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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

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Big reader of mysteries? You're covered. Someone who'd rather listen than read a print book? We've got your back. 

March 8, 2019

Beer battles and pie (could it be more midwestern if it tried?)

Cover of The Lager Queen of Minneso
A review of The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal

I read Stradal's debut, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, almost in one sitting (literally, as I was in my seat on an airplane) and loved every moment of it. So I was thrilled to see that Stradal's second book was finally here and I dove right in when a pre-pub copy came my way.

March 7, 2019

Romance? Check!

Cover of The Kiss Quotient
A review of The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Stella Lane sees the world in math and economics. There is no room for error and there's a formula for everything. So when she's ready for a serious relationship she creates a to-do list and gets ready to start checking off boxes! The only problem is, romantic chemistry is not a formula she can predict.

March 5, 2019

An Eye for Fashion

Cover of Potato Pants
A review of Potato Pants by Laurie Keller

All you spuds looking for duds, “Lance Vance’s Fancy Pants Store” is having a big sale on potato pants.  Hurry, hurry, hurry because “Once they’re gone, they’re gone!”

 

February 28, 2019

Attention honor roll students of comedy

Cover of Caddyshack: The Making of
A review of Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris Nashawaty

This is the story behind the genius and tragedy of the 1980 comedy film Caddyshack. Full disclosure: I love National Lampoon and have most of the Vacation movies completely memorized. I was excited that there was a new book about Caddyshack, one of my all-time favorites. It can be tough to watch movies from the 70s and 80s with regards to racism and sexism and recreational drug use, but parts of Caddyshack hold up fairly well.

February 27, 2019

Clucky Birthday!

Cover of I Got a Chicken for my Bir
A review of I Got a Chicken for my Birthday by Laura Gehl

Ana asked her Abuela Lola (3 times!) for tickets to the amusement park for her birthday, but all she got was a chicken. Lucky for Ana… it isn’t any ordinary chicken. Her chicken isn’t interested in normal chicken things like laying eggs or pecking at chicken feed. Oh no! This chicken has PLANS. It has a list. It has blueprints. It has a bulldozer. This hysterical story told in simple sentences, brilliant illustrations, and funny little side notes “Sorry, no time for cake!” will keep you and your little one giggling over and over.

February 22, 2019

Welcome back, Carmen Sandiego

Cover of Who in the World is Carmen
A review of Who in the World is Carmen Sandiego? by Rebecca Tinker

I loved playing Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? a computer game created in 1985 by the American software company Broderbund. The game was originally classified as a "mystery exploration" series but became one of the first edutainment programs used in schools. I was introduced to the game as a 5.25-inch floppy disc for the Apple II. It was used in the computer lab when I was a student, to teach kids how to install computer programs and to build typing and mouse skills. I credit most of my knowledge of geography and capital cities of the world to this excellent game. 

February 21, 2019

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