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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Sweet Anticipation for November/December 2019

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New Titles

As the quote goes, there’s a big difference between being mostly dead and all dead, and in the publishing world, 2019 is only mostly dead as publishers are wrapping up their offerings and looking forward to 2020. But for readers, 2019 is more than slightly alive with plenty of notable titles hitting shelves in November and December. And with the 24 hour news cycle churning away, the possibility of some last minute newsmakers running up the bestseller lists is a definite possibility. Here are some of the highlights left to come in 2019:

Oct 28, 2019

It takes guts to talk about stomach problems

Cover of Guts
A review of Guts by Raina Telgemeier

It's important to talk about tough topics and Raina Telgemeier's latest graphic novel transforms discussion about gastrointestinal troubles. The Telgemeier household is plagued by stomach flu for days at the beginning of Raina's autobiographical story and that sets the stage for a 4th grade year filled with vomit, diarrhea, farting, gas and other bathroom issues. The boys in fourth grade are obsessed with grossing everyone out and the girls are becoming increasingly secretive.

Oct 25, 2019

A deep dive

Cover of Fire and fortitude: The US
A review of Fire and fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 by John McManus
It's an ambitious undertaking to give a deep look at the Pacific theatre of World War II. McManus is giving himself room to complete the task. Here he has written an intense and thorough book covering the first two years of the Pacific War, but he's not done. He'll complete the endeavor in a second volume. Even so, it is a long book and almost too detailed to be absorbed. Caveats aside, it actually reads fairly easily.
Oct 23, 2019

Even Sasquatch needs his space

Cover of Don't Squish the Sasquatch
A review of Don't Squish the Sasquatch by Kent Redeker

Señor Sasquatch, in his ratty fedora and bow tie, steps onto the bus, hoping it won’t be too crowded that morning (since he doesn’t enjoy being squished). As the other passengers board the bus, the driver warns them of Señor Sasquatch’s preference for space, to no avail. He becomes squished! But what to do after the bus goes “Ka-Bloooey”? Clear, bright graphic illustrations in a retro style give this monster story a big dose of wild humor. A fun book for individual sharing or a group read-aloud!

Oct 18, 2019

Counting on love (sorry couldn't resist)

Cover of Forever and a Duke
A review of Forever and a Duke by Grace Burrowes

Eleanora Hatfield has a knack for numbers that has given her a good, safe, job at one of the most respected banks in London. Respectability is the key as her family history has also given her an expertise in fraud, cons and just about every other rig that could be run. When her boss asks her to assist his friend, Wrexham, Duke of Elsmore, she's reluctant to leave her safe space, but eventually agrees. Wrexham is a Director at another bank and has a vast array of family accounts that are in disarray.

Oct 17, 2019

The last taboo

Cover of The Good Death: An Explora
A review of The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America by Ann Neumann

I don’t imagine that there are many among us who have not had an experience with death: whether the screaming pain of cancer, the slow decline of a body long after the mind has left, the silent passing during sleep. But we don’t talk about it, we rarely face the fact that despite the ads and scientific research regarding longevity, it is still something we will all need to face however reluctantly. Neumann’s book is a good place to start.

Oct 16, 2019

A promising start

Cover of The Long Call
A review of The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

Mystery author Ann Cleeves has long developed a following for her mysteries that are as much about the relationships between her characters as the crimes grounding the stories. Her Vera Stanhope and Shetland series, both adapted for television, have been particularly acclaimed. The Shetland series has ended with the recently published Wild Fire, but fans mourning the loss of Jimmy Perez and the evocative Scottish setting can take comfort in the launch of Cleeves’ new Two Rivers series.

Oct 14, 2019

Write stuff

Cover of A Squiggly Story
A review of A Squiggly Story by Andrew Larsen

Everyone has stories to write, even if your writing...squiggles a little. All you need to start is a single letter. What will happen next? Preschool kids will love the comic book style of A Squiggly Story, grown-ups will be reminded how easy and fun writing a story together can be!

Oct 11, 2019

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