MCPL logo

Marathon County Public Library

Skip Navigation ATTENTION: All MCPL locations will be closed Mon., 1/17.

Staff Reviews by Sarah Moscatello

Cover: 'The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story'

"The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story" by R. J. Palacio

★★★★★ This is a fantastic addition to the book Wonder, the incredible story about Auggie Pullman, a young boy with a unique face. In Wonder, readers had a glimpse into the viewpoints of several characters in Auggie's world, except for the bully himself: Julian. Now readers finally get a chance to experience Julian's point of view, and learn why he hated Auggie so...

Audience: children, tweens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Christmas at Tiffany's'

"Christmas at Tiffany's" by Karen Swan

★★★★★ Once in a while a novel comes along that completely takes you by surprise, taking you on a momentous journey along with the characters that leaves you sitting in stunned, happy silence after you read the last words. This brilliant, heartwarming novel was one I almost missed, because I admittedly shun novels that even mention Christmas in the title. I needn'...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, holiday

Cover: 'I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks'

"I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks" by Gina Sheridan

★★★★ This is a collection of short snippets from the daily interactions at a public library. From entertaining to disturbing to heartwarming, anyone who has worked in a public library will surely find this book entertaining and most likely, oddly familiar. Conversations are cataloged by theme, such as curiosities and wonders, reference work, and even human...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Circle of Stones'

"Circle of Stones" by Catherine Fisher

★★★ Sulis, a teenage girl being handed off to another set of new foster parents, arrives in Bath, England, ready to leave the past behind her. Within minutes, she is already nervously looking over her shoulders at every opportunity. Linked with her story is that of Zac, the assistant to the man who aims to invent the world's first circular street, King's Circus...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, fantasy

Cover: 'A Midwinter's Tail'

"A Midwinter's Tail" by Sofie Kelly

★★★★★ In this cozy new mystery in one of my favorite series, Kathleen, the head librarian of a small Minnesota town, is gearing up for a fundraising event and the holiday season. What starts out as a great fundraising event turns into two people sent to the emergency room and one dead body. As Kathleen tries to leave the detective work to her detective boyfriend...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery, holiday

Cover: 'Backyard Style'

"Backyard Style" by Matthew Mead

★★★★ Although looking through this outdoor style guide as you see snow right outside your window may not be the best feeling, this is packed full of beautiful illustrations and ideas for when the snow is gone! Included are entertaining tips and a few recipes and decorating ideas as well for each theme and style. I found myself longing for, not only a backyard of...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, gardening, outdoors, nature

Cover: 'The Wishing Tide'

"The Wishing Tide" by Barbara Davis

★★★★ In this atmospheric novel set along the North Carolina coast, Lane Kramer moves away from her ex-husband and memories of a miscarriage to a quaint inn she decides to run. During the off season and in the middle of a violent storm, a professor stumbles upon Lane's inn asking to stay. What Lane doesn't realize is that Michael has arrived under false pretenses...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'By the Book'

"By the Book" by Pamela Paul

★★★ Have you ever wondered what your favorite author's favorite book is? Or what book they just couldn't get through and even finish? Or even what their reading and writing habits are? This book features short interviews by sixty-five of the world's top writers, from J.K. Rowling to Michael Connelly to Khaled Hosseini. I found it to be full of interesting and...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Thug Kitchen'

"Thug Kitchen" by Matt Holloway, Michelle Davis

★★★★ Although I was really thrown off at first by the plethora of swear words in this cookbook, try not to let them dissuade you from this clean-eating, plant-based cookbook. I have Post-It Notes in the double digits for recipes I want to try, and the message this cookbook wants its readers to know is one I 100% believe in: Eat like you mean it. Animal products...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food'

"Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food" by Jamie Oliver

★★★★ This cookbook is brimming with gorgeous photos of comfort food and nostalgia that made me think I was right back at home, curled up in my flat in London. Even though for me and my food allergy riddled body, I can't eat most of the entrees shown in this book anymore, the experience of looking through it was worth it. For those of us who love our cookbooks...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook, celebrities

Cover: 'Pasta Night'

"Pasta Night" by Kate McMillan

★★★★ This is a wonderful collection of simple pasta dishes sure to please. It's beautifully laid out and has a recipe for everyone, including recipes for sauces, pasta (vegetarian, meat, and seafood versions), as well as salads and sides. There are no intimidating ingredient lists, just recipes that are sure to pique any appetite!  

