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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Criminally explained

Cover of Unspeakable Acts: True Tal
A review of Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit, and Obsession by Sarah Weinman

Sarah Weinman has been in and about the crime writing world for years. She's written for the New York Times and Vanity Fair as well as for more genre connected publications like Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and for the CrimeReads site (highly recommended if you're a crime/mystery fan). Her first full length book was about the connection between the book Lolita and the real life kidnapping of Sally Horner in 1948.

Jul 24, 2024

Making a fresh start

Cover of On the Hustle
A review of On the Hustle by Adriana Herrera

Dominican-American Alba Duarte is trying to do it all and is in danger of completely losing it as On the Hustle by Adriana Herrera opens. Alba is putting in the work towards her dream of being an interior designer and instagram influencer, but she's doing so on top of a full-time job and being a support to her immigrant family. Something's gotta give. And when Alba decides it's giving up her job as assistant to the arrogant Theo Ganas and moving to Dallas? Well that sets in motion a whole new set of complications in this fast-paced, sexy, and flirtatious contemporary romance.

Jul 22, 2024

The magic of Perla and Isabel Allende

Cover of Perla: The Mighty Dog
A review of Perla: The Mighty Dog written by Isabel Allende
Sandy Rodriguez

Perla's two superpowers are making people love her and roaring like a lion. She is a little, scruffy dog, but her powers are mighty. She makes the Rico family fall in love with her at the shelter even though they were hoping to find a guard dog. Then she learns to roar like a lion to demonstrate what an excellent guardian she will make. 

Jul 19, 2024

Remembering the way she was

Cover of We Keep the Dead Close: A
A review of We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Centurey of Silence by Becky Cooper

When Becky Cooper first heard the story as a student at Harvard, it seemed both unbelievable but still entirely feasible: in early January 1969, a Harvard professor killed a female archeology grad student after she threatened to expose their affair. After she failed to show for her general exams, she was discovered in her apartment with red ochre and necklaces arranged ritualistically over her bloodied, naked body. Harvard smothered the investigation, the murder remained unsolved, and the professor was still teaching in the same department, fully tenured.

Jul 18, 2024

Too Good to Miss - July 2024

Too good to miss photo
Too Good to Miss Collection

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.

Jul 12, 2024

Collective strength

Cover of The North Wind & the Sun
A review of The North Wind & the Sun by Phillip Stead

In a battle between the blustering north wind and the warm shining sun, who do you think would win? Would anyone win? In this Aesop's fable, re-imagined by author/illustrator Philip Stead, three sisters go out in their patched-up coats—colored yellow, blue, and red—to take a walk before the weather changes. At first, the sun shines sweetly upon them, but then the grouchy north wind takes over, blowing cold, harsh air across the sisters' path and the whole world! Will the north wind manage to turn the sisters' coats to rags after all? Or will the sun's rays prevail?

Jul 11, 2024

The one for the job

Cover of Basil's War
A review of Basil's War by Stephen Hunter

Sometimes I'm looking for a book that works as a total escape for me and that's just what I got with Stephen Hunter's WWII thriller.

Basil's War introduces British special agent Basil St. Florian who spends his off time drinking and sleeping with film stars and his work time being sent into Nazi-occupied France on secret missions during WWII. If all that sounds a bit flashy? It is. Basil's newest assignment is to enter occupied France and gain access to a manuscript kept in the archives in a Paris that swarms with the German military.

Jul 10, 2024

Narrated by a typewriter

Cover of Olivetti
A review of Olivetti by Allie Millington

Yes, you read that correctly. This novel is narrated by a typewriter. And it is everything I wanted and needed. Also, did you know that books are despised by typewriters because they are attention hogs?!? Makes sense.  

Jul 8, 2024


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