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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

A force to be reckoned with

Cover of Chaos Reigning
A review of Chaos Reigning by Jessie Mihalik

Catarina von Hasenberg is used to being underestimated. In fact, given the powerful world within which she operates, she encourages it. Her family is one of the most powerful ones in the universe and thus have some pretty powerful enemies. A fact that became all two clear in the first two books of this Consortium Rebellion trilogy. Cat's problem right now is that she may have done too good a job convincing people that she's just a flighty socialite. So much so that not even her family thinks she can help in waging the battles they face. 

May 6, 2020

Rescue me

Cover of Take a Hint, Dani Brown
A review of Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Dani Brown needs some loving and soon. The grad student star of Take a Hint, Dani Brown is in hot pursuit of her PhD, but her latest partner ‘caught feelings’ and if there’s one thing Dani is clear on, it’s that she doesn’t want anything more from her relationships than a good time in bed. So, she’s dumped her girlfriend and is on the lookout for a new buddy to help her deal with the tension of academia—but definitely not a relationship. There’s the very cute security guard at her university office, but big, brooding former rugby pro Zafir Ansari doesn’t seem interested in her.

May 4, 2020


Cover of Almost American Girl
A review of Almost American Girl by Robin Ha

Sometimes it can take a lifetime to understand a flashpoint decision which changes your life completely.

Sometimes the biggest pivot you take in life is one you do not choose yourself.

For cartoonist and memoirist Robin Ha, there is life before age 14, in South Korea---a life of solid academic achievement, good friends, favorite comics, and a proud role as her mother’s “warrior apprentice” in the fight to gain respect as a single mother running her own business.

Then, FLASH.

There is life after age 14, in America.

May 1, 2020

Every day is lucky

lucky day book covers
Lucky Day Collection

I've mentioned it before but when you're looking for something to read right now (in our digital world) you can always find something in the Lucky Day Collection on Overdrive (Libby). The books in this collection are checked out for a shorter amount of time and don't allow for anyone to place them on hold. As you can see from the graphic here (today's front page of available LD books) you'll see a little of everything.

Apr 29, 2020

Make pear juice

Cover of When Life Gives You Pears:
A review of When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Family, Faith, and Funny People by Jeannie Gaffigan

Jeannie Gaffigan is a writer and executive producer of The Jim Gaffigan Show.  Both seasons are currently airing on TV Land.  She's also a business partner and wife to comedian Jim Gaffigan. She's a year older than I am and grew up in Milwaukee.  I've long admired how she manages five kids and their appointments, activities, school schedule and gets them all to church.  I know this because I've read Jim Gaffigan's comedy memoirs and watch The Jim Gaffigan Show, which is described as loosely (or exactly?) based on the lives of the Gaffigans.  If it's at all true, Jeannie an

Apr 27, 2020

Well this is awkward...

Book cover graphic
A review of The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

It’s the perfect wedding: not surprising, since the bride is a wedding planner and she’s created her dream ceremony that is as much a statement of her success as a businesswoman. It has to be, since Carolina Santos has worked too hard and her family has sacrificed too much for her to suffer another financial and emotional setback. But just as she’s about to walk down the aisle, the news from her groom, Andrew, comes through his brother Max, the best man: Andrew’s gone and there will be no wedding.

Apr 24, 2020

Finding beauty where you can

Station Eleven book cover graphic
A review of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

It’s a telling sign of how much everyday life has shifted during the Covid-19 pandemic when an author publicly discourages people from reading her book. “Maybe wait a few months” Emily St. John Mandel responded on Twitter to a suggestion that people read her 2014 novel Station Eleven.

Apr 22, 2020

Faux-mance to romance

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A review of If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

I've now read three books by Mhairi McFarlane and she has quickly moved up my list of romantic comedy authors to the top with Kristan Higgins and Marian Keyes. McFarlane's heroines are smart and independent and funny and a bit beat up by life (that last bit is what makes them so interesting). Though they've been knocked down, they still keep getting back up. So too is the protagonist of If I Never Met You, Laurie.

Apr 20, 2020

Adventure with a side of scary (or scary with a side of adventure)

Book cover
A review of Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christrian McKay Heidicker

It’s been a while since I’ve read really a good anthropomorphic novel (stories where animals take on human characteristics). When the ALA awards were announced and Scary Stories for Young Foxes was named a Newbery Honor, I figured it must be special. Special is only one of the many ways to describe this book. Harrowing, magical, sad, corrupt, and resilient are other words that come to mind but once you read it you’ll have your own words to describe it.  “All scary stories have two sides,” says the old storyteller to the seven fox pups eager to be frightened.

Apr 17, 2020


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