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Staff Reviews

Cover: 'Dad Is Fat'

"Dad Is Fat" by Jim Gaffigan

★★★★ Looking for a very funny and entertaining read by a stand up comedian?  Then this is the book for you!  Part comedy, part memoir, Gaffigan chronicles his life as a husband and father of five children living in a two bedroom apartment in New York City.  This unique situation lends to some very funny parenting anecdotes and observations in a...

Cover: 'The Snowman's Children'

"The Snowman's Children" by Glen Hirshberg

★★★ This book is adult fiction, described as psychologically intense, and that is an apt description of how the story unfolds.  In Detroit, in the 1970's, Mattie, Spencer and Theresa were in the "gifted" program at their school.  At that same point in time, a serial killer known as "The Snowman" was picking and choosing young victims with impunity....

Cover: 'Fear Nothing'

"Fear Nothing" by Lisa Gardner

★★★★★ After Detective D.D. Warren returns to a vicious crime scene where she is confronted by the soon to be called Rose Killer, she awakes with only the memory of a lullaby ringing in her ears. Her extensive injuries send her to a pain specialist who, coincidentally enough, has a genetic condition that prevents her from feeling pain of any kind. But that's not...

Cover: 'Building Our House'

"Building Our House" by Jonathan Bean

★★★★★ This cozy picture book shows the year-and-a-half long construction process involved in building a house, from moving into a trailer to live until the house is done, picking out the site, consulting the blueprints, digging the basement, raising the frame, and working in all types of weather.  Mom and Dad both work on the house while the children play...

Cover: 'Mountain of the Dead: The Dyatlov Pass Incident'

"Mountain of the Dead: The Dyatlov Pass Incident" by Keith McCloskey

★★★★★ The Dyatlov Pass Incident happened in February, 1959, in what was then the Soviet Union.  Nine university students set out for a ski tourism trip and never returned.  Their frozen, and in at least three cases seriously injured bodies, were found weeks later.  Their tent was cut open from the inside.  What could have cause these nine to...

Cover: 'Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy'

"Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy" by Karen Foxlee

★★★★★ Opehlia Jane Worthington-Whittard is an extraordinary 11 year old girl; she just doesn’t know it yet.  Accepting a last-minute job offer to curate a sword exhibit at a museum in a foreign city, Ophelia’s father believes that this is just the change of scenery his daughters need after the recent death of their mother.  The plan is for Ophelia and...

Cover: 'Did Romans Eat Chips?: And Other Questions About History'

"Did Romans Eat Chips?: And Other Questions About History" by Paul Mason

★★★★ What did athletes wear at the original Olympics? Which horse had a city named after him? Did Romans eat chips? Find out the answers to these crazy questions in Paul Mason's fun book about history. The book is filled with funny illustrations and asks questions about a wide range of historical events. The questions range geographically from South America to...

Cover: 'The Devil in the White City'

"The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson

★★★★ The author Erik Larson (also of In the Garden of the Beasts), gives a detailed account of the creation of the World's Fair held in Chicago at the end of the 19th century.   The "White City" is the idealized, created city that provided a figurative and literal shape to the fair . The book spends considerable time discussing, in factual detail, how the...

Cover: 'Where She Went'

"Where She Went" by Gayle Forman

★★★★★ This is the companion book to "If I Stay".  This story picks up a couple of years after the first book ends and is told from the point of view of Mia's former boyfriend, Adam, who is now a rock star.  This story tells the aftermath of Mia's choice from the end of "If I Stay". There are sometimes no words for a book where at the end all you can...

Cover: 'If I Stay'

"If I Stay" by Gayle Forman

★★★★★ Forman leaves us wondering just which choice we would make in the same situation as Mia.  This touching young adult novel has it all, from love, to heartache, and devastating loss.  I was gripped not only by the story line, but also by the way Forman was able to make me hear the music of the novel simply through words on a page.  The emotions...

Cover: '101 Sandwiches'

"101 Sandwiches" by Helen Graves

★★★★ This is definitely not your boring BLT sandwich recipe or your old standby peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  This amazing sandwich book has ways to make even the dullest sandwich fit for a king.  Recipe’s for: The Elvis sandwich, made with bacon, peanut butter and banana’s; The Ultimate Chicken Sandwich, made with garlic, thyme and lemon juice;...

