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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Mind-blowing (but not in the CIA MKUltra kind of way)...

Cover of Chaos: Charles Manson, the
A review of Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O'Neill and Dan Piepenbring

I placed a hold on O'Neill's tome because of a mention in a podcast - one that was discussing Charles Manson as relates to the new Quentin Tarantino movie (if I remember correctly). So really I ordered it on a whim and wasn't even sure I'd read it when it came in and seemed so hefty. Over a long weekend I decided to dip into it, or at least look at the included pictures. I was not seen again by anyone for the next two days as I was immediately sucked into the what if's and maybes and possibles.

Oct 7, 2019

Don't forget the poetry

Cover of Forget-me-nots
A review of Forget-me-nots by Mary Ann Hoberman

Ready for some rollicking and roaring word play? Check out Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart by Mary Ann Hoberman for some unforgettable poems. This is a wonderful treasury for elementary school kids. The poems are joyful and include bright and colorful illustrations by Michael Emberley. The book has 123 poems by 57 authors (ranging from A.A. Milne to Shel Silverstein to Valerie Worth, and many more phenomenal poets). It is also a great book for reading aloud as the days get shorter and the nights a bit longer.

Oct 4, 2019

Vive la France

Cover of Bruno, Chief of Police
A review of Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker

This is really a plug for this whole wonderful series set in the south of France. Bruno is the first mystery and you do really need to start there for the full flavor and to get to know the recurring characters who surround Bruno Courreges, Chief of police in St. Denis. Set in the late twentieth century, it emphasizes that the French have long memories. That what happened during the war and after has long aftereffects that sometimes show up in surprising ways.

Oct 2, 2019

From getting coffee to running the newsroom

Cover of There's No Crying in Newsr
A review of There's No Crying in Newsrooms: What Women Have Learned about What It Takes to Lead by Kristin Gilger and Julia Wallace

It's been two steps forward, one step back for women in media organizations across the United States over the past four decades. Kristin Gilger and Julia Wallace have gathered stories from many of the most influential women of the newsrooms and dissect what it takes to succeed in male-dominated organizations when you are female. Some of the stories cemented my admiration for media superstars in perpetuity.  International correspondent and legend Christiane Amanpour, that shout-out is for you.

Sep 30, 2019

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

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