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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Reading their own

Cover of Celebrity Memoirs
Celebrity Memoirs

I saw a New York Times article about celebrity memoir audiobooks that are read by the author. The three titles they mentioned are listed below as well as a few others you might enjoy. And if audiobooks aren't your cup of tea, then there are also links to the physical book or the ebook.

Feb 9, 2021

Read Native 2021

Cover of Birdsong
A review of Birdsong by Julie Flett

Read through the seasons - and emotions - in Birdsong by Julie Flett. A young Cree girl, Katherena, moves to a new home with her mother. She misses her “friends and cousins and aunties and uncles”. The new home is over the mountains and near a field “covered in snowdrops”. She feels lonely and does not feel like getting out her pencils and paper for drawing. “My hands are cold.” But soon, she meets their nearest neighbor, an older woman named Agnes – who loves gardening and making things out of clay.

Feb 8, 2021

From here to Haiti

Cover of Libertie
A review of Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge

Libertie Sampson is a free-born Black girl coming of age in 1860s Brooklyn. She is the daughter of the only Black woman doctor in the region and as such feels incredible pressure from her mother to follow in her footsteps. She's always known that her mother wants her to go to college and study medicine so that they can one day open a practice together. And to a point Libertie is willing to go along - mostly because this is all that she has ever imagined.

Feb 5, 2021

A haunted marriage

Cover of Stay with Me
A review of Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

As they start their marriage, Yejide and Akin are aware they’ve a lot to learn, but there is one thing they are sure of: theirs will be a monogamous marriage. In late 1980s Nigeria, it is still assumed that Akin will take several wives. The pair, who met at university and have thus far weathered Nigeria’s often volatile political and social climate, have the sort of love that is strong enough to withstand any outsider’s attempts to drive them apart. But Akin and Yejide may be their own greatest threat to their marriage, a discovery that comes almost too late. 

Feb 3, 2021

Truly missing?

Cover of If I Disappear
A review of If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier

Sera Fleece is recently divorced, out of a job and at extreme loose ends. Her only emotional outlet is a true crime podcast hosted by Rachel Bard. Rachel's stories of unsolved crimes of the missing keep Sera company as she struggles with depression and loneliness. When Rachel suddenly stops posting new episodes and there are no new updates on her social media, Sera is thrown for a loop. The only thing she can think to do is find out what has happened to Rachel, who may have disappeared just like the subjects of the podcast.

Feb 1, 2021

No need for a microscope

Cover of Honeybee: The Busy Life of
A review of Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann

Author Candace Fleming and illustrator Eric Rohmann have wowed the children’s book world with a very engaging and detailed book about bees. Did you know bees are quite hairy?! The oil paintings of bees in this book are so close-up you’ll feel like you’re just as tiny, getting exclusive access of a nest from a bee's point-of-view.

Jan 29, 2021

The REAL queen of crime

Cover of The Windsor Knot
A review of The Windsor Knot by S. J. Bennett

For a thousand year old castle, it’s certainly not the first time a violent death has happened within its walls. But it’s still shocking when Windsor Castle staff discover the body of a young Russian pianist in the wardrobe of a guest room deep within what is one of the most secure citadels in the world—and more so when that death is revealed as a murder. Her Majesty the Queen is of course horrified to hear the news—she had danced with the man only the previous night—but when police and MI-6 suspects that Russia is behind the crime with a possible mole, she knows what she has to do.

Jan 28, 2021

Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

Cover of Books on Auschwitz
Books on Auschwitz

I was looking up the 2021 date for the Holocaust Remembrance Day (April 8) and discovered another day of remembrance. " Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD), established in 2000, is marked each year on 27th January – the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau." The theme this year is ‘Be the Light in the Darkness’, a pretty good reminder in this time of pandemic.

Jan 27, 2021

Hard on the head and the heart

Cover of Before the Ever After
A review of Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson's latest novel-in-verse for middle grades just won the Coretta Scott King Author Award for outstanding writing by an African American author. Twelve-year-old ZJ's life turns upside down when his dad, a professional football player, starts suffering headaches, memory loss and personality changes. According to lore, Zachariah 44 (for his jersey number), suffered more NFL concussions than any other player, even with a helmet on.

Jan 26, 2021


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