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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

The sweet smell of imperfection

Cover of Essence of Perfection
A review of Essence of Perfection by Nita Brooks

Nicola King is used to pressure. As the lead chemist for her family’s cosmetics brand, Queen Couture, she’s the genius behind the brand’s biggest hits and a leading figure in the perfume world that has her rubbing elbows with the elite of the fashion and entertainment industry. At least, that’s the image Nicola likes to project.

Sep 24, 2020

Straddling worlds

Cover of Ties that Tether
A review of Ties that Tether by Jane Igharo

Nigerian-Canadian immigrant Azere has known since she was a child that she would marry a Nigerian man. This is something she promised her dying father when she was twelve years old after her family had newly arrived in Canada. This promise and her mother's ongoing fear that their Nigerian culture will be lost has been a driving force in Azere's entire life. Though she is now a successful copy writer in an advertising firm and lives an independent, adult life in every other way, she continues to go on dates with the men her mother picks.

Sep 21, 2020

Find Out!

Cover of Volcanoes
A review of Volcanoes by Maria Gill

Let’s face it; some kids prefer to read non-fiction. These are the kids who are fascinated with almanacs and world records books. If you’ve got one of these kids in your house, check out the new DK findout! non-fiction series for kids. Aimed at ages eight to twelve, the series titles cover high-interest topics and each installment includes quizzes, photographs, illustrations, and sidebars with expanded explanations, fast facts and interviews with experts.

Sep 18, 2020

Bluebells in bloom

Cover of White Bird: A Wonder Story
A review of White Bird: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

White Bird is a stunning graphic novel about one of the ugliest events in history. Set in France during World War II, White Bird tells the story of Sara and Julien, classmates at a rural school in a Nazi occupied village. Sara doesn't want to get her beautiful red shoes wet when all of the Jewish students are rounded up and marched to the woods one day. She's able to sneak away and hide without understanding what's happening.

Sep 14, 2020

A tangled tale

Cover of The Golden Thread: The Col
A review of The Golden Thread: The Cold War and the Mysterious Death of Dag Hammarskjold by Ravi Somaiya

The 1960s was an especially rife period for political assassinations, but for years, one of the most famous deaths of the decade—the killing of United Nations General Secretary Dag Hammarskjold—was officially an accident. The downing of the general secretary’s plane in the skies of Rhodesia (modern Zambia) in the early hours of September 18, 1961, has long been cast in doubt, almost from the moment the burnt out remains of the plane and its fifteen crash victims were discovered in the sweltering jungle (the sole survivor would later die in hospital after making some intriguing comments).

Sep 9, 2020

Investing in each other

Cover of Big Friendship: How We Kee
A review of Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman

This is a tribute to one of society's most enduring yet under-recognized relationships: female best friends. Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman met at a Gossip Girl viewing party when they were in their mid-twenties and struggling to start their careers. They've seen each other through heartaches and heartbreaks, job triumphs and disasters, health scares and holidays. More than a decade later, these are their stories of real-life and recognizable female friendship. I saw myself in their stories and if you've been nurturing your own big friendships, you will, too.  

Sep 2, 2020


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