Marathon County Public Library

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Staff Reviews / Book Reviews

Check out these book reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library, featuring reviews of fiction and nonfiction for adults, children and teens! These book reviews also are published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.

"The Son" by Jo Nesbø

'The Son' by Jo Nesbø

★★★★★ Jo Nesbo, an award-winning author from Norway, has written another gripping thriller. The novel takes place in the seedy underworld of Oslo, but begins in a state-of-the-art prison. Prisoner Sony Loftus has a heroin addiction which has a steady supply, as long as he takes the fall for some gruesome murders in the area, even while he still remains a prisoner. The connections in this unlikely scheme go all the way to the top. Sonny cares lit ...

Reviewed by Karen J. Read more reviews of "The Son" at Goodreads.com. »

"Goodnight Darth Vader" by Jeffrey Brown

'Goodnight Darth Vader' by Jeffrey Brown

★★★ Darth Vader is trying to put his twins Luke and Leia to sleep but they have the usual questions and demands of most kids at bedtime. He tells them rhyming stories about droids, wookies, Han Solo, Boba Fett and other familiar Star Wars characters. While this is not great literature, this cute book will be devoured by Star Wars fans, old and young alike, who are continually searching for more books about their favorite characters. ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Goodnight Darth Vader" at Goodreads.com. »

"Pizza on the Grill Expanded: 100+ Feisty Fire-Roasted Recipes for Pizza & More" by Elizabeth Karmel

'Pizza on the Grill Expanded: 100  Feisty Fire-Roasted Recipes for Pizza & More' by Elizabeth Karmel

★★★★★ What a delicious and perfectly timed cookbook for summer! Just when you thought homemade pizza couldn't get any better, now you can make it on the grill! Delicious recipes and step-by-step training for proper technique make this cookbook a must read for anyone who enjoys pizza or grilled food. ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Pizza on the Grill Expanded: 100+ Feisty Fire-Roasted Recipes for Pizza & More" at Goodreads.com. »

"Ferry Tail" by Katharine Kenah

'Ferry Tail' by Katharine Kenah

★★★★ Walter, the ferry dog loves his perfect job. He greets ferry-goers, fetches the captain’s morning newspaper, tastes the cook’s food, watches babies and barks at seagulls. The captain’s cat is the only one aboard he does not like. One day he doesn’t feel needed and decides to leave and try life on the island. This sweet, simple picture book will appeal to everyone, but especially to children who have either have been on a family vac ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Ferry Tail" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Castle Behind Thorns" by Merrie Haskell

'The Castle Behind Thorns' by Merrie Haskell

★★★★★ Waking up in the fireplace ashes of an unfamiliar and very broken castle, Sand discovers that nothing lives here, except the huge, dense thorny brambles that enclose the whole exterior, making it impossible to leave. He begins mending broken objects and soon discovers Perrotte, a girl his age and heir to the castle who has awakened from the dead. They become friends as they uncover secrets about the castle’s history and search for freedo ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "The Castle Behind Thorns" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Girl with the Silver Eyes" by Willo Davis Roberts

'The Girl with the Silver Eyes' by Willo Davis Roberts

★★★★★ Ten-year-old Katie Welker knows that she’s different in more ways than just having those unusual silver eyes which freak other people out. She can move things just by thinking about them and read the minds of cats, but what else might she be capable of. After she discovers that her mother took a drug while she was pregnant that was later removed from the market she begins searching for other kids that might be like her. Her search becom ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "The Girl with the Silver Eyes" at Goodreads.com. »

"My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.)" by Peter Brown

'My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.)' by Peter  Brown

★★★★★ Author and illustrator Peter Brown gives us another humorous read-aloud with “My Teacher Is a MONSTER!”. Bobby has a familiar problem: a teacher, Ms. Kirby, who is the bane of his existence. She reminds him to follow school rules by saying things like “no recess for children who throw paper airplanes in class”. In short, he thinks she is a monster. But then he runs into her in a park and, well, she doesn’t seem so bad. Wonderful ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.)" at Goodreads.com. »

"Lizzy Bennet's Diary: Inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice" by Marcia Williams

'Lizzy Bennet's Diary: Inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice' by Marcia Williams

★★★★★ Inspired by Jane Austen’s classic novel, “Pride and Prejudice”, we can easily believe that Elizabeth Bennet just might have written this diary. It is a fun re-imagining of Lizzy Bennet’s world through her eyes with realistic journal entries and cute drawings and captions filling each page. But it’s the realistic invitations, notes, and letters glued to the pages in scrapbook style that thrilled me the most. As a person who is ve ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Lizzy Bennet's Diary: Inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2)" by Robert Galbraith

