Beth's Book Review

  • Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

    April 27, 2018

    Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead Books, 2017)

     

    I wanted to like Into the Water by Paula Hawkins because I had enjoyed her previous novel, The Girl on the Train, which was a ...

  • Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

    Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)

     

    How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got ...

  • The Truth About My Reading

    The Truth About My Reading

    I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and ...

  • The German Girl

    The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa (Washington Square Press, 2016)

    For each of the twelve million victims murdered during World War II there is a gutwrenching story to be told. I have read ...

  • The Skin Collector

    The Skin Collector by Jeffery Deaver (Grand Central, 2014)

    Jack the Ripper. The Boston Strangler. The Texas Watchtower Killer. The Zodiac Killer. The Angel of Death. The Butcher. BTK. The police ...

  • Queen Mary and the Cruiser

    Queen Mary and the Cruiser by David A. Thomas and Patrick Holmes (Naval Institute Press, 1997)

    “Had the forenoon watch and after eating went out onto the fo'c'sle. Just arrived at ...

  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)

     

    In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel ...

  • Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

    This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change ...

  • Lilli DeJong by Janet Benton

    Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton (Doubleday, 2017)

     

    “It's said that every woman's painful labor is God's punishment. Eve ate an apple, and God pours wrath on every mother.

  • Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

    Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)

     

    Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they ...

  • Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

    Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

    It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, ...

  • Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

    Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

    How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K.

  • Drama by Raina Telgemeir

    Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic, 2012) (target audience, Young Adults)

     

    When my daughter, Shauna, was six years old, we took her to see her first Broadway production; a revival of ...

  • The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory

    The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory (Touchstone, 2017)

    Yesterday my cousin, the daughter of my mother's sister, called me from California where she lives, and hit me up for money. This is not ...

  • The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb

    The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb (Atria Books, 2017)

     

    Sharyn McCrumb is, quite simply, an American gem, and one of my favorite authors. From her books set in Appalachia with strange ...

  • Maisie Dobbs by Jacquelline Winspear

    Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (Soho Press, 2003)

    In the song “The Schuyler Sisters” from the Broadway musical Hamilton, sister Angelica sings, “ I've been reading ...

  • The People Versus Alex Cross by James Patterson

    The People Versus Alex Cross by James Patterson (Little, Brown, 2017)

     

    Alex Cross, subject of James Patterson's 25th book in this venerable, fast paced detective series, is in big ...

  • In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

    In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume (Vintage Books, 2015)

     

    I loved In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. Set in Elizabeth, NJ in the early 1950s, the landmarks, famous people of the era, ...

  • Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly

    Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown, 2017)

     

    Being a book reviewer has its pitfalls, the biggest of which is the “the false start.” This is when I get half ...

  • Victoria and Albert: A Royal Love Affair by Daisy Goodwin and Sara Sheridan

    Victoria and Albert: A Royal Love Affair by Daisy Goodwin and Sara Sheridan (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

    Several months ago I reviewed the magnificent compendium Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin ...

  • Garth Brooks Concert

    The Garth Brooks Concert- Prudential Center, December 3, 2017

    When the last child cries for a crust of bread

    When the last man dies for just words that he said,

    When there's shelter over ...

  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

    The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Simon and Schuster, 2013)

     

    If you are looking for a quirky, laugh out loud, fun book, check out Graeme Simsion's first novel The Rosie Project.

  • The Two Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman

    The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman (St. Martins Griffin, 2016)

     

    Author Lynda Cohen Loigman states, “The Two-Family House is a story I thought about for at least ten years ...

  • The Bakers Daughter by Sarah McCoy

    The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy (Crown, 2012)

    The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy is a compelling read, a good story, and a novel that one wants to discuss when finished reading. It ...

  • Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

    Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King (Scribner, 2017)

     

    Sleeping Beauties is a new novel produced by King squared. Stephen King has teamed up with his son, Owen, in this recent ...

  • Obsessed by Lisa Lillien

    Hungry Girl: Obsessed by Lisa Lillien (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

     

    The aroma of Crazy Carrot Cake Oatmeal Bake is tantalizing me as I write this review on the amazing Lisa ...

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South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Makayla Sosa Softball

The South Plainfield Softball is off to another great start to the 2018 season. The Lady Tigers are currently 9-3 on the year.  This past week saw South Plainfield go 4-0 against conference opponents.  The Lady Tigers got things rolling by defeating Colonia 5-3 on Monday and then Woodbridge 9-0 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, they traveled to Sayreville High School. Once again, South ...

The Athlete of the Week Samantha Pullen Girls’ Spring Track

The South Plainfield High School Girls’ track team is off to another great start in the 2018 season.  Their record currently stands at 3-0. This past week, the Lady Tigers defeated divisional rivals Metuchen and Middlesex by the scores of 80-56 and 75-56.  They then went on to dominate Bishop Ahr by a score of 112-24.  Much of the Lady Tigers success has been due to the ...

Holy Savior Academy Excels in the Arts - Annual Spring Musical, Art Show to Take Place in May

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The students and staff at Holy Savior Academy, a pre-K3 through eighth grade AdvancedED accredited Middlebrook Deanery Catholic School located in South Plainfield, have been busy gearing up for two widely anticipated spring events. In May, the drama club will present its 4th annual Spring Spectacular Musical and a school wide art show will also take ...

