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51av+CdT-kL._AC_UL320_SR214,320_By Gini Rainey

“The Twelfth of Never” by Cynthia Boone

When I reviewed Ms. Boone’s book “Where Have You Been” back in January, I had a sense that she was on to something very good. I was right! Her latest book, “The Twelfth of Never” should put her up with some of the better romance novel writers around. Giving her readers a top-notch storyline with characters that are not only believable, but also likable, she has touched all the bases required for a home-run best seller.

Putting a new spin on the age-old formula of rich boy (Harris) who meets poor girl (Cassie), she tells the poignant story of a couple of young kids who meet in 1954 Dallas, Texas. Each goes their separate way to college, him to Yale and her to SMU, without realizing that they love one another. Through their friendly correspondence with each other, Boone tells the passing of time until they both wind up back in Dallas after graduation and realize how much they love one another.

Of course, love can never be easy when you’re young, and Boone has a lot of plot twists and turns scheduled for Harris and Cassie. So many, in fact, that just about the time you think you’ve got it all figured out, you turn the page and discover you don’t.

This is definitely a book that I would recommend you read if you love stories that are loaded up with romance, intrigue, and lovable, as well as despicable characters. You might as well get comfortable when you start reading this one, I promise you won’t want to put it down until you get to the very end.

Rating: 5 of 5

Copyright 2015 – Book Baby

51eQvANUsnL“The Book Thief” by Marcus Zusak

Death touches us all, but Liesel Meminger, the heroine of this novel, manages to touch Death with her shining humanity and the words of her young life, penned in the basement of a poor home, where she survives a devastating bombing of her neighborhood in Nazi Germany. Death personified holds her luminous grief and happiness in his pocket in the form of a black book containing her young life’s autobiography, found by Him, forgotten by her, in the time of her greatest shock and horror.

Her love of books and the words that make them alive starts with the most unlikely sort of origin: “The Grave Digger’s Handbook,” found in the snow after her six-year-old brother’s death. At almost ten, Liesel cannot read; but a new foster father finds “The Book Thief’s” first volume and uses it to teach her in the darkest hours of night when her terrors awaken her. Books continue to come to Liesel, and Liesel helps herself to books – from the remains of a burning pile on the Fuhrer’s birthday; from the haunted and ghostly Mayor’s wife.

Zusak’s prose style is marvelously creative and so completely captivating that word by word, moment by moment, the story is nearly impossible to stop reading. Each and every character becomes real, but most memorable may be the father, Hans, whose kindness and courage are inseparable. The voice of Death, the narrator, is different from any other voice that I have heard speaking of the horrors of WWII. In the midst of tragedy, compassion remains, even in the most unexpected places.

I would highly recommend the book as a fictional counterpoint to Anne Frank’s diary for mature teens reading about WWII and the Holocaust, driving home the idea that brave hearts and strong consciences were found even in Nazi Germany. The character of Liesel jumps off the page with the same life and vivacity as Anne. While there can be no direct comparison between a real person and fictional character, both books convey the horrors of WWII through the eyes of the young. “The Book Thief” can also serve as a reminder as to how easily society can push us to overlook individual conscience for personal and financial comfort. The character of Liesel will live long in my memory as few characters have. This book is a real gem and until you sit and swim in its poetic language, its vivid characters, and visceral tragedy, you won’t understand the power of “The Book Thief.”

Rating: 5 of 5

Copyright 2007 – Alfred A. Knopf

51xgGEKd6oL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_“Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs

On the New York Times Best Seller List for more than 52 consecutive weeks, this book follows the story of 16 year old Jacob. Jacob is very close with his grandfather, who has, from Jacob’s earliest memories, told wild stories of his childhood. He even has the pictures to prove it. Granted, the photos look cheap and doctored to Jacob’s 21st-century eyes, but that doesn’t change the fact that the stories are fantastic.

