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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

That other sunken ship

Cover of Dead Wake: The Last Crossi
A review of Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Ask anyone about a notorious shipwreck, and they will more than likely respond with the Titanic disaster of 1912. Yet a mere three years later, another grand ocean liner met an equally disastrous fate, the repercussions of which would be felt far beyond those immediately involved. The Lusitania was the giant Cunard liner that many felt could not, would not fall victim to Germany’s submarine warfare against British shipping. It’s an intriguing story, and when told by Erik Larson in Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, it becomes an intensely personal, vivid tale.

July 16, 2019

Time for Bed!

Cover of Tickle My Ears
A review of Tickle My Ears by Jorg Muhle

It is bedtime and little rabbit has much to do to get ready for bed, so he needs the reader’s help.  Toddlers tap, clap, fluff (a pillow), and even give rabbit a kiss to help him through his bedtime ritual.  This is just one of the Little Rabbit series that is sure to be popular with young readers. Other titles in this interactive board book series are Bathtime for Little Rabbit, and Poor Little Rabbit

July 16, 2019

Things that go bump in dark, deep space

Cover of The Last Astronaut
A review of The Last Astronaut by David Wellington

I'm going to tell you that I have a very low threshold for scary things. So if I say that a book freaked me out you can take it with a grain of salt. That said, The Last Astronaut, which was a bit of Alien, a bit of The Martian and some Major Tom vibes thrown in, made me read with one eye closed for the latter half of the book as the creeping dread of the unknown grew.

July 15, 2019

Spy ladies are the thing

Cover of The Lost Girls of Paris
A review of The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

It's 1946 and a young widow named Grace Healey stumbles upon a suitcase left under a bench in Grand Central Terminal in New York City. At the same moment, a former British special agent named Eleanor Trigg is hit by a car outside the station and killed instantly. What follows next is a tangled web of intrigue, espionage, heartbreak and heroism.

July 12, 2019

Once upon a dog

Cover of Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker
A review of Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker by Jessica Ahlberg

I grew up loving the work of Janet and Allan Ahlberg, so I was thrilled when I discovered Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker – a picture book written and illustrated by their daughter, Jessica Ahlberg. This cumulative story follows Lucy and her dog, Mr. Barker, through a series of fairy tales.

July 10, 2019

Old favorite, rediscovered

Cover of Troubled Waters
A review of Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn

I used to love to wander through a bookstore and feed my reading need (this on top of checking many stacks of books out of the library). But at some point I stopped buying all those print copies, partially for space reasons, partially because of the changing bookstore landscape and partially because I was reading more and more digitally. So what's my version of strolling through the bookstore aisles? Late in the evening I look for ebook deals online to see if there's anything that catches my fancy (this on top of the library books I check out electronically and read on Libby!).

July 8, 2019

List from the lists

Cover of Recommended Summer Reading
Recommended Summer Reading
Are you looking for some good vacation reading? Having a hard time catching up on all the "best summer books lists"? Then check out The Ultimate Summer Books Preview of 2019 from Literary Hub. They've done the work for you. Their staff writer, Emily Temple, read a bunch of summer book preview lists and tallied the results. Below is a the list of titles that have been recommended 4 or more times. 
Happy reading!
 
July 3, 2019

Living the life of endless McDonald's

Cover of Born a Crime: Stories from
A review of Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

This is one of those books that I'm going to proclaim as universally beneficial. I can't imagine a person living on planet Earth who wouldn't be able to take away something from this book, starting with the shocking reality of the title Born a Crime. Trevor Noah, comedian, actor, and Jon Stewart's successor as host of The Daily Show was born in 1984 in South Africa to a black mother and a white father. His parent's interracial relationship was illegal under apartheid law, so therefore his birth was a crime.

July 1, 2019

A gorgeous debut

Cover of On Earth We're Briefly Gor
A review of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

The last few years have been a real heyday for Asian American literature. There have been blockbuster film adaptations of Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians and Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Celeste Ng’s unstoppable suburban drama Little Fires Everywhere, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer win for The Sympathizer, and critically lauded novels from Susan Choi (Trust Exercise) and Ling Ma (Severance), just to name a few.

June 28, 2019

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