BCL Staff Picks for 2010

Francesca Denton, Reference Manager, Bluffton Branch

Half A Life coverDarin Strauss is a masterful orchestra conductor of words, harmonizing them to create vivid moods of grief, blameless guilt, tragedy and post-traumatic stress, and ultimately redemption. Darin works through that moment in time that can utterly and completely change lives - a must read for anyone who faces traumatic ordeals with life-changing consequences.


Janice Campbell, Circulation Representative, Hilton Head Branch

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet coverHenry is a first generation Chinese-American in Seattle in 1940 whose father sends him to an all-white school wearing a button that states, “I Am Chinese” lest he be confused with those being rounded up and sent to Japanese internment camp. Ironically, the only student at school who will befriend him is Keiko, a Japanese-American girl. They form a tentative bond of friendship and budding love when Keiko’s and her family are swept up in the evacuations.

Forty years later, Henry returns to the hotel Panama as the new owner is cleaning out belongings of Japanese families who left them for safe keeping and never returned.

This is a well-written historical fiction novel that reminds us of a shameful period in American history and cautions us against repeating those injustices.


Mary Jo Berkes, Branch Manager, Hilton Head Branch

Bezellia coverThis is Susan Gregg Gilmore’s second novel. She is a great storyteller. It is the story of Bezellia Grove and her struggle to come to terms with who she is. Bezellia’s life I of ‘privilege’ is far from easy. Her mother hides her drinking problem and her father is always distant and inaccessible.She cherishes her relationships with her nanny and handyman which seem more important to her than her family. Relationships in the 1960’s in Nashville were neatly ordered by class, status, and skin color but Bezellia rebels against the rules . In the end, she must decide who she really is. Does she live up to the expectations placed on her because of her family’s position in society or her own goals and passions?


Francesca Denton, Reference Manager, Bluffton Branch

Major Pettigrew coverListening to the audiobook was so much fun and most engaging! Very British, and very well done. It would make a very entertaining movie.


Francesca Denton, Reference Manager, Bluffton Branch

Mockingjay coverTeen fiction is all grown up in this dark, provocative trilogy, Hunger Games. Mockingjay is a fitting end to a series that goes far beyond a futuristic adventure thriller. It has much to say about media manipulation, especially in war and revolution - who can be trusted? The dark themes of love betrayed, power corrupted, honor bought and sold, and the seeming futility of perseverance resonate in a prophetic cautionary tale about this most dangerous game of life.