However, the stories stop being fantastic as Jacob nears adulthood; his grandfather claims that monsters are following him everywhere he goes, that they’re going to kill him. Jacob dismisses it sadly, believing his grandfather is slowly losing his mind. His belief is shaken when his grandpa is mysteriously murdered, torn apart in the woods behind his home. Jacob is the one who finds his grandfather. Just as the paramedics rush in, Jacob spots a horrific monster prowling the scene, which mysteriously disappears and the mysteries continue.

To be honest, when I first started reading “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” I expected a haunting thriller, full of horror and danger. That is not what this book is. Instead, this book is fantasy/adventure combined with a very unique style of photography, which made the book better than I ever thought it would be. I might compare Riggs’ writing style to that of Lemony Snicket in his book “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”

This was a worthy read for those who enjoy eerie, quirky tales. At first I had difficulty deciding into which genre category Peregrine belonged: Historical Fiction? Horror? Thriller? Fantasy? But trust me, it is a pleasant mix of all of these and more. It isn’t scary per se, but I think you will find yourself on the edge of your seat for much of the time you spend reading it. The author’s use of vintage photographs is nothing short of genius, and it would hardly have been the same story without them. My sincere hope was that there would be more to the story (it definitely leaves the reader wanting more, but satisfied at the same time).

If you find yourself hungering for more, Riggs has followed up this book with two more along the same vein, “Hollow City: The Second Novel of Mrs. Peregrine’s Peculiar Children,” and his newly released “Library of Souls: The Third Novel of Mrs. Peregrine’s Peculiar Children.”

Rating: 5 of 5

Copyright 2013 – Quirk Books


Around East Texas

April 5th-7th: Smith County Medical Society Alliance Book Fair


Smith County Medical Society Alliance Book Fair:

Thursday-Saturday, April 5th-7th

The annual Book Fair, the primary fundraiser, began in 1968. A spring and fall sale event, each consisting of a three day sale, gives 75% of net proceeds funds to health career scholarships at Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler.

The Smith County Medical Society Alliance Book Fair will be held at 2004 Broussard St., Tyler. The book fair will be held April 5th-7th, 8am-6pm. Only cash and checks are accepted.

“The community looks forward to our sales and anticipates all the great ‘deals’ and wonderful books they will purchase. We have shoppers from all around the state. We enjoy greeting our seasoned shoppers and meeting new ones as they line up early Thursday morning in anticipation to opening,” said Kelly Michaels, current President of SCMSA.

She continues, “‘Achieving Dreams’ a group of exceptional young adults volunteer every Monday to sort, shelve books, clean, and help with other various jobs. The “Achievers” love working at the Book Fair and show us the meaning of giving back to the community. They are a huge part of Book Fair success.”

Now, shoppers have a nicer shopping experience with more room to roam and more books to choose from. There are books for everyone! There are children’s books, collector’s books, cookbooks, new releases, coffee table books, fiction, non-fiction, hobbies and “How To” books, autobiography and biography, sports, religion, self-help, romance, travel, children’s, gardening, history, and much more.

If you would like to donate books, please drop them off at the book shelves outside in the front of the building. Donations can be made any day, at any time. Donated books are brought in daily. For a donation receipt, please leave your name and address information with your donation or call (903)561-1353 to schedule a drop-off.

For additional information visit or call Book Fair at (903)561-1353.

We also take monetary donations. If you would like to donate to Book Fair, please see the Donations page at This is a wonderful way to honor or remember a friend or loved one and to further health care education.


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March 2018: Book Worm Events!

March 23rd (3-5:30pm) – Meet Local Author Alma Ravenell  and discuss her book “Our Baby.” The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Most events hosted by Club Reads are free. The Library is open Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday 1-5pm. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to

March 27th (10am) – Club Read – Join the Club Read group in discussing this month’s read, “Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan. The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Most events hosted by Club Reads are free. The Library is open Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday 1-5pm. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to

April 5th-7th (8am-6pm) – Book Fair – This year’s event focuses on the sale of donated books which will go to endowed scholarships for nursing and healthcare at TJC and UT-T and for community health projects. Thousand of books will be available for purchase. This is held at SCMSA, 2004 Broussard St., Tyler.

