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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

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Cover of Waiting for Service: an In
A review of Waiting for Service: an Insider’s Account of Why Customer Service is Broken and Tips to Avoid Bad Service by Ama Tenumah

I heard a radio interview with Amas Tenumah about his book, Waiting for Service: an Insider’s Account of Why Customer Service is Broken and Tips to Avoid Bad Service. I was eager to read this book for two reasons: 1) to improve my attitude and patience when dealing with customer service at, say, AT&T, and 2) to improve my own skills in delivering customer service.

Tenumah, a motivational speaker and former customer service consultant, writes that most businesses have small customer service departments and budgets - and little incentive to improve. This is news?

Jun 20, 2023

Celebrate who you are

Cover of Laxmi's Mooch
A review of Laxmi's Mooch by Shelly Anand
Nabi Ali

Laxmi’s Mooch introduces us to Laxmi, a delightful and confident child, who has never paid much attention to the little hairs that grow on her upper lip – until a classmate points them out during a playground game of farm animals. After that, Laxmi becomes very aware of the hair that grows on her upper lip, arms, legs, and between her eyebrows.

Jun 16, 2023

You need a chicken to wave and cheer!

Cover of Woo Hoo! You're Doing Grea
A review of Woo Hoo! You're Doing Great! by Sandra Boynton

Sandra Boynton needs no introduction for anyone with a toddler in their life, and I was very excited for the newest addition to the collection, this one a hardcover picture book instead of the classic board book, but still filled with the signature silly animals and great rhymes. 

Not since Mo Willems' pigeon had to go to school ("The unknown stresses me out, dude") have I felt so seen and understood by an animal in a picture book, but this story spoke to me from the opening page:

Jun 14, 2023

Reading dilemmas 101

Cover of Fourth Wing
A review of Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Anyone who's known me for a while as a reader knows I can dig my feet in when a book becomes too popular. If I read a book before it became hugely popular, great. But if it's become hugely popular? I'm far more likely to not read it then. If I'm being honest here (and why else would I start talking about this?), I'll admit I like to be the discoverer of the books. I like to find the gems before everyone else. My petty confession of the day.

Jun 13, 2023

¡Aprender cosas nuevas es difícil! / Learning new things is hard!

Cover of Elena monta en bici / Elen
A review of Elena monta en bici / Elena rides a bike by Juana Medina

Elena quiere aprender a montar en bici, pero cada vez que lo intenta... ¡CATAPLAM! ¡CATAPLOM! ¡CATAPLUM! Después de su tercer intento y su tercer choque, Elena está lista para rendirse, pero un amigo la anima a intentarlo de nuevo y ¡adelante! Este libro de primer lector es un recuerdo de que la única forma de mejorar en algo es practicar.

También disponible en inglés / also available in English

Jun 9, 2023

London calling

Cover of Stray Souls
A review of Stray Souls by Kate Griffin

"London’s soul has gone missing. Lost? Kidnapped? Murdered? Nobody knows – but when Sharon Li unexpectedly discovers she’s a shaman, she is immediately called upon to use her newfound powers of oneness with the City to rescue it from a slow but inevitable demise.

Jun 8, 2023

Caught betwixt and between

Cover of A Disappearance in Fiji
A review of A Disappearance in Fiji by Nilima Rao

Fiji in 1914 would appear to be a perfect island paradise. For constable Akal Singh, it is at is best a purgatory, hopefully a temporary one. Far from the turmoil of the Great War, far from the desperately poor regions of the British Empire, for Singh, it is just far from everything; far from his family in the Punjab, far from his beloved billeting in Hong Kong. But one thing that is uncomfortably close is racial prejudice, particularly as Fiji is an island divided. At the top sits the small British elite, owners of the sugar cane plantations that forms the colony’s economic backbone.

Jun 6, 2023

Politics of love

Cover of A Strange and Stubborn End
A review of A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows

I recently finished the second book in a fantasy romance series and wanted to buzz about it here - connecting to my review of book one of course - only to realize that I hadn't reviewed book one! Amazing. And a serious lapse on my part. One that likely happened for the same reason I'm now not going to talk about book two - it wasn't in LINKcat yet. So backing up, here is the first. A Strange and Stubborn Endurance is a marriage of convenience romance contained within the political plotting in a a fully-realized and lush fantasy world.

Jun 5, 2023

The power of pockets

Cover of A Dress with Pockets
A review of A Dress with Pockets by Lily Murray, illustrated by Jenny Lovlie

This librarian is obsessed with this new book by Lily Murrary and illustrated by Jenny Lovlie. When I was a little girl, my favorite book was about a little ballerina. Not because I particularly loved to dance, or because the story was so wonderful, but because of the illustrations of the tutus. I wish that younger me could have had a story like A Dress with Pockets, a book that not only has whimsical illustrations of “Sundresses, fun dresses, blue dresses, green. Swishy dresses, witchy dresses, very very itchy dresses!

Jun 2, 2023


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