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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Mind-blowing (but not in the CIA MKUltra kind of way)...

Cover of Chaos: Charles Manson, the
A review of Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O'Neill and Dan Piepenbring

I placed a hold on O'Neill's tome because of a mention in a podcast. So really I ordered it on a whim and wasn't even sure I'd read it when it came in and seemed so hefty. Over a long weekend I decided to dip into it, or at least look at the included pictures. I was not seen again by anyone for the next two days as I was immediately sucked into the what if's and maybes and possibles.

Dec 7, 2022

I'd listen any time

Cover of Thank You for Listening:
A review of Thank You for Listening: A Novel by Julia Whelan

Do you wonder about art imitating life when it comes to writers and fiction? Popular audiobook narrator and actress Julia Whelan's new novel is about a famous audiobook narrator and actress named Sewanee Chester whose next project pairs her with another famous audiobook narrator named Brock McNight and all of it feels very real. Things start out with an industry convention in Las Vegas that is almost identical to a library or book industry conference. The author panels, the publisher booths and exhibit hall are exactly the same. I can attest to that.

Dec 6, 2022

To Mars and back?

Cover of A Rover's Story
A review of A Rover's Story by Jasmine Warga

As with many of the books that land on my hold shelf or in the digital queue on my phone, I'm not sure where I heard about this charming, heartwarming, a little heartbreaking, gem of a book. Wherever it was or whoever it was who suggested it? Thank you.

Dec 2, 2022

Haunted and haunting

Cover of Shutter
A review of Shutter by Ramona Emerson

It’s a grisly scene that police photographer Rita Todacheene is called to late one night outside of Albuquerque. Bits of the woman’s body are strewn over the interstate, the victim of an apparent suicide from an overpass. But the voice of a furious Erma—whose remains Rita is so diligently documenting—insists it was murder, and Erma won’t stop haunting Rita until she gets vengeance. But Rita’s secret—her ability to see and speak to the dead—is a terrible secret she can neither escape nor even acknowledge to anyone living, a curse that makes her taboo in her Diné (Navajo) community.

Dec 1, 2022

Making the list

Cover of The Duke Who Didn't
A review of The Duke Who Didn't by Courtney Milan

The hero and heroine of Courtney Milan's The Duke Who Didn't have known each other since they were children. And not only have they known each other for years, they have loved as well. But their very different personalities and coping mechanisms have meant that they haven't yet figured that last fact out and have been operating at cross purposes for a few years. Until now.

Nov 30, 2022

Come for the history, stay for the inspiration

Cover of Pride: An Inspirational Hi
A review of Pride: An Inspirational History of the LGBTQ+ Movement by Stella Caldwell

October was LGBTQ+ history month, and it's not too late to celebrate by brushing up on your LGBTQ+ history with Stella Caldwell’s Pride: An Inspirational History of the LGBTQ+ Movement? Beginning thousands of years ago with LGBTQ+ figures from Ancient Greece, China, and Japan, Caldwell provides a comprehensive and accessible history of LGBTQ+ people, culture, and struggle for rights from ancient times all the way up to the present.

Nov 22, 2022

Power plays

Cover of The Right Swipe
A review of The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

The Right Swipe tackles the intersection of technology and modern love, where an app developer and a rival company's spokesman end up filming a series of promotional videos and fall in love in the process. Rhiannon, Gabe's sister from Rai's Forbidden Hearts series, returns as the creator of Crush, an app that works similarly to Bumble. She had a brief fling with Samson, a spokesman for Matchmaker that ended with Samson ghosting Rhiannon. When Rhiannon attempts to buy Matchmaker, she ends up reuniting with Samson, to Samson's delight and Rhiannon's reluctance.

Nov 21, 2022

Push up high

Cover of Tummy Time Friends
A review of Tummy Time Friends by Pat Brisson

Tummy Time Friends is a delightfully interactive board book, full of beautiful baby faces and simple, gentle text. It is extra special because it unfolds, accordion-style, in a floor-standing arc and can be set up around a baby during tummy time. The photographs of baby faces will encourage babies to lift their heads to see. And toddlers will love to look at the faces even after they’ve outgrown tummy time!

Nov 18, 2022

Personal demons

Cover of Dark Music
A review of Dark Music by David Lagercrantz

Micaela Vargas is a police officer in Stockholm. She struggles to gain respect from her mostly white, male colleagues. First because she's a woman, second because she's a Chilean immigrant whose family came to Sweden as political refugees, and third because she grew up in the projects and has a brother who is operating on the other side of the law. None of that stops her from trying. She's determined to move up in the ranks and thus is happy to be assigned to the team investigating the death of an Afghani asylum-seeker who had become a popular youth soccer coach.

Nov 17, 2022


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