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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Listen to the whispers

Cover of The Whispers: A Novel
A review of The Whispers: A Novel by Ashley Audrain

The "whispers" refer to the voices you hear urging you to follow your gut instinct. Sometimes it's large scale. Should I take that job? Move to that city? Buy a house? Have a child? Sometimes it's smaller. Should I go to that party? Trust that person? Walk down that dark road?  

Jun 6, 2024

Adding to the collection

Too Good to Miss photo
Too Good to Miss for June 2024

Every month there are new titles purchased for the Too Good to Miss collections at our libraries. If you're not familiar with TGTM (as we call it here in library-world), it's a special collection of popular books that are truly too good to miss. Some are new and popular titles, others are older titles that might not have had as much media attention as a bestseller or celebrity book club selection but are still great reads that deserve another look.

Jun 4, 2024

Can't keep this to myself

Cover of I Keep My Exoskeltons to M
A review of I Keep My Exoskeltons to Myself by Marisa Crane

"The kid is born with two shadows"

In spare, poetic language Marisa Crane draws you in from the first sentence and then holds your heart in their hands until the last page. They explore what it means to parent under the figurative shadows of loss and grief and the literal shadows imposed on their characters by a totalitarian government in this dystopian debut.

Jun 3, 2024

They're coming. Get Ready!

Cover of Cicada Symphony
A review of Cicada Symphony by Sue Fliess
Gareth Lucas

Are you anxiously awaiting the cicada hatching of monumental proportions this late spring? This librarian is! And so is her incredibly curious, question-asking 4 year old. Where do cicadas come from? Why do they make that noise? Do they bite? (No!). This beautifully illustrated, whimsically rhyming book is full of all the answers. With informative pictures of cicadas in all their forms, this book will walk small readers through their full life cycle, explain how helpful they are to their ecosystem, and dispel some fears that a massive hoard of bugs may bring.

May 30, 2024

What do you call a dog, a seagull, a squirrel, some bison and a couple of raccoons?

Cover of The Eyes and the Impossibl
A review of The Eyes and the Impossible by Dave Eggers
Shawn Harris

I call them winners! 

No joke, this book is sensational and worthy of all the accolades. Recipient of the 2024 Newbery Award given to the author of the most distinguished children's book of the previous year, The Eyes and the Impossible is funny, smart and unusual. I loved it.

May 28, 2024

A case of the What Ifs

Cover of Lila Greer, Teacher of the
A review of Lila Greer, Teacher of the Year by Andrea Beaty
David Roberts

In the newest picture book in Andrea Beaty's Questioneers series, we finally get the story of Lila Greer, who we know as the Grade Two teacher from previous books. 

We first see Lila as a baby with a curl on her head, one that "fills her with dread", and as she grows older the What Ifs still get her: 

"They made her heart race. Put knots in her stomach. A frown on her face."

May 24, 2024

What if you disappeared?

Cover of The Nigerwife
A review of The Nigerwife by Vanessa Walters

I dropped into The Nigerwife without expectations. It was a book picked by the Lakeview Mystery Book Group members, from a list of suggested titles (created by me), last fall. But the picking of this year's books happened months ago and I didn't have much memory of why I'd put it on a list of suggestions back then. So when I picked it up now to read for the group, I just dove in.

May 22, 2024

Things that go bump in the dark, deep space

Cover of The Last Astronaut
A review of The Last Astronaut by David Wellington

I'm going to tell you that I have a very low threshold for scary things. So if I say that a book freaked me out you can take it with a grain of salt. That said, The Last Astronaut, which was a bit of Alien, a bit of The Martian and some Major Tom vibes thrown in, made me read with one eye closed for the latter half of the book as the creeping dread of the unknown grew.

May 20, 2024

Day of wonder and love

Cover of I Would Love You Still
A review of I Would Love You Still by Adrea Theodore
Ken Wilson-Max

A mother and child are at the zoo. As they look at the animals, she says things like, "If you crawled like a gecko up the wall, I would still love you best of all." Each animal is a new opportunity for the caregiver to express her love. Repetition and rhyme would make this a lovely bed time story. One that is reminiscent of The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown.

May 17, 2024


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