The GrownUps Corner – Adult Book Reviews

Wanted: Book Reviews!

Send us short reviews of favorite books you think other like-minded readers will enjoy. Click here to submit a review online  or drop them off at the desk.

By the way, if the library doesn’t yet own the book, perhaps you’d like to purchase a copy — at the library’s 20-45% discount — and gift it to the collection. You’ll get to read it first! Talk to Phyllis.

A Foreign Country

“A Foreign Country” by Charles Cumming

What a smashing good spy story!  This reads like an old, classic spy story – not one of those car-chasing, dynamite explosion types.  Our hero, Tom Kell, has been put “out in the cold” as a scapegoat in a mission gone bad.  He is bored and missing being where the action is and is quite pleased when he is approached to take on a quiet mission to find out what has happened to the newly appointed Chief, just a few short weeks before she is supposed to take over.

As with most good spy stories, you never really know until the end (and sometimes not even then) who is really what they seem to be. It’s very nice to see that some new writers (Cumming, Furst, Mark Mills) are appearing to take the place of the old masters of spy stores.



“Redshirts” by John Scalzi

If you’re a Star Trek fan you know that the person on the away-team wearing a red shirt is not likely to make it back to the ship.  Redshirts starts out as a send-up of Star Trek and other sci-fi books and movies, has some quite funny moments along the way and ends up with thoughful questions and touching poignancy.  If nothing else, at the end, you will want to wrest your own life away from its Narrative and take control of it.


Cold Is The Sea

“Cold is the Sea” by Edward Beach

Edward Beach is one of the outstanding writers of submarine fiction.  This book brings back the characters first met in the book “Run Silent, Run Deep”.  It is many years later.  The war is over; the Cold War has begun. Our heros are older, and wiser, and are now in command of nuclear subs.

Under the Arctic ice pack they encounter an enemy determined to stop them from relaying information about a secret installation.  It’s a page-turner, getting more and more suspenseful as the climatic ending nears.


Fire On The Beach

“Fire on the Beach : Recovering the Lost Story of Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Lifesavers”  by David Wright

This is an extremely well written, amazing story of the all-black crew of Station 17 of the U. S. Life-Saving Service on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”. Richard Etheridge was born a slave on the Outer Banks in 1842.  He fought during the Civil War as a fugitive slave and after the war returned to North Carolina and enlisted in the Life-Saving Service in 1875.  In 1879 he was made ‘keeper’ of Station 17.  His station carred out a truly heroic action, saving all passengers when the ship E. S. Newman floundered during a hurricane on October 11, 1896.

The seven men of Station 17 were outstanding, not because of their color, and not in spite of their color.  They were outstanding because they did what they did not for money or recognition, but to save lives.

The book reads like the best thriller.