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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Can you trust it?

Cover of The Passengers
A review of The Passengers by John Marrs

If you, like me, are feeling the end of summer doldrums a bit, then I've got the book for you. The Passengers by John Marrs takes you on a wild ride and sets you on a collision course with fun! Too much? One pun too many?

Sep 9, 2022

There's a word for that...

Cover of Love in the library
A review of Love in the library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

I'm always a little skeptical of books about libraries - maybe being a librarian has made me too jaded. But this story isn't really about libraries, and it's not even really about books, although there is a gorgeously illustrated spread celebrating the breadth of imagination and worlds to be found within the pages of a book and the walls of a library. 

Sep 6, 2022

Sewn with hate

Cover of The Poison Thread
A review of The Poison Thread by Laura Purcell

When describing this book to a friend, I summarized as the story of two women in Victorian England: Ruth, a seamstress who believes she can hurt and kill others through her sewing, and Dorothea, a member of the gentry who visits Ruth in prison, believing that phrenology (the study of the contours of the human skull to describe a person's personality) holds the clues to Ruth's innocence or guilt. It sounds a bit wacky, I'll admit, but the story is so much more complex than that.

Aug 30, 2022

After the fall

Cover of Poster Girl
A review of Poster Girl by Veronica Roth

In her stellar adult fiction novel debut Veronica Roth explores what happens when a totalitarian, dystopian regime falls and whether or not the society can rebuild without repeating the same patterns and mistakes. And she does all of this through the eyes of someone who was complicit in that regime's behavior.

Aug 29, 2022

Judith & Susanna & Artemisia

Cover of Blood Water Paint
A review of Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

This fictionalized biography of Artemisia Gentileschi is as beautiful, powerful, and haunting as the paintings its subject produced. Gentileschi is best known as a celebrated Italian Baroque painter, and for insisting on trying her rapist in a court of law-- two things that were near unheard of for women of her time. 

Aug 26, 2022

Still haunted

Cover of The Gone Dead
A review of The Gone Dead by Chanelle Benz

When Billie James inherits a little money, her grandmother's cabin and her dog in Greendale, Mississippi, she decides on a visit in hopes of re-connecting with her past. She has few memories of the rundown (even more so now) Mississippi Delta town and its inhabitants, but has always been curious about the events of her last visit when she was four years old. It was then that her father died in a drunken accident. Or so she was told.

Aug 25, 2022

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it*

Cover of The Memory Librarian: And
A review of The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe

Inspired by the author's critically acclaimed album Dirty Computer, this Afrofuturistic collection of five connected stories center around a woman named Jane 57821 who is looking for refuge from the world of the Dirty Computer. The Dirty Computer is what society views as human imperfection, tainted by memory, emotion, and time.

Aug 24, 2022

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.

Aug 22, 2022


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