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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Returning to a favorite world

Cover of Witness for the Dead
A review of Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison

I'm frequently asked to name my favorite book or to list my top ten, and mostly I just get stumped by that question. I love so many books for so many different reasons and they shift in my estimation as this one moves up or that one moves down and all fully dependent on what has wowed me recently. But there is one book I read seven years ago that has consistently been a go-to for me when asked for a favorite.

Feb 25, 2021

Celebrating families

Cover of We Are Little Feminists
A review of We Are Little Feminists by Aarcha Shrivastav

The 2021 *Stonewall Award-Winning board book, We Are Little Feminists: Families, features photographs of families with children aged 0-5 with their siblings, parents, grandparents, and more. The broad representation sets this (and the other two books in the series) apart. Candid-style photos show children and parents playing, laughing, sharing snacks and smiles, and bring readers into the lives of LGBTQ+ families from a variety of races, ethnicities, and family structures as well as being inclusive of various disabilities.

Feb 24, 2021

Cat and mouse to the death

Cover of The Jigsaw Man
A review of The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

In her debut thriller (though not her 1st written work), Matheson dives right into the goriest of serial murders and the angsty-est of protagonists. Our angsty hero is Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley who, on her first day back to active duty after a severe injury, finds herself confronted with dismembered body parts - parts that are clearly not all from the same body. And if that's not bad enough, the way in which the victims are found is all too similar to the pattern set by Peter Olivier, a serial murderer known as the Jigsaw Man, who has been in prison for the past two years.

Feb 23, 2021

The power of Booker T. Washington's voice

Voices of Black America
A review of Voices of Black America: Historical Recordings of Speeches, Poetry, Humor & Drama by Naxos Audiobooks

This audiobook provides a treasured portal to the past. It features original recordings from 1908-1946 of speeches by Booker T. Washington, the poems of Langston Hughes and Paul Laurence Dunbar recited by the poets, comedy routines, and more. All told, there's approximately 1 hour and 47 minutes of content.

To hear these famous voices is very special. The sound quality is on par with other historical recordings I've heard. That takes a moment to get used to, but feels intimate, like you've gone back in time and are witnessing the moment. 

Feb 22, 2021

Complicated high-flyer

Cover of The Rise and Fall of Charl
A review of The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh by Candace Fleming

Famous for his pioneering flight from New York to Paris, Charles Lindbergh was lionized in his lifetime. Fleming’s well-researched biography is a rags-to riches story that doesn’t side-step Lindbergh’s Nazi sympathies and white supremacist activities, but rather portrays the path of eugenics pseudo-science paired with disinformation that he followed to get there.  

Feb 11, 2021

Skills at the ready

Cover of The Ninja Daughter
A review of The Ninja Daughter by Tori Eldridge

In Eldridge's new series the main character is a Chinese-Norwegian ninja-trained woman who takes on the Ukranian mob in Los Angeles. Talk about cross-cultural! This is it. It's also action-packed and fast-paced and the perfect book to dive into if you're hunkered down during this polar vortex.

Feb 10, 2021


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