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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Once upon a dog

Cover of Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker
A review of Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker by Jessica Ahlberg

I grew up loving the work of Janet and Allan Ahlberg, so I was thrilled when I discovered Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker – a picture book written and illustrated by their daughter, Jessica Ahlberg. This cumulative story follows Lucy and her dog, Mr. Barker, through a series of fairy tales.

July 10, 2019

Old favorite, rediscovered

Cover of Troubled Waters
A review of Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn

I used to love to wander through a bookstore and feed my reading need (this on top of checking many stacks of books out of the library). But at some point I stopped buying all those print copies, partially for space reasons, partially because of the changing bookstore landscape and partially because I was reading more and more digitally. So what's my version of strolling through the bookstore aisles? Late in the evening I look for ebook deals online to see if there's anything that catches my fancy (this on top of the library books I check out electronically and read on Libby!).

July 8, 2019

List from the lists

Cover of Recommended Summer Reading
Recommended Summer Reading
Are you looking for some good vacation reading? Having a hard time catching up on all the "best summer books lists"? Then check out The Ultimate Summer Books Preview of 2019 from Literary Hub. They've done the work for you. Their staff writer, Emily Temple, read a bunch of summer book preview lists and tallied the results. Below is a the list of titles that have been recommended 4 or more times. 
Happy reading!
 
July 3, 2019

Living the life of endless McDonald's

Cover of Born a Crime: Stories from
A review of Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

This is one of those books that I'm going to proclaim as universally beneficial. I can't imagine a person living on planet Earth who wouldn't be able to take away something from this book, starting with the shocking reality of the title Born a Crime. Trevor Noah, comedian, actor, and Jon Stewart's successor as host of The Daily Show was born in 1984 in South Africa to a black mother and a white father. His parent's interracial relationship was illegal under apartheid law, so therefore his birth was a crime.

July 1, 2019

A gorgeous debut

Cover of On Earth We're Briefly Gor
A review of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

The last few years have been a real heyday for Asian American literature. There have been blockbuster film adaptations of Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians and Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Celeste Ng’s unstoppable suburban drama Little Fires Everywhere, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer win for The Sympathizer, and critically lauded novels from Susan Choi (Trust Exercise) and Ling Ma (Severance), just to name a few.

June 28, 2019

Sweet Anticipation for July 2019

Sweet Anticipation graphic July
New Titles

July and August always feels a bit like a lull in the publishing calendar, as if the big book pushes of late May and June have exhausted publishers to the extent that they all pull up stakes and head out of town with bags bulging with books. But the upside of all those big May and June releases means midsummer is a great time for the so-called ‘midlist’ author to shine—those books that might not get the fanfare of a bestseller but are gems for the readers willing to seek them out. This July sees some particularly notable authors releasing titles that have strong appeal, but potentially with

June 24, 2019

OverDrive Big Library Read Title for Summer 2019

Dangerous Act of Kindness cover image
Cover of Dangerous Act of Kindness
Dangerous Act of Kindness by L. P. Ferguson

It’s nearly (official) summer and with the warmer temps comes OverDrive’s Big Library Read. This year’s selection is L. P. Fergusson’s World War II-set drama A Dangerous Act of Kindness. When Widow Millie Sanger finds downed German pilot Lukas Schiller on her property, she tends to his injuries and shelters him to ensure he isn’t discovered by the authorities. It could be a disastrous decision: England is at war with Germany, and the discovery of an enemy combatant on her farm could mean death for both of them.

June 19, 2019

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