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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

It's a miracle he's alive

Cover of Friends, Lovers, and the B
A review of Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A memoir by Matthew Perry

This book requires a certain mindset and I caution readers to prepare themselves for a memoir of alcoholism and addiction that is stunning in several ways. First, it's hard to believe that Matthew Perry, one of the stars of the television sitcom Friends, is still alive after everything his body has been through. Second, his candid sharing of stories about himself and others surprised me, and probably surprised those he spilled the beans about.

Mar 20, 2023

Finding a new home

Cover of The Moon from Dehradun: A
A review of The Moon from Dehradun: A Story of Partition by Shirin Shamsi

Azra and her family are having a regular evening when her father comes racing into their home, saying the whole family must leave immediately. Violence and turmoil have gotten out of control in their part of India because of colonial division wrought by the British. In their haste, they leave behind everything they own, including Azra's beloved doll, Gurya. Will she ever see her again? This story, suitable for elementary school children, sheds light on a time in Indian history that even parents and school teachers might not know a lot about.

Mar 17, 2023

Tea with a side of books and dragon eggs

Cover of Can't Spell Treason Withou
A review of Can't Spell Treason Without Tea by Rebecca Thorne

I know you're out there. All those readers who helped make Travis Baldree's Legends & Lattes the biggest thing to hit fantasy fiction last year. If you're one of the many (like me) who ended that book with a sigh of delight and immediately began searching for other cozy fantasy to sustain you? Then look no further than Rebecca Thorne's entry into the sub genre, which has much (a lot, actually) in common with Baldree's novel.

Mar 15, 2023

Mow the floor, rock the dishes, bathe the rug?!

Cover of Bathe the Cat
A review of Bathe the Cat by Alice B McGinty, illustrated by David Roberts

Grandma is coming to visit at 2pm, but the house is a mess! Quick, everyone gets assigned their tasks, spelled out on the fridge with brightly colored alphabet magnets. Dad is in charge of dishes and mowing the lawn, Bobby has to mop the floor and rock the baby, Sarah needs to sweep the mat and feed the fish, and Daddy has to mow the lawn and ... bathe the cat.

Mar 14, 2023

Hurry up, and wait

Cover of My Parents Won't Stop Talk
A review of My Parents Won't Stop Talking by Emma Hunsinger and Tillie Walden

Molly is going to the park with her 2 moms and little brother Seth. Molly loves the park!! It’s pretty much her favorite place to go. Her excitement builds as she starts listing a few of the things she can’t wait to do once they get there. As they leave the house Molly is stopped dead in her tracks. Her neighbors the Credenzas have spotted her moms and now they are all going to start talking!! AHHH! This clever picture books is oh so relatable for any parent of a 3-6 year old. A 5 minute conversation with the neighbors can feel like an hours long ride on the boring train for little Molly.

Mar 10, 2023

A sunflower life cycle

Cover of A Seed Grows
A review of A Seed Grows by Antoinette Portis

This picture book about the life cycle of a sunflower is beautiful in its simplicity. Each spread has just a few words - starting with "a seed falls" - accompanied by vibrant illustrations that take the reader from seed to flower and back to seed. A surprise fold out page halfway through mimics the height of a sunflower, and the back matter includes more details about the different parts of a sunflower seed and its plant, as well as what the seed needs to sprout.

Mar 8, 2023

Above all things, honor

Cover of Someone to Honor
A review of Someone to Honor by Mary Balogh

I'll say up front that this Mary Balogh isn't going to work for everyone. It's a slow-build, slow-burn romance between a pair of guarded, reserved adults who come to their HEA in small, careful steps. Doesn't sound like a barn burner does it? But for this reader it was a nearly perfect read that let me settle in and savor each moment.

Mar 6, 2023

A different shade of blue

Cover of Blue: A History of the Col
A review of Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, Illustrated by Daniel Minter

This books delivers exactly what it promises - a history of the color blue from lapis lazuli stones used by ancient Egyptians, to blue dye pressed from a snail's foot in Mexico, to crushed and dried indigo plants in West Africa and finally a Nobel Prize winning chemical clue created in 1905. Along the way we learn more nuance about the color's complicated history - how blue was used and viewed, the value assigned to it, and the meaning given to it by people all over the world, even today in the language that we use.

Mar 2, 2023

Seeing the magic in each other

Cover of Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn
A review of Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn by Shannon Hale and Lueyen Pham

This adorable picture book series is about feeling like you are one thing when you may look like another. Kitty is sweet and little and fluffy and pink and feels like a unicorn. Nobody else thinks Kitty looks like a unicorn and this makes Kitty very sad. Until she meets a unicorn who thinks they look like a kitty! And so begins a friendship of mutual respect, understanding, and support about recognizing each other for who they are and seeing each other for what they want to be.

Also in this series:

Mar 1, 2023


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