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Staff Reviews

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...

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...

Cover: 'A Man Called Ove'

"A Man Called Ove" by Fredrik Backman

★★★★★ Ove is not an easy man to love. At age 59, he has lost his job because he is "outdated." He is cranky, opinionated, and gruff. On the other hand, Ove is someone that you can't help but like. He uses his thick emotional wall to hide great personal loss. When new neighbors with little respect for Ove's personal boundaries move in, his whole world begins to...

Cover: 'Under the Wide and Starry Sky'

"Under the Wide and Starry Sky" by Nancy Horan

★★★★★ This novel recounts the epic and unconventional love story of Scottish literary master, Robert Louis Stevenson and American divorcee, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. Fanny heads to Europe with her children to escape an unfaithful and miserable marriage and to develop her skills as an artist. In 1875 she meets Lois in the south of France. She thinks he is too...

Cover: 'The Museum of Extraordinary Things'

"The Museum of Extraordinary Things" by Alice Hoffman

★★★★★ Set in New York in the early 1900s, this fascinating novel explores the world inside a museum of oddities. Professor Sardie fills his museum with human miracles and wonders at the beginning of each season in hopes of attracting the crowds that flood the city from spring to fall. Competition is fierce among summer attractions and his desperation for a star...

Cover: '365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts'

"365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts" by R. J. Palacio

★★★★★ Precepts are words to live by, as Mr. Browne taught his fifth grade students in Wonder. In this compilation of 365 inspirational precepts, we get a glimpse into Mr. Browne's world of teaching. Each day of the year has a precept that is either a famous quote from a philosopher, a saying on a fortune cookie, lyrics from a song, among others. After each month...

Cover: 'Dragon on Trial'

"Dragon on Trial" by Tui T. Sutherland, Kari Sutherland

★★★ After rescuing a griffin in the first book, ”The Menagerie”, Logan is officially accepted as a member of the secret menagerie that cares for mythical creatures. This time the crisis involves the disappearance and presumed murder of Pelly, the goose who lays the golden eggs. Snatch, a dragon in the menagerie, is blamed, but Logan and his friend Zoe are sure...

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....

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...

Cover: 'Her Fearful Symmetry'

"Her Fearful Symmetry" by Audrey Niffenegger

★★★★★ "Her Fearful Symmetry" is a great read for those interested in the supernatural. Two American twin sisters inherit their aunt's apartment in London after she passes away, but is she really gone? When the twins move to London to live in the apartment that is also right next to a famous cemetery, they begin to experience supernatural events and start to...

Cover: 'The Book of Life'

"The Book of Life" by Deborah Harkness

★★★ In the final installment of the All Souls trilogy, Matthew and Diana return from Elizabethan England to further dig up the origins of witches, daemons, and vampires. They need to find the alchemical manuscript known as Ashmole 762, or the Book of Life, to uncover these secrets. They must find the manuscript before it gets in the wrong hands, namely, Matthew...

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...

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...

Cover: 'The Story of Land and Sea'

"The Story of Land and Sea" by Katy Simpson Smith

★★★★★ Set in coastal North Carolina during the American Revolution, this novel follows Tabitha, a little girl who loves her father's stories from his days as a pirate, and her mother Helen, who died giving birth to Tabitha years before. Using eloquent, meticulous, and at times biblical prose, the author explores loss, the love between parent and child, and what...

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...

Cover: 'The Family Cooks'

"The Family Cooks" by Laurie David

★★★★ This cookbook is a wonderful resource for anyone looking for healthy recipes to try, whether for kids, a significant other, or just for yourself. An introduction includes compelling information for anyone interested in the hidden and un-healthy additions to the food much of America is eating. What follows is a beautifully made cookbook with tasty recipes,...

Cover: 'Forget Me'

"Forget Me" by K. A. Harrington

★★★★★ Morgan's boyfriend, Flynn, died in a hit-and-run accident three months ago. To finally get some closure, Morgan's best friend Toni suggests she upload one last photo of him online. When Morgan posts the photo, the face-recognition software asks if she wants to tag a boy in the town over named Evan Murphy. Morgan is in shock: Evan and Flynn are dead ringers...

Cover: 'Surprise-Inside Cakes'

"Surprise-Inside Cakes" by Amanda Rettke

★★★★ Do you have an upcoming celebration that you'd like to bring an extra special cake to? This book is perfect for bakers who would like an extra challenge, or those with a special occasion coming up. Filled with possibilities, ideas, and recipes, this book is a fun resource for those looking to make an exceptional dessert!  

Cover: 'Landline'

"Landline" by Rainbow Rowell

★★★★ Georgie has a big decision to make before Christmas--work on her dream TV script for a one-time pitch, or go with her husband, Neal, and their daughters to Omaha. Georgie decides to work on the TV script and stay in LA, much to Neal's dismay. Neal is so furious he won't even pick up his phone to talk to her. Georgie soon discovers a landline phone in her...

Cover: 'Visions'

"Visions" by Kelley Armstrong

★★★★★ In the second installment of the Cainsville series, we again meet Olivia, a woman who found out that she was the daughter of two of the most notorious serial killers known at the time. "Visions" opens with Olivia finding the body of a woman dressed to look like her in her car, only to go missing minutes later. The mystery only escalates from there, as...

Cover: 'Allergy-free Desserts'

"Allergy-free Desserts" by Elizabeth Gordon

★★★★ Do you have food allergies but miss (or want to try) desserts? This book contains recipes for all the favorite desserts you could think of, all made to accommodate those with food allergies. Most recipes are illustrated, and the author offers tips and tricks to make the allergy-friendly desserts resemble the actual desserts. While some readers may want to...

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...

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...

Cover: 'Carry On, Warrior'

"Carry On, Warrior" by Glennon Doyle Melton

★★★★ Carry On, Warrior takes the reader on a journey of discovery, emotion, and healing, as she recounts pivotal life moments, thoughts, and feelings. While her novel tends to jump around, and I couldn't connect fully with some of the experiences I have not shared with her, I appreciated the journey all the same. Her writing is humble, humorous, and captivating...

Cover: 'The Midnight Library'

"The Midnight Library" by Kazuno Kohara

★★★★ Imagine a library open only at night, frequented by owls, tortoises, wolves, squirrels and other animals and you have the premise for this simple picture book. Because the tortoise is slowly reading his book at the library, the little girl librarian suggests that he get a library card to check out his book and continue reading it at home. The woodcut...

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