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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Power of food

Cover of The Taste of Empire: How B
A review of The Taste of Empire: How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World by E. M. Collingham

This is really an amazing book. It's easy to read as each chapter looks at a specific time period and specific food, but cumulatively there is a lot of information to absorb. The Western world does not come out looking all that good since, in their desire to benefit a few, they ran roughshod over the bodies of a lot of people all over the world. Not that the rest of the world have angelic histories, but because Western countries pride themselves on their culture and education and when looking at the details it doesn't look so swell.

Oct 21, 2020

Graphic is good

Cover of Sapiens: A Graphic History
A review of Sapiens: A Graphic History: The Birth of Humankind, Volume 1 by Yuval Noah Harari, David Vandermeulen and Daniel Casanave

We've all got them. Books we think will make us smarter but that are just a bit too daunting every time you go to pick them up and read. Mine in recent times has been Yuval Harari's Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. I placed it on hold, had the hold come in, checked it out and then returned it unread. I think that probably happened a couple of times.

Oct 19, 2020

Caliente y respetuosa

Cover of You Had Me at Hola
A review of You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Soap opera actress Jasmine Lin Rodriguez has landed a starring role alongside telenovela star Ashton Suarez in a bilingual Netflix-like series called Carmen in Charge. The show is important to Jasmine and Ashton for different reasons and they both desperately want it to be a success. For Jasmine, this is her first starring role. For Ashton, this is his chance to show that he's leading man material in a different entertainment market.

Oct 12, 2020

Multitudes silenced

Cover of Vox
A review of Vox by Christina Dalcher

In a time not too far in the future in an America that seems all to scarily possible at times, half the population has been silenced. For fans who have binged through The Handmaid's Tale (and/or read the book) Vox can be your next dystopian read.

Oct 8, 2020

Finding her own happy ending

Cover of His Only Wife
A review of His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

Afi Tekple’s wedding is a rousing success in spite of the fact that the groom isn’t present. But that is to be expected of a young and wealthy businessman whose travels take him far from home on a routine basis, so important that even his own traditional wedding must yield to demands of business. The young Ghanaian seamstress, heroine of Peace Adzo Medie’s debut His Only Wife, is thrilled and proud to marry the son of the most powerful woman in her town and raise the fortunes of her widowed mother, her avaricious uncle and the wives he supports.

Oct 5, 2020

When the moon is full

Cover of Mooncakes
A review of Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker

Apprentice witch Nova Huang is spending a “gap year” working at the family café and bookshop when she learns that a white wolf has been spotted in the woods. It turns out that Nova's long lost childhood friend Tam Lang is the white wolf. Tam is glad to be back in town but they're hiding something more than their werewolf status. Tam is unsure of and insecure about their werewolf magic and enlists Nova and her grandmothers to find their power. The merging of magic is thrilling and inspirational and the reader will be rooting for Tam and Nova to succeed.

Oct 1, 2020

Haunting and powerful

Cover of The Night Swim
A review of The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

I've mentioned before that I'm a fan of podcasts, particularly ones about books and true crime. So Megan Goldin's newest standalone was a natural next read for me as it's a book about a true crime podcaster. Tada! Thank you Megan Goldin. But seriously, and not just because the book is about a true crime podcast, this is a great crime thriller by an author I think is one to watch.

Sep 30, 2020

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