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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors


Cover of My Squirrel Days
A review of My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper

Ellie Kemper is funny, upbeat, and the type of person who immediately replies to emails and types out HAHAHAs instead of using LOLs.  She writes in all caps and generously uses exclamation points.  She is not afraid of emotion.  I appreciate this!  I like to type out HAHAHAs, too!  (See what I did there with the capitalization and exclamation points?!?!).

Oct 19, 2018

Sweet Anticipation for November 2018

Sweet Anticipation Graphic
New Titles

Winter might be knocking on the door, but November is one of the hottest months for new releases. On to the highlights: 

--One of the most anticipated memoirs of recent times finally hits shelves November 13. Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming, part of a reported $65 million dollar deal that also includes a memoir by the former President (no word yet on a release date for his book).  Given the challenge of recouping such a huge advance, expect to see this hyped just about everywhere.  

Oct 17, 2018

Family dysfunction, Thai style

Cover of Killed at the Whim of a Ha
A review of Killed at the Whim of a Hat by Colin Cotterill

Colin Cotterill has been on and off my mystery radar over the years. I'd read his first book The Coroner's Lunch a while ago and came back to Cotterill every now and then. But much as I enjoy Laotian coroner Dr. Siri Paiboun, somehow Cotterill just never stuck as a must-read author for me. That may have changed with my discovery of another of his series featuring Thai journalist Jimm Juree.

Oct 16, 2018

Good intentions?

Cover of That Kind of Mother
A review of That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam

Reader reviews on Goodreads for this title seem to be either in the "love it or hate it" category - not many in between. I fell on the love it side of things, but can definitely understand why some might not agree. The protagonist, Rebecca Stone, in whose head we spend the majority of time, is not exactly likable. She's not really unlikable either, at least to my mind. She's an educated white woman in 1980s Washington DC with a pretty narrow range of experiences and has no realization of just how limited her worldview is.

Oct 10, 2018

The Petulant Penguin

Cover of Grumpy Pants
A review of Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer

We all have grumpy days, and sometimes we don't even know why we are grumpy! This short book shares some good calming ways to get through a grumpy spell, and the grumpy underpants page is sure to be a hilarious hit. Practice counting and breathing and snuggling up to help you feel better, and pair with Hooray for hat! for a great discussion about grumpiness.

Oct 5, 2018

James Patterson presents Max Einstein

Cover of Wisconsin Book Festival
Wisconsin Book Festival

The world's #1 bestselling author James Patterson will be appearing at the Wisconsin Book Festival in conversation with Steve Paulson from WPR's To The Best of Our Knowledge. Patterson will discuss the motivation behind writing Max Einstein, his life in books, his love of reading, his method of writing, and what makes a good story. Free copies of Max Einstein will be distributed to the first 500 young readers. Attendees will get exclusive pre-release access to buy Patterson's latest Detective Michael Bennett Thriller, Ambush.

Oct 3, 2018


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