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Staff Reviews

Cover: 'Night Film'

"Night Film" by Marisha Pessl

★★★★★ Scott McGrath, an investigative journalist, lost his career and wife due to one man: Stanislas Cordova. Cordova is a cult-horror film director whose personal life is top secret. When McGrath pried in his life a few years ago and tried to reveal the true Cordova, McGrath was ruined. The story begins on an October night when Cordova's beautiful daughter,...

Cover: 'The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry'

"The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry" by Gabrielle Zevin

★★★★ This book is not only about what the title suggests, the life of A.J. Fikry who is a small town bookstore owner, but also the ways books can change the course of your life.  As a librarian, of course I would enjoy a book about how books are involved in people's lives, but it was very interesting to see how the author chooses books to be impactful...

Cover: 'John Wayne: The Life and Legend'

"John Wayne: The Life and Legend" by Scott Eyman

★★★★★ John Wayne is the most famous American movie star of all time. In a 50-year career, he created memorable characters as the the Ringo Kid, Ethan Edwards, Sean Thornton, Tom Dunston, Kirby Yorke, George Washington McClintock and Rooster Cogburn.  Author Scott Eyman offers up this 658-page biography of the Duke and it's a winner.  Eyman supplies a...

Cover: 'Someday, Someday Maybe'

"Someday, Someday Maybe" by Lauren Graham

★★★★ If you love Lauren Graham, the actress, in "Gilmore Girls" or "Parenthood" then you will throughly enjoy Lauren Graham the author in her debut novel.  Her story introduces us to Franny, a struggling actress in New York City of the mid 1990s, and her adventures trying to become a serious actress who can pay her bills with her craft.  Franny is so...

Cover: 'Police'

"Police" by Jo Nesbø

★★★★★ It takes a strong will to put this book down before the end. Nesbo does it again, keeping us in suspense until the very end. "Police" is a real thriller with the suspense rising to almost unbearable levels. Oslo's police officers are being brutally murdered at scenes of unsolved murders they investigated. An unidentified severely wounded man in a coma,...

Cover: 'The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects'

"The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects" by Spike Carlsen

★★★★★ This book was great! It had a lot of useful tips and building projects that have been added to my must do list. It had a simple, easy-to-read layout and list of materials. The book also contains step-by-step directions with diagrams so the projects are clear and easy to follow. A great book for anyone interested in do-it-yourself projects, homesteading, or...

Cover: 'Heaven is for Real'

"Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo, Lynn Vincent

★★★★★ Are you looking for a simple but heart-felt and emotional story? Then look no further! Todd Burpo, a small-town pastor, tells the story of how he and his family fell on some hard times due to injuries and illness. He suffered a broken leg and hyperplasia, which set him back on his job duties. The main part of the book is accounts of his not yet four year...

Cover: 'D-Day: Remembering the Battle that Won the War'

"D-Day: Remembering the Battle that Won the War" by LIFE Magazine

★★★★ June 6, 2014 is the 70th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy, an epic battle that spelled the eventual downfall of Hitler's Third Reich. Many books have been published in honor of the anniversary, this LIFE release being one of the latest. LIFE D-DAY tops off at 144 pages and is a comprehensive D-Day overview that sets June 6 in historical...

Cover: 'The Other Typist'

"The Other Typist" by Suzanne Rindell

★★★ An intriguing tale of Rose Baker, a good girl working in a N.Y. police station in the 1920s. An orphan who was raised by nuns, Rose is very traditionally-minded despite working in a nontraditional occupation. With the increase in prohibition enforcement, the precinct is forced to hire another typist to keep up with the paperwork. Rose's obsession with the...

Cover: '100 Places You Will Never Visit: The World's Most Secret Locations'

"100 Places You Will Never Visit: The World's Most Secret Locations" by Daniel Smith

★★★★★ This utterly fascinating travel guide describes and illustrates sites us normal people will NEVER be allowed to visit. If you do try and visit them, you will end up being warned off by gun-toting guards, carted off to jail or killed! The sites include super-secret military and intelligence bases/sites around the world such as Area 51 and Diego Garcia,...

Cover: 'The Testing'

"The Testing" by Joelle Charbonneau

★★★★ Fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent trilogies who are looking for their next read should grab The Testing. This young adult novel describes a dystopian society ravaged by the Seven Stages War, in which graduation day brings celebration and a wish for the future. Graduate Malencia Vale desperately hopes that she is one of the select few chosen for a...

