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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

The concierge is available

Unclaimed Baggage book cover
A review of NPR's Best Books of 2018 by

NPR's Book Concierge is back for 2018 and there are more then 300 titles for you to sort and peruse. You can look at all 319 titles or you can break it down by category. Or if you want to narrow it down even more, pick a couple of categories and see which titles fit your new criteria. There is quite simply something for everyone in this massive catalog. So take a look. Do you want to see which two books work for Art Lovers and Book Clubs? It's possible. How about the Comic/Graphic Novel that is Rather Short? You got it.

Nov 28, 2018

The power of YouTube

Cover of An Absolutely Remarkable T
A review of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

How often are two siblings really good at the same thing? There’s Venus and Serena Williams, Orville and Wilbur Wright, the Bronte sisters... it’s not unheard of, but it’s not super common either. Anyway, after reading An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green, I would definitely add John and Hank Green to the list of talented siblings. I’ve been a John Green fan for a long time and I knew that he and his brother Hank made great YouTube videos, but I didn’t have super high expectations for Hank’s debut novel.

Nov 27, 2018

That these two people found each other is nothing short of a miracle

Cover of The Greatest Love Story Ev
A review of The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman

And we're allowed to sit back and enjoy the show. I'm talking about Hollywood's most charming couple, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. Their new book, The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History shares the story of how they met and what their romance is all about. It's no surprise these two beautiful people met doing something actor-y while living in California. It's what they are all about that is the most fascinating. 

Here are some highlights:

Nov 20, 2018

Secrets and lies (oh and ghosts)

Cover of A Dangerous Collaboration
A review of A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn

Veronica Speedwell and her cantankerous companion Stoker return in their fourth adventure. Veronica is just back in England after a lengthy butterfly hunting trip abroad. She'd been using the time away to try and figure out where her feelings stand in regard to Stoker but still hasn't figured anything out. So an invitation from Stoker's brother, Tiberius, to attend a house party at the estate of Lord Malcolm Romilly, which is on an island off the coast of Cornwall, seems just the ticket to distract her.

Nov 19, 2018

Odd, weird and little indeed

Cover of Odd, Weird, & Little
A review of Odd, Weird, & Little by Patrick Jennings

Odd, weird, and little says it all, when describing the new kid in Woodrow’s classroom. Toulouse is his name, he’s from Quebec, he wears a fancy suit and carries a briefcase, and he speaks French. Woodrow, the book’s narrator and the current odd-man-out at school, is immediately intrigued with Toulouse, but he wonders if it would be worth it befriending this unique and rather owlish new student. Woodrow defends Toulouse against the classroom bullies, and Toulouse helps Woodrow, while simultaneously showing off his exceptional talents, and the two become friends.

Nov 16, 2018

Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean photo
Book Festival Event

At the 2018 Cheryl Rosen Weston Memorial Lecture, Susan Orlean, hailed as a “national treasure” by The Washington Post and the acclaimed bestselling author of Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief, reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution—our libraries.

Nov 12, 2018

Bedtime beats

Cover of Hip-Hop Lollipop
A review of Hip-Hop Lollipop by Susan McElroy Montanari

Two girls, Lollipop and her sister Tasha are both dancing to their favorite tunes as their parents remind them it is time to slow down, settle and get ready for bed. The language of Montanari’s Hip-Hop lullaby dances across the page in perfect meter. Pinkney’s soft, fluid illustrations provide pitch perfect movement as he depicts this warm family moment as simultaneously universal (how to get energetic youngsters to bed) and unique (to hip-hop, techno and dance fans).

Nov 9, 2018

Madams, morality and the mob

Cover of Empire of Sin: A Story of
A review of Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist

One of my current favorite tv shows has wound down for its second season. The last episode of The Deuce was on this past Sunday and I'm already feeling the loss. Especially since this last season has been stellar. So this was a perfect time to discover another history of an era of vice, corruption and people struggling just to make it through. Empire covers New Orleans history and culture from the 1880s to the 1930s and reading it while immersing myself in the sex-trade industry of 1970s New York made for a nicely synergistic experience.

Nov 7, 2018

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