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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Colette is missing

Cover of Tornado Brain
A review of Tornado Brain by Cat Patrick

Neurodiverse thirteen-year-old Frankie has more than her share of challenges. She is learning to cope with multiple issues and manage her impulses. Meanwhile, Frankie’s twin sister, Tess, is handling the challenges of having a neurodiverse sibling.

Jul 10, 2020

I'm a business, man

Cover of Jay-Z: Made in America
A review of Jay-Z: Made in America by Michael Eric Dyson

This book has been checked out to me since winter and I kept waiting to read it until my brain was ready to absorb all its Michael Eric Dyson-ness. I realized that day might never arrive and decided to go for it. Reading something academic stretched my brain to its limits but this book was the perfect thing to read right now.

Jul 9, 2020

Reading makes you smarter?

Cover of Ancillary Justice
A review of Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Recently someone asked me for recommendations for "intelligent" mysteries. Her description for these was "a combination of a dense, resonant setting with character and plot development that grab you but that are new and thought provoking; characters, attitudes, thoughts, insights you haven't read before but which strike a chord and reveal something about the world." That description helped me to help her find some books, but it also fits a science fiction title I read. Ancillary Justice is very well-written and complex.

Jul 7, 2020

A bothersome dilemma

Cover of Scandalous Sisterhood of P
A review of Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

What are seven young ladies to do when the headmistress and her brother abruptly falls over dead during dinner? They don't want to go back to their homes and there may be a killer amongst them. The solution: bury the corpses in the garden and dress up one of the students as their headmistress. The mystery thickens as the young ladies, each with her own unique characteristic, tries to keep up this farce and deal with meddling neighbors, a lovestruck admiral, long-lost relatives, and inquisitive constables.

Jul 3, 2020

Playing the part

Cover of The Impersonator
A review of The Impersonator by Mary Miley

In 1917 fourteen-year-old Jessie Carr disappeared from her Pacific Northwest home near Portland. She's the heir to the vast Carr fortune and if she is not found before her twenty-first birthday, now only months away, the fortune will be dispersed to other relatives. Now her uncle, Oliver Beckett, thinks he's found Jessie when he sees her performing on a vaudeville stage. The problem is the young woman insists her name is Leah and though she is the spitting image of Jessie, Oliver soon realizes his error. Though she is not Jessie, Oliver has a back-up plan.

Jul 2, 2020

Hot guys. And knitting.

Cover of Real Men Knit
A review of Real Men Knit by K. M. Jackson

It's a bit of misnomer to call Kwana Jackson’s newest novel, Real Men Knit a romance. It’s being billed as such by its publisher, but this is really more the story of a family with strong elements of romance intertwined. And unlike many other romances, this one begins with a tragedy: Mama Joy Strong, a foster-turned-adoptive mother to four boys and the proprietor of Harlem’s Strong Knits knitting store, has suddenly died. Her boys, now all grown and more or less launched into life with varying degrees of success, are left stunned.

Jul 1, 2020

You don't know what you're missing

Linkcat Logo
LINKcat Don't Miss Lists

At the beginning of every month LINKcat publishes the Don't Miss Lists of new books and materials that have been added to the catalog. And those lists are super fun to browse and give me books to add to my 'to be read' lists. But what's not fun is realizing as you're perusing is how long you might have to wait for an item to come in for you just when you want something new to read. So here's a tip.

Jun 30, 2020

Perfect family read-aloud

Cover of Echo Mountain
A review of Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

I don’t often re-visit the children’s books I’ve read, but Echo Mountain is worth taking a second dip. In 1930’s post-depression era Maine Ellie is the middle child of a white family displaced by the depression that moved to the mountains to start fresh. Ellie’s father has been in a coma after an accident for which Ellie has been silently (and mistakenly) blamed by her elder sister and her mother. The family has been in survival mode ever since, with both Ellie’s mother and older sister fervently wishing to return to the town they left.

Jun 25, 2020

Political palate cleanser

book Cover
A review of Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory

If the current state of politics in the world is stressing you out, then have I got the book for you. Not only is the politician in this book hard-working and honorable (though certainly not perfect), but there is also deep discussion of cakes and pies and pastries and pizza and tacos! I'm getting hungry just writing about it.

Jun 23, 2020

Finding the luck

Joni Mitchell in Her Own Words cover
Lucky Day Collection

During the last few months while we've been social distancing and keeping close to home there have been times when I just want something new to read right now. And at those times I turn to the wonderful Lucky Day section of Wisconsin's Overdrive collection. On any given day when you click into the collection you'll see a lot of familiar authors like James Patterson and Jodi Picoult and Lee Child, to name a few.

Jun 19, 2020


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