Cover: 'John Wayne: A Photographic Celebration'

"John Wayne: A Photographic Celebration" by Marc Mompoint

★★★★ John Wayne is, arguably, the most popular movie actor of all time. Marc Mompoint offers up a photo-tribute to 'The Duke' in this appealing 2012 Skyhorse Publishing release. The book features color and b&w candid snaps and production stills from Wayne's life and times. John Wayne fans will undoubtedly enjoy this latest tribute to the iconic movie star...

Cover: 'The Collector'

"The Collector" by Nora Roberts

★★★★ In Nora Roberts' latest tale of romantic suspense, Lila Emerson, a professional house sitter, witnesses a murder from the window of the luxury apartment she is staying at. She is drawn into a deadly game of intrigue, world travel, and priceless art. Ashton Archer is determined to find out why his brother died, and recruits Lila to help him solve the...

Cover: 'Overwhelmed'

"Overwhelmed" by Brigid Schulte

★★★★ Brigid Schulte, a Washington Post journalist and busy wife and mother of two, tries to answer a question that is on everybody's minds in today's breathless, harried, and fast-paced world: how do we find the time to do it all and not lose our minds? Brigid's journey takes her to a time researcher who insists all American women have 30 hours of leisure time a...

Cover: 'The Night Circus'

"The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern

★★★★★ A true exhibit of fine writing, craftsmanship, and imagination!  This enchanting book takes to you a circus world you could only imagine and wish that you can experience yourself.  Imagine a black and white circus that has an air of magic surrounding it's every detail and those people who make it all come to life.  Follow the tale of Celia...

Cover: 'Watching You'

"Watching You" by Michael Robotham

★★★★★ Norwegian author Michael Robotham keeps the pace set high and the reader guessing until the very end. You may think you have figured it out sooner, but there's a twist that makes this author one to put on your "favorites" list. Marnie Logan's life seems to be taking one turn for the worst after another, but someone wants to help her. That someone causes...

Cover: 'The Painted Girls'

"The Painted Girls" by Cathy Marie Buchanan

★★★★ Set in 1878 Paris, this book tells the story of the van Goethem sisters as they struggle to survive extreme poverty following the death of their father and the descent of their mother into severe alcoholism. Antoinette loses her place on the opera stage and must find a way to help her family survive. Marie, with encouragement from Antoinette, takes her...

Cover: 'The Here and Now'

"The Here and Now" by Ann Brashares

★★★★ In "The Here and Now" we meet Prenna, an immigrant not from another country, but another time. Leaving behind the future dying world that has been ravaged by a plague, those few lucky survivors emigrate to the present day. They bring with them twelve strict rules they believe will protect the world they saw destroyed. But when Prenna is frantically warned...

Cover: 'Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox'

"Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox" by Jonathan B. Tucker

★★★★★ Jonathan Tucker narrates a spell-binding story in amazing factual detail of smallpox. This deadly disease was heroically eradicated from our planet, along with its hideous, painful, disfiguring and often fatal characteristics.  Many elderly citizens around the world bear the scar from smallpox vaccination, a practice now discontinued for the general...

Cover: 'The Wind is Not a River'

"The Wind is Not a River" by Brian Payton

★★★★★ This historical fiction captures events during World War II that were held in great secrecy from the American public: a Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska. A reporter, John Easley, is shot down while traveling with American troops flying over the bleak and inhospitable island chain. He is unable to communicate with the outside...

Cover: 'Beaches, 100 Ultimate Escapes'

"Beaches, 100 Ultimate Escapes" by Stefano Passaquindici, Sabrina Talarico

★★★★★ Armchair travelers will enjoy Sabrina Talarico's captivating, full-color guide to the most breath-taking beaches in the world. Each beach rates a one-page write-up with one or more color photographs. The beaches are divided into sections: 'Fun Beaches,' ' Protected Beaches,' 'Natural Paradises,' 'Sports Beaches' and so on. The result is a charming, gorgeous...

Cover: 'The Fight in the Clouds'

"The Fight in the Clouds" by James P. Busha

★★★★ The North American P-51 Mustang enabled America to defeat the Axis powers in World War II. James Busha's book FIGHT IN THE CLOUDS describes many of the exciting air battles waged by P-51 pilots in the European and Pacific Theaters. Reminiscences by air aces, who downed five or more enemy aircraft, are intermingled with accounts by 'regular Joe' P-51 pilots...

Cover: 'The Burning Shore'

"The Burning Shore" by Ed Offley

★★★★ In the first half of 1942, Nazi Germany sent U-boats to the shores of America to savage the merchantmen and tankers plying the coastal waterways. At this stage of war, America was ill-prepared to deal with such an incursion, having too few ships, two few airplanes and ineffective naval leadership. For many months, Germany's 'grey wolves' sank ship after...

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