August 4th (1-5pm) – Book Bash will be held at Harvey Hall Convention Center, 2000 W. Front St., Tyler. They are doubling the authors for 2018’s Book Bash! Tickets will be on sale until the day of the event. Come on out and find a new favorite author as well as meet the authors behind the stories. For more info go to Tickets are $12.


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Spring Programs at the Library

Spring Programs at the Library

The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Most events are free. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to


All storytimes will be in Taylor Auditorium. Storytimes will not meet the week of Spring Break, March 12th-16th.

  • Leeme un Cuento/Read to Me Storytime (children 3-6 years old), Mondays at 10:30am
  • Lap & Play Time (babies up to 18 months) features stories, songs, and playtime with developmental toys at 9:30am every Wednesday
  • Toddler Explore Storytime (children under age 3) is on Wednesdays at 10:30am
  • Read Aloud Crowd Storytime (children 3-6 years old), Thursdays at 10:30am

March 3rd (2-4pm) – LEGO® Block Party – Children ages 3 and up, bring your imagination for an afternoon of building and playing! LEGO® and Duplo Blocks are provided.

March 10th and 24th (2-4pm) – Makerspace – This continuing STEM education for children and teens will feature March 10th, Multiplication Bingo; and March 24th, Cardboard Challenge. This will be held in the Library Treehouse.

Spring Break: March 12th-March 16th (10:30am) – Spring Break Movie Matinees – Families are invited to watch a fun feature length films in the library’s auditorium. A different movie will be shown each day. Pillows, blankets, and carpet friendly snacks welcome.


Every Tuesday (4:30-5:30pm) – Teen Tuesdays – If you are in Middle School or High School you’re in! The Library will have games, activities, and fun just for teens. Earn volunteer hours completing special projects. Descriptions for weekly activities can be found at Events are:

  • March 6th: Silent Library Games
  • March 13th: Movie
  • March 20th: Whose Line? Improv Games
  • March 27th: “And Scene!” Reader’s Theater

March 3rd (11:30am-1:30pm) – Tips and Tricks for Dog Owners – Pick up tips and tricks for handling your dog from Certified American Kennel Club Evaluator, Judy Parson. No pets in the Library.

March 7th (12 noon) – Great Decisions is a foreign policy lecture series. Books are available for $22 at the circulation desk. The March topic and speaker is “China and American: The New Geopolitical Equation,” Dr. Robert Sterken.

March 9th (11:30am) – “Raised Bed Gardening on a Hillside” with Wayne Elliot will be presented as part of the Smith County Master Gardener Series. Free to attend.

March 15th (5pm) – Reel Talk – This event is like a book-club, but for movies! Free to attend.

March 23rd (3-5:30pm) – Meet Local Author Alma Ravenell and discuss her book “Our Baby.”

March 2nd and 16th (1-3pm) – Veteran’s Movie – Join this biweekly screening of movies presented especially for veterans. This free event is held the first and third Friday every month.

March 27th (10am) – Club Read – Join the Club Read group in discussing this month’s read, “Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan.

Every Tuesday (10am-1pm) – Quilting Class – Learn the art of quilting at the Library. Fabric and quilt patterns will be provided. Participants are asked to provide their own sewing machines, if you have them, plus scissors, and neutral or white thread. For details and a complete list of supplies please contact the Library’s information desk.

Every Tuesday (5:30-6:30pm) – Evening Meditation – Learn the practice of Heartfulness Meditation with Gayathri Kambhampati.

Every Wednesday (5:30pm) – Gentle Yoga – This gentle yoga class will be taught by Meagan Vrba who is certified in yoga, CPR, and first aid.

Every Saturday (11am-12 noon) – Crochet Classes will be held in the 3rd floor Internet Center Workroom. These are free classes. Learn to crochet with Library staff and volunteers. All materials are provided. All experience levels are welcome.

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