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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Nothing to do but read

Cover of Vacation Reading
Vacation Reading by

I often read a fair amount of reading (understatement) over holidays and vacations but for this most recent bout of holiday days off I topped myself. Mostly because it's just been so darn cold! What else is there to do other then huddle under a blanket and read? All this is to say, I may have several posts of vacation reads.  I'll start today with a couple of the more romance-y titles.

Jan 4, 2018

The skeleton in the attic

Cover of Beau Death
A review of Beau Death by Peter Lovesey

Peter Diamond may wince at being called the ‘veteran superintendent’ of the Bath, England police force, but it will prove impossible to escape historical comparisons with the city’s newest crime scene. Or maybe it’s the oldest crime scene? The recent demolition of eighteenth century row houses reveals a literal skeleton in the attic of one of the condemned buildings—and this one happens to be unmistakably dressed as Beau Nash, one of Bath’s most famous denizens, in authentic 1760s-era clothing.

Jan 3, 2018

Sweet Anticipation for January 2018

New Titles by

Well, readers, it’s time to bid 2017 adieu. The year saw its share of notable titles although no one blockbuster dominated the scene as in previous years. Instead, it was a year for rediscovering old classics such as The Handmaid’s Tale and 1984, word-of-mouth hits (A Gentleman in Moscow and Before We Were Yours being prime examples) and of course, a new political book or memoir appearing on shelves seemingly every week. But that was the old year, and new titles of 2018 beckon.  Forward, readers!

Dec 26, 2017

I Do?

Cover of When Dimple Met Rishi
A review of When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

This YA Rom-Com with a nod to Bollywood is both sweet and addicting! When Dimple Met Rishi (Simon Pulse, 2017) is told in two voices, alternating often. The reader feels the giddiness of new love – as well as the push and pull of culture, family expectations, and being true to oneself. I was a fan of both Dimple and Rishi from the very start – and I truly, achingly, wanted everything to work out! It is a warm and cozy read – and definitely a big win for first-time writer Sandhya Menon. I am eagerly awaiting her next book – From Twinkle, with Love - to be out summer of 2018.

Dec 22, 2017

Plenty of chickens

Cover of Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna
A review of Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna the Very First Chicken by Douglas Rees

Have you ever wondered why there are plenty of chickens and no Tyrannosaurus Rexes in the world today? The answer is Edna, the very first chicken. She is small and brave and won’t let the big and fierce T. Rex bully her or the other dinosaurs. In Douglas Rees’ fun and colorful book Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna the Very First Chicken readers find that it doesn’t take powerful jaws and a roar to be brave. Filled with dinosaur antics, cluck-worthy excitement, and feathery heroics, this is read is fun for everyone (except Tyrannosaurus Rex).

Dec 15, 2017

A Monstrously good graphic novel

Cover of My Favorite Thing is Monst
A review of My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris

I have run out of superlatives when describing this book to friends. There is so much to love, such rich artwork and storytelling. Alison Bechdel calls it virtuosic; I would say mind-blowing. The story is as complex, nuanced, and dark as the art. Perhaps dark times call for dark stories, but ultimately Monsters comes down to girl power and Ferris’ timing is just right. 

Dec 14, 2017

At the corner of...

Cover of American Street
A review of American Street by Ibi Aanu Zoboi

So many exciting twist and turns! An endearing adventure all the way to the end. I was awed at the varied facets the main character endured from the very beginning, like witnessing her mother's detainment after her first flight to the United States to her less than celebratory introduction to meeting her new family members. I enjoyed her innocence of learning Western culture through the eyes of her cousins and new friends.

Dec 11, 2017

Spoiler: there's a happy ending

Cover of In Other Lands
A review of In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

What was the last book you read that just made you happy? If one doesn't immediately pop into your head, I suggest checking out In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan. Though it started a little slow for me, pretty soon I was so in love with the characters and so invested in them that I didn't want it to end.

Dec 8, 2017

Living in the Moment

Cover of Now
A review of Now by Antoinette Portis

Antoinetter Portis' new book Now is a beautiful and poignant look at childhood and all of its favorite things. Childhood is about discovering new favorite things, often that change daily and grown-ups will smile at the familiar shift from one favorite to the next like, "This is my favorite song, because it's the one I am singing." But to me this book is a light handed introduction to mindfulness and a guide to living in the moment.

Dec 8, 2017

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