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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

A Very Punny Graphic Chapter Book

Cover of All Paws on Deck
A review of All Paws on Deck by Jessica Young

Haggis (a Scottish Terrier) and Tank (a Great Dane) are two very imaginative doggy friends.  They spend most of their time in a back yard, but sometimes they go on adventures in their minds.  In “All Paws on Deck” Tank decides to deck out their little red wagon as a pirate ship.  They sail off into a land of make-believe and have many adventures together!  The format for this book falls right between graphic novel (there are lots of full-color illustrations with speech bubbles) and chapter book (there are also blocks of text, though never more than a quarter of the space on a page is filled

Dec 1, 2017

Murder in Bombay

Cover of The Widows of Malabar Hill
A review of The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

Compared to the bustling streets of 1920s Bombay, the secluded zenana of an observant Muslim household would seem the least likely site for a murder. Yet for the three newly widowed wives of a wealthy factory owner, simply keeping men out does nothing to keep motives and means of killing from lurking among them.

Nov 29, 2017

Courage Over Fear

Cover of I Am (Not) Scared
A review of I Am (Not) Scared by Anna Kang

Anna Kang's fuzzy purple and brown creatures from You Are (Not) Small and That's (Not) Mine ​are back in this silly and delightful picture book about facing your fears. There are a lot of things to be scared of out there: tubs of hairy spiders, pits of lava, or (eeek!) snakes! But not a roller coaster! Roller coasters are fun! Uh oh, until there is a snake riding on the coaster with you... However, our two brave friends still hop on the coaster for a hilariously illustrated adventure. I love how this book ends.

Nov 22, 2017

Facing the past

Cover of Someone to Wed
A review of Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh is a hit or miss author for me. I always admire her writing, but she doesn't always grab me emotionally. Her newest is definitely a hit. A lovely, warm story that strikes all the right notes.

Nov 15, 2017

Crime and chocolate

Cover of Sweet Revenge
A review of Sweet Revenge by Andrea Penrose

Lady Arianna Hadley has led a colorful, and hard, life because of the choices her father made. After his murder Arianna takes on a disguise and the role of French chef in an aristocratic household, both so that she can support herself and to investigate. Her specialty is making incredible creations from the newest food fad in Regency England, chocolate. Her precarious existence is threatened when the Prince Regent takes ill after consuming one of her desserts.

Nov 9, 2017

Sympathy for the reluctant fundamentalist

Cover of A Good Country
A review of A Good Country by Laleh Khadivi

Written by Iranian-American author and filmmaker Laleh Khadivi, A Good Country is an unnerving, yet somehow beautiful, slow burn of a novel. Khadivi’s prose has a loose and languid long-windedness -- where description and dialog bleed together -- that mimics with stunning naturalism the druggy bleariness of its main character’s day-to-day existence.

Nov 7, 2017

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