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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Love is in the strut

Cover of Black Bottom Saints
A review of Black Bottom Saints by Alice Randall

Alice Randall isn’t an author that typically is at the top of many readers’ lists, having written several solid quietly received novels in the past and a few nonfiction works. But her latest, Black Bottom Saints, proves that Randall deserves more attention and a place on to-read lists.

Jan 14, 2021

Ski off piste and die

Cover of One by One
A review of One by One by Ruth Ware

Too dramatic? I've never skied off piste in my life, so if you're like me, you can cross that off your worry list. If you don't even know what it means, don't do it! Just kidding! But not really. Skiing off piste means straying from designated slopes and routes. It can be extremely dangerous. Especially in this novel.

Jan 13, 2021

Not your typical high society lady

Cover of Her Night with the Duke
A review of Her Night with the Duke by Diana Quincy

Strong heroines are practically a necessity in historical romance, but Diana Quincy introduces an especially memorable lady at the center of her new romance Her Night With the Duke, launching her Clandestine Affairs series. Lady Delilah Chambers knows the habits of England’s ton through and through: as the daughter of a marquis and the widow of an earl, Leela circulates among the highest of the high.

Jan 8, 2021

Achievable New Year's resolution: read more poetry

Cover of Make Me Rain: Poems & Pros
A review of Make Me Rain: Poems & Prose by Nikki Giovanni

Resolution lists often include starting a new exercise regime, eating more veggies, and home decluttering. Why not read more poetry? I believe this goal is achievable for all ages.  

Find inspiration in 2021 by reading the seven-time NAACP Image Award-winning poet's latest collection of poems that span topics from the presidency to racism to making Frontier soup. Nikki Giovanni is honest, candid and utterly fascinating. 

Jan 5, 2021

Making the list

Cover of The Duke Who Didn't
A review of The Duke Who Didn't by Courtney Milan

The hero and heroine of Courtney Milan's newest historical romance (this one late 19th century, rather than early) have known each other since they were children. And not only have they known each other for years, they have loved as well. But their very different personalities and coping mechanisms have meant that they haven't yet figured that last fact out and have been operating at cross purposes for a few years. Until now.

Jan 4, 2021

Season of the witch

Cover of Hurricane Season
A review of Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor, translated by Sophia Hughes

Hurricane Season, a novel about the unexplained murder of a "witch” in a bottomed-out Mexican village, as told by several unreliable narrators, does not have paragraphs. If this is a deal breaker, move it along. Author Fernanda Melchor did not come to coddle, she came to slay.

Dec 30, 2020

Aghybogey life

Cover of Big Girl, Small Town
A review of Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen

Majella O'Neill lives in the small town Aghybogey in Northern Ireland that has been torn apart by The Troubles that have only recently "ended". To say that the Troubles have ended is a bit of a misnomer. Certainly the violent attacks between Catholics and Protestants have stopped for the most part, but the lingering divide between the factions continues. As the townsfolk go about their lives in this recovery period Majella observes it all from her job in a chip shop (the Catholic one, naturally).

Dec 29, 2020

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