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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Buddha and bharal

Cover of The Snow Leopard
A review of The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen’s melancholic and metaphor-laden Himalayan travelogue, a true story, is an essential, definitional work of 1970s American literature. It is also one of my favorite books of all time.

Jul 2, 2018

The warmth shines through

Cover of A Rogue of Her Own
A review of A Rogue of Her Own by Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes is pretty much an auto-read for me when it comes to historical romances. I don't get to every book of hers the minute it comes out, but eventually I'm going to read them. And the reason she's on my auto-read list is because she just does what she does so well. She writes engaging heroes and heroines. Her historical settings are well done - no major klinkers like a Lady Kardashian in Regency England. And the emotional journey she creates in each book always hits me just right.

Jun 27, 2018

At the center of the story

Cover of The Real Lolita: The Kidna
A review of The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman

What image comes to mind when ‘Lolita’ is mentioned? A knock-kneed schoolgirl, all innocence and trust, a puppet under the thrall of pedophile? A calculating ingénue who knows more than she lets on, as envisioned by Stanley Kubrick in his 1962 film? The brilliant, if unsettling, creation of one of the great masters of American writing?

Jun 22, 2018

Power of food

Cover of The Taste of Empire: How B
A review of The Taste of Empire: How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World by E. M. Collingham

This is really an amazing book. It's easy to read as each chapter looks at a specific time period and specific food, but cumulatively there is a lot of information to absorb. The Western world does not come out looking all that at good since, in their desire to benefit a few, they ran roughshod over the bodies of a lot of people all over the world. Not that the rest of the world have angelic histories, but because Western countries pride themselves on their culture and education and when looking at the details it doesn't look so swell.

Jun 11, 2018

Ouch!

Cover of The Boo-Boos that Changed
A review of The Boo-Boos that Changed the World by Barry Wittenstein

Earlier today I cut my finger and put on a band aid. And then this book showed up on my hold shelf - coincidence? Back in 1917, a young couple is married and the wife seems to hurt herself with great frequency. I didn't really care for the descriptions of her injuries, both for the yuck factor, and rather condescending manner Josephine is talked about. But, if you can make it past that, this is a rather interesting story. The husband, Earle, has the idea to place small pieces of sterile gauze on a long piece of adhesive tape and then Josephine can put on a bandage easily by herself.

Jun 8, 2018

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