'The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2)' by Robert Galbraith

★★★★ In the second installment of the Cormoran Strike series, we again meet Strike and his assistant Robin, who are called to find a missing novelist that has wandered before. Owen Quine is a generally disliked man whose latest novel is causing an uproar before it's even published, and Strike soon discovers his disappearance will not be an easy investigation. In Galbraith's usual excellent writing that always takes me right to the streets of Lo ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2)" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook: A Guide to Selecting and Preparing the Best Local Produce with Seasonal Recipes from Local Chefs and Farmers" by Tricia Cornell

'The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook: A Guide to Selecting and Preparing the Best Local Produce with Seasonal Recipes from Local Chefs and Farmers' by Tricia Cornell

★★★ Going to the farmer's market and need some ideas for what to make with your purchases? This book may be able to help. A variety of regionally grown produce is featured in this pretty cookbook. Each fruit or vegetable is featured individually and general facts are given on each one in addition to some recipes. I was hoping for more recipes than there were in the book, which left me less excited. It does do a good job of helping you to ident ...

Reviewed by Ashley C. Read more reviews of "The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook: A Guide to Selecting and Preparing the Best Local Produce with Seasonal Recipes from Local Chefs and Farmers" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Devil's Dozen: How Cutting-Edge Forensics Took Down 12 Notorious Serial Killers" by Katherine Ramsland

'The Devil's Dozen: How Cutting-Edge Forensics Took Down 12 Notorious Serial Killers' by Katherine Ramsland

★★★★ This non-fiction collection is comprised of cases of serial killers beginning with the nineteenth century through modern times, with a special caveat; all were solved with the most cutting-edge forensics of the day, by detectives that were unrelenting and dogged in their pursuit of the perpetrators of unspeakable crimes. H.H. Holmes (portrayed in "Devil in the White City"), was caught and found guilty with the use of new toxicology researc ...

Reviewed by Karen J. Read more reviews of "The Devil's Dozen: How Cutting-Edge Forensics Took Down 12 Notorious Serial Killers" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Art of Secrets" by James Klise

'The Art of Secrets' by James Klise

★★★★ Left homeless after a fire of unknown origin destroys their apartment, Saba Khan and her family’s lives are changed forever. Fellow students at Highsmith School decide to collect items for an auction to be held at school with the proceeds to be donated to Saba’s family. But when a rare and valuable painting worth hundreds of thousands of dollars gets donated to the auction, lies, secrets, jealously, deception, and greed become entwined ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "The Art of Secrets" at Goodreads.com. »

"A Mouthful of Stars: A Constellation of Favorite Recipes from My World Travels" by Kim Sunée

'A Mouthful of Stars: A Constellation of Favorite Recipes from My World Travels' by Kim Sunée

★★★★ Are you a lover of travel and exploring food? Then this is the cookbook for you! Kim has been a world traveler all of her life and uses this cookbook to highlight delicious recipes from her adventures across the globe. The pictures of the food are beautiful and her anecdotes included in each chapter add to our wanderlust as a reader. This is definitely a one of a kind cookbook and travel adventure. ...

Reviewed by Ashley C. Read more reviews of "A Mouthful of Stars: A Constellation of Favorite Recipes from My World Travels" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger

'The Time Traveler's Wife' by Audrey Niffenegger

★★★★★ This is the extraordinary love story of Clare, an artist, and Henry, a librarian and time traveler. Henry has known Clare since she was a little girl but doesn't know it until he meets her in real time where she knows who he is and is already in love with him. Discover the complexities of time travel through their love affair of the ages. You will not be able to put this book down and will be touched by the love that Clare and Henry share. ...

Reviewed by Ashley C. Read more reviews of "The Time Traveler's Wife" at Goodreads.com. »

"Will Grayson, Will Grayson" by John Green

'Will Grayson, Will Grayson' by John Green

★★★★ This is a hilarious story of how two different teenage boys with the exact same name come to meet one another and change each other's lives. I listened to this book twice on audio book and both times found myself laughing out loud on my commute! Both Will Grayson's lives are at a turning point in love, relationships, and life when their paths cross. The characters are larger than life who you will remember for a long time after closing the ...

Reviewed by Ashley C. Read more reviews of "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" at Goodreads.com. »

"Salvage Secrets Design & Decor: Transform Your Home with Reclaimed Materials" by Joanne Palmisano

'Salvage Secrets Design & Decor: Transform Your Home with Reclaimed Materials' by Joanne Palmisano

★★★★★ This book contains refreshing ideas for recreating your space with repurposed and recycled materials. What better way to make a truly one-of-a-kind and personalized space? I found some really beautiful ideas that I can't wait to incorporate into my home! ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Salvage Secrets Design & Decor: Transform Your Home with Reclaimed Materials" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Medici Boy" by John L'Heureux

'The Medici Boy' by John L'Heureux

★★★★ Set in fifteenth century Florence, this novel is written as a confession and memoir by Luca Mattei, a devoted assistant to the great artist Donatello. Luca writes about living in the infamously sinful city of Florence and about the intimate details of life in Donatello's workshop. A collision of politics, art, and forbidden passions, this is a tale full of secrets and an inside look at the persecution of great men for the personal gain of ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "The Medici Boy" at Goodreads.com. »

