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Staff Reviews by Kathleen Kosiec

Cover: 'Make It Ahead'

"Make It Ahead" by Ina Garten

★★★★ Another beautiful Barefoot Contessa cookbook! In this cookbook, Ina includes tips for making every single recipe ahead, even whipped cream and roasted turkey! Ina shows us how we can have easy and elegant food suitable for any occasion. The accompanying photographs of the food and her home are gorgeous, and will make fans envy Ina's life in the Hamptons.

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'The Secret History of Wonder Woman'

"The Secret History of Wonder Woman" by Jill Lepore

★★★★★ Comic book geeks and history buffs alike will enjoy this fascinating story about the creator of Wonder Woman. William Moulton Marston invented the blood pressure-measuring lie detector test, and had a colorful academic career before he created the beloved comic book character. Inspired by the women's suffrage movement, and his own belief that women would...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, biography, superheroes

Cover: 'Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life'

"Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life" by Sophia Loren

★★★★ Sophia Loren's memoir details her incredible life; full of beauty, love, success, but also tragedy and pain. The daughter of a single mother, Loren grew up in poverty during World War II in Italy and never had much contact with her father. She received her start in beauty pageants, and soon transitioned to film after she was noticed by her future husband,...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, celebrities, memoir

Cover: 'Mortal Heart'

"Mortal Heart" by Robin LaFevers

★★★★ In this final installment of the His Fair Assassin trilogy, readers finally learn more about Annith, a young woman who is trained as an assassin in 15th century Brittany. Annith and the other members of the convent, Ismae and Sybella, serve Mortain, the god of death, and also use their skills to protect the young Duchess of Brittany. Unlike Ismae and...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, ya fiction with adult appeal

Cover: 'Chop Chop'

"Chop Chop" by Simon Wroe

★★★★ Fans of Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" will enjoy this fictionalized account of restaurant life in London. The protagonist stumbles into a restaurant job after he is unable to find work with his English literature degree. He is given menial kitchen tasks and christened "Monocle" by his crude coworkers. His boss is a sadistic tyrant who enjoys...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Oh Yeah, Audrey'

"Oh Yeah, Audrey" by Tucker Shaw

★★★ This is a fun read about a teen who is obsessed with actress and legendary style icon Audrey Hepburn. Gemma started a Tumblr blog-Oh Yeah, Audrey- about the star, and virtually met several teens who share her fascination. They agree to meet in person in New York City for a weekend adventure inspired by Hepburn's famous film "Breakfast at Tiffany's," but...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, ya fiction with adult appeal

Cover: 'Dancing with Myself'

"Dancing with Myself" by Billy Idol

★★★★ Billy Idol's memoir is a candid recollection of his life as a bad boy rocker in the 80s and 90s. Unlike some other rock star memoirs, Billy Idol doesn't make excuses for his behavior. He admits fault for the hurt he caused to his longtime girlfriend Perri and his family because of his drug use and infidelity. Idol also discusses his musical influences, and...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, biography, biography and memoir

Cover: 'Carsick'

"Carsick" by John Waters

★★★ John Waters, eccentric director of the original Hairspray and Cry Baby, hitchhikes from Baltimore to his apartment in San Francisco, and lives to write a book about his journey! About two-thirds of the book are novellas. The first one details all of the horrible things that Waters thought would happen to him. The second novella describes a best-case...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'My Salinger Year'

"My Salinger Year" by Joanna Rakoff

★★★★ Dictaphones and typewriters in 1996? After graduate school, Joanna takes a job as an assistant to the literary agent who represents J.D. Salinger. The office appears stuck in the 1950s, despite the introduction of computers and email to the rest of the world. Joanna's duties include typing out a generic form letter to Salinger's fans, since Salinger will...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, biography

Cover: 'Growing Up Duggar'

"Growing Up Duggar" by Jana Duggar

★★★ While readers may not want to take romantic advice from girls who have never been in a romantic relationship, this book provides some insights into the lives of the notorious Duggar clan, famous for their large family of 19 children. Each chapter is divided into various relationships, such as relationships with parents, siblings, guys, culture, and of...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir

Cover: '#GIRLBOSS'

"#GIRLBOSS" by Sophia Amoruso

★★★★★ Learn how Sophia went from dumpster diving and shoplifting to founding her own successful online fashion business in less than a decade! Sophia started her women's clothing business as an eBay store while she was working at a dead-end job in San Francisco. Now, she is CEO and creative director of her own online fashion business which generates millions of...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Year of No Sugar'

"Year of No Sugar" by Eve O. Schaub

★★★ A more accurate title is Year of Reduced Sugar! The author and her family still indulge in a sweet treat every month, and each family member is granted an exception item, which contains sugar. (The author chose red wine.) Sugar really is in almost everything we consume (even bacon and chicken broth!), and the family's quest to attend community events,...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Douglas Fairbanks and the American Century'

"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...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, history

Cover: 'I Don't Know What You Know Me From'

"I Don't Know What You Know Me From" by Judy Greer

★★★ You may know Judy Greer from her numerous roles as a co-star in movies such as 13 Going on 30 and The Wedding Planner, and her collection of essays is perfect for readers looking for a light read this summer. Greer has a tendency to ramble as she recounts her life and her career as an actress. Sometimes she is quite funny, especially the essay describing a...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir

Cover: 'The Perfume Collector'

"The Perfume Collector" by Kathleen Tessaro

★★★★ This is a lovely, yet predictable novel about a woman who inherits an apartment in Paris from someone she has never met. Grace is living unhappily in England when she discovers the mysterious Eva d'Orsey left her a beautiful apartment and a generous stock portfolio. A richly-detailed work of historical fiction, Tessaro weaves together the duo plotlines of...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, historical fiction

Cover: 'Shotgun Lovesongs'

"Shotgun Lovesongs" by Nickolas Butler

★★★★★ This debut novel from Wisconsin-based author Nickolas Butler is worthy of the abundant praise received from critics and readers. Set in the fictional rural town of Little Wing, Wisconsin, five friends undergo major life changes, from marriage to recording a bestselling album. Chapters are written from the perspective of each of the five as their friendship...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, wisconsin

Cover: 'Dangerous Creatures'

"Dangerous Creatures" by Kami Garcia

★★ This book is a disappointing attempt at a spin-off series from the writers of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, the popular teen series about the supernatural world of Casters (witches) in South Carolina. Link and Ridley, now an on-again, off-again couple with magical abilities, escape their fictitious southern town of Gatlin, South Carolina, and head to New York City....

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, paranormal, supernatural

Cover: 'City of Heavenly Fire'

"City of Heavenly Fire" by Cassandra Clare

★★★★ A satisfying end to an interesting young adult series, Cassandra Clare does not disappoint fans of The Mortal Instruments with this final installment. The book is over 700 pages, but it’s full of Shadowhunters, lycanthropes, faeries, warlocks, and vampires battling Clary’s evil brother Sebastian and his legion of dark Shadowhunters in Hell. Much of the plot...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, fantasy

Cover: 'Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line'

"Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line" by Michael Gibney

★★★★★ Foodies and especially those who have worked in the restaurant industry will enjoy Sous Chef. The second person narrative chronicles 24 hours in the life of a sous chef at an upscale restaurant in New York. There are already plenty of memoirs from celebrity chefs, but the sous chef is usually a footnote in these works, or perhaps the subject of an angry...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, food

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