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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

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

Girl saves dog, dog saves girl

Cover of Fetch: How a Bad Dog Broug
A review of Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home by Nicole J. Georges

Nicole Georges had a messed up childhood with a mom who didn’t parent very well and a drunk step-dad who was cruel to her gerbil. Nicole loved animals and had a whole menagerie, but like her mom, she didn’t give her charges what they needed most, and they suffered. As a teenager she adopted Beija, a sharpei/corgi mix, to give to her boyfriend in an attempt to heal his unhappy past. Unsurprisingly his parents didn’t go along with the plan. So Nicole was stuck with  Beija, who was prickly, growly, and disliked men and children.

Nov 2, 2017

All books, most of the time

Levar Burton Reads

I’m a late convert to podcasts. When everyone else jumped on board three years ago and was listening to Serial, I wasn’t. I can’t even tell you why. I do like true crime stuff and I’m a bit of a news junkie. But I haven't been an audio-type person (not audio books anyway). So the podcast world was passing me by. Until recently. After a friend showed me how easy it was, I dove in. Thanks to Beth, I’ve developed a nice list of ‘casts that I regularly listen to, some (though not all) of my current favorites include:

Nov 1, 2017

2017 National Book Awards

Cover of The Finalists
The Finalists

The National Book Award was established in 1950. It is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. Every year, the Foundation selects a total of twenty Judges, including five in each of the four Award categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. First there is a long list, then a finalist list, and then the winners for each category are announced in November.

Nov 1, 2017

Find Out!

Cover of Volcanoes
A review of Volcanoes by Maria Gill

Let’s face it; some kids prefer to read non-fiction.  These are the kids who are fascinated with almanacs and world records books.  If you’ve got one of these kids in your house, check out the new DK findout!

Oct 27, 2017

Off to never never land

Cover of The Wendy Project
A review of The Wendy Project by Melissa Jane Osborne

Wendy Davies is driving along a lake road with her two younger brothers Michael and John when their car skids off a bridge and into the water. One of Wendy's brothers is missing after the accident - he's just plain vanished.  \Did Michael survive the crash and wander away? Has he drowned in the lake? Wendy blames herself for the accident. Her family is in crisis. It's all confusing and impossible to come to terms with. What follows is the torturous response to the accident:  the journal that Wendy keeps for her therapist.

Oct 26, 2017

Deep dive into grief

Cover of You Don't Have to Say You
A review of You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie

If you’ve read the wonderful children’s novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian you know the PG version of Alexie’s life story growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is the adult version, and it’s beautiful, haunting, devastating, and raw. When his mother Lillian died in 2015 he began writing this book. She was a complex woman: brilliant, an amazing quilter, cruel at times, and damaged by growing up Native in these United States. Unlike her son, she did not attain her dreams. I k

Oct 24, 2017

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