"Little Green Peas: A Big Book of Colors" by Keith Baker

'Little Green Peas: A Big Book of Colors' by Keith  Baker

★★★★ The peas from the alphabet sensation LMNO Peas have returned for a new adventure exploring color. From green gardens to purple mountains to the red colors of fall, the peas see color everywhere. This book is recommended for toddlers and preschoolers who will gain color knowledge and letter knowledge from the vibrant, fun illustrations. ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "Little Green Peas: A Big Book of Colors" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Boleyn Reckoning (The Boleyn Trilogy, #3)" by Laura Andersen

'The Boleyn Reckoning (The Boleyn Trilogy, #3)' by Laura Andersen

★★★★★ In the thrilling conclusion of this trilogy about the Boleyn King who never was, Minuette finds herself caught between the king’s increasingly obsessive love and her loyalty to her secret husband Dominic. As the backdrop to this love triangle, Catholic and Protestant factions vie for power, causing families, friendships, and political loyalties to fracture. Most impressive of all is Andersen’s believable, yet imagined, historical setti ...

Reviewed by Anna C. Read more reviews of "The Boleyn Reckoning (The Boleyn Trilogy, #3)" at Goodreads.com. »

"Allegiant (Divergent, #3)" by Veronica Roth

'Allegiant (Divergent, #3)' by Veronica Roth

★★★★★ The intriguing conclusion to the Divergent series, this book will be hard to put down. Tris and Four continue to search for answers and a way to put the pieces of their broken lives back together. What began with a choice that changed their lives forever continues to be a journey of choices and tough lessons in love, courage, truth, and sacrifice. ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Allegiant (Divergent, #3)" at Goodreads.com. »

"A Dog Called Homeless" by Sarah Lean

'A Dog Called Homeless' by Sarah Lean

★★★★★ A year after her mother’s death, Cally sees her mother at the cemetery but no one will believe her. Worse yet, no one wants her to talk about her mother. She continues to see her mother often along with a friendly wolfhound and an elderly homeless man. She volunteers to not talk for a day at school to help raise money for a children’s hospice home and decides to continue her silence since no one wants to listen to her or talk about her ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "A Dog Called Homeless" at Goodreads.com. »

"Douglas Fairbanks and the American Century" by John C. Tibbetts

'Douglas Fairbanks and the American Century' by John C. Tibbetts

★★★★ Fans of silent cinema will enjoy this in-depth look at the films of Douglas Fairbanks, the swashbuckling hero from such silent classics as The Mark of Zorro and Robin Hood. While not for readers looking for a biographical account of Fairbanks’s life and his marriage to Mary Pickford, this volume is perfect for those who are more interested in a cinematic retrospective. The authors are very thorough with their presentation of the many fil ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "Douglas Fairbanks and the American Century" at Goodreads.com. »

"My Accidental Jihad" by Krista Bremer

'My Accidental Jihad' by Krista Bremer

★★★★★ A captivating and moving memoir about a women's journey through love, interethnic marriage, parenthood, and life. This memoir follows Krista from her surfing days to a journalism career to a chance encounter with a runner that eventually leads to a discovered pregnancy, and soon a cross-cultural marriage. The author shows us her experiences being married to a Muslim man, her own journey with religion, and the experience of a different cult ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "My Accidental Jihad" at Goodreads.com. »

"Knack Body Language: Techniques on Interpreting Nonverbal Cues in the World and Workplace" by Aaron Brehove

'Knack Body Language: Techniques on Interpreting Nonverbal Cues in the World and Workplace' by Aaron Brehove

★★★★ I have read a number of books on the "science" of non-verbal communication i.e. "body language" and this book was one of the better ones I have read. Scientists have indicated that most communication occurs non-verbally via body signals which we give out unconsciously. While our words convey some meaning, some studies indicate that non-verbal communication accounts for upwards of 75% of what is conveyed to others. The idea behind the book ...

Reviewed by Marsha Y. Read more reviews of "Knack Body Language: Techniques on Interpreting Nonverbal Cues in the World and Workplace" at Goodreads.com. »

"Nantucket Red (Nantucket, #2)" by Leila Howland

'Nantucket Red (Nantucket, #2)' by Leila Howland

★★★★ A sequel to Nantucket Blue, Nantucket Red finds protagonist Cricket Thompson newly graduated from high school. Cricket is accepted to Brown University with a coveted spot on the lacrosse team, and heads back to Nantucket in order to earn money for the Ivy League life. Soon after arriving, one night on the island causes Cricket's future to be thrown up in the air. She's forced on a journey to discover just who she is and what she wants. A h ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "Nantucket Red (Nantucket, #2)" at Goodreads.com. »

25 | Based on the Goodreads API.