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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Carried away by currents

Cover of Speck: An Itty-Bitty Epic
A review of Speck: An Itty-Bitty Epic by Margaux Meganck

Even the smallest specks on this planet have to figure out where they belong. This story traces the journey of tiny baby barnacles as they stream through the ocean, floating away from their parents and into the vastness to discover where they will make their home. Some travel together and others travel alone, but every single baby barnacle manages to swim its way to "a place to stay, and grow, and thrive. Something every speck needs." Vivid watercolor illustrations show a vibrant, active underwater landscape, punctuated with the small, glowing dots of the baby barnacles on their journey.

May 7, 2024

Finding your place

Cover of The Very Secret Society of
A review of The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

Mika Moon pretends to be a witch in her social media videos and enjoys the sense of community she has with her followers. But unbeknownst to those she's met online, Mika really is a witch. And no one can know. Primrose, the woman who raised Mika is very firm on the rules for witches. And rule number one is tell and show no one. That rule has led to a peripatetic life and no long-term connections for Mika. Until now. She’s received an email: Witch Wanted.

May 6, 2024

A place for small treasures

Cover of A Dress with Pockets
A review of A Dress with Pockets by Lily Murray
Jenny Lovlie

Let’s talk pockets, shall we? Is there anything worse than “rotten pockets”? The fake ones, the tiny ones, the missing all together ones? Pockets have a long and checkered history in dresses and skirts. It was understood that trousers needed decent, sizable serviceable pockets. But dresses? Why on earth would pockets be needed in dresses. Besides, it might be possible for the wearer to squirrel pro women’s voting tracts in pockets and sow “sedition”. When dress silhouettes shifted from wide to narrow in the early 1900s, the loss of pockets was felt universally.

May 3, 2024

Lessons in love

Cover of The Guncle Abroad
A review of The Guncle Abroad by Steven Rowley

I was late to The Guncle party and truthfully only got it read because I needed to read this sequel. So here I am having read both in quick succession which had pros and cons as a reading experience. Before I get into those pros and cons, let me set the scene.

Apr 30, 2024

Always on the bleeding edge

Cover of The Formula:  How Rogues,
A review of The Formula: How Rogues, Geniuses, and Speed Freaks Reengineered F1 into the World’s Fastest-Growing Sport by Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg

Prior to 2020, if you knew anything about Formula 1—or even knew what it was—you were a tiny minority of the population. You were also likely to be a gearhead, a motorsports obsessive or a European—probably all three, really. 2020, however, was a year to remember, and not just because of a global health crisis. It was the year Formula 1 went mainstream, all thanks to a series called Drive to Survive on Netflix.

Apr 29, 2024

Royal doggies

Cover of The Corgi and the Queen
A review of The Corgi and the Queen by Caroline Perry
Lydia Corry

Once upon a time, Elizabeth of York was a little princess who enjoyed playing with the family dogs. When she turned 18, her father gave her a puppy of her own, named Susan. Susan, a Pembroke Welsh corgi, became Elizabeth’s constant companion. She was supportive when Elizabeth joined a women’s regiment during WWII. Susan stowed away in the bridal carriage taking the princess to be married, and she comforted Elizabeth when her father died. Soon Elizabeth was crowned queen. After Susan’s death, she owned a succession of corgis and regarded them as family.

Apr 26, 2024

Poetic tributes

Cover of No Voice Too Small: Fourte
A review of No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History by edited by Lindsay Metcalf, Keila Dawson and Jeanette Bradley

Each profile features a fantastic poem by a different author who also has something in common with the young activist. Different types of poems (hello, curriculum!) and a succinct truth bomb about activism on each page ("In your city or state, who has the power to make things change? Write them a letter and ask for what you need.") drive home the message that all voices are powerful and unique, and that even the youngest voices can make a big difference!

Apr 24, 2024

Here be dragons too

Cover of To Shape a Dragon's Breath
A review of To Shape a Dragon's Breath by Moniquill Blackgoose

I told you a bit ago about how I came to read the wildly popular Fourth Wing which had been on my radar for months. Not on my radar and coming in as a total surprise for me is a book I think is a great "next read" suggestion for fans of Fourth Wing, To Shape a Dragon's Breath. I was sorting through newly published books when I came across this novel. Like FW it has a young woman entering an academy to learn how to be a dragon rider.

Apr 22, 2024


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