locations.

Savage Continent's statistics and stories on Europe are not for the faint-hearted: epidemics of venereal diseases and rape --with the Allied forces to a lesser extent-- meant that 2 million women were raped in Germany by the Red Army alone; Jewish people (from Central European countries like Romania) who survived the Holocaust were treated with hostility, indifference or pogroms, and, ironically, the safest solution and place for Eastern European Jews was to flee to Germany; hundreds of major European cities like Warsaw were 90% destroyed with no judiciary, government, banks, shops, schools or other institutions; women collaborators were singled out, rounded up, and publicly humiliated in France and Italy; in Norway, children of Scandinavian mothers and German soldiers were ridiculed in schools, severely discriminated against and not granted Norwegian citizenship for decades; tens of millions of populations belonging to ethnic minorities around Europe were removed from their homes and expelled to another country.

This book describes a reality that is far from the Times Square iconic image of the nurse and returning soldier who were pictured kissing in celebration of the end of World War II.
  Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Title
Savage Continent
Author
Keith Lowe
Rating
Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Review
During my childhood, I had been startled numerous times by my brother and cousins erupting behind a door with some high-pitched kung fu howls and disarticulated moves: suddenly, they did only answer to their newly adopted middle name, "Bruce-Lee", alongside hundreds of millions of boys and men living on every continent around the world.

This is why, as an adult, I really wanted to understand that in-depth passion for Bruce Lee, his tremendous impact and legacy. I recently borrowed one of my cousin's favorite books, "The Bruce Lee Story": it was a great introduction to Bruce Lee's charismatic personality, to his incredible talent, to what martial arts really mean, and to his personal life and far-seeing activities in the world of entertainment both in Hong Kong and in the U.S.

Equally important --at least in my mind-- I was inspired by his spiritual/intellectual capacity, his interest in fellow human beings and his innovations in martial arts. He fought against other fellow Chinese for the right to pass on martial arts knowledge and teach kung fu to non-Asians, to peoples of all races, and to the masses. Nonetheless, he was feeling the weight of racial prejudice and was rejected by his wife's family because of his Asian heritage. He also decided to fight racism and stereotypes in his other profession, and therefore refused to play the derogatory roles and portrayals of Asians in television and Hollywood film.

After reading this biographical story with a lot of photographs and many interesting insights from his wife, I came away with a lot of respect for Bruce Lee, his beliefs and philosophical views, his uniquely gifted (martial) artistry and discipline, his erudition and commitment, together with his great sense of integrity and fairness.  Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Title
The Bruce Lee Story
Author
Linda Lee
Rating
Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Review
Beyond the shocking title, "I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced", this book is about the courage of a young girl: do you know any 10-year old girl who defies the orders of her father and brothers as a child bride, uses grocery/bread money to take a taxi, tells the driver to take her to the courthouse, and asks the judge to grant her a divorce? I personally don't know any and found Nujood's story unforgettable.

In this book, one can clearly see that this innocent little girl, who is a force of nature despite her tender age, really confronts the notions of honor in Yemeni society, its judicial system, and fights for her own rights and status as a person. Subjected to severe domestic violence, she is the first little Yemeni girl to show up at a courthouse and therefore gets all the needed assistance from the best women rights lawyer in Yemen, from the judges and from the local media.

Following Nujood's story, one can grasp the real underlying factor --poverty and its consequences on families and young girls--that sustains such a child bride practice in Yemen. Because of her courage and determination, Nujood is granted a divorce, able to later reconcile with her parents, and returns to school (with the future objective of becoming a lawyer).

Beyond the public debate on the issue, Nujood's life has been transformed, and the proceeds from the book have lifted her and her family out of poverty: they have their own home and a steady income, and Nujood is adapting to her celebrity-like status in Yemen and abroad.

  Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Title
I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
Author
Delphine Minoui (Author), Linda Coverdale (Translator)
Rating
Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Review
The title pretty much says it all...ten years ago, Quinn was engaged to her high school sweetheart and literally moments before she was to walk down the aisle, her groom's best man/brother comes to her and tells her that her fiance has cheated on her. The wedding is off and Quinn ends up having a rebound fling with said best man/brother/tattler. Flash-forward to present day and Quinn once again finds herself involved with both men and having to decide who is the right one for her. I enjoyed the author's style but found myself not so enamored of the central triangle...in the intervening years, Quinn has shielded her heart and never entered into another relationship...really? Why wallow in the past for TEN YEARS? Ex-groom, Burke is bitter in the realization that his stupid actions cost him the one girl he truly loved...but in my books, once a cheater, always a cheater. And I feel brother Frank is no great catch with his selfish motivations for coming between Burke and Quinn all those years ago. Who will end up with whom?...too bad for Quinn, the best guy in the story is her best friend Glenn...but he's gay!!!  Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Title
Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger
Author
Beth Harbison
Rating
Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Review