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Orphan Train'

"Orphan Train" by Christina Baker Kline

★★★★★ I finally had a chance to read this book I kept hearing about, and it did not disappoint! This novel follows Molly, a present day child in the child welfare system, as well as a girl from the past known by many names. Molly meets this woman, now Vivian, through a community service project, and as they sift through Vivian's attic, they sift through her past...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, historical fiction

Cover: 'Vegan Desserts'

"Vegan Desserts" by Hannah Kaminsky

★★★★★ This is an excellent source of delicious vegan desserts, for vegans and non-vegans alike! Recipes are separated into the four seasons and every one is beautifully illustrated, which makes preparing many recipes quite easy! Just like Kaminsky's other excellent vegan dessert resource, "Vegan a la Mode" (which everyone should check out as well), this...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'The Old Farmer's Almanac Comfort Food'

"The Old Farmer's Almanac Comfort Food" by Ken Haedrich

★★★★ As winter approaches, I can't think of a better cookbook to delve in to. This cookbook is filled with all your favorite comfort food recipes, including soups and stews perfect for the colder weather, as well as appetizers, breads, pizzas, casseroles, and desserts. None of them are too daunting, just classic comfort food recipes that everyone is sure to love...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Gourmet Cooking for Two'

"Gourmet Cooking for Two" by Christi Silbaugh

★★★   Looking for a dinner recipe just for you and another person? These recipes are geared towards smaller serving sizes, and are all fully illustrated with ingredient lists that are not too daunting. Although I was a bit thrown off by the author's 'Romantic Tips' included with each recipe, a few of the recipes nonetheless tempted me to try them....

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'The Make-ahead Cook'

"The Make-ahead Cook" by America's Test Kitchen

★★★★ If you're looking for tested dinner recipes that you can trust, this is your cookbook! It includes tips and over 150 recipes, most of which are easy casseroles, freezer meals, slow cooker recipes, or ready-to-serve entrees. Also included are 'One Grocery Bag, Three Meals'; one grocery list is provided and three different recipes you can make using the...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well'

"Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well" by Nancy Atherton

★★★★ If you're looking for a cozy mystery set in the English countryside with a cast of likeable characters and an ending that will make you smile, this is your next read! In the 19th Aunt Dimity mystery, Lori Shepard and the tight-knit village of Finch are burying one of the townsfolk when they meet Jack MacBride, the surprise nephew of the gentleman who passed...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Cover: 'Complete Guide to Natural Home Remedies'

"Complete Guide to Natural Home Remedies" by National Geographic Society

★★★★ This book is a plethora of information! This guide includes remedies for all the common ailments, including skin, digestive, muscle, and breathing problems. Each ailment is broken down into more specific problems and multiple home remedies are given as well as information on when further medical attention is needed. Also included in this easy to follow and...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, health

Cover: 'Tailing a Tabby'

"Tailing a Tabby" by Laurie Cass

★★★★★ In the second installment of the Bookmobile Cat series, we again meet librarian Minnie Hamilton and her lovable cat Eddie. On one of their bookmobile runs across the Michigan countryside, they are flagged down by a woman whose husband is having a stroke. When the man is accused of murder days later, Minnie can't help but delve into investigation mode with...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Cover: 'Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage'

"Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage" by Elizabeth Gilbert

★★★ Committed, a follow-up novel to the bestselling Eat, Pray, Love, is a continuation of Elizabeth's and Felipe's love story. On a routine trip back to the States, Felipe is whisked off by government officials who leave the couple with a choice: get married, or never again have Felipe in the United States of America. And so Elizabeth Gilbert must confront what...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Against All Grain'

"Against All Grain" by Danielle Walker

★★★★ For those who are gluten and dairy free, and are interested in the paleo diet, this is a beautiful cookbook full of easy and fully illustrated recipes to try. Included is the author's own health journey, as well as tips, grocery lists, label and nutrition information, and even meal plans. This is a great resource for clean eating that accommodates food...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Lending a Paw'

"Lending a Paw" by Laurie Cass

★★★★★ Based in the beautiful town of Chilson, Michigan, Minnie Hamilton is the assistant director of the local library who just made possible the start of bookmobile service. In this first novel of a cozy new series, Minnie is adopted by a stray tabby cat who sneaks into the bookmobile with her, and from there the adventure begins. On the very first bookmobile...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Pages