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Staff Reviews by Dan Richter

Cover: 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'

"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany

★★★★★ Taking place 19 years after the events of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," Harry Potter and his wife, Ginny, are happily raising their kids James, Albus, and Lily. Harry, the head of Magical Law Enforcement, finds it hard to connect with Albus, who leaves for his first year at Hogwarts as the story begins. Over the next few years, Albus becomes an...

Audience: children, tweens | Genre: fiction, fantasy

Cover: 'Home is Burning'

"Home is Burning" by Dan Marshall

★★★★★ Dan Marshall had it made at 25. After being brought up in a privileged (some may say spoiled) home, he had a great job in Los Angeles, a devoted long-term girlfriend and no bigger problem than deciding where to vacation next. Then, while lounging in Palm Springs, that life instantly vanishes when Marshall gets a call from his parents telling him that his...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, health

Cover: 'Kitchens of the Great Midwest'

"Kitchens of the Great Midwest" by J. Ryan Stradal

★★★★★ Eva Thorvald is only a few months old when she loses both of her parents, Lars and Cynthia, to vastly different circumstances. From there, the book follows Eva's life from infancy through her mid-twenties, skipping anywhere from a few months to several years between chapters. Instead of having Eva tell us her own story, her life is framed through the eyes...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'North Woods Girl'

"North Woods Girl" by Aimee Bissonette

★★★★★ In an age of computers, smartphones and tablets, it can sometimes be difficult to draw kids' attention away from such devices and get them outside. The young, unnamed protagonist in "North Woods Girl" eschews such technological temptations in favor of exploring the great outdoors with her rustic, nature-loving grandmother, who lives deep within the north...

Audience: children | Genre: fiction, picture book

Cover: 'Ready Player One'

"Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline

★★★★★ Anyone interested in dystopian fiction, gaming or 1980's pop culture (or all of the above) will definitely want to check out this inventive novel by author Ernest Cline. Set in the year 2044, the world is generally a dismal place, with the gap between the rich and the poor larger than ever. To escape their dismal reality, the majority of the population...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Tinder Nightmares'

"Tinder Nightmares" by Unspirational

★★★★ For the unfamiliar, Tinder is a mobile dating app that helps pair up singles with others in their geographical area. Swiping right on a person’s profile means you like them and if they like you back, the app will let you know you’re a match. Sounds simple, right? In “Tinder Nightmares”, it’s less about the simple and more about the absurd. Comprised of real...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Gonzo Girl'

"Gonzo Girl" by Cheryl Della Pietra

★★★★★ At age 23, Cheryl Della Pietra spent five months working as an assistant to famous (or infamous, rather) writer Hunter S. Thompson, who pioneered the genre of gonzo journalism with such works as “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. Pietra’s time with Thompson is the basis for this fiction novel, which follows recent college grad and aspiring novelist Alley,...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

"The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens" by Phil Szostak

★★★★★ At first glance, this book appears to be filled with nothing more than large, colorful concept art images from the planning of “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens”. As it turns out, it has so much more to offer. Author Phil Szostak worked alongside the “Star Wars” art department as a researcher and image archivist from the early days of “The Force...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, movie tie-ins

Cover: 'John Hughes: A Life in Film'

"John Hughes: A Life in Film" by Kirk Honeycutt

★★★★ John Hughes is the creative force behind numerous memorable films throughout the 1980s and early '90s, including "The Breakfast Club", "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "Home Alone", "Sixteen Candles," and "Pretty in Pink". In this book, author Honeycutt gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at each of the films Hughes wrote (and sometimes directed), and...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Kitchens of the Midwest'

"Kitchens of the Midwest" by J. Ryan Stradal

★★★★★ Eva Thorvald is only a few months old when she loses both of her parents, Lars and Cynthia, to vastly different circumstances. From there, the book follows Eva's life from infancy through her mid-twenties, skipping anywhere from a few months to several years between chapters. Instead of having Eva tell us her own story, her life is framed through the eyes...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

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