This book is a good introduction to Islam to non-Muslims and a great read to young Muslims growing up in the United States, with an introspective and interesting understanding of Islam as practiced in America and in various locations around the world. Based on her personal experience and knowledge of Islam, the author, Sumbul Ali-Karamali, writes about her family, her life as a young American Muslim growing up in Southern California.

She explains in a language more accessible to young Americans the "five pillars of Islam", and how she starts the conversation with her parents, fellow students, friends and acquaintances about what it means to be a Muslim.

Sumbul has a good sense of humor and shows how she and others translate their Islamic beliefs and practices in their every day life: she addresses questions like, "What do Muslims eat? What is the Islamic story of how Muslims were told to pray five times a day? Why do Muslim men and women pray in separate lines as Islamic prayer involves standing very close together, bending, kneeling, sitting up while praying?"and many more. This book decodes the must list of Islamic beliefs and practices in all their diversity and unity. "Growing Up Muslim" also allows the conversation about the links, similarities and bridges between Islam and other religions to continue.

Apart from a few minor inconsistencies – such as not including Bangladeshis as South Asian Muslims, for example – and apart from little knowledge and mention of the hundreds of millions of Muslims living in sub-Saharan African countries, this book is informative and written in a fun way: there are many interesting anecdotes and great culinary recipes as well.
  Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Title
Growing Up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam
Author
Sumbul Ali-Karamali
Rating
Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Review
I have recently finished Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations which I thought was going to be a biography but it was more about the construction of the book – mostly focusing on the interplay between the subject and the writer. There is way too much Peter Evans in this book –not enough Ava.

The book covers a series of interviews that Ava did in the late 1980s in preparation for a ghostwritten biography. An epilogue at the end tells the reader that that Evans’ biography of Ava was never finished; never published. They hypothesize that Frank Sinatra paid off Ava not to publish the book.

There are parts in this book where Evans publishes the drafts of his chapters. At one point he writes about the conclusion of Ava and Mickey Rooney’s marriage and he describes Ava’s growing relationship with Howard Hughes. Evans writes that Bappie (Ava’s sister) “never saw Howard’s faults…He had a private detective watching me around the clock, 24/7, as they say now” (p. 251).

The use of the phrase 24/7 really threw me. Although I know it existed since the mid 1980s, I’m not sure Ava would have been using it. This makes me wonder about other things Evans credits Ava with saying.

It also bothered me that Evans keeps telling Ava that she needs to write an “honest” book. He is constantly pushing her to talk about subjects - which might have been part of his job but it really seems like she did not want some of that info to be published. Although they say that they did get permission from Ava’s estate to publish the transcripts word for word.

The book has some frank talk about sexuality and anatomy which probably should be expected from a biography about such a noted beauty but some readers may find the material off-putting.
  Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Title
Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations
Author
Peter Evans, Ava Gardner
Rating
Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Review
A debut novel by Lauren Graham -- yes, Lorelei from Gilmore Girls. I admit it, that's what made me want to read the book. A light, frothy read. Pure chick lit, but done well after the first chapter. (I felt it was like reading a script of the show and that did not translate well into the written page.) But I kept with it and began to really like the book and the heroine and her wit and spunk. In any creative writing class, one is always advised to write about what one knows and that is what Lauren Graham has written. Franny Banks is a struggling New York actress fast approaching her self imposed deadline of abandoning her dream profession if she hasn't made substantial progress. Will she succeed, not only professionally, but romantically, because after all, this is chick lit!  Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Title
Someday, Someday, Maybe
Author
Lauren Graham
Rating
Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Review
Excellent mystery. Private detective Cormoran Strike, a down-on-his-luck Afghan war vet is called upon to investigate the suicide of supermodel Lula Landry. Though it is ruled a suicide by police, her brother hires Strike to look into her death. This leads Strike into a world of supermodels, fashion designers and suspense. Written by Robert Gailbraith who has been revealed to be a pseudonym of JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series.  Woodbridge Public Library Catalog
Title
The Cuckoo's Calling
Author
Robert Galbraith
Rating