Staff Picks

Here are some recent book reviews!

  • Book Review: Inspector John Madden Series

    July 12, 2019
    Rennie Airth, born in South Africa but now a resident of Italy, began the Inspector John Madden series in 1999 with River of Darkness. The novel was inspired by his uncle, a soldier in World War I. The crime the Scotland Yard detective takes on is set in rural England in the postwar years. A ...
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  • Book Review: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

    July 4, 2019
    If you like to get to know people by asking them about their favorite books, read this. Take it to the beach and devour it in an afternoon; revel in its tidy celebrations of the transformative power of love and the power of a good book. A.J. Fikry owns a struggling independent book ...
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  • Book Review: Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Explosion

    June 28, 2019
    Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Explosion is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the tragedy of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant explosion in 1986 from the perspective of those who suffered the greatest. Author Svetlana Alexievich traveled around Russia in the regions close to Chernobyl and gathered the stories of those ...
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  • Book Review: Economix: How our economy works (and doesn’t work) in words and pictures by Michael Goodwin, illustrated by Dan E. Burr

    June 21, 2019
    I cannot for the life of me believe how much I enjoyed this book!  Who would have believed that a book about the economy could offer entertainment and even humor?  That I would look forward to picking off a chapter every night, and learn so much about such a “dry” subject?  That I would find comfort in understanding just ...
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  • Book Review: Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee

    June 14, 2019
    Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep In the 1970s, in rural Alabama, an African-American preacher named Willie Maxwell was accused of murdering  several of his family members to collect insurance money. Thanks in part to his attorney, these allegations were never proven true, and Maxwell evaded justice until he was shot and ...
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  • Book Review: Florida

    June 6, 2019
    Florida by Lauren Groff I picked up this book in the airport, thinking (mistakenly) that it was a book by another Florida author that I had heard about on NPR. What a happy accident! I was so taken by this collection of short stories by Lauren Groff. It has earned all kinds of awards ...
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  • Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing

    May 30, 2019
    Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens recently soared to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list, and after reading it last weekend, I understand why it’s attained that stature and why others are so captivated by this unforgettable story. Using exquisite prose, Delia Owens vibrantly describes the environmental beauty and vibrancy ...
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  • Book Review: Normal People

    May 24, 2019
    Book Review: Normal People This little gem of a novel by Sally Rooney definitely made me feel my age (old). It is a love story of two millennials from the same backwater town in Ireland, who are clearly meant to be together, but can’t admit it to themselves or to each other. ...
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  • Movie Review: Sorry to Bother You

    May 17, 2019
    Usually when I love a movie it’s because: the movie contains monsters; the movie makes me cry; the movie has robots in it; or the movie is called John Wick. Sometimes, though, I love a movie because it surprises me and confuses me and then I can’t stop thinking about it. Directed by Boots ...
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  • Book Review: The Acadian Kitchen

    May 8, 2019
    The Acadian Kitchen by Alain Bosse (The Kilted Chef) I lived in a suburb of Montreal when I was a kid. Unsurprisingly, one of the things I remember most vividly about my time there was the food. Poutine, smoked meat sandwiches, and chicken and rib franchises (I’m thinking about you, Swiss Chalet!) are what immediately come ...
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