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Staff Reviews by Ashley Colstad

Cover: 'DIY Braids'

"DIY Braids" by Sasha Coefield

★★★★★ Braided hairstyles have become very popular in recent years but they can be intimidating to recreate yourself. "DIY Braids" uses photographs and step-by-step instructions to help you create beautiful braided hairstyles that can be very simple or complex. I appreciated that the models used in the book had different hair types. One had straight hair and the...

Audience: teens | Genre: nonfiction, beauty

Cover: 'How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are'

"How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are" by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, Sophie Mas

★★★★★ Written by four true Parisiennes, this book gives advice on how to live like a Parisian woman. It includes tips on style, beauty, books, bad habits, food, friends, family, and relationships. There is even a short collection of French recipes at the end. The women write their advice in short sentences and paragraphs, which makes this book quick, and fun, and...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'The Swedish Christmas Table'

"The Swedish Christmas Table" by Jens Linder, Johanna Westman

★★★★★ Looking for a unique and quirky Christmas cookbook? Look no further because The Swedish Christmas Table is what you seek. Covering all things Scandinavian, this book is chock-full of recipes from drinks to desserts to candy to feasts! There are so many recipes in this book that it would take a lifetime to make it all! The graphics and pictures are...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook, holiday

Cover: 'Scandinavian Christmas'

"Scandinavian Christmas" by Trina Hahnemann

★★★★ Since marrying into a Norwegian family, I have looked for traditional foods to prepare around the holiday season. "Scandinavian Christmas" does a great job of giving basic recipes for the Christmas season while also providing ideas for Advent, Christmas parties, and the popular Smorgasbord. This cookbook is well thought out and presented in easy-to-follow...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances'

"Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances" by John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle

★★★★★ Young adult readers rejoice! Three of our favorite authors have gotten together to write about the sweetness of love in the middle of a snowstorm on Christmas Eve. We have the pleasure of reading about three separate but connected couples who live in the same town, through the same blizzard, and the same joys of young love. This is such a fun book for the...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, romance, holiday

Cover: '12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters' Stuff'

"12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters' Stuff" by Six Sisters

★★★★★ This book is a wonderful addition for anyone who is looking for a new Christmas craft or cookbook! Written by very popular bloggers, Six Sisters' Stuff, you will find all sorts of ideas on how to cook, enjoy, and share your holiday spirit. Not only is the book incredibly informative but also has wonderful pictures and easy to follow directions. It makes...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook, holiday

Cover: 'Station Eleven'

"Station Eleven" by Emily St. John Mandel

★★★★★ This book has been on several recommended reading lists for very good reasons. It is excellent! Set in the near future, we enter a post-apocalyptic world that was destroyed by a worldwide pandemic. The main characters are all linked by a famous actor from the past and their stories are followed through the years after disaster hits. The story is written so...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Cooking Light: Mad Delicious'

"Cooking Light: Mad Delicious" by Keith Schroeder

★★★ If you are looking for new, tasty, and healthy recipes, this is a good cookbook for you. This book does an excellent job of illustrating ways to prep and cook your food that are extremely effective. The author has cooking down to a science showing just how your food is cooking according to how you prepare it. It is neat to see and read! I found myself...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'How To Train A Train'

"How To Train A Train" by Jason Carter Eaton

★★★★★ How do you train your train? Need help? Check this book out to learn how to catch a live train, train your pet train, name your train, play with your train, and care for your new friend. All of your friends will be impressed with your knowledge of pet train behavior! There are also incredible pictures included to help illustrate different train...