Cover: 'Recipes Across America'

"Recipes Across America" by Taste of Home

★★★★★ This remarkable cookbook features recipes from the Northeast, South, Midwest, Southwest and West regions of the United States. Many people recognize the Taste of Home title from their many cookbooks and their magazines. This book features real recipes from real people just like you.   Colored pictures and very easy to read instructions are on every...

Cover: '3-Step Express Meals'

"3-Step Express Meals" by Cooking Light Magazine

★★★★ A busy lifestyle does not mean you can’t eat healthy.  You will be amazed that all of the recipes can be completed in just 3 easy steps. This cookbook lists kitchen staples as well as a grocery store guide. Included also are 10 tips for preparing the express meals and a chapter on 1-step side dishes. Three-Bean Chili, Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle...

Cover: 'Art of the Classic Car'

"Art of the Classic Car" by Peter Bodensteiner, Peter Harholdt

★★★★★ Hardoldt and Bodensteiner's beautiful coffee-table book is a sumptuous, authoritative tribute to classic cars of the 20th Century. Bursting with full-page and close-up detail pix done by Hardoldt, the book also features a comprehensive and informative history of the various cars by Bodensteiner. Among the classics covered  are Duesenbergs, Bentleys,...

Cover: 'Catch Me'

"Catch Me" by Lisa Gardner

★★★★★ The sixth Detective D.D. Warren novel by Lisa Gardner, CATCH ME, opens to find a woman named Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant who believes, after the murder of her two best friends, that she will be next to die in exactly four days. Counting down the hours until her death, Charlene finds Detective Warren at the crime scene of a murdered pedophile and pleads...

Cover: 'Vegan a la Mode: More Than 100 Ice Creams, Gelatos, Granitas, and Other Frozen Delights'

"Vegan a la Mode: More Than 100 Ice Creams, Gelatos, Granitas, and Other Frozen Delights" by Hannah Kaminsky

★★★★★ This book is the best source I have found so far for vegan desserts. For someone who can't have soy, dairy, or egg, this book was the one resource that finally allowed me to have dessert again! The recipes are excellent in and of themselves, and the illustrations make the treats all the more tempting to the reader. Most recipes don't even include too many...

Cover: 'Kind of Cruel'

"Kind of Cruel" by Sophie Hannah

★★★★ In Hannah's latest book featuring detectives Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse, frazled mom Amber Hewerdine visits a hypnotherapist to cure her chronic insomnia, but doubts anything will really happen. Under hypnosis, Amber hears herself say the phrase, "Kind, Cruel, Kind of Cruel," but she has no idea what it means. Little does she know, a chain of...

Cover: 'The 5th Wave'

"The 5th Wave" by Rick Yancey

★★★★★ In this fast paced teen dystopian novel, aliens have invaded and Cassie, one of earth's last surviving humans, must fight the odds to rescue her little brother, Sam. Cassie has remained on the run, trusting only herself, since her parents were killed, until she meets Evan Walker. The mysterious Evan may be Cassie's only hope for survival, but is he really...

Cover: 'Dark Places'

"Dark Places" by Gillian Flynn

★★★★★ Libby Day's mother and two older sisters were notoriously murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice" of Kinnakee, Kansas in 1985. Her brother, Ben, was convicted of the murders due to swirling rumors about him and a lack of evidence to convict anyone else. Since the day of the murders, Libby has been living off donations from sympathizers, book deals, and interviews...

Cover: 'Sharp Objects'

"Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn

★★★★★ When Camille's boss assigns her to cover the story of an unsettling murder in her hometown, she is hesitant about her homecoming. Camille will have to face her overbearing, hypochondriac mother and her half-sister, Amma, who Camille knows little about. Even more unsettling, when Camille arrives to her Missouri hometown, another murder occurs under the same...

Cover: 'Superworm'

"Superworm" by Julia Donaldson

★★★★★ “Hip, hip hooray for SUPERWORM”, repeatedly chant the animals and insects in the forest as their hero Superworm saves them from many disasters.   But in the midst of their happiness the evil wizard lizard captures Superworm with his servant crow and puts an evil spell on him, forcing him to find treasure in the soil.  Will his friends rescue him,...

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