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Staff Reviews

Cover: 'The Wonder of All Things'

"The Wonder of All Things" by Jason Mott

★★★★★ An ordinary day turns tragic as the local air show ends in a fiery crash. 13-year-old Ava and her best friend Wash are trapped underneath the rubble of the observation tower. When Ava discovers that Wash is mortally wounded she does the impossible and heals him. In the age of technology, the whole thing is caught on video and quickly goes viral sending the...

Cover: 'Naked!'

"Naked!" by Michael Ian Black

★★★★★ This wonderful, enjoyable read-aloud celebrates the joys of being naked—naked, naked, naked. The wide-mouthed boy in this picture book eats (several) cookies-naked, slides down the stairs-naked, and dreams of going to school, doing the hokey pokey, and playing on the playground-naked. Children will easily identify with this sometimes-caped crusader and his...

Cover: 'Burned'

"Burned" by Thomas Enger

★★★★ Author Thomas Enger bases this first murder-mystery novel in the series in Oslo, Norway. Fans of Scandinavian authors and their style will be very pleased with this offering by Enger. E-Reporter, Henning Juul, starts back to work after a long absence. He is scarred both physically and emotionally, but a slow, easy start back into his job is not in the cards...

Cover: 'The Book of Night Women'

"The Book of Night Women" by Marlon James

★★★★★ This captivating novel pulls us deep into the world of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the eighteenth century. We begin when she is just a child born of a too young mother who didn't survive her birth, and the white slave driver. Lilith has been afforded a certain amount of protection as a child but quickly learns what...

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...

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...

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...

Cover: 'Vintage'

"Vintage" by Susan Gloss

★★★★★ The main character is a small-town girl named Violet Turner with a flair for fashion. She opens a vintage used clothing store in Madison, WI. If you are familiar with that area, you will enjoy the different descriptions about the city. She develops friendships with two women who help her in her shop and also have problems with love. Old clothes are captured...

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...

Cover: 'The Witch's Boy'

"The Witch's Boy" by Kelly Barnhill

★★★★★ Ned and his parents live in a small village at the edge of a dark and mysterious wood. His mother is a witch and his father is a woodcutter. Ned has never been the same since the day his twin brother died and he lived. He never speaks, and if he does, it is with a terrible stutter. The villagers all make fun of him and think him useless. The only thing the...

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...

Cover: 'The Invention of Wings'

"The Invention of Wings" by Sue Monk Kidd

★★★★★ Sarah Grimke is just a child when she is given the ten-year-old slave girl Hetty 'Handful' Grimke as a present on her eleventh birthday. Sarah knows in this moment that she cannot be a part of the slave owning lifestyle of her southern aristocratic family. Sarah tries to free Hetty and is quickly put in her place by her powerful mother. Hetty’s equally...

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!  

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...

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...

Cover: 'Neverhome'

"Neverhome" by Laird Hunt

★★★★ Ash Thompson is not all that he appears to be. In fact, he is not a man at all, but a woman serving in the army in her husband's stead. She is surrounded by mystery and intrigue. She is brave, strong, and faithful. Through her journey she is a soldier, a legend, a woman locked up for insanity and rumors of traitorous behavior, and a puzzle. This novel is an...

Cover: 'Last Post'

"Last Post" by Max Arthur

★★★★ Being unfamiliar with much about the WWI, the last great war, I was eager to hear of stories from the mouths of those few soldiers still left to tell the tale. This 2005 book is a narrative account of those few British soldiers still alive and able to relay their firsthand accounts and stories of an era that will perish when they do. Approximately 20 men,...

Cover: 'The Returned'

"The Returned" by Jason Mott

★★★★★ The Returned is a story about an impossible miracle and getting a second chance of life. Harold and Lucille's 8 year son Jacob died a tragic death in 1965. Years later, after they have settled into old age, Jacob appears on their doorstep alive and still 8 years old. Chaos erupts when all over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond, but the...

Cover: 'The Husband's Secret'

"The Husband's Secret" by Liane Moriarty

★★★★★ The Husband's Secret is a fantastic read that makes you question how well you really know the people you are closest to. When Cecilia discovers a letter her husband wrote to her to be opened only after his death her whole world is changed. Within this letter, her husband reveals his deepest, darkest secret which has the potential to destroy Cecilia's whole...

Cover: 'The King's Curse'

"The King's Curse" by Philippa Gregory

★★★★★ Acting as a hinge between Gregory's Cousins' War series and her Tudor series, "The King's Curse" follows the life of Margaret Pole, the niece of Edward IV and Richard III. Through Margaret's eyes, we see Katherine of Aragon come to England, Anne Boleyn rise to power and her execution, and Jane Seymour give birth to the future Edward VI and die. We also...

Cover: 'Lock In'

"Lock In" by John Scalzi

★★★★★ This fast-paced read got me thinking about what would happen if 'The Haden's Disease' actually existed. Haden's is a disease that effected the world population, starting out as a flu, continuing on to meningitis, and finally being "locked in". Only 1% get to the locked in stage, and it sounds just the name suggests. The lucky few that survived the...

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