Audience: children | Genre: fiction, picture book

Cover: 'Dish Do-Over'

"Dish Do-Over" by Joanne Lusted

★★★★★ Do you wish that you could still eat some of your favorite meals but with less fat? This cookbook has all of that plus helpful hints on substitutes for your household recipes as well. The recipes are organized in an easy way and explained in clear step-by-step instructions to make it as simple as possible. The pictures of the final result look just as...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Anatomy of a Misfit'

"Anatomy of a Misfit" by Andrea Portes

★★★★★ This book tells us the story of Anika, a tenth grader who is experiencing high school at it's greatest. She is trying to remain in the popular hierarchy, live with a unique family situation, and is torn between two boys who are vastly different. Anika has to decide to follow the crowd or to stay true to herself as she tries to fit in. The author did an...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Little One-Yard Wonders'

"Little One-Yard Wonders" by Patricia Hoskins

★★★★ This is an excellent addition to the other books in the One-Yard Wonders series. There are 101 sewing project ideas that you can make with just one yard of fabric! Find all of that scrap fabric you have at home at put it to good use making all sorts of useful things for babies to toddlers. One of my favorite projects is the car organizer! Any beginning...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Make Ahead Paleo'

"Make Ahead Paleo" by Tammy Credicott

★★★★★ Interested in the new, popular Paleo diet? Try this cookbook out to help you learn more about it! Not only does this book give you good advice about how to approach trying a Paleo diet with tips of swapping ingredients but also useful kitchen tools to use, and how-to ideas on food storage. Not only that, but the recipes in this cookbook look really...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Flea Market Fabulous'

"Flea Market Fabulous" by Lara Spencer

★★★★ Anyone who loves a good flea market, looking at projects on Pinterest, or up-cycling different things will enjoy this book by Good Morning America's Lara Spencer. Lara walks you through updating different rooms in your house by using different vintage finds in miraculous ways. Along the way, she gives you tips and tricks to help you think about updating a...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Every Day'

"Every Day" by David Levithan

★★★★ Meet A, a 16-year-old who wakes up every day in a new body. Life has always been this way for A where every day brings a new family, school, town and even gender. A wakes up in the body of Justin, where he meets his girlfriend Rhiannon and instantly falls for her. Read how A struggles with wanting to stay with Rhiannon every day and not being able to...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Cooking School'

"Cooking School" by Martha Stewart

★★★★ Martha Stewart gives you all of the skills you need to be a successful at home cook. Have you ever wondered which knife to use for certain purposes? How about how to make a rue? Martha has that all covered in this book (which has been so helpful that it has been made into a PBS TV Series)! Don't be intimidated by the weight of this book because it does an...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Bossypants'

"Bossypants" by Tina Fey

★★★ Are you a fan of "Saturday Night Live" or "30 Rock"? Then this is the book for you. Learn about the life of Tina Fey, SNL writer and star. She documents her life from geeky child who attends a summer theater program to successful star, writer, and actress. This book is not only funny but is also surprisingly insightful on what it means to be a successful...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, humor

Cover: 'Gravity'

"Gravity" by Jason Chin

★★★★★ What if? This book asks just this question about gravity and what would happen if there was none. Gain a glimpse of our universe as if gravity did not exist. Jason Chin does a wonderful job getting a young reader introduced to the sometimes complex understanding of gravity. The words are few and basic yet they help the youngest of minds to begin thinking...

Audience: children | Genre: nonfiction, outer space, science

Cover: 'The Summer Girls'

"The Summer Girls" by Mary Alice Monroe

★★★★ What a satisfying summer read! This is the first book in a trilogy that follows the lives of three half-sisters and their grandmother, who lives in the coastal South Carolina island, Sullivan Island. All of the girls have been drawn back to their grandmother's house for the summer after long periods of time living their separate lives. The girls come...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Lover's Dictionary'

"The Lover's Dictionary" by David Levithan

★★★★ Have you ever thought of describing and defining your relationships through one word descriptions? This very creative author has done just that. He uses words, like a dictionary, in order to tell the story of a relationship between two people. It really is remarkable that this format works, and I was a little skeptical starting this book that I would not...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'The Organic Family Cookbook'

"The Organic Family Cookbook" by Anni Daulter

★★★★★ What a refreshing cookbook and way to think about healthy eating! This cookbook really makes you feel as though you can eat healthy and organic fairly easily.  There are excellent ideas for meals and snacks that are easy and don't require strange sounding, organic ingredients that can sometimes break a budget. The pictures are great and the book also...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook'

"The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook" 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...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'A Mouthful of Stars'

"A Mouthful of Stars" 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...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'The Time Traveler's Wife'

"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...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

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