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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Above all things, honor

Cover of Someone to Honor
A review of Someone to Honor by Mary Balogh

I'll say up front that Mary Balogh's newest book isn't going to work for everyone. It's a slow-build, slow-burn romance between a pair of guarded, reserved adults who come to their HEA in small, careful steps. Doesn't sound like a barn burner does it? But for this reader it was a nearly perfect read that let me settle in and savor each moment of the read.

Sep 26, 2019

Da da da dum….

Cover of Beethoven: The Man Reveale
A review of Beethoven: The Man Revealed by John Suchet

Beethoven is everywhere. Cell phones trill ‘Fur Elise,’ parents dote as their offspring murder ‘Ode to Joy’ and the first four notes of the Fifth Symphony practically define classical music for many. For all his familiarity, though, Beethoven the man is frustratingly hard to pin down. Little written evidence survives of the composer’s formative years, and later documents have become burnished by fame over the years. Beethoven scholar and British radio host John Suchet tries to fill in some of the holes in a very user-friendly portrait in Beethoven: The Man Revealed.

Sep 24, 2019

Granting wishes. Kleenex required.

Cover of Noise: Based on a True Sto
A review of Noise: Based on a True Story by Kathleen Raymundo

This short and thought provoking comic will tug at your heartstrings. It's the first day of school and an introverted girl who wants to be left alone finds an empty seat on the bus. She settles in for a ride of quiet and solitude. This is interrupted by a curious and talkative little boy who keeps pestering her for school supplies. His constant requests and questions wear her down and she finally snaps at him.

Sep 23, 2019

How much is enough?

Cover of Followers
A review of Followers by Megan Angelo

I had no sooner finished reading Angelo's debut novel than I started to see people tweeting about an article about an Instagram "influencer" and the woman who was her friend and un-sung (according to her) ghostwriter for a number of years. I found the article and had to double-check the date it was written because the story told there of two young women who meet in New York and team up to take on social media. One has low self-confidence but the ability to work hard and write and the other is a super-confident, though somewhat feckless, woman who wants nothing more than to be famous.

Sep 19, 2019

The book with the red cover

Cover of Supermarket
A review of Supermarket by Bobby Hall a.k.a Logic

Author Bobby Hall, a.k.a. Logic, is one of my niece Abby's favorite artists and she recommended I read this book. So I did! My brief summary of the book is that the main character, a twenty-something man named Flynn, works at a grocery store. On a surface level, libraries and grocery stores are very similar. They have lots of stuff organized in specific ways and many people coming and going, using the space in a variety of ways. I was thinking about this as I was reading the novel. I was also thinking about the fact that Abby works in a grocery store, too.

Sep 17, 2019

Drawing your own reality

Cover of Dog Loves Drawing
A review of Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates

Adventure and new friends abound in Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates. Dog gets a brand new sketchbook from his dear Aunt Dora. “Dog knew exactly what to do. . .“ He begins his own story! With pencil in hand, he draws a door and steps through. He is joined by a stickman, duck, owl, and crab. Of course, they decide to ride a train and, then, set sail on a boat to a sandy island. The sketched illustrations fit well with the storyline. Soft colors and spare lines add to the gentle feel of the book.

Sep 13, 2019

"Riverside to Norco units, have a 211 in process at the Security Pacific Bank…"

Cover of Norco ’80:  The True Sto
A review of Norco ’80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History by Peter Houlahan

It’s pretty clear early on in Norco ’80 that very few people are going to come out at the conclusion looking like heroes. In Peter Houlahan’s deeply researched, thrilling recreation of the 1980 robbery and the trial that followed it, there is always the overriding sense of, well, senselessness.

Sep 11, 2019

Told from the distaff side

Cover of Milady
A review of Milady by Laura Sullivan

As a kid I loved the Three Musketeers (book and movies) but as an adult when I revisited the story I found my interest had waned. I think that fading interest comes from the fact that the parts for women just aren't that enthralling and in fact if you think spend any time thinking about it, their treatment by the heroes is pretty bad. That said, there was one female character who always intrigued me. She is the Musketeer's frequent antagonist, Milady de Winter. In Ms. Sullivan's re-imagining we get to experience Milady's story from her point of view.

Sep 9, 2019

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