Obituaries

Victor Kochmann, 92, passed away on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 surrounded by his loving family in ...
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Letters to the Editor

Letter Welcoming Mike Zushma to Politics

April 19, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I'd like to welcome Mike Zushma to the world of politics and congratulate him on being selected as the town's Democratic Chairman.

 

I've served as Republican chair since 2009, and I've always enjoyed spending my time helping good people get elected to office.  In South Plainfield, it's never about party:  People work together and try ...

Natalie Stilo Signs with Drew University Golf Team

April 20, 2018

Natalie Stilo, Senior at Bishop George Ahr High School, has signed with Drew University's golf team. Currently, Natalie is on Bishop Ahr's golf team. Golf became her passion after her 10 year career in gymnastics ended. She has been working on her golf game and is excited to have the opportunity to play for Drew. She will attend Drew University in the Fall, majoring in Molecular Biology ...

Community Happenings

South Plainfield High School Hall Of Fame Is Seeking Nominees

April 19, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The South Plainfield High School Hall of Fame Committee is again holding their search for candidates for induction into the SPHS Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame was established at South Plainfield High School to recognize outstanding graduates as leaders in their fields who could serve as role models for current and future students.

Candidates will be evaluated on ...

Meet with Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez - 19th Legislative District

April 24, 2018

New Jersey State School Board's Legislative Advocate Christopher Jones (l to r), Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez 19th District, Lucille Bloom, Delegate New Jersey School Boards Association Board of Directors and member of the Sayreville Board of Education and Middlesex County School Board's President Debbie Boyle and member of the  South Plainfield Board of Education  met on April ...

Holy Savior Academy to Hold Open House on April 24

April 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Holy Savior Academy, an AdvancedED accredited Middlebrook Deanery Catholic School located in South Plainfield, will hold an open house the evening of Tuesday, April 24.At this time, prospective students and their families in pre-K3 through 8th grade will have the opportunity to tour the school, meet teachers and register. 

“Holy Savior ...

South Plainfield Middle School Students Perform with the CJMEA Honors Band

April 25, 2018

Monroe Township, NJ- On April 21, ten South Plainfield Middle School students had the opportunity to perform with the Central Jersey Music Educators Honors Band.  Many students were nominated to participate in the event and 10 were selected from South Plainfield.  The students who participated were: Emily Wong on Flute, Joseph Cassio on Oboe, Sara DeSimone and Denise Bui on Clarinet, ...

Part Time Position in Municipal Court

The South Plainfield Borough is seeking to hire a part time person with strong customer service skills to perform detailed Municipal Court clerical work.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Answering telephone and walk in inquiries, data entry, maintaining files and records for accuracy, processing payments, related duties as required.

Successful candidates should process ...

Upcoming Events

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Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

Spring Wellness Health Fair - Mayor's Wellness

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Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

South Plainfield's Annual Health and Fitness Fair

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Sat, April 28, 7:00 PM

South Plainfield

A Tribute to our Veterans - Jim Barone

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Sun, April 29, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Autism Awareness Event on April 29th

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Sat, May 5, 9:00 AM

Sewaren

Color Me Run to End Domestic Violence

Columns

Diegnan, Pinkin and Karabinchak Hail Announcement of Grand Opening of New South Plainfield MVC Office

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ- Acting on their commitment to the citizens of Middlesex County, Senator Patrick Diegnan, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin and Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak today announced that a new, modernized South Plainfield Agency is tentatively scheduled to open on Monday, May 14, 2018.

"I must complement the Motor Vehicle Commission for ending this potential crisis and express my ...

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead Books, 2017)

 

I wanted to like Into the Water by Paula Hawkins because I had enjoyed her previous novel, The Girl on the Train, which was a suspenseful thriller. However, when I finished reading the first part of the Into the Water, I realized that I had not absorbed anything that was happening in the story. I blamed myself for not paying ...

Bookmarks

Your library is a hub of education and entertainment that is available to you not just when the library is open, but at all hours, thanks to our great online resources.  

If you want to brush up on your computer skills, or learn something new, try Learning Express.  You can access it through the library’s website. Once you’ve registered (you’ll need ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Fashion Show/Fund Raiser A Lot of Fun and A Great Success!

Heidi Klum would certainly approve of the Suburban Woman’s Club Annual Fashion Show and Fund Raiser held on Sunday, April 22nd.  One hundred fifty ladies enjoyed a lovely lunch and watched models of all shapes, sizes and ages walk the runway at the South Plainfield Senior Center. 

VP Jane Rundella, Co-Chair of this event, was the show’s narrator and provided the audience ...

Press Releases

Diegnan, Pinkin and Karabinchak Hail Announcement of Grand Opening of New South Plainfield MVC Office

April 27, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ- Acting on their commitment to the citizens of Middlesex County, Senator Patrick Diegnan, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin and Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak today announced that a new, modernized South Plainfield Agency is tentatively scheduled to open on Monday, May 14, 2018.

"I must complement the Motor Vehicle Commission for ending this potential crisis and express my ...