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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Minding Grandmama Queen

Cover of Queen Victoria’s Matchma
A review of Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking: The Royal Marriages That Shaped Europe by Deborah Cadbury

Many a bride or groom in history have been plagued by meddlesome relatives with opinions, solicited or otherwise, on the proper course a couple should—or shouldn’t—take in the path to wedded bliss. There is, after all, one’s happiness at stake. But let’s for a moment take a moment to feel for the offspring of that great matriarch, Queen Victoria. The queen and her beloved husband, Prince Albert, were graced with nine children, who in turn begat 42 grandchildren.

January 10, 2018

All Aboard for Fun!

Cover of Old Tracks, New Tricks
A review of Old Tracks, New Tricks by Jessica Peterson

Wooden train tracks are good for more than just trains, and this story proves it. It's told in rhyme, with a combination of text boxes and word balloons, and illustrated with colorful photos. The train tracks and toy trains themselves can speak, and the tracks prove to the trains that they have lots of different uses. There's a bonus section at the end showing how you, too, can recreate the fun experiences shown in the book. This is a great STEM read that should inspire lots of play and creativity.

January 5, 2018

Nothing to do but read

Cover of Vacation Reading
Vacation Reading by

I often read a fair amount of reading (understatement) over holidays and vacations but for this most recent bout of holiday days off I topped myself. Mostly because it's just been so darn cold! What else is there to do other then huddle under a blanket and read? All this is to say, I may have several posts of vacation reads.  I'll start today with a couple of the more romance-y titles.

January 4, 2018

The skeleton in the attic

Cover of Beau Death
A review of Beau Death by Peter Lovesey

Peter Diamond may wince at being called the ‘veteran superintendent’ of the Bath, England police force, but it will prove impossible to escape historical comparisons with the city’s newest crime scene. Or maybe it’s the oldest crime scene? The recent demolition of eighteenth century row houses reveals a literal skeleton in the attic of one of the condemned buildings—and this one happens to be unmistakably dressed as Beau Nash, one of Bath’s most famous denizens, in authentic 1760s-era clothing.

January 3, 2018

Sweet Anticipation for January 2018

New Titles by

Well, readers, it’s time to bid 2017 adieu. The year saw its share of notable titles although no one blockbuster dominated the scene as in previous years. Instead, it was a year for rediscovering old classics such as The Handmaid’s Tale and 1984, word-of-mouth hits (A Gentleman in Moscow and Before We Were Yours being prime examples) and of course, a new political book or memoir appearing on shelves seemingly every week. But that was the old year, and new titles of 2018 beckon.  Forward, readers!

December 26, 2017

I Do?

Cover of When Dimple Met Rishi
A review of When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

This YA Rom-Com with a nod to Bollywood is both sweet and addicting! When Dimple Met Rishi (Simon Pulse, 2017) is told in two voices, alternating often. The reader feels the giddiness of new love – as well as the push and pull of culture, family expectations, and being true to oneself. I was a fan of both Dimple and Rishi from the very start – and I truly, achingly, wanted everything to work out! It is a warm and cozy read – and definitely a big win for first-time writer Sandhya Menon. I am eagerly awaiting her next book – From Twinkle, with Love - to be out summer of 2018.

December 22, 2017

Plenty of chickens

Cover of Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna
A review of Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna the Very First Chicken by Douglas Rees

Have you ever wondered why there are plenty of chickens and no Tyrannosaurus Rexes in the world today? The answer is Edna, the very first chicken. She is small and brave and won’t let the big and fierce T. Rex bully her or the other dinosaurs. In Douglas Rees’ fun and colorful book Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Edna the Very First Chicken readers find that it doesn’t take powerful jaws and a roar to be brave. Filled with dinosaur antics, cluck-worthy excitement, and feathery heroics, this is read is fun for everyone (except Tyrannosaurus Rex).

December 15, 2017

A Monstrously good graphic novel

Cover of My Favorite Thing is Monst
A review of My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris

I have run out of superlatives when describing this book to friends. There is so much to love, such rich artwork and storytelling. Alison Bechdel calls it virtuosic; I would say mind-blowing. The story is as complex, nuanced, and dark as the art. Perhaps dark times call for dark stories, but ultimately Monsters comes down to girl power and Ferris’ timing is just right. 

December 14, 2017

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