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Marathon County Public Library

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Staff Picks

Check out these five-star reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library, featuring books and DVDs for adults, children and teens! Staff book reviews are also published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates. The book reviews on this website represent the personal opinions of the individuals who created them and do not represent any official views of the Marathon County Public Library.


Cover: 'Out of the Easy'

"Out of the Easy" by Ruta Sepetys

★★★★★ We can’t choose the families that we are born into but we can choose our destiny. Born to a prostitute mother and an unknown father, and living in a brothel with her mother in the French Quarter, Josie Moraine appears to have the cards stacked against her. While cleaning rooms at a brothel, working at a bookstore, and being tangled up in a murder...

Cover: 'First Big Book of the Ocean'

"First Big Book of the Ocean" by Catherine D. Hughes

★★★★★ Do you know what a leafy sea dragon is? Find out in this ocean-filled book put out by National Geographic Kids. This books is a great read for any school-aged child that is curious about biology or the ocean. Split up into ocean sections, each section details the animal life one will find in the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic oceans. Each animal...

Cover: 'As I Knew Him'

"As I Knew Him" by Anne Serling

★★★★★ In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, Rod Serling penned various movie and television scripts that demonstrated the power and majesty of the English language. Though termed "television's angry young man," his scripts consistently displayed a sensitivity, gentleness and perceptive understanding of the human condition. This tender and intimate biography, penned by his...

Cover: 'Four Seasons of Travel'

"Four Seasons of Travel" by National Geographic Society

★★★★★ This sumptuous travel guide offers up hundreds of gorgeous, full-color photographs and first-person reminiscences of "400 of the world's best destinations in winter, spring, summer and fall." Among the destinations covered are Edinburgh, London, Victoria Falls, Queenstown, New York City, Lake Como, Oaxaca, the Atlas Mountains, Newport, St. Petersburg,...

Cover: 'What Does the Fox Say?'

"What Does the Fox Say?" by Ylvis

★★★★★ Dog goes woof and cat goes meow, but what does the fox say? If you loved the YouTube sensation "What Does the Fox Say?" you will love the children's picture book version! The book is filled with the zany lyrics to the popular song and kooky illustrations of the animals mentioned. Recommended for children and adults who are fans of the song, or anyone...

Cover: 'A Christmas Story Treasury'

"A Christmas Story Treasury" by Tyler Schwartz

★★★★★ Over the years, 'A Christmas Story' has become a perennial favorite around the holidays with its heartwarming story of young Ralphie longing for a very special Christmas gift. Tyler Schwartz's charming and informative book details the creation of this film and how it flowered into a beloved holiday classic. Illustrated throughout with color photographs, the...

Cover: 'Rescue'

"Rescue" by Anita Shreve

★★★★★ Anita Shreve, a well known author who wrote "A Pilots Wife," has done it again with her book "Rescue." Did you ever dream your life out completely, right down to land you where going to buy in your own town? Did your dreams ever spiral out of control and you had to be the strong one? Webster, a young paramedic, had his life all figured out and was saving...

Cover: 'Santa Claus and The Three Bears'

"Santa Claus and The Three Bears" by Maria Modugno

★★★★★ The three bears weren't expecting company when they went for a walk on Christmas Eve. But who should appear but the merry old gentleman himself - Santa Claus! Santa tries out the Christmas pudding, the chairs and then the beds. Find out what happens when the three bears come home from their walk. Wonderful pictures and whimsical prose make for a lovely...

Cover: 'Toy Time: From Hula Hoops to He-Man to Hungry, Hungry Hippos'

"Toy Time: From Hula Hoops to He-Man to Hungry, Hungry Hippos" by Christopher Byrne

★★★★★ Revisit your childhood with this charming, full-color chronicle of toys from decades past. Among the toys described and illustrated are Play-Doh, Barbie, Gumby, Uno, Rubik's Cube, Etch-a-Sketch, Teddy Ruxpin, Silly Putty, G.I. Joe, the Star Wars Action Figures, Care Bears, Dungeons and Dragons, Tonka Toy Trucks, NERF Ball, View-Master and the Frisbee....

Cover: 'Shakespeare's Tremor and Orwell's Cough: The Medical Lives of Famous Writers'

"Shakespeare's Tremor and Orwell's Cough: The Medical Lives of Famous Writers" by John J. Ross

★★★★★ Author John Ross' book takes a unique view of the lives of 12 American and British literary notables, examining their medical histories to see what impact various maladies had on their personal life and literary output. Along with Orwell and Shakespeare, Ross looks at Hawthorne, Melville, London, Yeats, Swift, Joyce, Milton and the Bronte family, describing...

Cover: 'The Masters of Nature Photography'

"The Masters of Nature Photography" by

★★★★★ Cox's book claims to "represent the very best of nature photography," a claim supported by the gorgeous photographs found in this 2013 release. Made up of portfolios from ten renowned nature photographers, the book is overflowing with touchingly beautiful images and perceptive text. All of the photographers whose work are featured in Cox's book have won...

Cover: 'Reef Life: A Guide to Tropical Marine Life'

"Reef Life: A Guide to Tropical Marine Life" by Brandon Cole

★★★★★ A treasure trove of information and over 1,000 full-color pix of ocean life around the world, "Reef Life" is eye candy for nature lovers and divers alike. Topping off at 616 pages, Cole's book is brimming with gorgeous pix of dartfish, razorfish, sharks, rays, angelfish, corals, hawkfish, dolphins, grunts, eels, seahorses and so on. Some 800 species of...

Cover: 'Fangirl'

"Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell

★★★★★ Cath and Wren are identical twins entering their freshman year of college. Wren jumps into the party scene while Cath dives into her favorite hobby: writing fanfiction about the literary phenomenon Simon Snow. Wren and Cath used to write it together, but Wren is slowly drifting apart from her twin, wanting to make her own identity apart from Cath. Feeling...

Cover: 'Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library'

"Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library" by Barb Rosenstock

★★★★★ Thomas Jefferson’s love of books and reading is wonderfully portrayed in this short children’s book.  Amusing illustrations of books on the roof of the White House, books used to spell out the word “BOOKS” on his fireplace mantle, and a picture of Jefferson being so engrossed in reading a book that they had to wait for him to sign the Declaration of...

Cover: 'A Street Cat Named Bob'

"A Street Cat Named Bob" by James Bowen

★★★★★ Wounded, hungry and full of fleas, a stray ginger-colored tom cat catches the eye of James Bowen, a street musician struggling to free his life from drug addiction. The two lost souls instantly form a bond. Even though James can barely get by himself on the money he earns performing on the streets of London, he knows that he has to take care of this cat....

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